25 Highest Paying States For Travel Nurses In 2023


Written By: Caitlin Goodwin DNP, CNM, RN


Traveling around the country is a desirable possibility for nurses like me who want to make more money and shake up our professional life. Not only is there the potential for a higher salary, but there is also the excitement of visiting new places. Most nurses considering traveling look for the highest-paying states for travel nurses.

After years of contemplation, I took a travel assignment in California because I needed to make money quickly while in graduate school and was relocating out west that year. Before I made a significant thirteen-week move across the country, I looked up “What are the highest paying states for travel nurses?” What I found after all my research surprised me! This article covers the 25 highest-paying states for travel nurses in 2023.



What is the Average Salary for Travel Nurses in the United States?


Travel nurses know that pay rates vary depending on demand, cost of living, location, and facility. However, specific states consistently offer higher pay to travel nurses. The average salary for travel nurses in the United States is over $50 an hour. At $57.77, only the top ten highest-paying states for travel nurses consistently beat this average pay. The typical weekly salary for a travel nurse is $2,311, and the monthly is $10,010. The average wage for travel nurses who always work for an entire year is $120,160 per year.

Hourly $57.77
Weekly $2,311
Monthly $10,010
Annual $120,160



What are the Highest-Paying States for Travel Nurses?

(The following are the 25 highest-paying states for RN travel nurses in 2023.)


STATE #1: California


California, the Golden State, is the highest-paying state for travel nurses, with an hourly pay of $86.54. The typical weekly income of travel nurses surpasses what many make at $3,462. On average, for each month they work, California travel nurses earn $15,000. And annually, travel nurses in Cali pull in $180,000 each year.

Hourly $86.54
Weekly $3,462
Monthly $15,000
Annual $180,000



STATE #2: Hawaii


Travel nurses flock to Hawaii for its fresh food, stunning beaches, and relaxed lifestyle. The hourly rate for travel nurses in Hawaii is $73.48, pushing the weekly pay to $2,939 and the monthly rate to $12,740. If travel nurses choose to stay in Hawaii for a year, the annual payment is $152,840.

Hourly $73.48
Weekly $2,939
Monthly $12,740
Annual $152,840



STATE #3: Oregon


There are many reasons travel nurses enjoy working in Oregon. It is a gorgeous state with a thriving culture and one of the highest-paying states for travel nurses. In Oregon, nurses make an hourly rate of $69.19, a weekly salary of $2,768, monthly earnings reaching $11,990, and an annual income of $143,920.

Hourly $69.19
Weekly $2,768
Monthly $11,990
Annual $143,920



STATE #4: Massachusetts


Travel nurses in Massachusetts thrive due to the prestigious healthcare facilities and cutting-edge medical and educational institutions. Massachusetts travel nurses make an hourly pay of $67.60, a weekly rate of $2,704, monthly earnings of $11,720, and an annual salary of $140,600.

Hourly $67.60
Weekly $2,704
Monthly $11,720
Annual $140,600



STATE #5: Alaska


While the weather, sunlight hours, and remote location may be challenging, many travel nurses are drawn to Alaska because of the wilderness and majestic beauty. Alaska offers competitive pay rates as one of the highest-paying states for travel nurses. Alaska offers fantastic pay with an hourly rate of $67.05, weekly earnings of $2,682, a monthly rate of $11,620, and an annual income of $139,460.

Hourly $67.05
Weekly $2,682
Monthly $11,620
Annual $139,460



STATE #6: Washington


Whether looking for an urban gig in Seattle or a rural community with lush landscapes, Washington has much to offer regarding nursing travel assignments. While Washington has abundant rainfall, the generous pay makes it worthwhile for nurses. It is also among the highest-paying states for travel nurses, with competitive pay rates. The hourly rate is $65.99, weekly earnings average $2,639, monthly pay is $11,440, and annual salary is $137,250.

Hourly $65.99
Weekly $2,639
Monthly $11,440
Annual $137,250



STATE #7: New York


Travel nurses flock to New York because of the world-class healthcare and unique culture. Whether seeking vibrant city life or relaxed rural or oceanside assignments, New York offers nurses options. The hourly rate is $64.99, the weekly pay is $2,599, the monthly $11,260, and the annual salary is $135,170 for travel nurses.

