One of the biggest things for traveling nurses and traveling healthcare professionals in general is making sure they have good housing set-up wherever they go. Of course, they are away from their actual homes and need to make sure the temporary dwellings they are staying in are safe, comfortable and provide what they need.
There are two options for traveling healthcare workers to take. The first is to allow the travel company they are working with to fully set up the housing for them and when they arrive, they just walk in and get the key. The other option is to take a housing stipend, which is generally just added to their paychecks. The question is, which one is the better option? Let’s discuss both in more detail.
With the first option, the travel healthcare company itself works with a corporate housing company that helps set up temporary housing leases for healthcare workers while they are in town. Generally, the leases are for about three months, or however long the travel contract is. The work for the traveler is very little and most of the leg work is done for them. They simply choose which dwelling they want based on the choices given to them and it gets set up for them. For a quick and convenient process, this is the way to go. The options are generally more limited. The traveler may do their own research and suggest some housing options to look into, but beyond that, all of the setting up is done by the travel company.
The other option is just taking the housing stipend, which is essentially a sum of money that is added to their paycheck. For example, if the housing stipend is $2000 a month, then they will get $1000 extra on each paycheck if they get paid biweekly. Now, this option allows the healthcare to use the money to find their own housing. Some of the reasons people will choose this path is to have more housing options and to save extra money. This allows the travelers to look for housing options that aren’t available throughout corporate housing, like single room rentals. Also, travelers often find deals where they will pay rent that is significantly lower than the housing stipend they received. Some travelers will choose long-term motels, stay with a friend or family member or basically live out of a trailer or camper. There are also sites, like thegypsynurse.com that can be used to help find temporary housing. Bottom line: you will have the potential to save more money and have more housing options if you opt to take the housing stipend versus allowing your company to set up housing for you. You will have to do more of the leg work and research though. It will definitely be more time consuming at first.
Neither one is a bad option. See which one works best for you. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions.