- #Travel Nursing
As you prepare for your travel nurse adventure, securing safe and affordable housing is essential to a successful assignment. Short-term leases for temporary placement can pose challenges for new and experienced travel nurses seeking suitable accommodation. Fear not! With the right approach and preparation, you can find a comfortable and safe living space that meets your needs as a healthcare professional.
This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about finding temporary housing as a travel nurse, including whether healthcare staffing agencies provide temporary housing, how housing stipends work, amenities to look for, the best websites to use, and personal insights from an experienced traveler.
Table of Contents
- Travel Nurse Housing
- Best Websites
- Travel Nurse Experience
How to Find Housing as a Travel Nurse
Personal preference plays an important role in finding temporary housing. Your first decision is whether you want to utilize the healthcare staffing agency housing or take the entire GSA (General Services Administration) housing stipend to pay for a rental out of pocket. Of course, you will only need to make this decision if the agency you are working with offers company housing.
Having the ability to accommodate your lifestyle and preferences, many travel nurses choose to find short-term rental leases independently.
You can find travel nurse housing through various resources. Among these are websites specializing in short-term lease rentals, searching for extended-stay hotels, finding rentals through networking, and vacation rentals. Some travel nurses even choose to buy themselves an RV or camper!
Do Agencies Provide Housing?
The simple answer is yes. Most healthcare staffing agencies provide a temporary housing option to travel nurses. Some companies, like Nomad Health, do not offer a company housing option but provide the GSA stipend for travel nurses to acquire short-term housing independently.
When choosing the fully paid company housing option, you are allowing the healthcare staffing agency to decide your home's location, cost, and amenities of your short-term home. Furthermore, company housing options do not necessarily include utilities, tv, or wi-fi, leaving you responsible for payments and connection services.
Before choosing company housing, consider that you will not receive any amount of the GSA-based housing stipend in your weekly pay package, which means potentially missing out on some savings if you can find a home and furnishings at a cost lower than the provided stipend. Luckily there are many fully furnished options at reasonable rates for travel nurses.
The bonus to company housing is moving into a clean, fully furnished home. No need to think about or stress about where you will stay because it is handled!
How do Stipends Work?
Per diem rates, or stipends, are fixed allowances for lodging, meals, and incidental costs acquired when you travel away from your tax home for work. Stipend rates provide a standardized way of reimbursing traveling professionals for travel expenses without needing detailed receipts and expense reports. These rates will vary dependent on the location you plan to take a travel nurse job and are updated every October.
The three parties responsible for calculating the federal government travel stipend rates are the following:
- U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) calculates stipend rates within the 48 contiguous United States.
- The Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) by the Department of Defense (DOD) calculates stipend rates for Hawaii and Alaska.
- The Department of State (DoS) calculates international stipend rates.
Travel nurse pay includes hourly pay calculated into a weekly total and non-taxable income. Non-taxable income is broken into Per Diem Meals and Housing Stipend, and your healthcare staffing agency should provide you with the calculation for the weekly total for each stipend. For example:
Per Diem Meal $59 x 7 days = $413
Housing Stipend $98 x 7 days = $686
When analyzing your travel RN contract for housing stipend rate, you can use the above resources to verify that you receive the federally calculated stipend.
You can also use pay package stipend rates to evaluate if you will financially benefit from the stipend option for travel nurse housing by comparing that rate to the cost of rent in the area you will be traveling to.
Amenities You'll Want to Look For
While being flexible and open-minded when traveling is essential, you should consider some non-negotiable amenities when looking for housing.
- AC/heat for comfort.
- Refrigerator for food storage.
- Washer and Dryer to avoid the laundromat.
- Stove or hotplate for cooking.
- Microwave for quick meals.
- Internet for convenience and entertainment
- Clean, comfortable furniture for rest after work.
While some travelers prefer to forego specific amenities, as I get older, I find comfort in having a bit of home with me wherever I am. Watching Netflix while cooking dinner and doing laundry is a luxury I appreciate, especially after a long 12-hour shift.
- Quiet, especially for night shift travel nurses. Make sure you ask about noise levels before booking.
- Yard if traveling with a pet. It's not always possible, but it can be a game-changer.
Some essential items, such as a coffee maker and blackout curtains, should be included in this list; I tend to travel with these items if they are unavailable in my travel nurse housing. If you don't have space to travel with some of the smaller amenities, consider purchasing affordable, good-quality extras from thrift stores like Goodwill to save money and space on your travel adventure.
Ultimately, the amenities you choose will depend on your lifestyle preferences, what type of travel nurse housing you select, and the method and distance of traveling to get to your travel nurse job location.
For other ideas and considerations from travel nurses, check out Travel Nurse Housing Wishlist.
Best Websites for Travel Nursing Housing
Travel Nurse Housing – Furnished Finder
Leading the travel nurse housing industry, Furnished Finder is an easy and affordable travel nurse housing option.
- A variety of 150,000 different temporary housing options available nationwide.
- Fully furnished homes include almost everything you need for a comfortable stay.
- No commission or booking fees; make renting affordable.
- Safety. Property owners undergo background checks.
- Direct contact with the landlord allows for negotiating.
- Working directly with an unknown landlord can bring trials and tribulations.
- Scams are possible, remain cautious and follow these guidelines.
An excellent option for travel nurses seeking an opportunity to stay in a local host's home. Offering travel nurses an affordable and comfortable housing option with a private bedroom and shared living spaces.
- Cheap short-term housing option.
- Immersive cultural experience.
- Potential to make new friends and curb loneliness.
- Unforeseeable perks; some hosts love bringing travel nurses into their homes and will treat you as family. Some travel nurses I have worked with loved this option as their host would include them in family dinners.
- Lack of privacy. Sharing a home with someone can be challenging if you prefer privacy.
- Limited availability. Homestay is only available in locations where hosts take people into their homes.
- Compatibility with your host can be unpredictable. Some travel nurses who chose this option felt uncomfortable due to their hosts' words and actions.
Extended Stay America
Hotel chain with over 600 locations in the United States, popular with some travel nurses for its flexibility, price, and amenities.
- Cost-effective, affordable weekly and monthly long-term accommodation rates.
- Free Wi-fi, TVs, onsite laundry, kitchenette, and sometimes a gym are typical amenities.
- Pet-friendly accommodations.
- Weekly housekeeping services.
- Free continental grab-and-go breakfasts.
- Noise can become an issue at a hotel, especially for a night-shift travel nurse.
- Limited space compared to traditional rentals.
- Inconsistent quality dependent upon location.
- Only sometimes available in rural areas.
An online vacation rental platform providing comfortable short-term rental accommodations nationwide.
- Short-term leasing options all over the country.
- A wide variety of rental options – private rooms, apartments, condos, and houses.
- Additional amenities often enhance travel nurses' overall experience.
- Hosts are encouraged to interact with guests, which opens the possibility of making new friends.
- Expensive guest service fees increase the overall cost, making this option expensive.
- Risk of last-minute cancellations by the host.
- Total rent paid up-front, leaving you at risk of losing your rent money if your contract gets canceled or you have an emergency.
- Risk of unexpected issues – maintenance, privacy, and more, depending on your host.
- Risk of safety problems when staying in someone's private residence.
Offers various temporary housing options for travel nurses nationwide, but the risk of encountering fraudulent or scam postings is higher than other options. Taking safety precautions when choosing Craigslist for a short-term lease is essential.
- Wide selection of travel nurse housing options.
- Affordable prices and ability to negotiate the short-term lease price.
- Month-to-month and short-term leases available.
- Fraudulent listings and scams – housing options through craigslist are not screened.
- Safety considerations when meeting prospective landlords.
- Only sometimes furnished.
Other Short-term Housing Options
Every housing option has pros and cons, and it is up to you, the travel nurse, to research and find the best place for you and your needs. Here are some more housing options you can investigate.
Alternative Travel Nurse Housing Options
- Network – facebook, travel nurse blogs, and communities.
Many travel nurses communicate through online forums, and if you are starting to look for travel nurse housing, you can share online with various travel nurse groups to see if anyone has stayed or is staying where you are planning to take your travel nurse assignment.(Video) AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR TRAVEL NURSES
Often nurses will have recommendations for fellow travel nurses, and sometimes the opportunity to take over their lease arises – if the timing works. Remember to take precautions because scams are all over the internet, and some people will attempt to take advantage of travel nurses posting in online groups.
RV or Camper
Some travel nurses choose to ditch renting a place for every assignment and buy an RV to move from location to location. You should consider the cost of campgrounds and hookups you will incur at each location – assuming spots are available at each place you go. Some hospitals and healthcare facilities even offer RV hookups for travel nurses. According to travel tax, RV's are equivalent to renting a home when working as a travel nurse. It is important to be aware of and understand the tax laws for this option, and when in doubt, seek the advice of a professional accountant.
My Experience with Travel Nurse Housing
There is no way to control every situation, especially when traveling, so I advise going with the flow while remaining skeptical of every situation. No matter what source I use to obtain temporary housing, I take the approach that there is and always will be the possibility of scams or fraud.