Hourly $64.99
Weekly $2,599
Monthly $11,260
Annual $135,170



STATE #8: New Jersey


Travel nurses like New Jersey, known as the “Garden State” because it has shorelines, American history, and professional sports teams. In New Jersey, the travel nurse pay is close to that in nearby New York. The hourly rate is $62.74, the weekly wage is $2,510, the monthly earnings are $10,880, and the annual income is $130,500.

Hourly $62.74
Weekly $2,510
Monthly $10,880
Annual $130,500



STATE #9: Nevada


Nevada is the ninth highest-paying state for travel nurses and provides desert views, luxury casinos, world-class entertainment, and a completely different vibe. In Nevada, travel nurses make an impressive hourly rate of $62.50, weekly earnings totaling $2,500, a monthly income of $10,830, and an annual salary of $130,010.

Hourly $62.50
Weekly $2,500
Monthly $10,830
Annual $130,010



STATE #10: Connecticut


Close to New York City and Boston, Connecticut provinces have access to a wide range of culture, arts, and entertainment. However, there are also many charming towns and captivating coastlines. In Connecticut, the hourly rate is $61.18, the weekly earnings are $2,447, the monthly income is $10,600, and the annual salary is $127,250.

Hourly $61.18
Weekly $2,447
Monthly $10,600
Annual $127,250



STATE #11: Minnesota


Minnesota is one of the highest-paying states for travel nurses offering beautiful landscapes, a focus on the arts and entertainment, and extraordinary culinary and cultural experiences. The hourly rate for travel nurses in Minnesota is $57.67, weekly pay is $2,307, monthly income is $10,000, and annual salary is $119,960.

Hourly $57.67
Weekly $2,307
Monthly $10,000
Annual $119,960



STATE #12: Rhode Island


Rhode Island offers travel nurses incredible beaches, historic areas, and fresh seafood. Travel nurses often feel isolated, and Rhode Island is known for being a tight-knit community. In Rhode Island, the hourly pay is $57.27, the weekly earnings are $2,291, the monthly income is $9,930, and the annual salary is $119,130.

Hourly $57.27
Weekly $2,291
Monthly $9,930
Annual $119,130



STATE #13: Maryland


Travel nurses often enjoy the landmarks, the views, and the history of such an interesting state. In Maryland, travel nurses pull in an average hourly rate of $57.11, weekly earnings of $2,284, a monthly income of $9,900, and an annual salary of $118,780.

Hourly $57.11
Weekly $2,284
Monthly $9,900
Annual $118,780



STATE #14: Arizona


Arizona is known for incredible desert landscapes, such as Arches National Park and the Grand Canyon. You can make good money while exploring because Arizona is the 14th highest-paying state for travel nurses. The hourly pay is $56.30, the weekly wages are $2,252, the monthly income is $9,760, and the annual salary is $117,100.

Hourly $56.30
Weekly $2,252
Monthly $9,760
Annual $117,100



STATE #15: Colorado


For nurses who love the mountains, friendly people, and excellent food, Colorado is a dream destination for a travel assignment. Whether hiking on scenic trails in the Rocky Mountains, visiting local breweries to taste craft beer, or hitting the slopes during winter, you can stay energized in Centennial state. In Colorado, the hourly pay is $56.20, the weekly income is $2,248, the monthly rate is $9,740, and the annual salary is $116,890.

Hourly $56.20
Weekly $2,248
Monthly $9,740
Annual $116,890



STATE #16: New Mexico


Travel nurses look to New Mexico for a unique and temperate adventure but can also have a lucrative and rewarding experience. New Mexico pays travel nurses $55.54 per hour, $2,222 per week, $9,630 per month, and $115,530 each year.

Hourly $55.54
Weekly $2,222
Monthly $9,630
Annual $115,530



STATE #17: Georgia


Georgia is known for excellent weather, friendly hospitality, and juicy peaches. However, it offers more than just southern charm and is among the highest-paying states for travel nurses. Travel nurses in Georgia make approximately $55.28 per hour, $2,211 per week, and $9,580 per month, and an annual income of $114,990.

Hourly $55.28
Weekly $2,211
Monthly $9,580
Annual $114,990



STATE #18: Delaware


In Delaware, travel nurses earn an hourly pay rate of $55.18, weekly wages of $2,207, a monthly rate of $9,560, and an annual salary of $114,770. Delaware offers beautiful Atlantic beaches and coastal towns with historical districts and state parks for travel nurses to relax in between shifts.

