What Is the Average Housing Stipend for Travel Nurses? Understanding Factors That Contribute to the Dollar Amount

by Trusted Nurse Staffing | Jan 15, 2024 | News

what is an average housing stipend for travel nurses

You’ve just landed your dream travel nursing contract in a highly desirable location, but the thought of affording housing while on your assignment has you feeling stressed.

Travel nurses make great pay, but with such a high cost of living, is it possible to live somewhere safe, beautiful, and with the amenities you need?

Don’t stress. Many travel nursing agencies offer housing stipends for travel nurses to make the option of securing your own housing less stressful. 

Learn why the average housing stipend for travel nurses varies greatly and how travel agencies work to decide the final dollar amount of each housing stipend for every assignment.

Table of Contents

What is a travel nursing housing stipend, what is the average housing stipend for travel nurses, are per diem rates and housing stipends the same, what are the qualifications to receive a housing stipend for travel nurses, travel nurse housing stipend amount: will you receive the gsa’s maximum, 3 benefits to accepting a travel nursing housing stipend vs. agency-provided housing, trusted nurse staffing: allowing travel nurses to choose their housing by offering travel nursing housing stipends.

YouTube video

Work as a nurse can be rewarding, but as a travel nurse, many agencies help negotiate high salaries and offer amazing compensation benefits, like a housing stipend. 

In many cases, travel nurses are offered two housing options after accepting a new travel nurse assignment:

  • Agency-provided housing
  • Tax-free stipend housing

What’s the difference between the two?

Agency-provided housing is housing that your travel nursing agency helps arrange for you for the duration of your travel nurse assignment. 

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, your travel nurse recruiter will work to secure you a short-term lease — you don’t have to worry about paying housing fees. In most cases, the arrangements include utilities and may come furnished or with the option to rent furniture. 

The second option — a travel nursing housing stipend — is a sum of money offered by your travel agency to cover the cost of housing while working your travel nurse assignment.

Should you choose this option, your recruiter at Trusted Nurse Staffing won’t leave you high and dry. Our team works with you to find safe, affordable, and secure housing for the duration of your assignment.

Check out our job listings on Pronto to learn what the average housing stipend for travel nurses are in the area you wish to work. 

housing stipend travel nursing

Unfortunately, the range offered for travel nurse stipends is large and completely dependent on a handful of factors. Some travel nurses might find their housing stipend to be as low as $700 per month while others receive as much as $5,000 per month. 

It all depends.

Why Is There No Set Average Housing Stipend for Travel Nurses?

Three of the biggest factors that play into the dollar amount of a travel nurse housing stipend are:

  • The travel nurse agency you work with
  • The location of your travel nurse assignment
  • Time of year

Every travel agency arranges housing stipends differently, so who you choose to work with can play a big part in the amount you’ll receive to cover housing costs. Additionally, the cost of living varies from state to state, so the location of your assignment will come into play here, too.

However, determining your housing stipend is not as simple as choosing your travel agency, assignment location, and time of year. Different travel agencies might offer two different housing stipend amounts for the same location — it all depends on what each travel agency offers.

To make an accurate comparison, you’ll have to review the entire benefits package of each travel agency you’re interested in to determine which might work better for you.

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we take pride in offering industry-leading benefits that set us apart from other travel nursing agencies . Not only do we offer fair housing stipends, but competitive health and dental insurance plans, robust retirement plans, and more.

Your Travel Nurse Agency

Travel nursing housing stipends vary from agency to agency, so it’s important to understand how this works with the travel agency you choose to work with.

Some agencies might offer you a choice between receiving a housing stipend and securing your own housing or living in housing provided by the agency like Trusted Nurse Staffing does.

Others might offer different agreements, like:

  • A high tax-free housing stipend but a lower taxable wage
  • Agency housing with a higher taxable wage

Considering these options is important and depends on how much money you want to take home in your pocket at the end of your assignment. You could save money by paying lower taxes or by finding cheaper housing than the stipend offers and pocketing the remaining cash. 

The Location of Your Assignment

The location of your travel nurse assignment is a big factor in determining the dollar amount of your housing stipend because the cost of living varies greatly from state to state. 

For example:

A travel nurse taking an assignment in Los Angeles where the cost of living is 42.5% higher than it is in Boise, Idaho, will likely receive a larger housing stipend than a travel nurse in Boise.

Time of Year 

Although location is an important factor, the time of year you’re on assignment in said location may also come into play when determining the dollar amount of your housing stipend.

For example, if you plan to work in Miami, Florida during the summer months, the housing stipend might be less than it is in the more desirable winter months.

Although similar, per diem rates and housing stipends do differ.

Per diem is an allowance established by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. Federal agencies can use per diem rates to reimburse their employees for these expenses that are incurred while traveling within the continental United States. 

While per diem rates are reimbursed to a specific dollar amount and cover an array of expenses, a housing stipend is given beforehand to specifically cover the cost of housing. 

Per diem means “per day” , so the rates set by the GSA are given as daily figures. For example, you might find that the per diem for lodging in Miami, Florida in January 2024 is $169 for housing and $69 for meals and incidentals, except on the first and last day when it is $51.75. 

Travel nursing agencies use the word “stipend” because it more clearly reflects the benefit they are providing — a set sum of money given as a housing allowance. Though travel agencies will present a housing stipend as a monthly figure, it is typically paid weekly or bi-weekly.

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we also offer meal stipends and stipends for incidentals so you don’t have to worry about covering all of those costs with your housing stipend.


A housing stipend for travel nurses is a set allowance, so the IRS has requirements that must be met by travel nurses to qualify for using the stipend.

As with many things related to the IRS, this process can be complicated to understand. The bones of it are that the state you are working in determines if you qualify for a tax-free stipend, not your tax home state. 

How do you know what your “tax home” state is?

According to the IRS, your tax home is the state where your regular place of business or post of duty is, regardless of where you maintain a family home. You can have both, so distinguishing the difference between the two is important here. 

