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How travel nurse housing works

nurse enjoying breakfast in her travel nursing housing

Once you’ve lined up a travel nursing job, your next question will probably be about where you’ll be living — and for good reason. You want a safe, comfortable place to recharge after a long shift, but you also want housing that’s affordable and won’t cut too much into your take-home pay. Here’s how travel nurse housing works and how to find the right place wherever you’re on assignment.

Finding travel nurse housing on your own

RNnetwork offers a travel nurse housing stipend if you decide to book a place on your own. While it may seem daunting at first, you have many resources to make the process easier. Before signing any papers, you may want to:

  • Research your new city prior to your start date to see where you’d like to live
  • Ask the hospital staff for housing recommendations
  • Consider living in a hotel for the first week of your assignment to get a feel for the area
  • Ask other travel nurses for their suggestions and advice
  • Explore cost-saving options like staying with a friend or family members who live in the area

Once you have an idea of where you’d like to stay, the following resources can help you find housing:

Regardless of where you choose to stay beware of scams:

  • Never wire any money
  • If you are signing a lease, make sure it is short-term only

ICU nurse Bob Goldnetz says if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. His advice: “Don’t wire money without seeing a place, it may not exist. PayPal has a secure payment feature, look into it. Better to pay 3% than lose everything.”

travel nurse in an extended stay hotel

Scoring discounts on hotels

If you’re comfortable staying at a hotel for a few months, you can take advantage of special rates.

  • Visit ExtendedStayAmerica.com and book your stay at the RNnetwork corporate discount rate (ask your recruiter for the code)
  • Check with RNnetwork’s housing department for any other special promotional codes being offered by Extended Stay America
  • Sign up for the Extended Perks Program with Extended Stay America
  • Create a free account at HotelEngine.com to save money on hotel chains that offer discounted rates

RELATED: 5 tips for living in a hotel

Choosing more creative housing options

Not really big on living in a hotel or staying in an apartment? You don’t have to! Some of our travelers have stayed in unique housing while on assignment.

RV living

Brittany Wall and her dog, Max, travel the country in her camper, and she documents their adventures on Instagram.

“I have everything I need with me to be prepared for any adventure,” Brittany says. “It gives me more freedom to explore surrounding areas on my days off without really making any plans. I just hit the road and go.”

A travel nurse's fifth wheel trailer

Home health nurse Audra Beldon and her husband travel to assignments with their fifth-wheel trailer and enjoy having a familiar place to call home. “We get to bring our cats with us. I get to come home, I can cook dinner. We have all the amenities of a house, so it’s nice,” she says.

Julie Stoddard, a dialysis nurse, travels with her husband and two young children. Living in their camper, she and her family are more comfortable in their own space. “You don’t have to worry about messing anything up — the kids don’t have to worry about spilling anything, because you’re always home,” she says.

Tiny house on wheels

Bryan and Bethany Flake and their family — three children and 13 pets — live in their 415-square-foot home on wheels while Bryan and Bethany take travel nursing jobs. They stay at RV parks and state or national parks when they can, and at other times they rent land with RV connections.

“The kids have seen more in the last three years than I have in the first almost-30 years of my life,” Bryan says. “When we were in Las Vegas, my daughter was learning about the Grand Canyon, so we just took her to the Grand Canyon.”

A tiny house on wheels

Sailing away

When Tina Stines’ husband, Doug, took sailing lessons, she booked travel assignments along the East Coast so they could live on their sailboat, Pieridae, while she was working.

“Living on the water — and on a sailboat, to boot — has been a dream of ours for some time,” Tina says. “Doug has joined a sailboat racing team, and I have been able to race with them a few times.”

If you want your home to be a bit more mobile, check out your options at the GoRVing and DiscoverBoating sites.

Working with RNnetwork’s housing team

It may be easier to have someone else book housing for you, and RNnetwork’s housing team is happy to help. Here’s how the process works if you decline the stipend:

  • Your housing coordinator will contact you within 48 hours of your assignment confirmation. They’ll ask if you will be traveling with anyone and if you have any special needs or preferences. RNnetwork provides private one-bedroom accommodations or hotel lodging.
  • The housing coordinator will work to find the closest housing and review options with you.
  • Friday is the typical move-in day; your coordinator will send a housing confirmation with the address and other details prior to move in.

The housing team is always available to take care of you if there is a housing emergency. If you aren’t able to reach the complex or property manager, call the RNnetwork emergency phone number and connect with the on-call coordinator.

SEE ALSO: The benefits of working with RNnetwork’s housing team

nurse relaxing at home

Deciding which housing option is best for you

Jackie Finz, RNnetwork’s housing manager, recommends first-time travelers live in company-provided housing so they have less to worry about prior to and during their assignment.

“First-time travelers have a lot of documents to send in and are sometimes leaving families and homes. It’s a lot to look for, especially with short-term leases, and you have to pay a lot of money up front,” she says. “Families traveling with kids or pets or spouses may also have a harder time finding housing or have a lot of questions.”

When deciding whether to take the stipend or choose company-provided housing, it’s important to consider your full compensation package and whether you’re comfortable finding housing in an unfamiliar area.

“Sometimes travelers stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks and then switch to the stipend after finding their own housing,” Jackie says. “This is an option to help you get acclimated in the new area.”

No matter what you decide, RNnetwork’s housing team will take care of you.

“We’re here to help, regardless of whether you are taking the stipend or using RNnetwork-provided housing. We never want a nurse to be unhappy or want to leave a contract because of housing,” Jackie says. “We really go above and beyond to make sure nurses are getting a great experience.”

For more information on how travel nurse housing works, give us a call at 800.866.0407.

Do you have travel nurse housing tips or recommendations? Share in the comments below.

Article updated June 3, 2022

About the author

Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a communication professional with experience writing for the healthcare and entertainment industries as well as local government. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

3 Comments

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  • Hi Lindsay,

    I also recommend Sabbaticalhomes.com for travel nurses looking for short or long term housing. It is a no fee home sharing website with listings all over the world. You can find great housing and list your own home for rent while away. They have a large and trusted community of home owners and renters. I recommend checking it out!

  • I have a Aunt in Rapid City, SD that has a home that she is offering travel nurses to stay. Where can I get this information out to? Thanking you in advance.

    • Hi Tasha, that’s generous of your aunt to offer lodging for nurses! I’ve passed your message and contact information along to our recruiter contact, and they’ll reach out to you if needed.

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