When it comes to negotiating a pay package as a travel nurse, the housing issue is often the most important piece of logistics. In fact, travel nurse housing is usually the very first detail a nurse will request when looking at options for travel nursing assignments.
Whether you’re a first-time travel nurse or a seasoned travel nursing veteran, one decision can literally make or break an assignment, and that is the housing arrangement.
Traditionally speaking, registered nurses who travel would often just take the housing options provided by the travel nursing agency. Nowadays, travel nurses are exercising more control over their living arrangements while on assignment and are choosing to take the monetary housing stipend and make their own choices when it comes to where to stay. If you’re one of the thousands of travel nurses who have been stuck in subpar living conditions for 13 weeks, you already know why! Furthermore, the registered nurse is able to pocket the remaining tax-free stipend dollars, which enforces the importance of taking an active role in choosing your travel nurse housing.
When you decide to take the travel nursing housing stipend, it can become laborsome and tiring to search for suitable temporary housing for travel nurses. Looking for short-term housing that is furnished, provides utilities, and might even need to be pet-friendly can really narrow your options for travel nurse housing. Here are five travel nursing tips to help you choose the right travel nurse housing for you.
1. Consider the Temporary Housing Offered by Your Travel Nurse Agency
While you may already have your mind made up that you want to take the travel nurse housing stipend and find your own arrangements, you should first consider what’s being offered by your travel nursing agency. Oftentimes, travel nursing agencies have arrangements already made with specific housing complexes that enable them to give you options that would be far more expensive if you were to pay for it on your own.
Every location is different, but some of the company-provided travel nurse housing options include secure gated neighborhoods with amenities on site such as gyms, pools, etc. Plus, these travel nurse housing options are already equipped with the things you will need for daily living, including the cooking utensils, bedding, and so on. Furthermore, if you are going to be working in a city with a high rate of crime, you might want to consider the security offered by the company-provided travel nurse housing.
2. Beware of Offers that Seem “Too Good to Be True” on Craigslist
Because they usually are! When searching for temporary housing for travel nurses, you might come across some real gems on Craigslist, that just seem too good to be true. While Craigslist is a valuable place to buy and sell, the platform is riddled with scammers and often ads that just aren’t even real! If you find an ad for affordable housing that seems just too good to be true, it might be. Proceed with extreme caution.
3. Use Vacation Rental Websites to Find Travel Nurse Housing
Websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway are great places for travel nurses to find the temporary housing options they need for an upcoming travel nurse assignment. Because these sites are intended for vacationers, the rentals you will find will almost always come completely furnished down to the pots and pans!
Plus, there are a lot of safety checks in place when using these sites and the landlords must abide by strict guidelines to post their vacancies. Feedback by other people is provided and you can usually get a pretty good feel for a rental before visiting in person based on the testimonials of other guests. The prices offered on these sites are competitive and you can often strike a deal and get into a place for less than the listed price.
4. Consider Using Extended Stay Hotels
At first, this idea might sound a little off-putting, but extended-stay hotels make a great option for travel nurses and are often used as a bridge between traditional housing. A lot of travel nurses love the amenities provided by hotels, such as the housekeeping, breakfast, and fitness centers! It certainly makes it a lot easier to have your room made up and cleaned for you every day while you’re on an assignment.
Furthermore, these extended stay hotels often allow pets up to 60 pounds. You will also find that they offer a small kitchen area in most cases so that you can save money by preparing your own meals, even though you’re staying in a hotel. There’s also more flexibility in booking a hotel rather than renting out an apartment for a set time.
The standard length for most travel nursing contracts is 13-week, but that is not always the case. Many travel nurses, such as those who work in the IT implementation sector or strike nursing, will only be on assignment for a few days, a couple of weeks, or just one month at a time. Keep in mind that travel nurses are also entitled to pre-negotiated rates at extended stay hotels, so be sure you ask about this beforehand to ensure you get the best possible rates.
5. Check Out Stipend-Based Travel Nurse Housing Service with a “Concierge Approach”
In the past, most housing services were directed towards the vacation rental market or the corporate housing industry. Recently, however, there are new housing services that have emerged that are designed to help the stipend travel nurse secure housing.
TravelersHaven is one of these new companies that cater to the unique needs of travel nurses. While they do offer other corporate housing solutions, they have lots of property owners on the platform who are marketing their housing options to travel nurses on a 13-week basis.
One of the advantages of using this type of service is that you can help preserve your credit score. In order to be approved for a new apartment every 13 weeks, you need to have a good credit score. However, your credit score is negatively impacted by having frequent inquiries from applying for housing. Using a service like this helps to preserve your credit score because the lease is not in your name and there are only “soft inquiries” used for the background checks needed for this type of housing.
Ready to Explore Travel Nursing Assignments?
Are you looking for your next travel nursing assignment? We’re here for you. At Elite Specialty Staffing, our nurses come first. Our staffing specialists will work hard to ensure you’ve selected a travel nurse housing option best for you. Give us a call today at 208-378-1338 to learn more.