To maintain a tax home, travel nurses usually must meet two of the three following criteria:

  • A minimum of 25% of your income is earned in the tax home area.
  • You maintain a permanent residence elsewhere.
  • You do not abandon your tax home.

To maintain your tax home, you can:

  • Keep a bank account open.
  • Keep proof of payments that show you’re incurring expenses here.
  • Maintain one address where you receive mail and forward it to your assignment address.
  • File as a non-resident in the state of your assignment during tax season.
  • Register to vote.
  • Register your driver’s license and vehicle.

In addition to paying careful attention to maintaining your tax home, you must work away from it and keep your status as a temporary worker to qualify for tax-free stipends. A temporary worker is someone whose temporary assignment in one location is expected to last for one year or less, as most travel nursing assignments do. 

Should your assignment extend more than one year, the IRS will consider it indefinite and you will no longer qualify for a tax-free stipend.

Although there is almost always an option to extend your assignment contract with Trusted Nurse Staffing, most travel nurse assignments have a hard start and end date, helping to prove your status as a temporary worker.

It’s unlikely that a travel nurse will receive the GSA’s maximum amount for their housing stipend, and for good reason.

  • GSA rates are established at maximum rates.
  • GSA rates are tied to shorter-term stays that don’t usually require long-term housing, like a travel nurse assignment typically does.

For example, the 2024 GSA per diem rate for housing in Miami ranges between $142 and $215. This means as a monthly rate, the housing per diem total would be between $4,260 and $6,450, far exceeding the average Miami monthly rent of $3,200 .

To determine an appropriate travel nursing housing stipend, travel nurse agencies consider the GSA per diem rate and the local cost of living.

average housing stipend for travel nurses

Accepting agency-based housing might seem like the easy route to take because the agency organizes everything for you. But don’t be quick to write off accepting the housing stipend.

Opting for the travel nursing housing stipend offers advantages in both flexibility and profitability. 

#1: Travel Nursing Housing Stipends are Tax-Free

Travel nurse housing stipends are tax-free allowances, meaning you benefit financially without having to pay taxes on extra wages. 

We all know that tax season is stressful and using the tax-free housing stipend is one easy way to reduce the headache of tax season with money directly in your pocket.

#2: Travel Nursing Housing Stipends Allow You to Choose Where You Live

Whether you accept a four-week assignment or a two-month assignment, your new location will be your home-away-from-home for some time — you want it to be somewhere you’re looking forward to coming home to at night and spending your days off. 

Opting for the housing stipend over agency-provided housing offers flexibility in choosing where you want to live. You get to consider:

This is not to say that agency-based housing sticks you where it sticks you and it’s a done deal. The recruiters at Trusted Nurse Staffing work to find housing that is safe and secure and offers you what you need, but nothing beats finding a home that suits you best.

#3: Travel Nursing Housing Stipends Allows More Financial Control

Knowing where every dollar you earn is going is crucial for financial control, and by accepting the housing stipend, you can do just that.

With the travel nurse housing stipend, you’ll receive the total amount of your stipend no matter what your housing costs actually are. You’ll know exactly how much money you’ll receive for housing before you begin looking.

If you find something cheaper than your housing stipend, you get to pocket that extra money and spend it on things you might want or need. If you find housing that’s more than your stipend but you know you can cover it with other money, that’s great, too.

Relocating for work every few weeks can be stressful. Yes, there’s the excitement of new things to do, new people to meet, and new opportunities to explore, but there’s also the stress of securing housing and working out all of the moving pieces to complete a move.

A travel nursing housing stipend takes the headache away from wondering if you can afford housing in your new city. 

Although the average housing stipend for travel nurses is broad, you can find comfort in knowing that Trusted Nurse Staffing works hard to offer the most up-to-date and fair housing stipends for our travel nurses. 

Before you can know your travel nursing stipend amount, you must secure a contract in a desirable location. Go to Pronto to search for available travel nurse contracts in the city of your choice, then let your Trusted Nurse Staffing recruiter help you secure housing.

Contact us today to get started.

Recent Posts

  • The Reality of Becoming a Pediatric Psych Travel Nurse: FAQs and Insights
  • Navigating Your Travel Nursing Journey: How Long Does It Take To Be A Traveling Nurse?
  • How Much Money Can a Traveling Nurse Anesthetist Make? A CRNA Travel Nurse Salary Breakdown
  • Travel Nursing as a Single Mom? How To Make It Work for Your Family
  • How To Prepare for Night Shift Nursing

does travel nursing pay for housing


Everything You Need To Know About Travel Nurse Housing Stipends

2023-05-15 19:30:00 | meredith warren.

Have you heard about the travel nurse housing stipends or housing allowance that is often offered as part of your compensation package, but aren't sure what it covers or how to make the most out of it? You're in the right place.

We're here to explain everything you need to know about a travel nurse housing stipend, including who's eligible for travel nurse housing stipends, how much it could cover, and whether you should take the stipend or company housing.

Overview of travel nurse housing stipends

A housing stipend is a tax-free allowance provided by a staffing agency to their travel nurses to cover the cost of housing while on assignment. The housing stipend amount is determined by a few factors, such as travel nurse's salary, geographic location, size of the needed apartment or house, and duration of the assignment.

This allows you the flexibility to choose where you want to live while on assignment. You can choose to pay rent on short-term furnished apartment leases, find extended hotel stays, or even share a house with other travel nurses.

If you choose the travel nurse housing stipend, you are not also eligible for agency provided housing. That amount comes out of the same part of the bill rate or compensation package.

What is included in travel nurse stipends?

Typically, stipends include the cost of rent, utilities, and basic furnishings. However, it's important to note that agencies offer different amounts, so you'll want to check what your specific agency reimburses.

While some travel nurse agencies may even provide additional perks like a gym membership or covered parking, others simply expect you to find your own lodging arrangements within the stipend amount.

