We get this question a lot. Does my experience affect my pay as a travel nurse? Well, this is a complicated question. Yes, you need to have worked as a nurse for a year or two before you can travel. But at the same time no, you don’t need years and years of experience. Here’s why! Nursing is one of the most demanding jobs in the United States right now. And hospitals will pay top dollar to fill their open positions. So, it is not really your experience that plays a factor into pay as much as it is the demand for your skill set. You the travel nurse get to choose where you go. This means you can pick the cities that have the most demand and offer the highest pay. But, here’s where it gets tricky. Say you want to travel to work in Florida during the winter months. Well, guess what. Everyone else wants to too. Even though there is still a high demand for your skill set as a nurse you and 50 other nurses, with different levels of experience are all competing for the same jobs. Because the hospital has so many options they will likely choose the nurse with the most experience. This is where your experience can affect your pay. We already have a video that breaks down how your pay works as a travel nurse. And if you haven’t watched it yet, be sure to check it out after this. But, to recap here is how salary works. Travel nurses get paid a base salary and then they receive stipends, or tax free money for things like housing and other travel expenses. Overall, this collectively comes out to a pretty competitive salary. So, how can you make the most as a travel nurse if experience doesn’t really give you a leg up? First, consider the location. In some areas of the country pay is higher than in others. If your specialty is in high demand you might make more money than you would in a place where there is not as great of a need. At the same time, your years of experience can put you above the nurses who are just starting out. Next, make sure you think about the cost of living in the city you will be working in. For example: it may turn out that you make more money in a rural hospital than in an urban setting simply because your pay will go further in rural areas. Third, keep in mind that you are not required to use your entire housing stipend on rent. If you can find housing for less than the amount the agency is offering you take it! Then you can use the rest of your stipend for other things. That’s more money in your pocket. Do you have any other tips on how to make the most money as a travel nurse? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to like and share this video.