For me, healthcare staffing agency housing is never an option. Not only because I have a large dog but because I know they are getting cheap housing and pocketing the extra, so putting in some research and leg work when choosing my housing is worth it.
Due to expensive booking and cleaning fees increasing the overall cost, vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO never reach my list of potential short-term housing options.
When using Craigslist, I advise never providing a deposit until you have met with and walked through your prospective temporary home – this eliminates scams and renting unlivable homes. You can rent a cheap hotel and get to your assignment location a week early to make accommodations, plus this gives you some free time to explore the new city. Craigslist is a great affordable option, and I was able to pocket half of my housing stipend in an expensive city.
During my last travel nurse assignment, I used Furnished Finder. The process is easy; you are directly connected with the property owner renting their home. Fortunately, I had a decent landlord with whom I could communicate easily.
She requested all rent to be paid in cash, which I found weird, but to cover myself for taxes, my travel nurse friend and I ensured that she signed a receipt with each payment. I prefer privacy and personal space, so I wasn't a huge fan that we lived on the same property, in a different house, because this allowed the landlord to show up on our doorstep randomly.
I have learned a lot through my travel nurse experiences, and these are the few that I felt were important to share with others.
If you have any questions not addressed in this article, feel free to ask in the comments below, and I will answer them to the best of my ability.
- Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) Per Diem (2023, February 27). U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) CONUS Per Diem Rates
- Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) OCONUS Per Diem Rates
- Department of State (DoS) International Per Diem Rates
How much should I spend on housing as a travel nurse? ›
I've seen travel nurses calculate their living expenses one of two ways. The first way to decide how much to spend is to take 1/4 of your MONTHLY Pay (not your housing stipend) and spend one week worth of pay on rent. So if you're taking home $1,500/week ($6,000/month), your rent should cost $1,500 for a month.How do I list for traveling nurse housing? ›
- List your place on a platform like Furnished Finder. ...
- Try Travel Nurse Housing Facebook groups. ...
- Reach out to your recruiter. ...
- Consider putting up a notice at a local hospital. ...
- Make sure your renters are leaving reviews.
We are by far and away the nation's leader in traveling nurse housing. Our system is also open for other types of non-medical traveling professionals, such as athletes, engineers, military and relocating families.What kind of housing does Aya provide? ›
Aya Healthcare Housing Stipend
They offer fully-paid company housing. This provides travel nurses easy access to clean, comfortable housing. You can arrive for your assignment and walk into a fully furnished home for the duration of your assignment without having to do any of the leg work.
Travel nurse stipends, also known as tax-free money, are one of the many awesome benefits of travel nursing. These stipends cover duplicated living expenses like housing, travel, and meals. These stipends are not reported as taxable income as long as you are duplicating living expenses.Do travel nurses have to pay for their own housing? ›
Do Travel Nurses Get Free Housing? Technically, no. You can either choose between agency-provided housing or a travel nurse housing stipend. Either way, you're paying for housing.Is it hard to get a house as a travel nurse? ›
As a travel nurse, employment gaps are the norm, and proving your true income to a mortgage lender can be tricky. Lenders tend to like “inside-the-box applicants”: the kind that work nine to five, make the same amount each month, and are never between jobs.Is renting to traveling nurses a good idea? ›
Renting to traveling nurses can be very lucrative. However, as with any rental property, there are no guarantees of profitability. Think about this type of rental as short term with a more targeted audience. If you have experience in this area, you already know what to expect.How long do traveling nurses stay in one place? ›
How Long Are Travel Nursing Assignments? The standard travel nurse assignment is 13 weeks. However, contracts can range from as little as 2 to 26 weeks depending on the travel nursing agency and facilities. Many travel nurses choose to extend their contracts beyond the initial 13 weeks.How much can you make hosting travel nurses? ›
Average Host Healthcare Travel Nurse weekly pay in the United States is approximately $3,001, which is 52% above the national average.
What amenities do travel nurses need? ›
- Full furnishings: The majority of traveling nurses want fully furnished properties. ...
- In-Unit Washer and Dryer: Nurses work long shifts, often going through multiple sets of scrubs.
It's easier than you think
Many nurses aren't aware that it's totally possible to travel with a friend for a travel nursing assignment. The first step in making this happen is to discuss the possibility with your recruiter, who will work to find assignments for both of you.
