Whether you’re an experienced travel nurse looking to re-enter the dynamic world of travel nursing or you’re embarking on your first journey, one thing is clear—travel nursing offers a lucrative and thrilling fusion of adventure and high-paying healthcare opportunities.
Travel nurses frequently enjoy flexible schedules, a network of friends spanning the country, increased earnings, and professional development—all while immersing themselves in new cities with each assignment.
Yet, a lingering question remains: How has the landscape of travel nursing evolved since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Join us as we dive into the evolution of travel nursing and explore the changes and opportunities that have emerged in recent years.
Exploring the Post-Pandemic Travel Nursing Landscape
Amid the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a surge in demand for nurses. To address the increasing patient numbers in healthcare facilities across the United States, hiring managers began hiring travel nurses with the same commitment and dedication seen during periods of heightened demand, such as flu seasons.
This opportunity was enticing for many nurses—and with good reason! As of January 2021, travel nurses could earn a substantial income, averaging around $2,405 per week, with a number that only increased over the following year.
Since then, the landscape of travel nursing has continued to evolve. Despite the diminished intensity of the pandemic, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are still actively seeking travel nurses to bridge staffing gaps across the country.
Post-Pandemic Travel Nursing Pay Trends
We’re navigating a new, post-pandemic era, and it’s one that’s filled with opportunities. While it’s true that the pay for travel nurses peaked during the pandemic, many healthcare facilities are still offering a substantial wage of approximately $2,600 per week.
Compared to permanent staff nurses, whose weekly earnings average around $1,375, travel nurses enjoy an attractive package: a remarkable paycheck coupled with the flexibility to explore new cities as they transition from one assignment to another.
The Pre-Close Traveler Advantage: Navigating Rapidly Filling Positions
If you’re contemplating your first (or next) travel nursing assignment, you’re in good company. Thousands of other nurses share the same goal, which contributes to the swift filling of travel nursing positions. The question is, how can you enhance your chances of securing the positions you’re passionate about?
You become a pre-close traveler.
This term characterizes travel nurses who waste no time seizing new job assignments. So, the sooner you commit to a potential assignment, the greater your odds of securing the position.
Redefining Success: Achieving Peak Earnings in the Post-Pandemic Era
As a travel nurse, earning a higher-than-average nursing salary becomes a quick possibility. But if you’re looking for tips to increase your earning potential, look no further. Below, we’ve highlighted some helpful hints on how to maximize your income:
- Be flexible – When searching for the perfect job, focus on the criteria that are most important to you, such as the location of the assignment, the pay, the type of facility, and the benefits the employer offers.
- Diversify your work experience – After gaining experience from multiple assignments, you may notice that more work options become available, increasing the likelihood of seeing items from your must-have list (like higher wages).
- Maintain consistency – Where possible, keep elements of your routine consistent from one assignment to the next. For example, if you’ve been on the night shift for five years, now’s not the time to request day shifts. Similarly, if you have experience in the oncology unit, consider remaining in that specialty as you launch your travel nursing career. This continuity allows your work to speak for itself, opening up more assignment opportunities—and potentially higher pay.
COVID-19 Considerations and Health and Safety Tips for Travel Nurses
As with any nursing role in a post-pandemic world, it’s important to take proper precautions regarding your health and safety. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Regularly check updates for the latest information on COVID-19.
- Remain up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots.
- Familiarize yourself with the COVID-19 protocols and procedures implemented by each facility you work at, as well as their policy on managing COVID-19 cases.
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE) that aligns with each facility’s guidelines.
- Routinely monitor your health to check for symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses.
Find Your Next Nursing Adventure with Host Healthcare
Now is the perfect time to embark on the next chapter in your travel nursing career. With steady, high-paying earnings and the opportunity to explore new destinations, all that’s left to do is find an agency that has your back.
That’s where Host Healthcare comes in. We provide exclusive access to travel nursing jobs across the country, granting you priority to top positions and locations nationwide. And, from the moment you meet with your designated recruiter, we’re there with you every step of the way.
Apply now to become a traveler with Host Healthcare and start building the life and career that you deserve.
“How Does Travel Nurse Pay Compare to Permanent Staff Nurses? – Center for Economic and Policy Research.” Center for Economic and Policy Research, 15 June 2023, cepr.net/how-does-travel-nurse-pay-compare-to-permanent-staff-nurses.
“Travel Nursing in 2024: What to Expect.” LeaderStat Knowledge Base, https://www.leaderstat.com/knowledge-base/travel-nursing-in-2024-what-to-expect.