How to make $100,000+ per year as a travel nurse.

According to the BLS, the average annual salary of a registered nurse is $75,510. To be noted, this average takes into account the average of annual salaries from all 50 states – so it includes salaries from $58,340 in South Dakota to salaries in the highest paying state, California, at $106,950, on average. Quite a difference, right? But what does a TRAVEL NURSE make? Well, let’s just say that you don’t have to move to California permanently to make that much! Here are a couple of options on how to make at least six figures as a travel nurse.


Scenario 1: $108,000 per year

1. Take travel nurse assignments that are at least $2,100 per week. This is incredibly easy to do, as long as you’re not too picky about your location. Let your recruiter know up front what your salary requirements are so he or she can send you the best options. You may need to consider adding a few more state licenses to open your options up.

2. Don’t take more than 4 weeks off per year. By doing this, you will be committing yourself to 48 weeks of work at $2,100 per week = $100,800 annually. (Bonus: Don’t forget that a significant portion of your salary is nontaxable as well!)

Scenario 2: $117,000 per year

1. Take travel nurse assignments that pay at least $3,000 per week. With the current state of nursing, this is also not difficult to do, especially if you are open to going anywhere. You may have to work 48 hours per week on assignment, but it would totally be worth it when you realize how much time you could take off doing this and still meet your income goals.

2. This would mean you could take just three 13-week travel assignments per year, so actually bringing in $117,000 per year gross.

3. You could still take 4-5 weeks off in-between assignments. Perfect for picking up shifts back at your home hospital or doing that backpacking trip across Thailand you’ve always wanted to do.

Scenario 3: The sky is the limit!

If you’re really just wanting to max out your income potential, here are a few ways to do that.

1. Pick up all the overtime you can. Make sure you check with your recruiter on what the overtime rate is first.

2. Take off the least amount of time possible between assignments. By being in contact with your recruiter, you can easily line up an extension or new assignment to start immediately after your current assignment ends.

3. Work a strike. Strikes can be a bit unpredictable, but if you’re able to work one, you can count on an amazing paycheck.

4. Look for sign-on or completion bonuses. Some facilities will throw in a sort of bonus on top of salary. Ask your recruiter if he or she has any of those assignments available.