Travel nurse salary

Midge Lee
September 2, 2023
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Travel nursing has long been regarded as a high-paying career path. Over the last five years, travel nurse salaries have skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing demand for travel nurses to fill staffing shortages across the country. While travel nurses are still in-demand, travel pay rates have now begun to stabilize as the burden of COVID-19 on the healthcare system has lessened. 

However, staffing shortages persist—and as a travel nurse, it’s important to understand the latest salary trends for travel nursing, and how compensable factors like experience, specialty, facility choice, and location can affect these trends. Knowing how much other travel nurses earn can also help you negotiate a better pay rate and ultimately help you achieve your financial goals. In this guide, we’re empowering you with the basics of travel nurse pay in 2023, and breaking down how these factors can affect your bottom line. 

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Average travel nurse salary

Travel nurse salaries can vary depending on factors like your experience, specialty, state, and location. At Nomad Health, the average salary or total compensation for travel nurses is around $2,500 per week including stipend. For a 13-week travel nurse assignment with Nomad, you can expect to earn a total compensation around $32,500 in gross pay. 

Travel nurse salary range

Travel nurse salary ranges change frequently based on facility demand for different specialties and complexity of the specialty. At Nomad Health, our travel nurses have an average weekly salary or total compensation range of $1,800 - $3,300, including stipends.

Average travel nurse pay rate

Travel nurses often negotiate their pay rates. At Nomad Health, the average travel nurse pay rate is $65.75 per hour. Compared to the national pay rate, travel nurses who work with Nomad earn about 6$ more per hour.

What is the highest salary for a travel nurse?

At Nomad Health, the highest salary or total compensation for a travel nurse is $3,400 per week (including stipends) for a first assistant operating room travel nurse as of September 1, 2023.

Factors that influence travel nurse pay

Travel nurse pay is influenced by a number of compensable factors, which include but are not limited to:

Travel nurse experience

Facilities are always looking for highly skilled nurses with experience under their belt who can start work hitting the ground running. The more relevant experience you have as a travel nurse, the more willing a facility is to pay you a higher salary for your skills.

Travel nurse education

Higher levels of education like a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can help open doors for more advanced nursing roles.

Travel nurse specialization

Travel nurses who pursue additional specializations are considered to be more marketable to facilities. They are also able to negotiate a higher pay rate compared to travel nurses without specialization experience.


Getting specialized credentials helps demonstrate your expertise and can be a helpful tool for securing a high-paying travel nurse job. Travel nurses with specialized credentials have more negotiating power than travel nurses without them.

Facility demand

When facilities experience nurse staffing shortages, they often rely on travel nurses to fill those gaps. Depending on the severity of the shortage, travel nurses may be able to negotiate a higher pay with the facility.


The cost of living in each city and state will directly influence how much pay facilities can offer travel nurses. For example, a travel nurse assignment in a rural area is likely to pay less than a travel assignment in a big city where the cost of living is higher.

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Author profile

Midge Lee
Midge is a registered nurse with eight years of clinical experience in ER, ICU, and home health. After travel nursing for a couple of years, she transitioned from the bedside to writing full-time. She’s passionate about diversity and trauma-informed care and will write hospital haikus if you ask nicely. Currently, she’s an SEO content writer at Nomad Health.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023
Modified: Sep. 2, 2023