Hourly $55.18
Weekly $2,207
Monthly $9,560
Annual $114,770



STATE #19: Texas


There are many reasons, including the rodeo and unique food and art scene, why Texas is one of the best places to take up travel nursing assignments. Because the Lone Star state is diverse, from its prairies to the urban sprawl of the cities, travel nurses must know the area where they agree to travel. The hourly pay rate for a travel nurse in Texas is $54.73, weekly pay is $2,189, monthly earnings are $9,490, and annual income is $113,830.

Hourly $54.73
Weekly $2,189
Monthly $9,490
Annual $113,830



STATE #20: New Hampshire


Travel nurses enjoy picturesque towns and a fulfilling hub for culture in New Hampshire. The hourly pay for travel nurses is $57.14. The pay is $2,166 for weekly income, and the monthly rate is $9,380. Despite being 20 on this list for pay, the annual salary is still $112,610. The state is committed to a high quality of life and healthcare, which benefits travel nurses.

Hourly $54.14
Weekly $2,166
Monthly $9,380
Annual $112,610



STATE #21: Illinois


In Illinois, the hourly pay rate is $53.36, the weekly salary is $2,134, and the monthly pay is $9,250. With an annual salary of $110,990, Illinois offers travel nurses options between diverse cities like Chicago and beautiful rural areas.

Hourly $53.36
Weekly $2,134
Monthly $9,250
Annual $110,990



STATE #22: Virginia


Virginia is temperate with versatile seasons, Blue Ridge mountain air, and ocean breeze for travel nurses looking for an outdoor or historical adventure. However, those looking for the highest-paying states for travel nurses find Virginia clocks in at $53.13 per hour, $2,2125 per week, $9,210 per month, and an annual salary of $110,510.

Hourly $53.13
Weekly $2,125
Monthly $9,210
Annual $110,510



STATE #23: Wyoming


In Wyoming, breathtaking national parks, rugged scenery, and friendly cities provide travel nurses with an incredible addition to their curriculum vitae. Wyoming is in the top 25 highest-paying states for travel nurses, with an hourly rate of $52.58, weekly income of $2,103, monthly earnings of $9,110, and annual salary of $109,360.

Hourly $52.58
Weekly $2,103
Monthly $9,110
Annual $109,360



STATE #24: Wisconsin


While chatting about the best places for our family to move, we consider slightly cooler states. Wisconsin is known for its friendly residents, delectable cheese, and expansive breweries. In Wisconsin, travel nurses make $52.57 for an hourly rate, $2,103 per week in wages, $9,110 monthly income, and $109,350 annual salary.

Hourly $52.57
Weekly $2,103
Monthly $9,110
Annual $109,350



STATE #25: Michigan


Michigan only clears the 25th highest-paying state for travel nurses. However, the hourly pay still surpasses $50 at $52.35. The weekly income is $2,094, the monthly payment is $9,070, and the annual is $108,890. Whether in the cities or the upper peninsula, travel nurses have options. I seriously considered a contract in the upper peninsula for boating, swimming, and sunbathing.

Hourly $52.35
Weekly $2,094
Monthly $9,070
Annual $108,890



My Final Thoughts


As travel nurses, we look for the best assignments that provide the opportunity to improve our careers and lives. The 25 highest-paying states for travel nurses in 2023 allow travel nurses to generate a significant income while exploring the best destinations across the rest of the United States. Career growth through these incredible contract assignments is an enticing prospect for many travel nurses, particularly when combined with an impressive compensation package.

What are the highest-paying states for travel nurses? While California, Hawaii, and Oregon form the top three highest-paying states, there are other considerations. It is essential to consider other factors like cost of living, licensing requirements, and the challenges with the specific travel assignment.

When I used the information about the highest-paying states for travel nurses, along with the other factors mentioned above, I made an informed choice to choose the right travel nursing assignment for my financial, nursing, and travel goals.


Caitlin Goodwin DNP, CNM, RN
Caitlin Goodwin is a Certified Nurse-Midwife who has been a nurse for 12 years, primarily in women’s health. She is passionate about caring for children with developmental disabilities, as her son has Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is currently working as a freelance writer and consultant and is passionate about advocating for her patients, students, and profession.