Navigating the Travel Nurse Pay Scale: 9 Strategies for Staffing Agencies

Are you a staffing agency unsure about the travel nurse pay scale you must offer for different travel nurse specialties? Do not worry; we are here to help.Navigating the travel nurse pay scale involves understanding the various factors influencing compensation. Moreover, it includes developing strategies to ensure fair and competitive wages for travel nurses.  

Staffing agencies are crucial in bridging the gap between healthcare facilities needing travel nurses and travel nurses looking for assignments. 

Here are tips for staffing agencies to make the perfect staffing strategy to manage the travel nurse pay scale effectively: 

1)Market Research

Stay updated on the current trends in travel nursing pay rates. Understand the average compensation in different specialties and regions to ensure your agency offers competitive wages. Regularly analyze industry reports, surveys, and online resources to gather reliable salary information. 

Click here to know the salary and travel nurse pay scale of different specialties. 


Be transparent about compensation from the beginning of the recruitment process. Communicate the pay package, including base salary, stipends, bonuses, and other benefits. Communication helps build trust with travel nurses and ensures that expectations align with reality. Similarly, it increases your chances of getting a positive review from travel nurses and attracts other nurses.  

3)Comprehensive Packages 

Create attractive compensation packages that go beyond the base pay. Consider offering tax-free stipends for housing, meals, and incidentals. Provide details about health insurance, retirement plans, travel reimbursements, and other perks that can enhance the overall value of the assignment. Travel nurses must frequently move from one place to another for work. So, they may choose a package with more benefits than one with higher base pay and less benefits.  

4)Regional Variations 

Recognize that the travel nurse pay scale can vary significantly based on the location of the assignment. Consider cost-of-living differences when determining compensation for travel nurses in different regions. You can attract more candidates by offering higher pay for jobs in high-cost areas.  

Furthermore, you can reward travel nurses at different stages of the assignment. For example- you can divide a typical 13-week travel assignment into three parts and send a reward to the travel nurse after each piece. It could be an outing in the region or a small gift. Incentives can motivate travel nurses to provide quality care and commit to more extended contracts. 

5)Rapid Response 

Quick response times during the recruitment process can be a competitive advantage. Travel nurses often choose staffing agencies that are responsive and efficient in securing assignments. Response time can also translate to higher pay, as nurses value agencies that value their time. 

SkillGigs, a talent marketplace that pairs skilled talent with employers, can help you get talent faster. Employers can list jobs for specific skills. Similarly, talent can list themselves based on the skills they possess. The AI-based technology SkillGigs uses brings talent and employers closer to getting the right match and significantly reduces hiring time. 

6)Relationship Building 

Cultivate strong relationships with both healthcare facilities and travel nurses. Building trust and credibility can lead to more favourable ongoing partnerships. Moreover, you have a better chance to bag large projects wherein a healthcare facility is looking to bulk-hire staff for a new department or unit.  

7)Continuous Communication 

Stay in touch with travel nurses throughout their assignments. Encourage nurses to provide feedback about their compensation and overall experience. Use this feedback to refine your staffing strategy and improve the nurse experience. Address any concerns promptly and ensure that they are receiving the agreed-upon benefits.  

8)Adapt to Changes 

The travel nursing landscape can change due to supply and demand, regulatory changes, and economic conditions. Stay adaptable and be willing to adjust your travel nurse pay scale strategies to remain competitive and relevant. 

9)Professional Development 

Highlight opportunities for professional development and career advancement within your agency. Nurses may be more willing to accept assignments with slightly lower pay if they see growth and skill enhancement potential.  


Navigating the travel nurse pay scale requires a balance between offering competitive compensation and managing the budget constraints of healthcare facilities. By implementing the right staffing strategy, staffing agencies can attract and retain top-notch travel nurses while maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with healthcare providers. 

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