How much do nursing agencies make? – Are they playing you?

How much do nursing agencies make? – Are they playing you?

One of travel nurses’ most adamant complaints is feeling like their recruiter is using them to make money. How much do nursing agencies make off my work? How much do nursing agencies make off of one contract? Recruiters make commission off travel nursing contracts, sometimes they make 20-25% of the whole contract.  It’s a business on both sides. As a nurse, I recognize that travel nurses are uprooting their lives with each new contract. We are uprooting our families, pets, and friendships based on the amount promised to us in our pay package. My goal is to make sure every travel nurse knows whether recruiters are paying nurses or playing nurses.

Here are a few ways I like to double check my offers and compare them to travel and staff nurse paychecks in the surrounding area.


This site is specifically used for comparing various positions, salaries, and hourly wages in different cities. You will see a projected income, as well as the lowest and highest amounts traveling and staff nurses in that city are making. You can even compare rates with hospital listings and change filters based on experience and specialty.


This site is useful for the various things travel nurses spend money on during an assignment. You can see the federal rates for meals and incidental expenses, travel per diems, real estate/housing, and mileage. This can be helpful to compare your pay package stipends and offers to what the government believes you will need in the city you are heading to, but make note the stipend we usually receive tends to be a touch less on average than the government per diem numbers.


This site is perfect for any travel nurse looking to find pricing for communities with furnished housing. This site is specific to travelers and will even ask you questions about your assignment, pets, budget, and people staying with you to ensure it is designed specifically for your needs. You can then compare pricing, offers, and locations for your next gig.

I hope you find this information helpful, these are great resources for spot checking your pay package. Because after all, it’s your pay package. So the next time you ask yourself: “how much do nursing agencies make,” focus on maximizing how much you make. These three websites make maximizing your pay as easy as ABC. Travel nursing can be confusing, and very exhausting when you’re changing locations every 13 weeks so all tricks are good tricks.  Any thoughts or questions, please post below.  Happy Hunting!



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