Traveling as a registered nurse can be an exciting and rewarding career, especially for those who are excited about exploring new locations and meeting new people. Travel RN assignments are available in nearly every city in the country as the entire healthcare industry is looking to fill open nurse jobs.
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The salary of a registered nurse can vary significantly depending on the experience of the nurse as well as the experience, certifications, and location they are working in. The median salary for a registered nurse was $80,010 per year or $36.22 per hour in 2020 with most earning between $61,630 and $93,590 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entry-level registered nurse jobs or those with the lowest 10% salary earned around $53,410, while the highest 10% earned more than $116,230. Typically, travel nursing jobs will provide higher hourly and weekly pay than permanent positions in the same location, especially for critical care positions like emergency room (ER), intensive care (ICU), neonatal intensive care (NICU), and pediatric intensive care (PICU), and telemetry units.
California pays the highest average salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics with an average annual wage of $120,560 and an hourly wage of $57.96. This is followed by Hawaii ($104,830 per year, 50.40 per hour), Massachusetts ($96,250 per year, $46.27 per hour), Oregon ($96,230 per year, $46.27 per hour), and Alaska ($95,270 per year, $45.81 per hour).
One thing to keep in mind as a traveling RN is that seeks the highest paying contract doesn't always mean that you will get paid the most when factoring in the cost of living of each state. When comparing adjusted registered nurse salaries, California is still the highest paying state for RNs in part because their average RN salary is $40,550 higher than the national average and more than double the average salary of nurses in Alabama. The rest of the top five highest paying states include New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Registered Nurses need to complete their associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing and take the National Council Licensure Exam NCLEX -RN Exam, which is a requirement to practice as an RN in the United States. Once the NCLEX exam is passed and you meet the board of nursing license requirements in your state, then all that is left is to do is gain the necessary experience in your specialty and explore additional certifications.
Most positions will require certification in Basic Life Support (BSL) and it is generally preferred that traveling registered nurses also achieve an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification so they can work in critical care settings. Specialty positions may have additional certification requirements depending on the staffing company, state, or facility requirements. For example, Pediatric Care and Emergency Department positions will generally require a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification, and Neonatal and Labor and Delivery positions will generally require a Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification.
Finding a desirable travel assignment shouldn’t be a full-time job. Fusion Marketplace gives travel RNs the autonomy to secure their next healthcare placement in only a few clicks with less paperwork. With a professional traveler profile, Fusion Marketplace helps healthcare travelers find their next job that aligns with their top career priorities. With complete transparency into each job including benefits, pay packages, staffing agencies, and recruiters, Fusion Marketplace makes the unknowns known for travel nurses across the country.
Travel RNs do the same tasks as registered nurses which includes providing and coordinating patient care in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and more. Traveling registered nurses are expected to be experienced and confident professionals as they are expected to quickly orient to new environments. They provide assistance to patients where they are most needed, filling critical vacancies and supporting facilities around the country in the most need of registered nurses.
Because of the nationwide shortage, traveling nursing jobs are becoming more appealing to full-time and part-time registered nurses with advanced practice.
The appeal is clear: nurses can expand their employment search, multiply the number of lucrative job offers they receive, build their practice in multiple nursing specialties, and experience an entirely new locale while they're at it. Becoming a traveling registered nurse offers more than job flexibility or security. Nurses have the chance to secure a higher level of pay that suits their skills and expertise in the healthcare industry.
When searching for your traveler housing, you’ll be responsible for researching your destination, finding a secure home, providing the deposit, paying utilities, and more. This is where Fusion Marketplace can help make the search easier by offering easy access and full transparency to flexible housing options near your destination. You shouldn’t have to limit your career opportunities because housing options for an assignment are not ideal. Fusion Marketplace saves you the headache and offers total transparency so you can find housing that works for you no matter where your travel assignment takes you.
Fusion Marketplace is integrated with housing partner Furnished Finder to make the housing process that much smoother for healthcare travelers in search of their next home. After finding your next travel and furniture transparency for professional healthcare travelers across the U.S. Browse through condos, hotels, apartments, and more to find your ideal unit or use the stipend calculator to get a more accurate idea of average rents in the area you’re working.