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How Do Travel Nurses Find Housing? 

Author:
Rayne Winters
Published:
December 9, 2021

When it comes to travel nursing, one of the most important salary package components is travel nurse housing. Before you apply to a position, you must get the details on this portion of the contract.  

Those who have been travel nursing for some time will tell you that housing will either make or break an assignment. After all, no matter where you are in your travel nursing journey, you want to feel comfortable in your new home.  

Luckily, Advantis Medical is there for our travelers every step of the way. We provide housing stipends and assistance finding travel nurse housing sites. If any questions arise mid-assignment, our recruiters and nurse advocates are just a call/text away.

Housing Options for Travel Nurses

There are two options when it comes to housing for travel nurses:  

  • Stipend Pay: you are paid a stipend and make your arrangements  
  • Agency-placed Housing: staffing agency makes arrangements for you  

One isn’t necessarily better than the other- it just depends on what works for you.  

Graph of two housing options for nurses divided by a line with a building and money stack.
Stipend Pay  

If you opt for a travel nurse housing stipend, that means you are responsible for all aspects of your housing and the expenses that come with it. The dollar amount will depend on the location you’re traveling to and the contract. The amount that will be quoted will be a monthly rate- but it will be paid out weekly through your paycheck.  

The biggest challenge of accepting stipend pay is finding housing within the budget you have been given. While it may seem like a lot of money, it’s not always easy to find a decent, inexpensive short-term lease. Plus, you’ll have to also pay for furnishings and utilities. Advantis Medical believes in pay-transparency, so our job portal AdvantisConnect has an integrated calculator to help determine your take-home pay for budgeting.

Of course, if you have a friend or spouse traveling with you, the two of you can pool your resources to find a great place to rent while working in that area. In addition to the benefits of pooling your financial resources, traveling with a friend gives you someone you can socialize with and ensures that you will be safe.  

Benefits of Stipend Pay  

There are several benefits of stipend pay. They are as follows:  

  • You control where you live  
  • You own how you live  
  • You can potentially make money off the stipends  
  • You’ll have time to get settled  
Agency-Placed Housing  

The other housing option when it comes to travel nursing is agency-placed housing. This is the most common option. Generally, some nursing agencies will have a housing department that will find you a short-term lease. The agency has a long lease that they rotate their travelers in and out of in many cases.  

Additionally, the agency will rent the furniture, pay the utilities, and even provide housewares such as linens and dishes. While it's not common, some agencies will pay for cable and internet.  

If you're starting, it's probably best to opt for agency-based housing. This will give you time to figure everything else out. Once you've gotten some experience, you'll know what works better for you.  

In most cases, assignments are booked 1 to 2 weeks, sometimes 1 or 2 days before starting. They will typically send you 2 to 3 options for travel nurse housing sites, but they'll ultimately place you in the most convenient option for them- that is, cheap and available.  

Unlike many agencies, Advantis Medical does not offer agency-placed housing, but a very generous housing stipend and assistance finding housing if requested. We understand that location is a very important factor in assignment experience.

Benefits of Agency-Placed Housing  

There are several benefits of agency-placed housing. They are as follows:  

  • It’s simple
  • Housing is more readily available
  • Housing prices are better  
  • You don't have to come up with deposits, etc. up-front  
  • You’re safe in the case that your assignment is cancelled before the lease ends  

Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Nurse Housing

If you’re just getting started in travel nursing, chances are you’ll have some questions about it. We will explore some of the most frequently asked questions about travel nurse housing. The questions will cover agency-based housing and stipends.  

It is important to note that Advantis Medical does not offer agency-placed housing, so any answers related to the topic do not apply to our travel nursing company. But because we want to offer a valuable resource for travel nurses and allied health, we have the answers to your questions.

Will the agency cover 100% of housing costs?  

Advantis Medical offers a generous stipend for housing. However, if can't find something within the stipend budget, you'll have to cover the extra costs.

Will the agency cover costs for cable, internet, electric, gas, or water?

Our travel nursing agency wants to give our travelers control over their career and adventures. Any housing expenses will be the responsibility of travel nurses and allied health. Some assistance will be given through the stipend, online travel resources, and assistance from nurse advocates.

How do I set up cable/internet?  

Assuming your housing doesn’t have cable or internet provided, you will have to set it up yourself. Once you get your address, you'll want to contact the landlord or property manager to find out who the providers are in that area.  

At that point, you'll want to make some pricing comparisons and set up installation for your move-in day. In most cases, you'll need to be present for the installation. Be sure that you are not signing a long-term contract.  

In many cases, this will work in your favor because many companies will offer promos for the first few months. Since most travel nursing contracts are 3 months, you’ll get premium service at a base level price.  

