Already make $42/hr. Is travel nursing worth it?

  1. Hey guys,

    I want to take my family on an adventure via travel nursing. We really want to see the country and show our kids how great our nation is as well as have an adventure while the kids are young.

    The dilemma: I make $42/hr as a float pool RN mainly working in the ER at a busy urban hospital in Florida. Plenty of opportunities for OT. My main worry is that I won't make as much or make just the same as I make now. What can I expect as a traveler pay-wise?

    I've done a lot of reading and it all seems comparable to my pay now. Of course it will be exciting to travel but I worry it won't be financially feasible to leave my current job. What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. 73 Comments

  3. by   NedRN
    Cost of family memories? Priceless.

    I don't think you will find that it pays less, most travelers make between $40 and $50 an hour, not considering the extra take home that may be provided by tax free reimbursements. On the other hand, traveling with a family is probably going to cost you more than staying at home.
  4. by   perfexion
    I had this fear too especially since I was the sole bread winner in a family of 4. I left NY making $45 an hour as staff. My first assignment was $60 an hour. At my last assignment I was bringing home $3000 a week after taxes. There's always money to be made traveling, especially with your specialty. Of course if you want to go somewhere fun/popular like hawaii or socal you'll probably make a little less.
  5. by   Elbajista
    Quote from perfexion
    I had this fear too especially since I was the sole bread winner in a family of 4. I left NY making $45 an hour as staff. My first assignment was $60 an hour. At my last assignment I was bringing home $3000 a week after taxes. There's always money to be made traveling, especially with your specialty. Of course if you want to go somewhere fun/popular like hawaii or socal you'll probably make a little less.
    Wow! Where was the $3000/wk assignment?
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    It doesn't matter what you're making now. Will you be making enough money to cover you obligations and show your family a good time?
  7. by   Anna S, RN
    I traveled for many years with six difference agencies, and I usually made in the mid thirties per hr. Where the heck do you get $60. something an hour?

    Really desirable locations (Hawaii, for example) tend to pay really low- as in the 20s per hr.
  8. by   nekozuki
    42 bucks an hour? Wow. I have nothing to contribute in terms of advice. I would simply like to know if you want to adopt an LPN.
  9. by   zedekias
    Quote from Anna S, RN
    I traveled for many years with six difference agencies, and I usually made in the mid thirties per hr. Where the heck do you get $60. something an hour?

    Really desirable locations (Hawaii, for example) tend to pay really low- as in the 20s per hr.
    California has a lot of high paying options. As do many other states. I haven't been traveling for long, but I've always made 50-60.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    The thing about making the higher salaries is that they're usually only available in places where it's really expensive to live.
  11. by   brighidh
    Quote from perfexion
    There's always money to be made traveling, especially with your specialty.
    Are you referring to a specific specialty? What's yours? Thanks -- B
  12. by   Bluebolt
    I just signed a new contract getting a little over $3000 a week in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is of course a Neuro ICU so I don't know if the specialty plays into the pay but there are definitely assignments that pay a lot and they don't have to be in an expensive location to live. Granted usually the higher paying positions do end up being in more expensive places to live but you're not buying a home/car/taxes for this location. Food and rent for a short amount of time is a small consideration compared to the inflated pay rates for those areas.

    Now depending on how many kids you're traveling with, the way you'll school them, living arrangements for an entire family etc, you may spend any extra money you make as a traveler. Although if you just break even, the experience would be one you and your family would never forget. Not many careers can offer that to families.
  13. by   ICUman
    Quote from brighidh
    Are you referring to a specific specialty? What's yours? Thanks -- B
    Perfexion is a labor and delivery nurse.
  14. by   anonRN79
    I make about 28 base wage.. I work nights so I make about 30-31/hr FT. I wish I made 40+.. what a dream.. 60!?

    I figure if I make a lot somewhere expensive to live all I have to worry about is rent, groceries, gas, and utilities.. my car payments, credit cards, life insurance, etc is all based on my original residence.. of course, I haven't actuallty done it yet, still in planning stages.

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