Travel nurses can choose between housing provided by their agency or using a stipend to secure their lodging. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Opting for agency-provided housing can be a great choice for those who prefer simplicity. This way, you don’t have to worry about security deposits or arranging utilities.
Some travel nurses prefer to allow their agency’s housing department to locate a short-term rental. These are usually apartment complexes or extended-stay hotels. Agency-placed housing eliminates the hassle of searching and often comes with a furniture package, utilities paid for (for an additional fee), and sometimes cable and internet. This option is most commonly available in large cities and can be a great alternative to Airbnb rentals or even timeshares.
With a housing stipend, you will receive a weekly payment deducted from your paycheck covering your temporary accommodations. This is the most flexible option regarding your housing situation, as you can choose where (and with whom) to live, assuming you are within a reasonable distance from your assignment and that the area is safe.
However, be aware that you will most likely be paying a premium for the convenience of not finding your lodging. If you opt for a housing stipend, compare prices in your assignment’s location and choose carefully. Paying more for a more reputable and comfortable living arrangement is often worth the extra cost. There are also websites geared towards travel nurses, such as Furnished Finder, that can help you find fully furnished apartments at a reasonable price.
There are many options to consider for housing as a travel nurse. Some agencies provide travel nurse housing, and some pay a stipend so nurses can find their own. They understand the differences between these options and what will work best for you.
The most obvious option is renting a home or apartment through a private landlord. However, this can be risky for travelers as most apartments don’t allow short-term leases, and you may end up locked in a yearlong contract if your assignment is cut short or canceled. Also, most traditional rentals are unfurnished, and you would need to purchase or rent furniture.
Another option is to look for a vacation rental through sites. These rentals can be furnished and typically include utilities in the rental price. The downside is that you’ll have to pay for a cleaning service. It’s also important to be able to negotiate and make sure that the final cost will fit within your budget, specifically your housing stipend.
One last option is to stay in extended-stay hotels set up for travelers and offer month-to-month leasing. This is a safe and convenient way to stay on an assignment; plus, most travel nursing agencies have deals with these hotels and can help arrange housing through them.
Facebook Housing Groups
The housing location is one of the most important factors when beginning a travel nurse assignment. Choosing a location close to the healthcare facility will reduce commute time and allow more personal time and rest. Fortunately, many resources are available to travel nurses to assist them in finding temporary accommodations for their assignments. These include temporary housing websites and Facebook groups dedicated to travel nursing.
While Airbnb is a great option for travelers, it’s important to note that not all properties are travel nurse friendly. Many landlords require a background check, which can be a big deal for travel nurses. It’s also worth mentioning that Airbnb landlords often charge booking fees and mark up rent, so it’s important always to read the fine print.
Another option some travel nurses choose to utilize is corporate housing. This type of housing consists of fully furnished apartments and condos that a company manages. The biggest downside to this type of housing is that it’s usually quite expensive, especially in major cities. Travel nurses who use this option should budget accordingly.
Travel nurses who decide to find their housing can typically receive a higher lodging reimbursement from their agency. However, this can also make their income taxable since lodging reimbursements are taxable wages.
One resource specifically geared towards travel nurses is Furnished Finder, which offers a variety of fully furnished living arrangements and short-term rentals across the country.
Extended Stay Properties
The traditional choice for many travel nurses is agency-placed housing. Most travel nursing agencies partner with hotels and motels nationally to offer their employees a home-away-from-home experience. Generally, these accommodations are furnished and include utilities. While this option is convenient, there may be more affordable or comfortable options.
These properties typically have kitchenettes, saving you money on dining out. However, ensuring the kitchenette includes a refrigerator, stovetop, oven, and dishwasher is important. Some rooms do not include these items, despite being advertised as extended stay accommodations.
While it is rare for travel nurses to choose this option, some find that apartment rentals best fit their assignments. Several websites specialize in offering travel nurse apartments. These websites are popular among travelers and have extensive selections that can be searched by location, assignment duration, and price range.