Ask A Travel Nurse: What’s up with the horrid Pay?

Ask A Travel Nurse: What’s up with the horrid Pay?

Ask A Travel NurseGypsy,
I’ve just received an offer for a travel position.  I’m a new traveler and I really don’t understand the offer. The pay offered is $30/hour and the company will pay for housing. The second offer is for $22/hr and they give me a weekly $645 tax free stipend. These are both horrid pay rates!!  Is this normal?

[quote author=” – Gypsy Nurse, RN”]Thank you for reading The Gypsy Nurse. You have taken the first step on your journey to become A Gypsy Nurse.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…DO NOT TRAVEL JUST FOR THE MONEY!!

Travel nursing ‘myths’ about pay are highly inflated. The market tanked (2008) and travel nursing is yet to catch up from a financial standpoint. The offer that you have presented sounds about right (without doing the calculations myself) for the area. Travelers RARELY receive a shift differential so this is a moot point.

With either one of these scenario’s, your approximate take home (Approximate because I do not know your personal tax situation and any other benefits that you are being offered.) would be around $800-1000 weekly after you account for housing costs.  In my experience, this is about the norm.  You could probably put a little more in your pocket each week by finding your own housing.  I would think that you could find your own housing for less than what the company is accounting for.

You should also remember that you do not have to accept the first offer that the company gives to you.  There is always room to negotiate.  The thing to understand and remember in negotiating is that one way or another it all comes out of the ‘Bill Rate’.

I would recommend that you check out and use the Travelers Calculator via to assist you in comparing offers for pay.  Don’t forget to get everything written into the contract as well.  If the company ‘promised’ something, it doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t written into the contract.



I love hearing the opinions of my readers.  Your opinion could be the perfect solution for someone.  Please share your thoughts below in the comments.  Do you have a question for me?  Fill out the Ask A Travel Nurse form and submit your questions.

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As a travel nursing educator, Candy aka Gypsy Nurse, RN has worked in healthcare for nearly 20 years, working up the ranks from CNA to LPN to RN. For the past eleven years, she’s worked as a travel nurse, allowing her to practice and live in 15 states throughout the U.S. Candy still works occasionally as a travel nurse but spends most of her time providing a supportive information and resources through and it's affiliated social networks.

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