Travel Nurse Pay in Georgia: Everything You Need to Know
Contract Nurse Pay in Georgia can vary quite a lot, but when you’re going into any job it’s important to know what kind of pay you can expect. This will help you avoid being taken advantage of by employers who try to underpay, as well as manage your expectations and have a confident answer when asked about the pay you need. One of the benefits to working with a nurse staffing agency in Georgia is that there’s typically a higher hourly rate than that of working on a staff. But how much do contract nurses make in Georgia?
First, it’s important to keep in mind exactly what it is to be an agency nurse:
Contract Nurses and Per Diem Nurses
There are two types of agency nurses: contract nurses and “per diem” nurses. Contract nurses have schedules set by hours. They have a set amount of hours that they will work on a particular contract. From there they might renew the contract or they might move on.
“Per diem,” on the other hand, means “per day.” Per diem nursing shifts are often scheduled a week in advance, with weekly check-ins for further scheduling. In either case, nurses are paid hourly. Your schedule may fluctuate based on what positions the staffing agency needs filled, and your pay may also fluctuate from week to week or month to month.
Factors That Impact Agency Nurse Pay in Georgia
The truth is there’s no one blanket answer as to how much per hour contract nurses are paid by medical staffing agencies in Georgia. It varies based on a number of factors, including:
- Location – where in Georgia are you working? Is it a city or rural area?
- Specialty – nursing specialties — such as ER, OR, ICU, pediatric, etc. — will also impact your hourly rate, depending on what specialty is most in demand.
- Nursing level and years of experience
- Facilities – are you working in a hospital, an outpatient facility, a rehab center, or a long term care facility? Rates may vary depending on where the position is located
- Travel – if you have to travel more than 50 miles, you’ll often qualify for a higher pay rate in order to compensate for the travel expenses and time spent
Medical Staffing Agency Policies
Sometimes it can be difficult to understand what the standard hourly pay rate may be because of the medical agency’s pay policies. Many medical staffing agencies will offer to pay for housing, travel, and similar expenses for their nurses, while significantly lowering the pay rate. While it’s understandable that the pay would be less in exchange for the other stipends, it’s hard to know if the decrease in pay is a reasonable amount or an excuse for the medical staffing agency to underpay.
Average Pay Rates for Contract Nurses in Georgia
While there might be no simple answer as to what you’ll be paid as a contract or per diem nurse in Georgia, you can take a look at the average rates that we have seen throughout the area. Here are some concrete numbers that can help you have an idea of what to expect across Georgia and in Metro Atlanta:
- General RN (Registered Nurse) – $36-40
- General RN (Metro Atlanta) – $40-45
- Specialty RN average pay rate – $45-50
- Specialty RN high pay rate – $55-$65 (may go higher dependent on shortages or urgent needs)
- General LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) – $18-25
- General LPN (Metro Atlanta) – $22-28
- General CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) – $9-11
- General CNA (Metro Atlanta) – $12-16
Keep in mind that these numbers area averages and include stipends for travel and other expenses.
With the spike in COVID19 cases across the country and state we have seen that many facilities are offering enhanced rates of up to 1.5X the above rates provide direct care to COVID-19 patients. Crisis rates for ICU RNs have reached as high as $125 per hour.
Think about what you have to offer as a contract nurse, in terms of your certifications, specialties, and years of experience. With this guide and these pay ranges, you should be able to develop a realistic idea of the pay you can expect as a contract nurse.
Want to learn more about being a contract nurse in Georgia? Contact Staff Relief, Inc. today for more information or to get started.