How does a housing stipend work?

For most agencies, the amount of the stipend varies depending on the location of your assignment, but it typically covers some or all of the cost of rent and utilities.

Much like the pay rate differs between travel nurse agencies, your stipend may be reflected differently between agencies — you may see it by week, as a monthly figure, or even a per diem lodging rate by day. Talk to your recruiter so you know what to expect.

How do travel nurse agencies pay stipends?

Staffing agencies consider a travel nurse housing stipend part of travel nurses' overall pay packages. The money you are offered as a housing stipend comes out of the bill rate — the hourly rate the facility agrees to with your agency. Agencies cannot change the total bill rate, although they may be able to shuffle around the pieces that make it up. The housing stipend is just one piece of the puzzle.

Because this housing stipend counts as more non taxable income as long as you have a permanent address, most travel nurses typically opt for the tax free stipends to maximize pay instead of choosing to accept agency-provided housing.

Travel nurse stipend vs company-provided housing

Agency housing, convenience.

It can be significantly more convenient if your travel nursing agency offers housing arrangements; they can find and book accommodations in the area of your assignment so you don't have to, and there is some added security that they have the knowledge and connections to choose a safe neighborhood for agency-provided housing.

It isn't your choice

However, choosing agency-provided housing also means that you're limited by their options and do not have the same level of control you'd have if you chose your own living arrangement.

There's a great park or coffee shop you were looking forward to walking to on the way to your travel assignment? Just cross your fingers you aren't staying on the opposite side of town.

Finding housing with a travel nursing stipend


Of course, one of the biggest benefits to choosing the stipend is the level of flexibility you have over your own housing. You have complete control over your living situation, amenities, and area while you're in a new location for your travel nursing assignment.

If you need pet-friendly housing , disability access, or you want a view of the mountains from your bedroom, you'll have an easier time if you book it yourself, even if it takes a few days to find the perfect spot.

Financial incentive

But the best benefit to the housing stipend for travel nurses is actually that it usually puts you at a financial advantage. If you choose a more affordable place to stay, you're able to pocket the difference instead of choosing a higher taxable wage.

Staffing agencies are usually happy to pay housing stipends, because they know it often means that you'll bring home more money at the end of the day.

New call-to-action

Why is there a travel nurse housing stipend?

Housing stipends are the responsibility of the General Service Administration (GSA), which has declares "the maximum allowances that federal employees are reimbursed for expenses incurred" while traveling.

There are three expense categories defined in these guidelines - meals, incidentals, and housing, which vary depending on the average cost in that specific location.

Travel nurses aren't federal employees, but the IRS uses the same rates for everyone , so travel nurse housing stipends end up following the same rules as a federal employee would. The stipend rates declared by the GSA are the maximum that an employer can offer as part of your pay package, but they are not required to pay that entire amount for your housing stipend (or for agency provided housing).

How does the housing stipend affect taxes for travel nurses?

As a travel nurse, receiving a generous housing stipend can be one of the many perks that come with the job. However, it's important to understand how this payment can affect your taxes.

Some travel nurses are always on the road , to the point that they have no permanent address. These travel nurses are not eligible for the non-taxable housing stipend. If you are expecting this additional money to be tax free, you must:

Have a tax home (more on this below).

Travel far enough from your home that you must stay in a new location overnight (often considered a 50-mile rule, although that number is an estimate).

Spend additional money on housing during your assignment (so staying with family members in the area for free instead of paying to stay in apartments or extended stay hotels would mean you are not eligible).

Travel nurses should keep receipts showing how they chose to secure housing for all their contracts to be ready when tax season rolls around.

What is a travel nurse tax home?

yellow house and money

A tax home refers to your primary place of business or employment, or the location where you conduct the majority of your work and earn the majority of your income.

The IRS explains that this can be either "the entire city" or "general area" where you work, "regardless of where you maintain your family home," or permanent residence. You do not need to own a home in order to have a tax home 

How do you find out where your tax home is?

If you don't have a typical working situation (and travel nursing is not typical for most people doing their taxes), the IRS will check to see if you meet at least two of the three following items, even if you do have a permanent residence:

Do you ever live and work in that area?

Do you have living expenses that must be duplicated when you are traveling for business and away from that home?

Do you have some sort of connection to the area? Family, friends, community, belongings still at that address or in the neighborhood?

Be careful with these items — renting out the entirety of your home for too long while on a travel job might cause the IRS to label it a business or commercial property, which would disqualify it from being a tax home. (You can still rent out part of it and remain eligible for the housing stipend, though.)

You can also show the IRS that your tax home is not a scam by showing your lodging expenses, paying taxes and using that address on your returns, being registered to vote there, and having family who stays there.

How long can travel nurses stay somewhere?

In order to make sure that your carefully laid plans go according to plan once you've got your tax home established, you'll also want to make sure that you don't extend travel nurse contracts too long for fear of missing out on the housing stipend (although that isn't a problem if you watch out for how long you stay).

Since the travel nurse housing stipend is for travelers who are working elsewhere temporarily, the housing reimbursement is only tax free if you aren't there too long.

The IRS says, "Any work assignment in excess of one year is considered indefinite," which disqualifies you from tax free stipends.

What happens if a travel nurse stays somewhere over a year?

If a travel nurse stays at one location for over a year, your tax home will likely change to reflect that new location, which will create issues with how you pay taxes and find housing to reflect your entire pay package. Most agencies are happy to help you find a new assignment elsewhere to avoid this pain.

Do travel nurses get housing stipends if they aren't on assignment?

One question that often comes up for traveling nurses is whether they will receive housing stipends when they are not on an assignment. The answer is no, travel nurses will not receive housing stipends when they are not on an assignment and incurring duplicate housing expenses.