The agency offers you a pay package that includes a taxable base rate of $20 per hour plus a monthly lodging stipend of $3000, among other compensation variables.Does Aya pay moving expenses? ›
Aya Healthcare offers a generous relocation reimbursement to and from your travel assignment. Per Mile reimbursements: There are other companies that will reimburse you via a specified mileage rate. This is generally lower than the GSA mileage rate and most times, the company will cap this.Does Aya have housing stipend? ›
Whether you want furnished housing provided for you or a housing stipend to find your own place instead, the choice is yours! You may find that Aya-offered housing is best for one assignment while the housing stipend works better for another.What states do not tax travel nurses? ›
Presently Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming won't tax your travel nurse salary.Does IRS audit travel nurses? ›
The disparity between your expenses and your income could look a little funny on paper, so the bureau may want to double-check everything. Another reason you may face a travel nurse IRS audit is if the IRS is auditing your entire agency. The final reason you may be on the radar of the IRS is pretty universal.Why do travel nurses owe so much taxes? ›
Because travel nurses are paid a bit differently than staff nurses and local travelers, travel nurses file taxes a bit differently. This is because travel nurses are paid a base hourly rate, that is taxable, and a weekly travel stipend that is not taxable – both of which equal their total pay in a given contract.What is the difference between travel nurse housing and stipend? ›
Difference Between Travel Nurse Stipend vs. Housing Placement. The travel nurse housing stipend is a reimbursement for nurses who choose to find their own housing accommodations. The housing placement is a benefit that provides housing for travel nurses paid for by the staffing agency.How much is a travel nurse meal stipend? ›
$20 per hour – taxable base rate that is reported to the IRS. $250 per week for meals and incidentals – non-taxable. $2,000 a month for lodging – non-taxable.
Do travel nurses use Airbnb? ›
For travel nurses, Airbnb can be a great option for finding housing. With its wide range of prices and locations, travel nurses can find an Airbnb that fits their budget and preferences.What is the most stressful type of nursing? ›
The most stressful nursing jobs include ICU nurse, ER nurse, and NICU nurse. In these roles, nurses work in an intense environment with high stakes. They manage emergency situations and care for critically ill patients. Other stressful nursing jobs include OR nursing, oncology nursing, and psychiatric nursing.Why do travel nurses make so much? ›
Travel nurses take on short-term assignments, which typically start at 13-weeks, ensuring that patients receive quality care even if a facility is having trouble filling open nursing positions. In exchange for their experience and flexibility, travel nurses typically get paid more than staff nurses.Can you get an FHA loan as a travel nurse? ›
Traveling Nurses Earning 1099 Income
There are many traveling nurses who work as independent contractors earning 1099 income. If this is the case for you, then you can still get an FHA loan.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for temporary, short-term nurses to fill staffing gaps was significant. According to estimates from travel nursing employment agencies, there were between 50,000 and 100,000 open travel nurse positions available in healthcare facilities across the country.Do travel nurses really make that much? ›
How Much Money Do Travel Nurses Make? Under normal circumstances, many travel nurses have the potential to earn over $3,000 per week. Travel nurses can bring in over $50 per hour, plus company-paid housing accommodations. Making it entirely possible for travel nurses to make well over $100K per year.Do travel nurses get treated bad? ›
The unfortunate truth is: Yes, at some hospitals travel nurses are treated poorly and unfairly and there is a stigma at these hospitals that travel nurses aren't as experienced or educated in their profession.What state pays nurses the highest salary? ›
In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).Can you break a travel nurse contract? ›
Who Can Cancel a Travel Nurse Contract? Both facilities and travelers can cancel contracts, and there are many unique scenarios that could lead to either party doing so.Do you have to move a lot as a travel nurse? ›
If you're considering a career as a travel nurse, you may move frequently, often several times a year. While some contracts may receive extensions, it's common for travel nurses to change locations as much as four times per year.
What type of travel nurse makes the most money? ›
ICU Travel Nurse
ICU nurses are the most in-demand and highest-paid travel nurse specialty for obvious reasons. They are highly trained in caring for the most critical patients—patients who are intubated, ventilated, on life-sustaining medication drips, or whose life hangs on by a thread.
- 1. California. In 2022, it's no surprise that California is still the highest paying state for travel nurses. ...
- Hawaii. Hawaii may just be the dream destination! ...
- Massachusetts. ...
- Oregon. ...
