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If you are considering a change of career to a traveling nurse, your salary and pay benefits are going to be an important factor in your decision. Since you will be required to have a good deal of experience in your specialty, you can expect to be paid a higher rate than permanent staff members at the facilities in which you will work. In addition, you can expect to receive paid housing, travel cost reimbursement, medical and other benefits.

Salary For Traveling Nurses

Calculating an annual salary for a traveling nurse is not too easy to do. It’s important to realize that as a traveling nurse, you will have many short-term contracts throughout the year. These will all have different pay rates, reimbursements, and non-taxable items.

Let’s take a look at some examples to help you better understand. Let’s say you get a short-term contract with a facility in Arizona. They pay you $25 per hour and give you $1,000 each month for housing costs. Compare this to another short-term contract you get afterward that is in California. The job in California pays you a base rate of $20 per hour but gives you $2,000 for housing costs.

As you can see, there are many different factors to consider when determining your yearly salary. One major benefit of a traveling nurse is they are given tax-free reimbursements for things like housing. This also plays a role in calculating your potential income for a year.

Calculating Base Pay For A Contract

If you decide upon a career as a traveling nurse, you should get familiar with calculating the costs and pay you will receive from a potential contract. We are going to run you through a sample analysis below so that you can get better acquainted with this process.

 This example is a short-term contract for 13 weeks.

$200 Per Week For Groceries/Food – $2,600
$2,000 Per Month For Lodging – $6,000
$600 One-Time Travel Expenses – $ 600
——– Total Expenses For Job – $9,200

(This is the amount of money that you will receive as compensation from the recruitment agency for the cost of living for the time of the contract.)

# of Guaranteed Hours Worked – 468
Non-Taxable Pay Per Hour – $19.66
Base Hourly Pay Rate – $20.00
——– Total Pay Per Hour = $39.66

As you can see, this pay per hour is a combination of the base pay rate you are guaranteed in the contract plus the reimbursements you will receive for your expenses during the time you fulfill the contract.

 Added Benefits

In addition to your regular base pay, you will also receive benefits as a traveling nurse. These benefits come along with your compensation package that pays for your housing and living expenses. You should pay close attention to the different benefits that are offered through the recruiting agency and the contracts they find for you.

Most agencies will offer nurses dental, medical, and vision insurance as part of their compensation package. Employers may opt to match 401(k) and other retirement saving accounts funding. These are all optional benefits that are not required to be offered.

The end of the job tends to provide traveling nurses with even more benefits. Many employers will offer an end of the assignment monetary bonus as a thank you for sticking with the hospital or another medical facility for the entire length of the contract. Some facilities will extend contracts and others will offer traveling nurses full-time positions.

As a traveling nurse, you will receive many benefits that can help to compensate for the fact that you will be traveling often. You should work with the recruitment agencies to negotiate the contracts to ensure that you always get the best possible benefits available.