Travel nurse housing stipend tips

When you're hitting the road as a travel nurse, you want to make the most out of your entire pay package - including your travel nurse housing stipend. Be smart and strategic when it comes to finding and selecting your travel nurse housing.

Think outside the box

One of the best tips for maximizing your travel nurse housing stipend is to think outside the box - consider options such as extended stay hotels or furnished apartments, which may offer more affordable rates than traditional short-term rentals.

There are plenty of travel nurse housing sites with helpful ideas, and travelers who use Marketplace can use Furnished Finder to discover options near their assignments — it's integrated into our job search to make it easier for you.

Do your research and ask about deals

Research the location you will be working in to find housing that fits within the travel nursing housing stipend amount, and negotiate with property managers or renters when possible — you may even be able to score a lower rate or added amenities like free parking, laundry services, free utilities, or internet.

Prioritize your safety and security by researching the neighborhood and checking for amenities like gated entrances or security cameras.

Choose a better area, not just cheaper housing

Although travel nurse housing costs can make it seem like the most affordable options are best in order to pocket the most tax free housing money, you'll want to make sure that you actually enjoy your travel assignment. Pick an area that's nice as well as finding deals to save money.

Additionally, consider the proximity to the healthcare facility where you'll be working, as well as nearby attractions and restaurants.

When it comes to travel nursing, understanding the nuances of housing costs and stipends is essential. By knowing how suitable housing stipends are determined and how to make the most of them, traveling nurses can make informed decisions and enjoy a successful assignment.

More travel nurse tax questions?

If you have more questions about your housing stipend, bill rate, or agency housing, speak with your recruiter, since the answer will vary by traveler and by each staffing agency.

For overall questions regarding a housing stipend or the way that housing reimbursements impact your taxes, speak to a tax professional. Marketplace is here to empower you as a healthcare traveler, not to give tax advice. We'll be here whenever you're ready!

Meredith Warren

Meredith Warren

Topics: Traveler Lifestyle , Pay & Salary

Lists by Topic

  • Agency Partners (37)
  • Travel Nursing (19)
  • Features & Updates (14)
  • Industry Insights (14)
  • Traveler Lifestyle (10)
  • Career Development (8)
  • Travel Therapy (8)
  • Travel Allied (5)
  • Pay & Salary (4)
  • Fusion Marketwire (2)
  • Travel Guides (1)
  • sb - PT (1)
  • sb - Respiratory Therapist (1)

New call-to-action

Related Posts

How to prevent burnout in healthcare: a guide for travelers.

Healthcare burnout is like the poisoned apple of the healthcare industry. It seeps into your personal and professional life and leaves you feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically depleted. According to Healthline, burnout is a state of “mental and physical exhaustion that can zap the joy out of your career, friendships, and family interactions.”

  • Jazmyn Brown
  • 15 min read
  • 1/15/24 6:00 AM

Everything You Need to Know About the Next Generation NCLEX Exam (NGN)

Are you preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination, also known as the NCLEX exam? You may have heard about the Next Generation NCLEX, or NGN. This newly developed test replaced the previous NCLEX exam in April 2023 and aims to better assess a nurse's clinical judgment skills. But what exactly is the NGN, and how does it differ from the traditional NCLEX? Here, we'll break down everything you need to know about the Next Generation NCLEX, from its format to the changes made and tips to find study tools to best prepare for the exam.

  • 1/8/24 6:00 AM

11 Most In-Demand States for Travel Nurses on Marketplace

Whether you’re a seasoned registered nurse (RN) looking for an exciting new opportunity or just getting your feet wet in the world of travel nursing, there are so many amazing places to explore while being well-compensated for your nursing skills. To help make your decision easier, we've created a list of the 11 best states for travel nursing jobs using Marketplace, whether you work in the intensive care unit (ICU), operating room (OR) or another specialty area. From picturesque waterways to charming cities, there's a brand-new experience for you in one of these hot spots across the nation with plenty of job opportunities available.

  • 18 min read
  • 1/2/24 6:00 AM

Fusion Marketplace

Nursing Jobs

Therapy Jobs

Radiology Jobs

Cardiopulmonary Jobs

Laboratory Jobs

Nursing / Cath Tech Jobs

Other Allied Jobs

Healthcare Agencies

Join Fusion Marketplace

Get in touch

18881 W Dodge Rd, Suite 200E Elkhorn, NE 68022

877-230-3885 402-925-4425 fax

©2023 Fusion Medical Staffing

Fusion Medical Staffing is an Equal Opportunity and E-Verify Employer

Traveler Terms & Agreement • Traveler Privacy Policy

Partner Terms & Agreement •   Partner Privacy • Policy Employment Policies

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?

Courtney Smith-Kimble

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Updated September 27, 2023

does travel nursing pay for housing

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Travel nursing offers a unique work experience with the opportunity to earn above-average hourly wages. These wages may even exceed those of other registered nurses (RNs) with the same education and credentials.

Travel nurses are typically employed by travel nursing agencies and work assignments across the country wherever nurses are needed. Because each assignment is different, the total annual income for travel nurses can vary significantly. Factors include the details of the pay package, where the assignment is located, and nursing specialty.

On this page you will find the most recent information about travel RN salaries, benefits, specialties, and the states with a high demand for travel nurses.

Fast Facts About Travel Nurses

  • Travel nurses generally earn as much or more than staff nurses with the same experience and qualifications.
  • Lodging reimbursement and tax advantages impact travel nursing salaries.
  • The most in-demand travel nursing specialties include labor and delivery, emergency room, and medical-surgical/telemetry.

Average Pay for Travel Nurses

The average travel nurse salary varies greatly depending on the work assignment. Depending on travel location, these practitioners can earn between $3,000 and $7,000 per week, averaging a 36-hour work week. According to Vivian , a healthcare jobs marketplace, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), travel nurses earn jan average of $2,183 per week, while RNs earn a mean hourly wage of $42.80. However, aspiring travel nurses should note that living on the road leads to additional personal expenses, so the increase in pay accounts for living accommodations.

