May 24, 2024

2024 Travel Nurse Salaries: Earnings & Benefits Guide

Travel nurses earn $2,058 per week, according to January 2024 HealthJob data. At current rates, a travel nurse working 52 weeks in a year would have an annual salary of $107,016.

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2024 Travel Nurse Salaries: Earnings & Benefits Guide

As a travel nurse, you choose your assignments, meaning you have control over your salary and benefits. After analyzing more than 7,000 registered nurse travel job listings on HealthJob's travel nurse job board in January 2024, we found that, on average, travel nurses earn $2,058 per week.  At current rates, a travel nurse working 52 weeks in a year would have an annual salary of $107,016. However, travel nurse salary and compensation will depend on several factors. Your assignment’s location, the number of hours you work, and your benefits all play a role when comparing compensation packages.

Looking for a remote nursing job? Check out HealthJob's Remote Nursing Job Board.

Where Can Travel Nurses Earn The Most?

Currently, Nevada is the highest-paying state for travel nurses, with a median rate of $2,486 per week. 

Nevada has long faced a nursing shortage. A report from the University of Nevada Reno’s Health Workforce Research Center in 2022 found that the state needs more than 4,000 new registered nurses to meet the national RN-to-population average. 

Nevada has surpassed New Jersey to become the highest-paying state for travel nurses. Previously, New Jersey had claimed the top position due to a nurse strike at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. During this strike, the average weekly contract for travel nurses in New Brunswick, New Jersey — the hospital's location — was significantly higher than the national average, at $4,405 per week compared to $2,153. In December, the two parties came to an agreement, ending the strike. 

Highest Paying States for Travel Nurses

The following states had the highest median travel nurse salary. Nevada has a median travel nurse salary that is 21% higher than the national average. 

U.S. States and DistrictWeeky SalaryCompared to Median
New Jersey$2,41217.20%
New York$2,38415.84%
North Dakota$2,34213.80%
West Virginia$2,2398.79%
Washington, D.C.$2,1625.05%
South Dakota$2,1625.05%
New Hampshire$2,1062.33%
New Mexico$1,902-7.58%
North Carolina$1,902-7.58%
South Carolina$1,801-12.49%
Rhode Island$1,131-45.07%

Highest Paying Cities for Travel Nurses

California cities took seven of the top-10 highest-paying cities for travel nurses. Only three cties, Santa Clara, Clovis and Bakersfield had averages rates of more than $3,000 per week.

LocationWeekly Salary
Santa Clara, CA$3,631
Clovis, CA$3,132
Bakersfield, CA$3,070
Bangor, ME$2,976
Madera, CA$2,971
Vineland, NJ$2,880
Burlingame, CA$2,879
Salinas, CA$2,872.5
San Diego, CA$2,819
Elmhurst, NY$2,810

What Are the Highest Paying Travel Nursing Specialties Today?

Travel nurse pay depends not just on the location but also on a travel nurse's specialty. Contracts that are difficult to fill can often command a premium. The highest-paying travel nurse specialties in January 2024 are as follows.

SpecialtyWeekly Salary
First Assist$2,741
House Supervisor$2,588
Interventional Radiology$2,560
Cardiac Cath Lab$2,486
Labor and Delivery$2,277
Case Management$2,261

What Are The Most In-Demand Travel Nurse Jobs?

The specialty with the most job openings in January 2024 is the Emergency Department, ED. These are the salaries for the most in-demand travel nurse jobs.

SpecialtyMEDIAN of Salary
Labor and Delivery$2,277
Med Surg / Telemetry$2,124
Case Management$2,261
Acute Care$2,035

What Benefits Do Travel Nurses Get?

Your hourly rate is just the beginning of your compensation. When comparing contracts, you must take your benefits into account as well. Benefits can make up a large portion of your total compensation.

  • Travel Reimbursements: Some assignments will reimburse you for traveling to and from your assignment. Travel reimbursements typically come at a flat rate but can also come as a per-mile reimbursement based on the distance you’re traveling. You might also get a flight reimbursement if your assignment is in Alaska or Hawaii.
  • Licensing Reimbursements: If you need to get licensed in a new state, your staffing agency may reimburse you for getting a new license.
  • Benefits: Staffing agencies often offer 401k plans, life insurance, and other benefits.
  • Housing: Most staffing agencies will provide housing support, either in the form of a housing stipend or housing provided by the agency.
  • Tax-Free: You may get tax benefits by working in a state that is not your primary residence.
  • Overtime or extra time: In addition to your contracted hourly rate, some staffing companies also have an hourly rate for additional hours worked. You may be able to negotiate this rate, which will help increase your overall earnings.

As a traveler, you have more control over all aspects of your career—your salary is just one of them. In addition to pay, you choose where you want to work, the communities you will serve, and the amount of time you have off. Knowing the average travel nurse's salary can help you make informed decisions about your next assignment.

Do Travel Nurses Earn More Than Staff Nurses?

Travel nurses earn $2,058 per week, more than the average weekly wage for registered nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average travel registered nurse's salary is $81,220. Assuming a year is 52 weeks, the average weekly wage for registered nurses is $1,561.92 per week. Determining the average annual salary for travel nurses can be challenging because they decide where and when they take contracts.

Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Travel Nursing

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