Registered Nurses make a great annual salary. In 2017, Registered Nurses made an average of $65,000 per year, or about $34 per hour. Of course, how much a Registered Nurse makes depends on a wide variety of factors, including education level, years of experience, specialty, and location. Due to the cost of living, how much a Registered Nurse makes may be different in a bustling city vs a small town. Another factor that comes into play is whether the nurse is employed as a staff nurse in a single hospital or is willing to travel. In general, an RN willing to travel will make roughly 30% more than a staff RN (and have the adventure of their lifetime while traveling) while keeping several of the great benefits and incentives offered to a staff RN.
To become a Registered Nurse, you must earn your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and pass the NCLEX exam. Though the ADN route is the most common way to become a Registered Nurse, many also go on to achieve their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You'll go through extensive classroom and clinical training, including experiencing different specialties (units of the hospital). An ADN is the minimum travel nursing education needed, though BSNs are becoming more highly sought-after because hospitals who employ a large portion of BSN nurses are more likely to achieve Magnet status. Once you've met the educational requirements for travel nursing, you'll also want to gain a few years of experience in your area of practice. Travel nurses are expected to hit the ground running when they arrive at the facility, and should be experienced in their area of care with a minimum of 2 years of hands-on practice.
Staff nurses often accrue paid time off, especially when they have been at the same hospital for several years. It's a nice perk when you need to take a sick day. However unlike travel nurses, staff nurses are limited by how much PTO they can earn. You may only get 2 weeks of vacation during the whole year, or only be able to take a few days off at a time. Travel nurses have the flexibility to take as much time as they'd like off while in between assignments. It's one of the best parts of being a traveler!Get Started Today
trustaff is an award-winning travel nursing agency that matches nurses of all different specialties with top-paying travel jobs all across the country. With over 18 years of experience serving nurses and other healthcare professionals, trustaff is ready to help you take your career (and your paycheck) to the next level. Talk to a recruiter today!