NICU Travel Nursing Guide

NICU RNs and NICU techs are a crucial part of the care team that serves premature and seriously ill infants! A role within the neonatal intensive care unit is an incredibly important one and there’s consistently a high demand for NICU nurses. This means that there’s an abundance of well-paying NICU travel nursing jobs in exciting locations nationwide! If you’re an NICU RN, NICU tech, or work another NICU-related role, read on to learn more and explore nationwide NICU job opportunities for travel nurses and travel allied health professionals.

NICU Travel Nursing Careers

A career in NICU travel nursing is a great way for you to avoid nurse burnout — the job is still very demanding, but the variety of locations and facilities can help keep you fresh and motivated. It’s also a great way to sharpen your skills, gain crucial experience, and improve your resume.

NICU units serve the smallest, sickest patients in the hospital and NICU RNs must care for premature and seriously ill babies, as well as serving their patients’ understandably worried families. To succeed working in NICU you must be very caring and compassionate, a great communicator, highly empathetic, decisive, and be able to and able to monitor and assess your patients at a high level.

The NICU is a tough place for many families, but it’s filled with a lot of really special healthcare professionals. Much like ICU nurses, NICU nurses usually have lower nurse-to-patient ratios than floor nurses because of the need for close, constant monitoring. Typical duties include caring for, feeding, and comforting NICU babies, and also administering medication, educating family members about infant care, coordinating care within a large team of healthcare professionals, and so much more.

The ultimate goal of the NICU team is to successfully treat their tiny patients, support the patients’ families, and hopefully discharge a healthier infant. Despite the high stakes and stress, it’s critical for NICU nurses to maintain their composure and deliver compassionate care in this critical setting for patients and families.

Who Works in the NICU?

A wide range of healthcare professionals work in the neonatal intensive care unit in order to serve the needs of NICU patients and their families. NICU team members can include NICU RNs, respiratory therapists, nursing assistants, x-ray and ultrasound techs, pharmacists, lactation specialists, neonatologists, pediatricians,  neonatal physician assistants, neonatal nurse practitioners, nursing assistants, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, administrative staff, and social workers/case managers.

Who’s Treated in the NICU?

Neonatal intensive care units treat premature and/or seriously ill babies. Because of the nature of the patients, NICU units work very closely with each infants’ parents and other family members as well when it comes to ongoing support, education, advice, and care. NICU nurses routinely also offer families a great deal of emotional and mental support.

Are you a travel nurse or travel allied health professional looking for your next great career opportunity? Click here to explore NICU travel nurse and NICU travel allied health jobs!

How Much Do NICU Nurses Make?

Registered Nurses working in the NICU have a lot of earning potential. That potential changes depending on the amount of experience you have, the city/state you’re working in, and whether or not you’re a traveler. Most often you have more earning potential as a traveler due to bonuses, overtime, stipends, paid housing, and reimbursements. On top of that, high demand situations often result in facilities paying crisis pay rates or higher than average rates.

Average NICU RN Salary

According to several sources, NICU Registered Nurse Salaries typically range from $70,000 to $120,000 per year. The highest paying states change from year to year. The states most commonly near the top are New York, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Arizona. These averages are often based on cost of living and competitive salaries for similar positions in the same area. State averages can also be deceiving for this reason. Areas with higher populations often pay more, while more rural areas may offer pay that’s lower than the states average.

  • Yearly – $93,881/yr
  • Monthly – $7,823/mo
  • Weekly – $1,805/wk
  • Hourly – $45.14/hr

Average NICU NP Salary

On average Nurse Practitioners earn more than Registered Nurses. NICU NPs are no different. The highest paying states are very similar. The states commonly near the top are Washington, New York, New Hampshire, California, and Massachusetts. The averages below don’t necessarily reflect base salary. These numbers often include overtime and bonuses.

  • Yearly – $99,034/yr
  • Monthly – $8,253/mo
  • Weekly – $1,905/wk
  • Hourly – $47.61/hr

NICU travel nurse

Quick NICU Facts

  • Commonly required NICU RN education: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and/or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), plus passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) 
  • Commonly required NICU certifications: Basic Life Support (BLS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
  • Commonly preferred NICU certifications: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Management of Assaultive Behavior (MAB), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), STABLE
  • Commonly required experience to become a travel NICU RN: Facilities typically require a minimum of two years of recent, in-hospital experience in order to hire you as an NICU travel nurse. You’ll want the benefit of experience since travel nurses have to hit the ground running!

NICU Travel Nursing Jobs Nationwide

We connect care by staffing healthcare facilities nationwide with caring & compassionate NICU Registered Nurses.


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Personalized Pay Packages

We offer competitive compensation packages to fit your needs, including a company-matching 401(k)program and/or per diem allowances.

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Insurance Benefits

Medical Solutions NICU travel nurses are eligible for day-one, nationwide medical insurance coverage starting at just $10 per week for a single, basic policy.

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24hr Customer Care

Your dedicated recruiter is there to help guide you throughout your career & NICU travel nursing experience with Medical Solutions.

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We want to make your travel nursing experience painless. That's why we will provide reimbursements on state licenses or certification fees.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about NICU Travel Nursing Jobs with Medical Solutions and Travel Nursing in general.

Simply apply here. You can also call us at 1.866.633.3548 and speak with a recruiter, who can answer your questions and send you an information packet. All we need to begin is your application and resume. Once we receive your information, we can begin discussing potential assignments that fit your profile. When you find a job you want, your recruiter will submit you for the job and walk you through the process from there.
Most assignments are 13 weeks in length, but we’ve seen them as short as four weeks and as long as 24. You are obligated to finish your assignment as contracted, but there is no contract binding you to work more assignments afterward. You can take a new assignment right after your last or take a break. It’s all up to you!
Your total compensation package — including your hourly pay, benefits, bonuses, reimbursements, etc. — is completely customized to fit your needs. Pay rates vary from assignment to assignment depending on location, the hospital, your specialty, and other factors.

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