Figuring out housing can be an extremely stressful part of becoming a travel nurse. Travel nursing usually has two different offerings for housing; you could be agency placed or receive a housing stipend. Depending on the assignment itself and the location, housing can differ wherever you decide to travel to. There are pros and cons to both travel nurse housing options, but which one you get depends on your agency and destination.Browse travel nursing jobs here!
Travel Nurse Housing- the inside scoop
Agency Placed Travel Nurse Housing
One of the benefits of being placed by your agency is that you do not have to go off searching for a place to live by yourself. This is extremely challenging depending on the city or town that you are placed in. Finding your own housing option also adds another level of stress to the start of a new assignment. Being placed in housing by your agency is sometimes very beneficial for your mental health as well.
Another benefit is the simplicity factor, all you have to do is show up at your destination and the housing is already there. You do not have to pay out of pocket for deposits/leases, which removes the issue if your assignment were to be suddenly canceled. The important part here is to make sure you find a travel nurse agency and representative that you trust. In many cases, you’ll be going in blind when it comes to your housing, so you need to find someone you can trust.
Travel Nurse Housing Stipends
Some agencies don’t have the time or the resources to set you up in housing by themselves. In these cases, the agency will provide a stipend to help cover the costs of travel nurse housing. These stipends can be complex depending upon whether it is a straight lump sum of money or whether they include per diem in the stipend. Per diem is basically a sum of money that helps to cover the cost of other expenses such as food, gas, etc.
It’s important to talk to your recruiter or agency about their stipend policy to make sure you’re on top of your game. A stipend is great because you can do the searching yourself to find your ideal housing situation. However, all the responsibility falls on you to find your own place and you’ll also need to consider insurance, moving costs, and many other factors that an agency could take of for you.
Travel Nurse Housing- General Information
Utilities and Furnishings
Most agencies will pay for utilities such as gas, electric, and water. This could be included in the agency placed housing, stipend, and/or per diem as mentioned above. As for cable and internet, this depends on the agency you are working with. Some will pay for these amenities and others will not. Furnished housing usually consists of the normal bedroom necessities such as a queen-sized bed, dresser, nightstand and more. There is also typically a kitchen table, couch, chair, lamp, coffee table, and television. Items like a microwave, washer/dryer are not always considered normally included items so be sure to check with your agency about these. Make this temporary housing your home and re-decorate a bit! This can give your home for the next few weeks a temporary touch of personality.
Family, Friends, and Pets
Bring your family, bring your pet! While on an assignment you can most definitely bring your loved ones. What better way to have this adventure than with your family? They will be able to have a new experience and be able to share it with you! Bringing family members can really help avoid some of the negative feelings of separation or loneliness that a travel nurse might feel while on assignment. However, be sure to discuss this with your recruiter so that the proper accommodations can be made. When bringing your pet, keep in mind that there most likely will be an added deposit that you will have to pay to bring your furry pal. Your housing options will also be more limited due to the fact that some landlords do not allow pets.
Usually, you are allowed two days before the start date of your travel nurse assignment to move into your temporary home. This way you can be settled in your new space and ready to tackle the new city you are working in. Travel nursing is an extremely rewarding career, and being comfortable in where you will reside for those weeks is crucial. Finding the right city and the right housing is essential to having a great experience at your next destination. Depending on your preferences for housing, your nursing agency will help you every step of the way to ensure an unforgettable experience.
Do you have tips for other nurses regarding travel nurse housing? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!