Travel Behavioral Health Nurse salaries in California

Average Travel Behavioral Health Nurse Salary

High Confidence

$2,634/week

The average salary for a Travel Behavioral Health Nurse in California is $2,634 per week. This is 13% higher than the US average of $2,293.

Estimate based on 77 active jobs in the last 90 days.

What cities in California pay the most for Travel Behavioral Health Nurses?

CityAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
Berkeley, California$3,401$3,401
Los Gatos, California$3,364$3,364
Mountain View, California$3,324$3,693
Oakland, California$3,249$4,956
Colton, California$3,150$3,347
San Diego, California$3,054$3,222
Glendale, California$3,028$3,035
San Francisco, California$2,958$3,256
Escondido, California$2,954$3,061

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How does the pay for Travel Behavioral Health Nurses in California compare to nearby states?

Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
New Mexico$2,550$4,229
Montana$2,515$3,548
Oregon$2,468$2,777
Washington$2,408$3,598
Colorado$2,376$3,436
Idaho$2,148$2,454
Nevada$2,124$2,236
Utah$2,022$2,388
Arizona$1,979$3,468
Wyoming$1,714$2,500

What are the highest paying Employers and Agencies for Travel Behavioral Health Nurse jobs in California?

Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
GQR Healthcare$4,661$5,432
PRIDE Health$3,693$3,693
Next Move Inc$3,219$3,219
Blu Medstaff$3,096$4,440
Cross Country Nurses$3,051$3,090
Amare Medical Network$2,952$4,064
Focus Staff$2,854$4,956
PRN Healthcare$2,810$3,120
Synergy Medical Staffing$2,744$3,136
TotalMed Staffing$2,716$3,401

Top Travel Behavioral Health Nurse Jobs

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

  • GIFTED Healthcare
  • Visalia, CA
    • 3x12 hrs
    • Nights
  • Referral Bonus
Travel
Today

$2,703/wk

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

  • GIFTED Healthcare
  • Visalia, CA
    • 3x12 hrs
    • Days
  • Referral Bonus
Travel
Today

$2,703/wk

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

  • Los Angeles, CA
Travel
Today

$2,359/wk

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

  • Santa Cruz, CA
Travel
Today

$2,099/wk

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

Travel Nurse RN - Psychiatric

  • Santa Rosa, CA
Travel
Today

$2,065/wk

Frequently asked questions

What is a Behavioral Health RN?

Behavioral health nursing requires an advanced knowledge of the behavioral sciences, addiction disorders, and mental illnesses. It can be a stressful yet rewarding career path for nurses seeking an in-demand specialty with numerous career opportunities. Behavioral health nurses work in a wide array of settings, including psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, and inpatient, outpatient and community behavioral health clinics. Work setting is one component determining a behavioral health RN's salary, along with several others.

Behavioral health nurses are registered nurses who specialize in caring for patients with behavioral disorders. Some patients also may experience mental health issues, which is why the duties, patient populations, and work settings often overlap with those of mental health nurses. Behavioral health nurses are experts at recognizing and intervening during behavioral and mental health crises and delivering care based on specific clinical needs.

The educational requirements for behavioral health nurses begin with earning an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses. Further training in the behavioral health field may be completed at the employing facility or through accredited programs.

How a Behavioral Health RN salary is based

Healthcare facilities may use a variety of factors to calculate the base salary for behavioral health nurses, but one of the biggest is experience in the field. An entry-level behavioral health RN generally has a smaller starting salary than one with several years of experience. While experience only comes with time on the job, you can take proactive steps to encourage a higher base salary.

Education is one area you can improve in a relatively short time. Becoming a behavioral health nurse only requires an ADN but a BSN is often preferred. Base salaries may reflect this preference. Nurses with an ADN can complete an accelerated ADN to BSN program in as little as a year and potentially boost their salary base.

A healthcare facility may partially base a behavioral health RN's salary on additional skills relevant to the field. Nurses with crisis prevention training may have a higher base salary due to their enhanced skills in dealing with crises. Fully accredited nonviolent crisis intervention training and verbal intervention training programs also qualify for continuing education credits, which may further improve base salaries.

Certifications are another area that could factor into salaries. Behavioral health RNs must have Basic Life Support certification, so this likely won’t influence starting salary. Some positions also require Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certification, but if they don’t, having it may improve your salary. Professional certifications also help and are often encouraged.

How to increase your Behavioral Health RN salary

Obtaining an advanced degree almost always pays off in the healthcare field. Behavioral health RNs could give their salary a bump by earning a Master of Science in Nursing, which also opens new avenues in your career path. MSN-trained behavioral health nurses can pursue a role as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), which leads to a larger paycheck.

Certified nurses often earn higher salaries than those who aren’t certified and certification provides opportunities for advancement throughout your nursing career. Certification confirms you have specialized knowledge beyond the basic nursing credential. Although there isn’t a specific behavioral health certification, logical certifications exist.

Earning the Certified Addiction Registered Nurse credential from the Addictions Nursing Certification Board makes sense because it's relevant to behavioral health. Sitting for this exam requires 2,000 hours of experience relating to addictions nursing and 30 hours of continuing education credits.

If you’ve earned your advanced practice degree, the ANCB also offers a Certified Addiction Registered Nurse-Advanced Practice credential. To sit for this exam, you must hold an MSN or higher and have a minimum of 500 supervised hours in addictions, 1,500 hours of nursing experience in addiction as an APRN, and 45 hours of continuing education.

Because the duties of a behavioral health RN frequently overlap with those of a mental health RN, consider taking the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification exam to become board certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This exam tests your clinical knowledge and skills in the psychiatric–mental health specialty. You must have practiced full-time as an RN for two years and have at least 2,000 hours of clinical practice and 30 hours of continuing education in psychiatric-mental health nursing.