Highest Paying States for Travel Nurses

by Howard Gerber on August 3, 2017

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travel nursing in californiaWhen deciding where to go on your next travel nursing assignment, there are several things to consider. One factor may be salary. Travel nursing salaries vary depending on experience, specialty, and geographic location. Certain parts of the country tend to pay nurses higher wages, which may also mean travel nurses earn more. According to a 2016 compensation report published by Medscape, the following states have the highest nursing salaries:


California tops the list when it comes to salary for nurses. The average hourly wage for nurses is about $48 an hour. But depending on your specialty, nurses may earn even higher salaries. California often attracts travel nurses from all over the country. If you’re wondering what you’ll do on your days off, cities, such as San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco offer cultural attractions, professional sports, and tons of outdoor activities. But keep in mind, California also has one of the highest costs of living in the United States.


Who would not want a travel nursing assignment in paradise? Hawaii does not only have beautiful beaches, but nurses tend to earn top dollar. Nurses in Hawaii earn an average of about $43/hour. Competition for travel nursing assignments is stiff, but based on your experience and flexibility, you may be able to land a job in the islands.


Oregon may not be the first state that comes to mind when you’re considering a travel assignment. But average earnings for nurses are around $40/hour. You have several options if you want to find a travel assignment in Oregon. Cities such as Portland and Salem offer diverse nightlife, museums, and dozens of parks and gardens to enjoy. If you prefer something a little more low-key, you might want to consider the coastal area, which has beautiful, rocky beaches and cute towns to explore.


Alaska can be a great location to work as a travel nurse. Salaries for registered nurses in Alaska are about $41/hour. If you enjoy the outdoors, it’s hard to beat a travel assignment in Alaska. Alaska has several national parks and wildlife areas. There is great fishing, hiking, and cool little towns to visit. Although travel assignments in Alaska may not be in abundance, if you keep your eyes open, you may find one.


Massachusetts is another state, which pays nurses well. The average wage according to the Medscape report, is just over $42/hour. There are plenty of large, well-known medical centers in Massachusetts, which may have a need for travel nurses, such as Tufts, Beth Israel Medical Center, and Massachusetts General. There are also several cool cities in Massachusetts including Boston, which has historical attractions, professional sports, and interesting neighborhoods.


Nevada also offers competitive salaries for registered nurses. The average wage for nurses is just over $40/hour. In addition to the excitement of Las Vegas, Nevada also has diverse landscape and scenery. Whether you like the mountains, lakes or the desert, Nevada has plenty of recreational opportunities to enjoy on your days off.


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