Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses

Earn More



Travel Nurse Income

The highest paying states for RNs are California, Alaska, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, and District of Columbia.

Anyone who has spent any time in nursing school or as an RN knows that you don't get into nursing for the money, you become a healthcare provider to help people. Sure, the money is nice and nursing does pay well but if you didn't truly love what you did you wouldn't still be there day in and day out.

Traveling RNs earn fantastic wages, surpassing the median annual income for nurses who work in facilities, according to BluePipes. On top of already higher salaries travel nurses can collect benefits and incentives for travel nurses such as 401(k), insurance, bonuses, free housing, travel allowance, and free CEUs. Even if additional stipends, the state an registered nurse works in can affect pay. Here's a breakdown of the highest paying states for travel nurses.

How much is more?

The average salary for Travel Nurse jobs is $91,514, according to SimplyHired. Travelers earn more than staff nurses, and some states are known for having high RN salaries. Why the difference in pay? Take a state like Alaska (average salary of $80,970), where the demand for skilled RNs is high. The pay is meant to entice travelers like you to pack up and head where help is needed. If you're willing to travel to a new city every 13 weeks the industry is ready to reward you handsomely. Regardless, of what state you'll work in here are the steps to becoming an RN.


Travelers Earn More


The average registered nurse salary is approaching $70K!

Best States to Earn Top Travel Nursing Salary

These are the top 8 states with the highest paying salaries for travel nurses according to  American Traveler.

  • California: hourly rate range - $29.99 - $59.13
  • Alaska: hourly rate range - $36.40 - $39.69
  • New York: hourly rate range - $23.87 - $38.79
  • Texas: hourly rate range - $24.73 - $35.51

  • Massachusetts: hourly rate range - $30.46 - $42.74
  • Oregon: hourly rate range - $31.09 - $39.52
  • Nevada: hourly rate range - $33.22 - $38.26
  • District of Columbia: average hourly rate - $35.41

Cost of Living



Other Considerations

Cost of living and the amount of reimbursements will affect your take home pay. It is very difficult to obtain a travel nursing assignment without the help of a staffing company, but with that comes all of the bonuses and subsidies. Some common added income of working with a travel nursing company:

  • Completion and Referral Bonuses
  • Travel Reimbursements for the cost of traveling to your new city
  • Free Private Housing or Housing Subsidy (non-taxed)
  • Group Health, Dental and Life Insurance

Another consideration for your take-home salary will be the cost of living in the state you earn wages. Even with a housing subsidy, some states will cost more in terms of eating, driving, entertainment, and more. For example, California has the highest paying wages for travel nurses but also has a higher-than-average cost living, that means even if your contract says you'll make $94,120, you may only take home $74,500. It can be difficult to look past the salary number but when you do you'll find states such as Texas. While the median permanent RN salary in Texas is about $65,700, Texas' lower-than-average cost of living raises the salary to almost $71,000. Contact a recruiter today if you'd like help factoring in cost of living and other considerations—they're always willing to help!

Destinations with Great Pay

We have many travel destinations for travel nurses with great pay even if the cost of living.

Apply now or explore destinations for your next 13-week assignment. We think you'll love travel nursing (and the pay too!)

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