News & World Report recently analyzed the country's most affordable states. Topping the list were Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska. Hawaii currently ranks lowest in affordability with the highest cost of living and least affordable home in the country. Interestingly, Hawaii is one of the most desirable states for travel nurses, but it has a very low hourly wage comparable to what is needed for living expenses.
Other states recognized as the least affordable include California, New York, Alaska and Massachusetts, also popular travel nursing destinations. Assignments at these hospitals will open many doors for travel nurses, both professionally and academically. Strictly choosing a travel nursing job and location based on pay and affordability can be a limiting decision. Travel nursing isn't strictly about visiting the country while earning a higher salary, it's also about working in some of the best hospitals in the country.
Travel nurses generally work three days a week, which creates a lot of free time to explore each new location. States such as Alaska, Maine and Vermont have greater needs for traveling nurses during the winter months, but lower needs in the summer months. The beauty of travel nursing is that you can make all of these decisions for yourself, your comfort level, and your financial situation. Your best strategy for maximizing your salary would be to choose one of the best-paying states for travel nurses, which also offers a low cost of living, so you can balance your pay with your expenses.
The shortage of nurses in Massachusetts is one of the main reasons the state ranks second on the list of highest-paid states for nurses. Onward Healthcare, on the other hand, announces that the ten cities that pay the most for their travel nurses are all in California. In general, travelers earn more than nurses, and travel pay is usually relative to the average wage rates of permanent staff. Becoming a traveling nurse is an exciting adventure, but determining where to take an assignment can be daunting.
Having worked in hospitals such as John's Hopkins Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, UCLA Medical Center and UCSF Medical Center will help nurses travel for future tasks. It's important to note that salaries may increase among travel nursing companies and will also vary based on certifications and unit location.