Unconventional Housing Options That Might be Just Right
Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, December 19, 2019 Posted in Travel Nurse Tips
The first, most essential part of any travel nursing assignment is securing housing. Where you live plays a big role in how well you’re able to do your job while on assignment. You need to find accommodations near your workplace, in a safe place, with facilities that accommodate your everyday living needs. It’s a tall order, but more than manageable with the help of an agency and a housing stipend.
Travel nurse housing: What’s normal?
Most travel nurses opt for one of two conventional approaches to housing. First, you could choose to stay in housing that your agency arranges for you. In many cases, your agency will source furniture and pay utilities, so all you need to do is show up and stay! This option is great for first-time travel nurses who want one less thing to worry about when preparing for assignment.
The second option is to take a housing stipend from your travel nurse agency and use that money to find your own housing. Traditionally, travel nurses will seek a short-term lease in an apartment or house. You’ll be responsible for all the costs that go with renting housing on your own, but you’ll have greater control over where you stay.
Types of unconventional housing
Although the standard housing options work well, some travel nurses prefer to have a greater sense of adventure on assignment. If you’re interested in shaking things up a little bit, consider using your stipend on an unconventional type of housing. Here are some of the most popular unconventional housing options for travel nurses:
- Home rentals. Although most people rely on home rental services like Airbnb or VRBO for short-term or vacation housing, a lot of homeowners also offer longer-term rental services. These meet the needs of travel nurses. Subletting or renting long-term from Airbnb hosts is often similar to entering a short lease. Home rentals can offer great, affordable housing options with lots of flexibility and hosts who are familiar with the short-term rental scene.
- Extended stay hotels. Some hotel brands offer extended-stay options with discounts for long-term rentals. These also come with furniture and hotel amenities like pools and housekeeping. However, rates for extended-stay hotels may be higher than other housing options, and you probably won’t get as much of a “homey” experience during your stay.
- RV or camper. For the truly adventurous travel nurse, an RV or camper could be the perfect short-term housing option. If you own an RV already, you can rent a spot in an RV park with electric and water hookups. Then, you can drive your home and all your belongings with you and set up camp for the duration of your assignment. Staying in an RV is flexible and can be relatively inexpensive, but it also requires some sacrifices in square footage and comfort.
No matter what type of lodging you choose, finding safe and reliable housing is one of the most important aspects of settling into your travel nursing assignment. When considering conventional and unconventional housing options, make sure to prioritize the few things you want most in housing, such as pet acceptance, cost of living, and travel time to the hospital.
Unconventional housing isn’t for everyone, and it might even be a bad idea if it’s your first time on assignment. But, if you’re an experienced travel nurse or have an intense desire for adventure, unconventional housing can open doors to an entirely new experience.
About the Author
Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.