How Do Traveling Nurses Find Housing?

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
June 1, 2022
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Travel nurses have a unique set of housing needs. They often need to find housing for short-term assignments in unfamiliar cities. Travel nurses seeking accommodations using a housing stipend may search extended-stay hotels, vacation rental websites, or websites that cater specifically to travel nurses looking for furnished housing. These resources can help travel nurses locate desirable housing options for their work assignments. Travel nurses who don’t have the time or resources to find accommodation on their own may choose to use company-provided housing through their travel nurse agency.

How Much Do Travel Nurses Get For Housing?

Travel nurses can receive a stipend for housing based on their assignment location. The General Service Administration (GSA), a federal government agency, determines the maximum amount for travel nurse housing stipends, which travel nurse agencies use as a comparison tool when establishing housing stipend amounts. The GSA bases these maximum amounts on location and short-term stays, which are typically more expensive than assignments of travel nurses.

The housing stipend amount will vary and can be higher or lower depending on the cost of living and the per diem rates for the area. Knowing the cost of living in the area of your travel assignment can help you better negotiate how much you will receive for your housing stipend. Using the agency’s internal housing department, you can secure housing that the agency pays for. This service removes the responsibility of securing your own accommodations  during a travel nurse assignment but leaves no room for negotiating housing costs. 

How Much Do Travel Nurses Pay For Housing?

The amount of money travel nurses pay for housing varies based on several factors, including assignment location, time of the year, and the type of housing. The cost of living in some parts of the country is significantly higher than in others, particularly in cities such as New York and Boston; therefore, employers in these locations will pay higher housing stipends. Areas like these will also have a higher GSA stipend maximum than a small, rural area. So your housing stipend may be higher in New York than in rural Minnesota, but you will also pay more to secure your housing in these areas. 

Depending on the time of the year and the location, the cost of housing may be affected. If you are looking to take an assignment in a warmer area during the winter months, such as Florida, the accommodation cost will be higher because of the increased winter population. The GSA may increase stipend limits due to a lack of affordable housing in the area. The choice of housing type also impacts how much travel nurses pay for housing. Accommodations for a two-bedroom apartment would naturally be more expensive than finding a studio apartment on Airbnb or going through a travel nurse community to find housing with reduced rates in your assignment area. 

Travel Nurse Housing Options

There are a variety of housing options available for travel nurses. Some travel nurses choose to let their agencies provide them with housing. This option can be great for travel nurses who don't want to worry about finding their own places to live. It also takes a lot of the hassle out of moving since you won't have to worry about finding a place to live in an unfamiliar area. The downside of company-provided housing is that it's often not as nice as what you could find on your own, and you may have less control over your living situation.

Another popular option for travel nurses is to rent an apartment or house. This option gives you a lot more control over your living situation since you're the one who's responsible for finding and renting the property. It also means that you'll likely have a nicer place to live since you'll be able to pick and choose what kind of property you want to rent. The downside of this option is that it can be more expensive than company-provided housing, and it's also more work since you'll have to take care of everything yourself.

Vacation rental websites such as VRBO and Airbnb are good places to search for short-term rentals, but they may include booking fees in their costs. Other resources available to the travel nurse community include websites that offer furnished monthly housing specifically for traveling nurses. 

For those travel nurses who want to save money on housing costs and meet other nurses, sharing an apartment or house with other travel nurses may be a good option. This choice can be an excellent way to decrease housing costs and have some flexibility in accommodations. 

Extended-stay hotels are another housing option for travel nurses. These hotels have more space and offer amenities such as kitchenettes and furnishings. It’s worth  checking the availability of the discounts provided to nurses, which may be specific to each hotel chain. 

There are several options available for travel nurses looking for housing. Agency-provided housing is often the easiest option since everything will be taken care of for you, but it's important to remember that it might not be as nice as what you could find on your own. Renting an apartment or house is a popular option because it gives you more control over your living situation, but it can also be more expensive and more work. Finding housing as a travel nurse doesn't have to be complicated. Many resources are available to help you find the perfect place to live during your assignment. With a bit of research, you'll find housing that meets your needs and budget. 

Author Bio

Miranda Edwards, DNP, CRNA

Miranda is a practicing CRNA with almost 20 years experience in nursing. Miranda aspires to produce health and medical content for both businesses and consumers that is relevant and relatable.

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