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How much do Seattle agency nurses make?

lori999 lori999 (New) New

Just moved to Washington and I am not able to find out how much Seattle (and surrounding area) RNs make per hour. Help?


Hi Lori, I live in Bremerton and work for two agencies, one based in Tacoma and the other based in Seattle. They both pay $30/°, altho the Tacoma agency adds $2/° on weekends. This seems to be pretty average for this area.

I live in Wausau, WI., am an LPN, and agency. I am making, with a differential for nocs, $25.00 and hour. The RNs at my agency are making about $35.00.

This is a very small town, and it is amazing to me that the RNs in Seattle don't make that much an hour.

I am finishing my RN soon, and will stay with the agency for a while, just because the money is sooooo good.

I don't know anything about Seattle (except expensive coffee), but I've been working ER agency in the Chicago area for many years. The jobs are plentiful and the rates run from about $42 to over $50 per hour for "speciality" areas.

If you are ever looking for a job out here, let me know. There are so many agencies fighting over us nurses and the rates are great.

Okay, the pay is much better if you have experience in a specialty, such as L&D, ER, or ICU. I've seen those up to $50/°, but for most jobs it's about $30/°. You can find agencies that will pay more, but you also have to worry more about being cancelled. I don't work in Seattle, don't want to deal with the infamous traffic, so you may find agencies that pay more there. Personally, I detest traffic jams, and everything you've read about Seattle's traffic is true. (And yes, the coffee is expensive, but some things are just worth a little more money.) There really aren't too many places to work out on the peninsula, Lori, unless you want to do LTC. Right now that's what I'm doing via agency because I got tired of driving a 120 mile commute every night. And if you haven't met the a.m. eastbound traffic over the Narrow's Bridge, it's something to behold. Not to mention avoid. Good luck with the job hunt.

First things first... I want to thank the author who started this new forum. I have been wanting to communicate and be more familiar with agency nurse comrades since I started this new field in January.

I started agency nursing our of an emergency necessity (money crunch). What a rewarding (financially and a confidence booster) it became. After having done "agency" with two different agencies in Albuquerque, NM for a few monthes I (surprisingly) became more confident. I finally started asking hospitals for what I was worth (and didn't apologize for it).

In Alb., NM the current rate is about $ 25 for an RN with up to $30 and $32 (for weekends) with a specialty (I do telemetry).

I too am very surprised to hear that Seattle does not pay more than NM (we love to complain that we are on the low end of the pay scale).

Currently, I am in Wyoming where I have been able to negotiate directly with hospitals (and yes nursing homes) better salaries then a regular staff nurse. Apparantly, agency nursing is quite minimal here but not impossible. I think I can do better to work directly with the health facility and have a more predictable work week.

I am about 4 hours from Denver, Co and have talked to a couple of agencies there. Surprisingly, they pay what NM salaries paid at 30 and 32 (weekend) with a specialty of telemetry.

I would love to "try" ER nursing but imagine I will have to work as regular hospital staff for a year or more.

I look forward to reading more on this thread!


Thanks guys for all of your responses. I was a little surprised that Seattle and surrounding areas pay the average of $30/hr for agency RN's. Coming from Jacksonville, FL, the pay rate there was $28/hr when I started in April 2000, then increased to $32/hr by the time I left in October 2000. Somehow I thought that Seattle being more northern than Florida, would pay more.

At least I have some figures to work with, because as we all know, agencies will not give out any pay rate information, no matter how hard you try.

***Note: Can you guys in WA send me a message about your agencies? I'm looking to start working really soon.

Thanks again, guys

I live in Tenino, Wa and have worked agency for 8 months. I love it. I only do long term care and sub acute units. I make roughly $1000 a week take home. I'm always booked and can't complain about the travel.

The agency I work for hint (*) pays for my hotel if I work doubles. I have benefits and enjoy the work.


I currently work in Yakima WA and the agency nurses that come through our hospital make different amounts based on which agency. My unit is telemetry/ICU and nurses from star med make 27-28/hr while favorite nurses pays 45-48/hr. Most nurses get paid mileage/airfair and motel from what i've heard from various agency nurses.


Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

I ditto ORnurse's response about the traffic here in Seattle! I used to live in Kitsap county, and now wish I had stayed there. The traffic on this side of the water will give you leg cramps from having the apply your brake every two seconds!

If you're interested in per diem or travel contracts with a good agency you can email me, and I would be glad to give you info on a good agency in this area.

I must say though if you're interested in hospital nursing, and don't want to commute, you will be limited on that side of the water. If you commute ....it WILL be a challenge no matter what route you take!


rosieseattle, RN

Specializes in RN, LNC, Owner of Staffing Agency.


I started an agency here in the Seattle area. I'm from Albuquerque New Mexico. Have also worked in Texas and many other areas in the south. I find the wages up here to be very good compared to the south area. If you are interested, you can e-mail me at dannabell17@hotmail.com Thanks, Danna

I'm curious who nightngale works for,l I want to start travel nursing (already do day agency in home town.) in 2002 and want to go to NM and Wyoming, expescially Bozeman area.

Seattle area also an interest of mine.

Do any of Y'all know of nurses who travel and live in their RV while on assignment?


Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

HI rjlrn95,

Yes there are many nurses who travel using RV's! Check out Travel nurses and Therapists on http://WWW.Delphi.com. You will others who are using their RV's, and reaping the benefits while on travel assignments.

As for pay, I'm on a travel assignment here in Seattle, working Mon -Fri, 8:30 - 5:30 with two 15 min breaks, and 1hr lunch, no weekends or holidays for WELL over $25.00 an hr. I work with a great bunch of people for the most part, and pretty decent doctors. If not for the commute I would be almost in heaven! But in about two hours I'm going to be inching along in traffic, in the HOV lane! This week there are at least two Mariner Games and I will be even more pissed as I inch home again!!

hi lori,

i too have just moved to the kitsap area and have been having no luck finding $$ from agencies. Can you let me know which agency youve found the best??



Specializes in ICU/CCU, Home Health/Hospice, Cath Lab,.

hi lori,

i too have just moved to the kitsap area and have been having no luck finding $$ from agencies. Can you let me know which agency youve found the best??


Hey lori, I work for a pretty good agency based in seattle, but do a lot of outlying areas also. Pay is around $35 or more. If you're interested I can send you their number.


i do perdiem for agency on the east coast and the pay for my speciality is $47/hour

$42/ hr, jail nursing with Medical Staffing Network. Not sure what their others posts pay, but there's an office here...

The pay rates in Seattle vary and depend on a couple of things:

1) What the pay rates are between the agency you are working for and the contract they have with each facility.

2) If you are a specialty or general RN.

3) Weekend and shift differentials.

I love the agency I work for and have been with them for about 13 months. The pay rates can vary greatly between facilities. I would say that the per diem pay rates for the agency I am with are approx. $30-34 per hour for gen. and $35-43 per hour for specialty RNs.


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