Max Weekly Pay

Average Total Weekly Pay

Source: Vivian , September 2023

Featured Online MSN Programs

Travel nursing pay explained.

Travel nurse pay differs from full-time nursing positions because agencies offer hourly rates for each assignment, meaning RNs can shop around and find opportunities with ideal pay. In contrast, RNs working full time at hospitals, physicians' offices, and other facilities usually rely on raises or additional education to increase their earning potential.

Practitioners considering this role also need to explore what take-home pay looks like for travel nurses . Nursing agencies set their own conditions, so pay packages vary. For instance, organizations may offer an hourly base pay with additional stipends to cover housing or meals, while other companies may offer a higher hourly rate to account for additional expenses.

Highest and Lowest Paying States for Travel Nurses

Travel nurse salaries vary by state and region. Locations in need of RNs typically offer more competitive wages. In fact, the popularity of a particular region can influence travel nurses' earning potential. Less popular locations may pay more, while desirable locations may pay less. Likewise, states with a higher cost of living offer higher wages relative to living costs.

According to 2023 data from Vivian, the top-paying states for travel RNs included New Jersey , California, and Alaska. Practitioners also want to consider the highest-paying specialties to determine earning potential which may vary by state. The following section includes the top specialties in demand.

Highest Paying Travel Nurse Specialities

Typically, nursing specialties that lack licensed practitioners offer more pay than other specialties, which further increases earning potential for travel nurses. Higher acuity facilities also offer higher pay, as they need skilled practitioners who can meet their patients' needs. Here are five in-demand specialties for travel nurses.

Labor and Delivery

Emergency room, medical-surgical/telemetry, critical care – intensive care unit, operating room registered nurse, 4 ways to increase pay as a travel nurse.

While travel nurse pay may exceed traditional full-time RN salaries, travel nurses can additionally increase their earning potential by considering factors like demand for specialties, understaffed or unpopular shifts, and locations in need of skilled RNs.

Travel nurses should examine the full benefits package to determine if jobs can provide sufficient take-home pay. For instance, regions with a high cost of living may impact how much practitioners actually earn if stipends do not cover all costs.

Frequently Asked Questions: Travel Nursing Salaries

How much does a traveling nurse make per year.

Travel nurse salaries vary significantly, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. Factors that can influence earning potential include geographic location and specialty. However, travel RNs should anticipate working 46 weeks a year and earning about $2,183 on a weekly basis .

Do travel nurses get paid more?

Travel nurses typically earn more than full-time salaried RNs because they often take job assignments where there is a nursing shortage. Travel nurse agencies also pay practitioners by the hour and offer additional benefits, including housing and meal stipends.

Is travel nursing worth the money?

Travel nurses generally earn more than salaried RNs. However, practitioners should consider their lifestyle as well. For instance, an RN with a family may not feel the additional pay outweighs time at home, while another practitioner may find the pay suitable and enjoy the travel opportunities.

Do travel nurses get time off?

Travel nurses often do not receive time off since they work hourly and take temporary job assignments. While assignments vary, travel nurses should plan to work for 8-26 weeks at a time. Most travel nurses schedule time off between job assignments.

Learn More About Travel Nurses

NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Popular Nursing Resources

Resources and articles written by professionals and other nurses like you.

BluePipes Blog

Should You Take Travel Nurse Agency Housing or Find Your Own?

Share on Facebook

Travel nurse housing is one of the more difficult aspects of travel nursing. Travel nursing companies typically give travel nurses a choice between company provided housing or a lodging reimbursement. In this article, we’ll cover all the issues travel nurses need to consider when they decide between finding their own travel nurse housing or taking the company’s housing instead.

First, this article does not cover how to find your own travel nurse housing or how to manage agency housing. Please select one of the links below to discover more about those topics.

  • How to Find Your Own Travel Nurse Housing
  • The Ultimate Guide to Travel Nurse Agency Housing

That said, you’ll want to review this article first. This article will help you make the right decision between agency housing and finding your own. Below is a table of contents. Select a link to jump to the topic.

Do Travel Nurses Get Free Housing?

Reasons to find your own travel nurse housing.

  • How Much Money can You Save by Finding Your Own Housing?

What Type of Housing do Travel Nursing Companies Provide?

Do travel nursing companies provide housing for your family and pets, what types of housing can travel nurses find on their own, covering the cost of travel nurse housing, how much time does it take to find travel nurse housing, what are the risks of securing your own travel nurse housing.

  • Examples of How to Calculate Savings

Many travel nursing companies advertise that they provide free housing. However, the housing isn’t actually free. It does of course cost money. In fact, companies will pay that money to the travel nurse if the travel nurse chooses not to take the company’s housing. Companies commonly refer to the payment as a “housing reimbursement”, “lodging reimbursement”, “lodging stipend” or “housing stipend”.

Moreover, it’s fair to say that in many cases travel nurse pay packages are built around the cost of housing. All else being equal, the higher the cost of housing, the lower the pay and vice versa. Additionally, if the actual cost of housing exceeds the budget the company set aside to cover the estimated cost of housing, then many companies will reduce the travel nurse’s pay to cover the additional cost .

Find your next travel healthcare job on BluePipes!

Further still, if you’re an itinerant travel nurse who does not qualify for tax-free reimbursements, then many companies will increase your hourly rate with the money they would otherwise use for housing.

Also, not every company offers to provide travel nurse housing. Instead, these companies only offer the lodging reimbursement.

Therefore, travel nurse housing is a service that agencies provide for a price. This is an important distinction. Ultimately, it gives travel nurses a choice that can have substantial ramifications for both finances and lifestyle. In fact, housing is the single largest expense most people incur.

You might be wondering why you should even consider finding your own travel nurse housing. After all, most travel nursing companies are willing to find it and pay for it so you don’t have to. Well, industry insiders commonly tout two primary reasons you might want to secure your own travel nurse housing.