$65-85 an hour is a common bill rate for travel nurses. That is for your normal hours. Orientation may be fully unpaid or paid at only a fraction of the bill rate.What do travel nurses do all day? ›
On a typical day as a travel nurse, you might do things such as conduct physical exams to assess a patient's condition, listen to patients and care for their needs, provide counseling to patients, and coordinate with healthcare providers.What do travel nurses do with their stuff? ›
If you have other “stuff,” then most people either place it in storage or get rid of it by donating, selling, or throwing away. In any case, most traveling nurses find that they need to do a major purge before they take their first assignment.What is a typical travel nurse schedule? ›
Generally speaking, travel nurses will usually work a 40-hour workweek. The workweek will either be: Five 8-hour shifts. Four 10-hour shifts.Can you date as a travel nurse? ›
Dating a travel nurse can be a benefit when you've both experienced temporary placements and the changing schedules common in the nursing profession. And what's better is when you date someone who actually has the same schedule and days off that you do.What do spouses of travel nurses do? ›
As a travel nursing spouse, you can help research and secure housing and get recurring bills transferred and established. You can also get ahead and help sort all your belongings, pack, and sell or store anything you're not taking on your move.Can you live in a camper as a travel nurse? ›
For some travel nurses, living in an RV is a smart move. Many travel nurses are even able to bring their families along and explore the country together because of their RV. There are some major benefits to taking home with you wherever you go.Does Aya pay weekly? ›
Your recruiter will work with you to find an opportunity that meets your salary desires and professional goals. You will be paid weekly by Aya via direct deposit. Pay rates for locum tenens providers are based on several factors: Specialty demands.
Does Aya pay out sick time? ›
Premium medical, dental, vision and life insurance beginning day one of your assignment. Paid sick time. Aya provides paid sick leave in accordance with all applicable state, federal, and local laws. Aya's general sick leave policy is that employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.Is Aya or AMN better? ›
Most estimates conclude that AMN Healthcare is the largest travel nursing company with anywhere from 19% to 25% of the market. Therefore, the fact that Aya Healthcare outranked AMN is notable.Can I write off my car as a travel nurse? ›
Rather than working as a W-2 employee, most travel nurses take on the role as an independent contractor. While most independent contractors are able to deduct actual vehicle expenses, such as mileage, gas, and insurance.How long does it take to get a contract with Aya? ›
The process generally takes about 2-3 weeks for full compliance. However, we may have certain contracts available where we could get you started in 1-2 weeks from the time you complete your application.Does Aya offer bonuses? ›
Generous sign-on bonuses. Relocation assistance. Premium health and dental benefits.Is travel nurse housing taxable? ›
Travel nurse stipends, also known as tax-free money, are one of the many awesome benefits of travel nursing. These stipends cover duplicated living expenses like housing, travel, and meals. These stipends are not reported as taxable income as long as you are duplicating living expenses.Is renting to travel nurses a good idea? ›
Renting to traveling nurses can be very lucrative. However, as with any rental property, there are no guarantees of profitability. Think about this type of rental as short term with a more targeted audience. If you have experience in this area, you already know what to expect.What expenses are paid for travel nurses? ›
- Housing and lodging expenses while traveling.
- Mileage travel.
- Uniform and scrub expenses.
- Work-related expenses, such as continuing education courses or certifications you must maintain to keep your position.
- Costs for Internet and phone providers.
Ask any travel nurse is travel nursing worth it? They will likely tell you the money makes it worth it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a travel nurse was $73,300 per year, but there are opportunities to increase that figure just by knowing some insider tips and tricks.Do travel nurses really make more money? ›
Travel nurses tend to make a significant amount more than staff nurses, they usually receive a higher hourly rate and receive tax-free stipends that increase their take-home pay. If you can secure your own housing, you'll often make even more money thanks to the tax-free housing stipends.
Can you negotiate your pay as a travel nurse? ›
There are basic areas where travel nurses can negotiate in their assignment contracts. These include benefits, salary, tax-free money, and overtime. Before negotiating your next assignment contract, consider these tips.Why are hospitals paying travel nurses so much? ›
So, why do travel nurses get paid more? It's because they fill short-term needs, accept assignments in areas with severe nursing shortages, receive extra compensation for their flexibility and work in hard-to fill specialties.How do I ask for more pay as a travel nurse? ›
- Be Knowledgeable. Right off the bat, it's crucial that you understand how travel nursing contracts work. ...
- Remember Your Value. ...
- Be Flexible. ...
- Ask About Other Reimbursements. ...
- Know Your Extension Bonus Options. ...
- Make Your Request As Specific As Possible. ...
- Don't Be Afraid to Say No.
As a travel nurse, you can claim all the out-of-pocket expenses you incur during short-term contracts, as long as you're there for less than a year and you maintain a tax home.Do you pay taxes in two states as a travel nurse? ›
Travel nurses should bear in mind that they must file non-resident tax returns in every state they have worked in, as their wage income will be subject to tax in every state in which they perform services (with the exception of the states noted above, with no income tax on wage income).Do travel nurses have taxes taken out? ›
So even though your physical residence may be in Arizona, you will pay taxes in Oregon because that's where you spent most of your time. As a travel nurse, you will always pay state income taxes except in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.