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  • Writer's pictureMarlon T. Wesh

The #1 Mistake Travel Nurses Make—and How to Avoid It

Travel nursing has been around forever. It’s been a way of life for many nurses who simply didn’t want to be tied down to one hospital system forever.

But for nurses just getting into the game in the wake of the Covid pandemic, shocks with the fluctuation of pay sent as many back to staff nursing as came for travel.

Oftentimes those nurses were barely any better off financially then when they began to travel. They still have debt, still have little investments or retirement savings and more often than not a brand spanking new car payment that their staff nurse salary can’t support.

So what's the issue at hand here?

The issue is that those travel nurses didn’t leverage the 5 shifts that our clients do everyday.

  1. They had no clarity about their financial position

  2. They didn’t triage their financial goals and priorities appropriately

  3. They never learned to weigh the opportunity costs of their financial choices

  4. They didn’t leverage our secret weapon (The EGPT Model) that gives our clients a roadmap to Establish, Grow, Preserve and Transfer wealth

  5. And they didn’t invest in any expertise to help them make their financial goals a reality

Because of all of that they fall prey to the money in hand one day and money out the next trap.

So what do I suggest?

Well the foundation for building a successful Travel Nurse Financial plan is you need to identify what your PRI number is.

What is PRI? PRI stands for your Predictable Repeatable Income.

A lot of travel nurses believe that they will be traveling full-time for a lot longer than they actually end up traveling.

While there are definitely nurses out there who travel for their entire career, a larger population of nurses tend to travel full-time for 2-3 years on average.

So what my travel nurse clients do is to only plan on travel nurse level income for no more than 3 years and then use the income number of what they were earning as a staff nurse after that.

This allows you to avoid the trap of overestimating the amount of money you expect to be earning. So now when you’re making financial decisions you have a more realistic idea of what your resources are and what you’d be giving up long term for short term spending gratification.

Always underestimate income and overestimate expenses. That’s how you avoid the #1 common mistake nurses who are no better off after traveling make.


Marlon is a licensed financial advisor at and is known as "The Travel Nurse Financial Advisor". Marlon specializes in helping travel nurses crush their financial goals by helping them optimize taxes, accelerate retirement savings, and maximize their investments.

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