Potential for More Choices if You Find Your Own Travel Nurse Housing

First, they argue that you will have more flexibility if you secure your own housing. Simply put, you have the freedom to choose any housing option you want when you secure your own. This is true for the most part.

However, when it comes to traditional apartment rentals, it might be more difficult and expensive for you to secure these properties than it is for the agency. We discuss this issue further below.

On the flip side, if you take company housing, then your choices are confined to the agency’s offerings. Different agencies offer different options. In most cases. agencies stick with traditional apartment rentals or Extended Stay Hotels . Moreover, many agencies do not offer much in the way of choice. Instead, you take what they have available at the time.

That said, some companies do indeed provide flexible housing options. In rare cases, you may find agencies that are willing to explore all housing options, including Airbnb and shared-rentals.

Moreover, agencies sometimes have expertise with housing in certain areas. This can be an advantage. The agency might have established relationships with property managers and service providers like furniture services. As a result, the agency might receive price discounts.

Potential to Save Money if You Find Your Own Travel Nurse Housing

The second common argument for finding your own housing is that you could end up saving money by taking the reimbursement. For example, if you secure lodging that is less expensive than the company’s reimbursement, then you can pocket the difference.

There are additional scenarios in which you can save money when you secure your own lodging. We discuss many of those scenarios and provide examples in this article.

On the flip side, you may end up losing money if you secure your own housing in certain scenarios. For example, some of the largest travel nursing companies in the industry get really great deals on housing. You may end up spending more if you secure the same type of housing they offer. However, this is quite rare.

Now that we know why you might want to consider finding your own travel nurse housing, let’s take a look at the main factors to consider before you make the decision.

How Much Money can You Save by Finding Your Own Travel Nurse Housing?

Of course, money is one of the main factors for you to consider when you decide between company housing and the lodging reimbursement. Essentially, you want to decide if the money you will save by taking the lodging reimbursement is worth the risks and costs of securing your own housing.

Free: Universal Job Application and Credential Management for travelers.

The amount of money you can save if you secure your own housing depends primarily on two factors. The first factor is the type of housing you’re willing to accept. The second factor is your travel nursing agency’s approach to travel nurse housing and housing reimbursements.

These factors come together in many different ways. This makes it difficult to provide a straight answer on how much money you can save. It will depend on your unique circumstances.

We provide several highly detailed examples at the end of this article. However, we want to provide you with some insight early in the article so you have a general idea.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you might save as little as $0 to as much as $2,000 or more per month. That said, our experience indicates that most travel nurses save between $400 and $1,500 per month when they secure their own travel nurse housing.

What Type of Travel Nurse Housing Do You Want?

Next, it’s important to determine what type of housing you’re willing to utilize. This may be the most important factor to consider because your personal housing requirements affect nearly every other housing related factor.

Different agencies offer different housing options. Furnished apartments and “extended stay” hotels are the most common options agencies offer. However, some agencies also offer traditional hotels and motels. Others offer vacation rentals and even shared spaces.

Agencies typically offer extended-stays, hotels, and motels for contracts that are less than 10 weeks. In case you’re not familiar, extended-stay hotels come equipped with a kitchenette. Also, it is becoming increasingly common for agencies to offer options from Airbnb, VRBO and Furnished Finder for short-term contracts.

If you are traveling with family and/or pets, then you’ll be pleased to know that most travel nursing agencies do offer housing options to accommodate your loved ones. However, it’s important for travel nurses to remember that the cost of company housing does affect the pay package. Essentially, higher housing expenses will result in lower pay all else being equal.

It’s Important to Evaluate Company Housing Options As When Making Your Decision

In any case, it’s important to evaluate agency housing options on a case-by-case basis. Don’t make the mistake of maintaining a blanket housing policy with every agency you work with or even different assignments with the same agency.

Some agencies are flexible. They might present housing options until they find something you like. Other agencies are stringent. They might offer only one or two options.

Similarly, you might receive really good deals on agency housing in some cases and overpriced offers in others. Therefore, you may choose to take agency housing for some contracts and find your own for others.

Similarly, you might choose to work with only those agencies that provide housing options you desire. Of course, this will limit the number of agencies you can work with. It may also limit the travel nursing contracts you have access to.

When you opt to find your own travel nurse housing, then your options include every housing option that’s available in the given market. However, your time, cost and risk-exposure will vary greatly between options.

For example, let’s say you are open to any and all possible housing options. Perhaps you are even willing to rent a room from someone you find on CraigsList .

By comparison, let’s say you are only willing to accept a private, fully-furnished, one-bedroom apartment. Perhaps you also require a gated community with covered parking.

Each of these scenarios has vastly different ramifications. As a result, your level of flexibility with respect to housing should have a big impact on your choice to take company housing or secure your own.

As we will see, if you are more flexible, then finding your own housing becomes a much more attractive option. However, if you require a fully furnished apartment in a traditional apartment complex, then taking company housing becomes a much more attractive option.

You also need to consider the monetary costs. Moreover, you need to pay special attention to the upfront costs.

If you choose company housing, then the company will pay all the upfront costs including security deposits and first month’s rent. Typically, pet-deposits are the only upfront housing cost that agencies require travel nurses to cover.

If you secure your own travel nurse housing, then you need to pay all of the upfront costs. Additionally, you may need to pass a credit check in some cases.

Free eBook: How To Negotiate Travel Nursing Pay

Therefore, your options are limited to what you can qualify for and afford. Of course, costs vary depending on the type of housing.

Travel Nurse Housing Upfront Costs for Share-Rentals

For example, if you are willing to rent a room from someone, then the upfront costs should be quite low. In this case, you might avoid large cleaning deposits and the rent should be much less expensive. Also, you probably won’t need to pass a credit check.

