Travel nurses move around the country to take on temporary assignments, usually at hospitals. As a travel nurse, you may spend the typical 13 weeks or anywhere between 8 and 26 weeks in one place before moving on to your next assignment. Extension assignments are also possible for hospitals offering to renew contracts. Travel nurse housing options are plentiful, regardless of whether your contract uses agency-placed housing or stipend-paid housing. Still, it is important to understand these options and how you can make the best decisions about where you stay during an assignment.
Travel Nurse Housing Needs
Because of the nature of their work, travel nurses often have unique housing needs. Some nurses have a permanent home that they can return to when their assignments are up, others live on the road. Either way, there are some important factors that go into choosing travel nurse housing:
Proximity to assignment site: If you are like most people, you want to avoid long commutes. Your housing should be near the hospital or facility where you’ll be working.
Property amenities: On-property or in-unit laundry facilities, a fitness center, swimming pools, green space, and other amenities can make your stay more pleasant.
Pet policies: If you have a furry friend to keep you company while traveling, you’ll want to find housing that accommodates him or her.
Local amenities: Things like parks, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues nearby can reduce your stress levels and make your assignment more enjoyable.
Comfort and style: Your housing should be comfortable. You may also want a move-in ready housing, meaning that it is furnished and has basic household items such as cookware, kitchen utensils, place settings, towels, and linens.
Safety: Working late shifts? You’ll want housing that is in a safe neighborhood with good lighting in the parking and entrance areas.
Flexible leasing: Nursing assignments can begin and end quickly. You’ll want a flexible leasing arrangement so that you can relocate when you need to.
How do Travel Nurses Find Housing?
Contracts for travel nurses provide for housing in one of two ways: agency placed housing, and stipend pay housing. Each has its advantages, as well as downsides, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with both concepts before making a decision.
Some agencies handle housing arrangements for you. Typically, though not always, the agency will have a long-term lease on furnished, corporate apartments near your assignment.
The primary advantage of agency-placed housing is convenience. You don’t have to negotiate with a landlord, set up utilities in your name, or even pay housing-related bills each month.
The downside is a lack of choice and flexibility. The agency may have only one contract with a housing provider in an area, limiting your ability to choose the housing you want. In addition, because your housing is assigned, you don’t have the option of saving money by renting a room in a private home or staying with friends.
Stipend Pay Housing
With stipend pay housing, you are on your own. You will receive a housing stipend as part of your compensation package and can make your own decisions about where you want to stay during your assignment.
The obvious advantage to this arrangement is that you have the freedom to choose a housing solution that makes the most sense for you. You can live in the home and neighborhood that best suits your budget and lifestyle.
There are disadvantages to this DIY approach, however: You may end up having to move into a home sight-unseen, which can leave you vulnerable to scams and unpleasant surprises. You’ll have to negotiate rental agreements and leases each time you move and may have to set up utilities in each place that you stay.
CLC Housing Solutions for Travel Nurses
We offer options for travel nurses in need of housing. We negotiate discounts with extended stay hotels and research and arrange turn-key corporate housing solutions with 30+ nights for CLC Members. Learn more about our full-service lodging options or go online today and join for free.
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