Often, people are attracted to travel nursing due to the promise of a large paycheck.
However, there are tricks to make even more cash in this career.
Depending on a variety of conditions, your yearly earnings could total to be more than 100k. Below are ten quick tips to earn as much as possible as a travel nurse.
1. Keep seasons in mind
Although most people would hate working winters up north and summers down south, doing so may give you a huge leg up in the number of your earnings. For those travel nurses willing to stick it out with the weather, there will be big bonuses. Many northern states, for example, offer special winter rates to encourage more travel nurses to stay and combat the harsh weather.
2. Try out small towns
Many nurses are hooked by the glamour of big, glittering metropolis cities such as New York, but those may not be the best locations to work. Even if they do offer slightly higher wages, the higher living expenses will level them out, leaving you with fewer savings overall. The fact of the matter is, smaller towns tend to be in more desperate need for travel nurses, and have the potential to offer high pay packages. With lower living expenses, this could add hundreds if not thousands to your yearly earnings. If you’re the type of person to be able to make peace anywhere for a few months, choosing assignments in small towns may be an excellent way for you to see more cash in your hands.
3. Keep working during the holidays
Everyone tends to try to take time off during the holiday season. Of course, this drives up demand for workers exponentially during those days, especially in the healthcare industry. Institutes will usually offer up to double the average hourly rate to travel nurses willing to work during the holidays. If you’re okay with using your holidays to work, you could bring home some pretty impressive paychecks.
4. Consider working overtime
Overtime for travel nursing is a great option to earn high bonuses as well as up to double your regular hourly rate. As a travel nurse, overtime opportunities are frequent due to staff shortages in hospitals, and this is a great way to earn extra money. Furthermore, travel agencies may offer all kinds of bonuses for working overtime.
5. Keep track of high profiting locations
More than working during less popular times, it is also important to keep in mind that some states and cities offer higher rates than others. Always high on the list is California, but you must remember that the cost of living is also higher there. Other places that offer amazing rates include Oregon, Texas, Nevada, as well as Massachusetts.
6. Always accept the housing stipend
If you have the option, always accept the housing stipend over company housing. If you choose the latter, keep in mind that you will only be able to save what’s left of your hourly wages after tax. However, if you are up to finding reliable housing on your own, you could easily save thousands a year. In the modern world, there are so many technologies to help you find the cheapest, best housing, and you will always end up saving money if you take some time and do some research.
7. Keep an eye on strikes and rapid response assignments
If you’re up to travel at a moment’s notice, you may be able to make a fortune by responding to shortages due to crises, strikes, and rapid response assignments. Various companies will offer unbelievably high pay for nurses to cover staffing emergencies on extremely short notice. Of course, downsides include that the issue could dissipate before your arrival, and you may leave with nothing more than a small sum of money as reimbursement for your time. However, the opportunity to make large amounts of cash could be worth it!
8. Keep up with system conversions
Recently, hospitals across the nation have been converting to systems like Epic. Due to the extensive staff training required for this transition, nurses who are already familiar with this new computer system are exceedingly demanded. Proficient travel nurses will be filling in on patient care as well as helping the staff train and navigate the system. Such assignments offer higher pay, making it an excellent opportunity to earn more money.
9. Check out working per diem
If you’re okay with a shifting schedule, working per diem will be a great way for you to earn more. Per diem simply means working depending on the fluctuating needs of the institution. Being completely flexible in this way will earn you an extremely high hourly rate. Certain institutions will average 70-100 dollars per hour for per diem rates.
10. Specialize in a high paying unit
Certain units in all hospitals will offer higher hourly rates due to a higher education level and experience level required. Becoming proficient in working in such areas will earn you much higher pay. Units include Labor & Delivery, ICU, Neonatal ICU, ER, Operating Room, as well as Cardiac Cath Lab.