Travel Nurse Housing Guide: How Do Travel Nurses Find Housing?
Travel nursing has become an incredibly attractive career for healthcare workers in recent years, offering nurses the ultimate flexibility and control over when and where they want to work—while also helping to meet the needs of healthcare facilities nationwide. There’s a high demand for nurses, meaning opportunities for travel nursing jobs are growing.
However, before exploring these exciting opportunities, it’s important to understand the travel nurse housing process and the options available to you. In this guide, we cover everything there is to know about travel nurse housing so that you are best prepared to embark on your next adventure!
Housing Options for Travel Nurses
Housing requirements, benefits, and stipend amounts vary by assignment. However, travel nurses typically have two housing options while working:
- Agency Housing – Housing arrangements are made for you.
- Housing Stipend – You choose your own housing arrangement and receive a stipend to help cover housing costs.
There are many pros and cons associated with both travel nurse housing options, and an option that works great for one nurse might not be preferred by another. It’s essential that you take the time to consider what’s important to you, including your lifestyle, preferences, experience, and needs.
Travel Nurse Housing: Agency Option
Many choose the travel nurse housing agency option due to the stress-free and simple process, as the staffing agency sorts out housing for you. Agency-placed housing also covers tasks and costs associated with utilities, furnishings, security deposits, and more.
The agency-placed housing option is often recommended to those new to the travel nursing career, as they can focus more of their time and energy on getting used to the unique characteristics of the job, like traveling to new cities and jumping from assignment to assignment. In addition, starting with agency-placed housing gives nurses an opportunity to better understand their housing needs before finding short-term accommodations on their own.
Below is a breakdown of potential pros and cons associated with agency-placed housing:
- Stress-free and simplified process
- Aren’t responsible for additional payments, such as deposits
- May provide housewares, such as dishes and linens
- Little to no cost for utilities
- Guaranteed availability before start date
- Located near the place of work
- May be better quality of housing than what is affordable with a stipend
- Aren’t at risk for fees associated with shortening or breaking a lease agreement if the assignment changes
- Housing may not allow pets
- Limited ability to pick and choose accommodation characteristics, such as location, size, type of housing, furnishings, etc.
Travel Nurse Housing: Stipend Option
In the stipend option, nurses receive a tax-free stipend to cover their accommodation for the length of the assignment. The specific stipend amount that a nurse receives varies greatly and depends on a wide range of factors, including the type of job, length of assignment, location, cost of living, and more. In addition, some assignments might provide a set amount to cover housing, while others use an hourly rate to determine the stipend amount.
The housing stipend option is ideal for travel nurses who prefer to have more control over their living arrangements. There’s a variety of options for travel nurses when it comes to housing, with some of the most popular being:
- Accommodations through travel nurse housing websites
- Short-term rentals, such as Airbnb or VRBO stays
- Extended stay hotels
- Staying with nearby friends or family members
- Short-term apartment leases
- Sublease a rental property
- House or pet sitting
The primary benefit of the stipend option is that you have control over where you want to live and what you want your housing experience to look like, whether you want to live like a local in a neighborhood home or experience the exciting nightlife in a downtown hotel. However, before you accept this option, it’s crucial that you review any rules or restrictions associated with the stipend. Some assignments may allow you to spend the stipend how you please, while others may require you to use the stipend strictly for housing.
Below is a breakdown of potential pros and cons associated with the stipend housing option:
- Complete control over housing selection, including location, amenities, housing size and characteristics, services included, etc.
- Ability to pocket any money left over from tax-free stipend
- Ability to pay out of pocket for an upgraded housing experience
- Can negotiate deals with property owners as a healthcare professional with a set length of extended stay
- Opportunity to maximize stipend option by accepting house and pet-sitting gigs
- Can choose the length of stay, for example, with extra time to settle in prior to the start date or extra time post-assignment for a vacation
- Can find pet-friendly housing
- Can be stressful to solidify accommodation prior to the start date
- Availability and pricing dependent on housing and rental market, tourism, upcoming events, etc.
- Responsible for paying all costs associated with housing, including deposits, utilities, or fees
Travel Nurse Housing FAQs
At Soliant, we understand that you need a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable housing accommodation to be the best travel nurse you can be. That’s why we aim to provide you with all the information needed to make the best decision for you! Explore some frequently asked questions on travel nurse housing below.
Do Travel Nurses Have to Find Their Own Housing?
If a travel nurse is offered agency-provided housing, they will not need to find their own housing. The accommodations for your specific assignment will be sorted, paid for, and provided to you by the agency.
If a travel nurse receives a housing stipend, then they will be required to find their own housing for the length of the assignment.
Where Do You Live if You Are a Travel Nurse?
The type of housing a travel nurse will live in depends on which housing compensation option the nurse chooses. Agency-placed housing ranges from hotels to apartments, and travel nurses who receive a stipend for housing can choose wherever they want to live.
How Much Do Travel Nurses Get for Housing?
The travel nurse housing stipend amount varies drastically depending on the location of the assignment, job characteristics, cost of living, experience level, length of assignment, and more. For example, the stipend provided for an assignment in New York City is expected to be much higher than that of an assignment in a smaller community.
How Much is a Travel Nurse Housing Stipend?
It’s difficult to determine the average travel nurse housing stipend amount as the stipend amount may be determined by the number of hours worked, the length of the contract, or another way. However, many agencies base their stipend amounts on the General Service Administration (GSA) rates, which outline the maximum amount for tax-free stipends. To learn more about daily accommodation rates across the country, explore the GSA tool here.
How Much Do Travel Nurses Pay for Housing?
With the agency-placed housing option, travel nurses do not pay for housing. The housing is paid for by the agency.
If the travel nurse chooses to pursue an assignment with a stipend for housing costs, then the nurse can choose to pay however much they want to for housing. For example, nurses can find a cheaper housing accommodation and pocket any leftover money from the reimbursement, or they can choose a more expensive accommodation and pay out of pocket for the added costs.
Soliant Travel Nurse Housing
With more than 30 years in the industry, Soliant is a trusted leader among travel nurse agencies, and we work closely with you to help you find your perfect destination and situation.
As a Soliant travel nurse, you’ll have access to incredible benefits, including weekly paychecks, top-notch insurance, licensing assistance, and more! We handle every detail of your travel, and you can rest assured you’ll be placed in safe, secure, and comfortable housing in some of the most sought-after areas. Prefer to pick your own housing? We offer some of the most competitive salaries and stipends on the market, so you can enjoy reduced living expenses with your tax-free reimbursement.