Will housing be furnished?  

In most cases, the term “furnished” for travel nurse houring means the following are provided:  

  • Living room: couch, end table, TV stand, chair, lamp, coffee table  
  • Dining Room: kitchen table with 4 chairs  
  • Bedroom: queen-size bed, dresser, lamp, nightstand  

In most cases, bedding, TV, dishes, a vacuum, and linens will cost extra.

A popular furnished housing finding many travel nurses use is FurnishedFinder.

If I opt for stipend pay, how can I find my housing?  

If you choose to take the stipend pay, the options are endless for finding housing. Just make sure you take the time to check out the area's safety before you sign a lease. You might be saving money- but it's not worth it if your safety is at risk.  

Advantis Medical recruiters and nurse advocates are also happy to help find housing when requested.

If I opt for agency-placed housing, do I have a choice where I am placed?  

If your travel nurse staffing agency provides agency-placed housing, they will give you 2 to 3 options to choose from base on availability. Of course, you must keep in mind that even if you make a request, there's no guarantee that it will be honored.  

Unfortunately, most agencies are not accommodating when it comes to housing. If this is something that you hold as important, you should know what your dealbreakers are and be honest from the start- and understand that even if you do this, you still may be disappointed.  

The good news is, if you don't like your housing, remember that contracts are short, and housing placements are temporary.  

How does the agency determine the stipend amount?  

The stipend amount isn’t standard across the board. The contract, city, and how the agency breaks down their pay package will determine the stipend amount. Therefore, you might end up with a different stipend amount for each assignment. Feel free to ask your personal recruiter and travel companion from Advantis Medical about the different stipends.

Will I be given a roommate?  

In the case of agency-placed housing, in most cases, you will not have a roommate. However, you may have a short-term assignment such as a strike that requires you to room with another nurse or take lower pay to be given a private room. Of course, you will be given this information before applying to the assignment.  

Will I be allowed to bring a pet?  

Of course! You will need to make sure that you bring this up with your recruiter from the beginning. They will have to look for pet-friendly housing options- and chances are, you'll have to pay a deposit. Fun fact, Advantis Medical even helps find travel nursing assignments for pairs! That means you can go on travel assignments with a friend or family member.

What if I don’t like my housing?  

There will be times when you will get to your assignment, and you will not enjoy your housing placement. In this case, you’ll want to contact your recruiter right away and- if the situation is genuinely unacceptable- they’ll be more than happy to move you if it is agency-placed housing.

However, if you arrive and the housing is a bit more run-down than you like, they may not be willing to move you. This is why it's a good idea to do your research before leaving for an assignment. It will help eliminate any surprises regarding housing.  

Advantis Medical does not offer agency-based housing. Only a generous travel nurse housing stipend. However, if you find your housing is unpleasant, please do not hesitate to reach out to your personal recruiter or nurse advocate for assistance. We want to make sure you’re feeling comfortable with your travel nurse assignment.

Will the housing be a rental house, facility-owned housing, or an apartment?

Housing can be any of the above depending on your travel nurse agency- and it may even be a hotel. If the assignment is in a larger city, you’ll more than likely be placed in an apartment. However, if you are in a smaller town with limited housing options, you’ll have more variety for where you may be placed.  

Otherwise, if you’re with Advantis Medical, your housing is completely up to you. You’re free to take control of your travel nurse adventure with the assistance of housing stipends.

What if something breaks/malfunctions in my agency-placed housing?  

If something breaks/malfunctions in your agency-placed housing, you'll need to contact the agency and landlord immediately. They can usually take care of the issue quickly, and if the situation is not livable (for example, sewage back up) and it's not fixed within the day, they may even be willing to put you in a hotel until it is. Check with your travel nurse company before assignments.

If I don’t like my agency-placed housing, can I turn it down and find something myself?  

This will depend on the situation. If the agency has a lease they're locked into, they may resist. However, as mentioned previously, if the housing is truly unacceptable, they should be happy to fix the issue. On the other hand, if you decide you don't like it, you may have issues changing housing at the last minute.  

Things to Remember

Before you sign a travel nursing contract, make sure that you know the housing situation. If you don't like the agency-placed options they send you, you should either decline the contract or find your option. This is typically the hardest part of the whole process. Make sure you're honest with your recruiter regarding your concerns and expectations.  

Finally, take the time to do your research when you're planning to take an assignment somewhere. Learn about the new city and read some property reviews. If you have any questions, ask them. As long as you do this, you should find that you have a good experience with travel nurse housing.  

Join our travel nurse community in AdvantisConnect. We offer generous meal & housing stipends, can help with housing arrangements, stipends for an RV space, and our Nurse Care Team will even personally help with finding housing.

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