Upfront Costs for Extended Stay

If you’re willing to utilize Extended Stay or Extended-Stay-type hotels, then you need to make sure that you can cover the cost until your first paycheck comes in. That’s because these hotels typically charge your debit or credit card on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, the agency typically deposits your first paycheck on the second or third Friday of your contract. The date of deposit depends on whether or not the agency pays weekly or bi-weekly.

Upfront Costs for Apartment

If you’re only willing to stay in an apartment, then there are several financial considerations. First, you will most likely need to pass a credit check .

Second, you typically need to pay for the first month’s rent and the security deposit at a minimum. In addition, you’ll need to furnish the apartment which can be quite expensive.

Moreover, it’s important to note that short-term apartment leases typically command a premium. This is because landlords often raise rental prices for anything less than a 6-month lease .

It’s also important to note that “corporate housing” almost always costs to much for travel nurses to even consider. The average cost is $150 per day .

Upfront Costs for Vacation Rentals

Finally, it’s important to know that upfront costs vary for vacation rentals. First, different vacation rental services, like Airbnb and VRBO, have different payment policies.

Moreover, you will often negotiate special payment considerations with hosts on a case-by-case basis. We discuss these issues in detail in our article on how to find your travel nurse housing .

If you cannot finance any of these options or if you are not willing to utilize the options you can finance, then you should take company housing. Perhaps you can save enough money during your first few assignments to cover the upfront costs on future assignments.

Time is the next factor you should consider when you are deciding between getting your own travel nurse housing or taking the company’s housing. The time you spend will vary by location and the type of housing you’re willing to accept.

Time Involved with Company Provided Housing

If you take company provided housing, then you’ll spend very little time on housing. You might discuss housing options with your recruiter or a housing coordinator. Beyond that, you should spend no further time on housing.

Time Involved with Securing Your Own Housing

If you secure your own travel nurse housing, then you will most likely be on your own. However, some travel nursing companies do offer assistance. Nonetheless, there is no guarantee that the company helps you. Therefore, you should count on being fully responsible.

The more flexible you are, the less time it will take you to locate and secure housing that meets your needs. If you have rigid requirements, then you can end up spending a lot of time on housing. For example, you will quickly find that the vast majority of apartment complexes do not accept anything less than a 6-month lease.

Moreover, it takes longer to find housing in certain locations than others. For example, if you’re looking for a nice, affordable apartment in San Francisco, CA, then you should expect to spend a lot of time searching. The same is true for remote rural areas where lodging options are scarce.

Next, it’s extremely important to consider the risks involved with travel nurse housing. Risks include penalties for early termination of a lease, loss of deposit, liability for damages and more.

Risks if You Take Company Housing

If you take company housing, then the company will be responsible for the risks in the vast majority of cases. There are some scenarios in which the agency might try to hold you responsible. Here are some examples:

  • The hospital cancels your contract with cause (poor attendance, refusal to follow protocols, etc).
  • You cancel the contract to return home for a family emergency.
  • You cancel the contract because you feel the assignment is so bad you can’t complete the contract.
  • The property owner charges for property damage.

Obviously, we provided very different reasons for contract cancellations. In some cases, your agency will absorb the costs and in others they will attempt to hold you responsible.

In any case, it’s very difficult for companies to garnish wages to cover such expenses. Often times, companies are willing to absorb these costs, especially if you are a good worker and/or the charges are questionable. And sometimes, companies find that the legal costs of collecting the expenses are more than its’s worth.

The point is that there are many scenarios whereby travel nurses can avoid all housing related financial risks if they take company housing. Please check your travel nursing contract thoroughly to make sure you know about the housing risks beforehand.

Risks if You Secure Your Own Travel Nurse Housing

If you secure your own travel nurse housing, then you are fully responsible for the risks in ALL scenarios. And remember, leases are legally binding documents .

It’s also important to remember that exposure to these risks increases when you engage in travel nursing. This is because the nature of contract-work makes it less stable than permanent employment.

For example, your contract could get cancelled with or without cause. Also, your contract start-date could change for any number of reasons.

Moreover, you will often experience uncertainty as you transition from one contract to the next. Hospitals sometimes wait until the last second to offer contract extensions. Additionally, hospitals sometimes rescind contract extension offers.

Tired of filling out skills checklists? They’re free on BluePipes.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to mitigate these housing risks. For example, if you use Extended Stay Hotels, share rentals, or other unconventional housing options, then you may not be subject to leases. We provide additional tips in our article on finding your own travel nurse housing .

The Risk of Loss when You Take the Travel Nurse Housing Reimbursement?

Next, it’s important to note that there is another financial risk related to the lodging reimbursement itself. Specifically, if you take the housing reimbursement, then it’s much easier for the agency to withhold this money if you do not work.

We need a basic understanding of how travel nurse housing reimbursements work in order to understand this risk. First, travel nursing companies pay the lodging reimbursements on each paycheck.

However, like the rest of the tax-free reimbursements you receive, the lodging reimbursement is not a part of your wage as it pertains to certain legal issues. Instead, your “wage” is comprised of only your taxable hourly rate for certain legal issues.

For example, if you cancel a shift due to illness , then you would expect the agency not to pay your taxable hourly rate. However, in most cases, agencies will also withhold your tax-free reimbursements as well. Essentially, they treat them as hourly wages .

Perhaps more importantly, many travel nursing contracts allow hospitals to cancel a certain number of shifts per contract . In this case, many agencies will withhold both the taxable wage and the reimbursements when hospitals cancel shifts. Be sure to review your travel nursing contract thoroughly to see if such a clause is present.

However, if you take company provided housing, then it is much more difficult for the agency to withhold the value of the housing. In most cases, it won’t be legal for them to garnish your wages. They could withhold other reimbursements, but that’s uncommon.

As a result, if you take company provided housing, then you can end up saving the value of the housing in cases where you miss shifts or get cancelled. You’ll need to check with the agencies you work with to find out how they handle this scenario.

