Traveling registered nurses (RNs) and traveling nurse practitioners (NPs) are both in high demand and well compensated, but this is where the similarities end. Nursing professionals must already be registered nurses to become NPs. Additionally, NPs need to complete a master's or doctorate.
What is a Traveling RN?
A traveling RN has either an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing and travels for PRN shifts in different cities all over the US. Traveling RNs differ from staff RNs in many ways; some are actual benefits to the traveling RNs, and some present challenges. For example, Staff RNs are required to attend many staff meetings and evaluations. Traveling RNs do not have to participate in all meetings. Another difference between a staff RN and a traveling one is that traveling nurses only get around three days of onboarding, as healthcare facilities expect them to hit the ground running as soon as they start. Staff nurses usually take a few weeks to months to onboard into a new facility. Vacations are another benefit to being a traveling RN. They don't have to ask for permission. They can schedule an assignment, know how long that is, and then plan vacations either before or after the assignment is over. One challenging aspect of being a traveling RN is tax season. If a traveling nurse works in five states in one year, they must file taxes in all five states, whereas staff nurses have a straightforward W2 filing.
What is a Traveling NP?
Becoming an NP requires additional education, either a master's or doctoral degree. The coursework includes advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology courses within a graduate curriculum. Traveling NPs have a little more difficulty setting up in different states because they have to apply for three licenses per state. If the NP can administer drugs, they must file with the DEA. But some of the best rewards come when traveling as an NP for per diem shift work. Traveling nurses can negotiate higher salaries and receive stipends for meals, incidentals, and housing. When considering moving temporarily to another city, that's a huge factor. One thing that traveling RNs and NPs share that can sometimes be formidable is seniority. Staff nurses gain this year after year, whereas traveling nurses have difficulty acquiring significant seniority. Traveling nurses stay ahead of the curve by gaining certifications in different fields. For more information on certification available, visit the American Nurses Association (ANA).
Average Salary for a Traveling PRN RN
According to the US Bureau of labor statistics (BLS), traveling RNs make a median wage of 77,330, which breaks down to $38 an hour. Traveling RNs are usually on the higher side of the average pay since healthcare facilities pay more for PRN shifts. This makes the traveling RN career path very attractive. The job growth for traveling RNS is also very bright for the future. In addition, the BLS predicts 52% job growth for this position between now and 2030.
Average Salary for a Taveling PRN NP
Regarding the compensation for traveling NPs, the BLS says that the median pay scale is around $111,680 annually, which breaks down to $54 an hour. Traveling NPs also tend to make on the higher side of the median pay scale due to healthcare facilities sometimes paying much more than permanent or contract personnel. California has nine of the top ten cities in the US, which is another interesting fact for traveling NPs looking for new PRN shifts.
Nursa PRN Staffing Application
Nursa helps connect traveling NPs and RNs anywhere they want to travel while picking up a few PRN shifts. Nursa allows users to choose the shift that best suits their schedules, locations, and assignment duration. Nursa isn't just for traveling nurses but also helps local health professionals find per diem shifts at different medical facilities, like long-term care, hospitals, clinical research, rehabilitation centers, and many more. Nursa is easy to use after downloading the software onto a smart device. The only steps needed to find the best PRN jobs are setting up a profile, uploading the necessary documentation, and completing the profile. Traveling RNs, NPs, and allied health workers can start navigating new PRN shifts in new cities.