When it comes to housing for travel nurses, there are usually two options. Nurses can either choose to live in housing that their agency provides, or they can receive a stipend to find and pay for their own housing. Which is the better choice? Well, it depends. Below, we’ll weigh out both options, and hopefully, give you enough information to make a confident housing decision!
Housing for Travel Nurses
Typically, most nurses choose to allow their agencies to find their housing. Many agencies have a housing department that places nurses in an apartment, hotel, or motel. Choosing agency-placed housing is a great choice for those who are new to travel nursing since it takes away the stress of finding a place to stay. Some of the other advantages of using company-provided housing are…
- It’s easy. The agency takes care of (mostly) everything for you. No need to worry about deposits, getting utilities turned on, or buying furniture.
- There’s more availability. If you’re travel nursing in a small town, finding your own housing can be difficult. Choosing this housing option is a good idea if your assignment is in a rural area with limited housing options.
- Better prices. Agency-placed housing may provide you with a better place for a lower price. This is something to consider if you’re travel nursing in an area with a high cost of living, like New York City or Los Angeles.
- It’s trustworthy. If you choose to take company-provided housing, you’re able to rely on your agency’s expertise in finding housing for travel nurses. They’ll most likely use lodging options that they’ve worked with in the past. So, you can be confident that you’ll be staying in a good place in a safe area.
Keep in mind that, while using company-provided housing is typically an easier choice, there are a few drawbacks. Agencies typically have a limited number of options for housing for travel nurses. Usually, the agency will place you somewhere that’s cheap and convenient for them. Travel nurses can request specific places, but there is no guarantee that it will happen. Usually, nurses are given a few housing options to choose from, and there’s not much freedom to decide.
Some travel nurses (usually more experienced ones) will choose to use a stipend to pay for the housing of their choice. The agency provides them with a fixed amount of money to use for all housing expenses. The dollar amount varies depending on the location and specific contract, and it’s paid out on a weekly basis in your paycheck. The benefits of stipend pay are…
- It gives you control. If you don’t like the idea of having to choose between two or three housing options from an agency, taking a stipend may be the way to go. Housing stipends are convenient because they give you control of where and how you want to live.
- You have extra time to settle in. When using company-provided housing, nurses are typically given two or three days before the start of their assignment to move in. Finding your own housing means you can choose when you want to move in and give yourself plenty of time to adjust.
- You can make money. Sometimes, nurses live in a place that’s actually less money than their housing stipend. So, they’re able to save the rest of their stipend. Bringing your own furniture on assignment is a great way to do this.
On the other hand, one of the biggest risks of finding your own housing is the chance of cancellation. If your assignment gets canceled for some reason, you’ll be responsible for any extra fees. In addition, it’s often difficult to find your own place for such a short period of time, since three-month leases aren’t exactly common. Keep these things in mind if you’re thinking about using a housing stipend.
All in all, neither housing option is “better” than the other. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal preference and what you’re looking for as a travel nurse. However, if you’re a first-time travel nurse, going with agency-provided housing will be much easier! Otherwise, using a housing stipend isn’t a bad idea for travel nurses who want a little more freedom and flexibility.
What’s your pick when it comes to housing for travel nurses? Let us know in the comments below!