As you explore different locations and try new experiences throughout your travel nursing career, there will still be plenty of logistics to think through. Before you hit the road for your next travel assignment, you need to know where you’ll stay. Travel nurse housing should be someplace that suits all of your needs so that your stay is as comfortable as possible. If you need help finding housing, here are five ways to find a home away from home.
Choose Agency Housing
If you don’t want to stress about finding your own travel nurse housing, you can opt for agency-provided housing (some may even be pet-friendly). Your agency will find you a place to live that is within a reasonable distance to work (this is especially helpful when you are not familiar with the area) and in acceptable condition for the right price. You will still receive additional stipends for meals. This may be the best option for first-time travelers until they get the hang of navigating their contracts.
While Nurse First does not provide housing options for our travelers, we do provide you with resources to find your own housing as well as meals, and incidental stipends within the GSA guidelines.
Consider Your Budget
Finding housing that you can realistically afford is very important while on assignments. How much you want to pay for the length of your travel nurse contract is a factor you should take into consideration when making a decision about where to stay. Make sure you set your budget before starting your search to narrow your choices and easily find a solution.
Ask About a Travel Nurse Housing Stipend
Hospitals and agencies also provide stipends if you choose to pursue your own housing. The amount you receive can vary by location, assignment, and the agency you are with. Remember, you must have a legitimate tax home to qualify for tax-free stipends.
There are also many benefits to a housing stipend such as finding housing and fulfilling rent payments. Furthermore, a stipend can help nurses save time with other resources when beginning a new assignment in a new location.
List Out The Necessities
When you are getting ready to move to your next assignment location, make a list of what you will need for your new home. You obviously want something close to your job, but is it important to be close to a gym as well? Are neighborhood safety and security a concern you want to factor in? Do you want your housing to be fully furnished or equipped with appliances?
Your list will guide your housing search and also help make sure you have everything you need to maintain your lifestyle. Never assume that your options will have everything you’re looking for and ask before you commit to a place.
Your Assignment Length
The typical travel nursing contract is 13 weeks long (or 3 months). Other contract lengths are 4, 6, 8, and 26 weeks. How long you will be staying in one location can limit your options for housing. Many apartment complexes require a minimum lease of six months, but some locations may allow you to pay month to month. Fortunately, alternative housing like Airbnb and hotels have become viable options for travel nurses too. Factor in those options as well to see which is the best option for you.
Take A Virtual Tour
In most cases, you will be too far away to conduct a physical tour of your travel nurse assignment housing. This can be an issue if you want to get a feel of the neighborhood and the style of the apartment unit. Some venues are able to provide virtual tours of their apartments or have pre-recorded tours available online. Utilize different services such as Google Earth and AreaVibes to get a visual of where you’re headed and make sure you will feel comfortable.
Thoroughly checking all of your options will ensure that you are in the best place while completing your travel assignment. Keep in mind what are “wants” and what are “needs” for your new location to help you feel at home.