TRAVEL NURSE HOUSING 101
Andrew Wettengel / Thursday, February 4, 2021 / Categories: Work World, Travel

TRAVEL NURSE HOUSING 101

Travel nurse housing is always a hot topic. Trying to decide where you want to live—even for the short-term—can be tricky. It is even more challenging when you are moving states away for a job assignment. Fortunately, OneStaff is here to help you understand your options and make an informed decision about housing for your next assignment. Whatever you decide after reading this, know that traveling nurse agencies always offer a stipend to help cover those costs while on assignment. Using a Housing Department, like ours, will only help you make the most of that stipend given, and maybe even pocket some extra cash by leveraging the deep discounts we receive through our partnerships with hotels and extended stay hotels. 

What Is Travel Nurse Housing?

Travel nurse housing is an accommodation offered by the travel nurse staffing agency. Staffing agencies typically offer their nurses housing, specifically through partnerships through hotels and extended stay hotels, because matching short-term leases with the length of travel assignments can be hard.

Agency-placed housing is convenient for nurses because they don't have to search for their own place to live. Additionally, travel nurses don't have to worry about finding a place that offers month-to-month renting or short-term stays. In some parts of the United States, it can be hard to find housing at all, let alone something affordable in a safe neighborhood. Plus, you can cut your stay short if your assignment ends earlier than you expected without breaking a lease and jeopardizing future renting opportunities.

One of the biggest benefits of agency housing is that most agencies have discounts/ partnerships in place with extended stay hotels, perfect for longer term accommodations, and will handle all of the details for you.

Some nurses express their concern about being placed somewhere without any say. Staffing agencies will always provide two to three different options that the nurses can choose between. 

There is another option for travel nurses when it comes to housing, however: a stipend.

Travel Nurse Housing Stipend

The travel nurse housing stipend amount varies from agency to agency. While we often get asked, "what is an average housing stipend for a travel nurse," it is hard to answer that question because there are so many factors. However, it is important to note that these housing stipends are tax-free, which can lead many nurses to choose the money option in the hopes of making a little extra money on each assignment.

When nurses choose the stipend option, they are responsible for finding and paying for all of their own housing expenses, including utilities, cable, and internet. In some cases, nurses can find a place that costs less than the stipend covers, and they can pocket the extra money to use on other wants and needs. However, it will be hard to find a decent place on a short-term lease for the amount of the stipend a nurse receives in some places.

Many nurses love the stipend pay option because it allows them to have more control over where they live, how they want to live, and in some cases, they can even make a little extra money. Plus, finding your own housing means that you can move in whenever you please, meaning you could give yourself extra time to get settled in before your start date.

How to Find Travel Nurse Housing

If you decide to forego the provided housing option, you are always free to find your own temporary housing for your assignment. There are many avenues that travel nurses can take. Let's take a look at some of the options. 

Housing Options for Travel Nurses Who Prefer to Handle Themselves

While renting an apartment or house is the obvious choice, there are many other options for temporary housing that travel nurses can take advantage of on assignment. If you are looking for a way to you’re your own housing that isn't renting, you could consider a couple of other options.

  • Extended Stay Hotels: Extended stay hotels are a good option for travel nurses who need to stay in one location for weeks at a time but don't want to get wrapped up in a lease agreement. These hotels are furnished and often include a small kitchen area. The cleaning service is another benefit for busy nurses.
  • Airbnb: Airbnb can be a travel nurse's best friend. Many Airbnb hosts will rent out their spaces for extended periods. It is important to find a place that is open for your assignment's length if you don't want to move during your assignment.
  • Furnished Finder: Furnished Finder specializes in housing for travel nurses, and they can help you find a place with no booking fees. Furnished Finder also runs background checks on property owners. These furnished rental properties often include utilities, and they range from studio apartments to homes.
  • Family or Friend's House: If you take an assignment in a city where you have family or friends, you might be able to save some money by staying with them. 

What to Look for When Finding Housing as a Travel Nurse

Going at it alone can be overwhelming. It’s exactly why agencies have their own Housing departments to help simplify the assignment onboarding for you, so you can focus on what matters…getting to work. Remember, if you book on your own, any complications that arise would be handled by you directly, so one more potential risk while on assignment. Some people just prefer to book on their own, and that’s totally fine too. That said, here are a few of our key things to consider when finding your own housing as a travel nurse.

1.     Proximity to Work

Commuting can be a big hassle for nurses. After a long shift, the last thing you want to do is drive over an hour to get home. As you start looking for housing, consider how long your drive will be to and from work. Don't go anywhere past your comfort zone, especially if you will be working the night shift.

2.     Furnishings

A fully-furnished place to live can make the traveling lifestyle much more comfortable. Not only does a fully-furnished apartment or home allow a traveling nurse to travel lighter, but it also helps cut down on moving expenses at the end of each assignment. If you are working on securing your own housing, you might want to consider a place that comes furnished.

For example, extended-stay hotel rooms offer a place to stay that comes with a bed, couch, and television, meaning that you will have all the comforts that you are used to without bringing all of your stuff to each assignment. By limiting what you bring with you to each assignment, you can save money on moving expenses.

3.     Trustworthy Landlords

If you choose to forego the agency housing, you will have to work with landlords on your own, which can be tricky when you need a short-term lease. When working directly with landlords or property management companies, you are also expected to pay additional fees, such as application fees and deposits. You will likely be expected to pay higher rates on a month-to-month basis, as well. Cancelling early can cause penalties, etc. 

For more information on travel nursing housing, please feel free to contact OneStaff Medical at 877-783-1483.

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