How much does a Medical Surgical Nurse make in the United States?

Average Medical Surgical Nurse Salary

High Confidence

$2,840/week

This is 2% lower than the travel nursing US average of $2,890.

Estimate based on 169227 active jobs in the last 90 days.

How much does a medical surgical travel nurse make?

Medical Surgical “med-surg” nurses monitor patients who are acutely ill or recovering from surgery in a variety of hospital and clinical settings. There are many opportunities to work and travel as a med-surg nurse and earn a higher salary while doing it.

Travel nurses with a medical surgical specialty earned an average gross weekly salary of $1,543 working an average of 36.3 hours per week. This includes non-taxable compensation like living stipends, meal stipends, housing, and relocation which add up to an average value of $1,162 per week.

What are the most common benefits for a medical surgical travel nurse?

While there are many benefits to working as a travel nurse, the most common benefits included as compensation are housing stipends, meal stipends, and health insurance. Be sure to asses how your benefits are taxed because this can affect your net income. For example, if you qualify as having a permanent tax home, many of these stipends are tax-free, which can mean thousands of dollars in savings.

1. Housing stipend

Housing stipends can be used to cover costs associated with temporary housing like rent, utilities, and relocation expenses. In some cases employers will offer a choice between a stipend or employee housing. If you are confident your housing costs will be lower than the stipend amount, then you may be able to find your own place and save the difference.

On the other hand, housing provided by your employer can make the process of relocating a lot easier. Ask your recruiter how a stipend vs employee housing option is taxed. See our housing tips for travel nursing.

Avg housing stipend value: $584

2. Meal stipend

It’s common for employers to cover living expenses, especially food costs since it is one of the largest expenses when relocating. Employers describe this benefit differently sometimes providing a “per diem” which is a maximum daily allowance for meals and incidental expenses. Others may offer a “stipend”, which is a lump sum paid periodically. It’s important to keep detailed records of your expenses and to verify whether you qualify for tax-free stipends.

Avg housing stipend value: $668

3. Health Insurance

Many travel nurse employers offer health insurance at a reasonable rate, however coverage may only apply throughout the duration of your assignment. You’ll want to understand the exact start/end dates of your coverage before signing an agreement to avoid gaps in coverage.

As an alternative, many travel nurses choose private coverage or elect COBRA in between jobs. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a higher rate of pay by choosing private insurance and opting out of the employer’s insurance option.

Where do medical surgical travel nurses make the most money?

In locations where there is a greater need for nursing staff, pay tends to be higher. Some states also have a higher cost of living so employers offer higher compensation relative to those costs. Keep in mind, each state has specific licensing requirements. The tables below show the states with the highest med-surg travel nurse salaries throughout last year and up to the current month.

Where do Med Surg Nurses get paid the most?

StateAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
New Jersey$3,465$6,192
Idaho$3,295$7,756
North Dakota$3,250$7,078
Rhode Island$3,129$5,782
Wisconsin$3,073$6,132
Iowa$3,063$6,384
Delaware$3,044$5,186
Georgia$3,038$6,701
New Mexico$3,017$6,931
Arizona$2,990$7,422

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What cities pay the most for Medical Surgical Nurse?

CityAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
Port Jefferson, New York$7,175$7,175
Sleepy Hollow, New York$6,658$6,658
Friday Harbor, Washington$5,989$5,989
Cumberland, Maryland$5,789$5,789
Fallon, Nevada$5,569$7,005
Hamilton, Ohio$5,472$5,472
Parker, Arizona$5,472$5,472
Seneca, Pennsylvania$5,351$6,153
Elmer, New Jersey$5,326$5,326
Vineland, New Jersey$5,326$5,326

Top Medical Surgical Nurse Jobs

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Med SurgFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - Med Surg
Portland, Maine
Focus Staff
13 hours ago
Nov 1513 wks3x12 hrs
$2,089/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Med SurgFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - Med Surg
Concord, California
Focus Staff
13 hours ago
Nov 913 wks3x12 hrs
$2,061/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Med SurgFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - Med Surg
Belfast, Maine
Focus Staff
13 hours ago
Nov 1513 wks3x12 hrs
$2,041/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Med SurgFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - Med Surg
Lebanon, Tennessee
Focus Staff
13 hours ago
Nov 814 wks3x12 hrs
$1,936/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Med SurgFocus Staff
Travel Nurse RN - Med Surg
Belfast, Maine
Focus Staff
13 hours ago
Nov 1513 wks3x12 hrs
$1,935/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested

What are the highest paying Agencies for Medical Surgical Nurse jobs?

Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
GQR Healthcare$6,108$7,837
MedWave Healthcare Staffing$5,643$7,065
HealthTrust Workforce Solutions$5,363$5,700
ARMStaffing$5,341$5,789
Acute Medical Staffing$5,284$5,599
WalkerHealthcare$5,213$6,200
SkyBridge Healthcare$4,800$5,000
Healthcare Support$4,755$5,346
Rock Medical Group$4,737$6,649
DirectShifts$4,680$4,680