Examples of How Much Money You Can Save by Taking the Housing Reimbursement

Next, let’s take a look at some examples of how much you can save if you secure your own housing.

Different Companies have Different Housing Options

First, it’s important to note that different travel nursing companies handle housing in different ways. Some agencies try to match their lodging stipends to the cost of moderately priced housing in the specified area. Other agencies provide lodging stipends that are higher by comparison.

However, it’s not that one agency is necessarily offering more money than the other. Instead, the agency offering the lower lodging stipend could be offering a higher taxable wage.  You can view our articles on comparing travel nursing pay packages to get an idea of how this all works out.

Small and mid-sized companies tend to offer higher stipends and lower taxable wages. Larger companies tend to offer lower stipends and higher taxable wages.

The amount of money you can save by securing your own travel nurse housing will depend in part on how the agencies you work with handle the lodging reimbursement. If you are going to secure your own housing, then it’s best to work with agencies that offer the highest reimbursements.

However, you always want to make sure that your taxable wage is not so low that it raises a red flag for a tax audit. For more on these issues please review the articles below:

  • Is It OK to Take $10 Per Hour as a Travel RN?
  • Are There Red Flags for the IRS in Travel Nursing Pay?
  • Everything You Need to Know About the Travel Nurse Housing Stipend

Now, let’s take a look at some examples!

Travel Nursing Company with Rigid Housing Option – Lower Reimbursement – Apartment

In our first example, the travel nursing company offers one very basic choice for housing. The agency will provide a furnished 1-bedroom apartment and pay for all the utilities. Or, they will provide a lodging reimbursement of $2,300 per month.

In this case, the amount of money you can save if you secure your own lodging depends strictly on the price of the lodging you’re willing to secure. For example, if you can find acceptable housing for $1,500 per month including utilities, then you will save $800 per month.

If you don’t think you can find acceptable housing for much less than $2,300 per month, then it won’t be worth it for you to secure your own housing.  Remember, you must account for the cost of utilities and other expenses when you calculate your potential savings.

Discover why travel nurses are calling us their “secret weapon”.

Large companies, like AMN Healthcare , who get volume discounts on apartments often take this approach. Therefore, if you’re only willing to accept a 1-bedroom apartment, then it’s often best to let them provide the housing. You may not be able to find a better deal on your own.

Travel Nursing Company with Rigid Housing Option – Lower Reimbursement – Extended Stay

In this next example, the company offers a similar basic choice. The company will provide you with an Extended Stay Hotel. Or, the company will provide you with a lodging reimbursement of $1,700 per month.

While this scenario is very similar to the one above, the difference is that the company is offering an Extended Stay instead of an apartment. Again, you can save money if you secure housing that is less expensive than the reimbursement. Unfortunately, you will save less because the reimbursement is lower.

However, you can sometimes get a better deal on an Extended Stay than the company receives. Given that the financial risks are far lower with Extended Stays, it’s worth a try.

You will need to contact the Extended Stays in the area of your contract, request to speak with the manager and let them know you will be there for 60-90 days. They sometimes offer very deep discounts for long term stays.

Companies that focus on “Rapid Response” assignments , like Fastaff , often take this approach to housing.

Travel Nursing Company with Rigid Housing Option – Higher Reimbursement

In this example, the company offers a slightly more complicated choice. Essentially, the company will provide a furnished 1-bedroom apartment that costs less than the reimbursement they are offering. If you choose to take their housing, then they will add the difference between the cost of their housing and the lodging reimbursement to your hourly pay rate.

As we discussed above, the gross value of the pay package does not change. Instead, money is shuffled from one category to another.

As with the other housing examples, you can save money in this scenario if you find housing that is cheaper than the apartment the company is offering. However, you will also save on taxes if you find your own housing.

Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s say the company offers a housing reimbursement of $3,500 per month. Additionally, they tell you that the value of their company housing is $2,500 per month.

If you take their housing, then they will add the equivalent of $1,000 per month to your taxable hourly pay rate. $1,000 is the difference between the cost of their housing ($2,500) and the housing reimbursement ($3,500).

As a result, you’ll pay taxes on $1,000 per month that you wouldn’t have paid if you took the housing reimbursement. This will cost you $250 per month at a modest 25% tax rate. Of course, your results will vary based on your tax rate.

If you find your own housing, then you’ll pocket the $250 that would otherwise go to taxes. Plus, you’ll save additional money if you find housing that costs less than $2,500 per month, which is what the agency is charging for their housing.

This can add up quickly. You can easily save $1,250 – $1,500 per month if you find your own travel nurse housing in this scenario.

Many small to mid-sized companies in the travel nursing industry use this approach to housing. Therefore, you will encounter it quite frequently. It’s the best-case scenario for travel nurses to save money on housing.

Travel Nursing Companies with Flexible Housing Options and Higher Reimbursements

In this example, the company offers you a host of housing options all of which cost less than the reimbursement they are offering. If you choose to take their housing, then they will add the difference between the cost of their housing and the lodging reimbursement to your hourly pay rate.

For example, they may be willing to provide anything between an Extended Stay and a posh townhouse. In very rare circumstances, they may even be willing to provide a share rental.

This scenario changes everything. Essentially, you won’t be able to save money by finding housing that is cheaper than the agency provides because they’re willing to provide anything you want. Therefore, you will only save the value of taxes if you find your own housing in this scenario.

Many small to mid-sized companies in the travel nursing industry use this approach to housing. Therefore, you will encounter it quite frequently. As we demonstrated above, you might pocket anywhere from $250 – $400 per month if you find your own housing in this scenario.

Why Do Different Companies Have Different Travel Nurse Housing Policies?

At this point, it’s totally understandable if you’re confused by all of the different travel nurse housing policies we’ve covered. You might be wondering why all the differences exist. Why can’t the industry simply settle on one policy?

That’s a very loaded question. We’ll provide a brief overview so you have a general idea of the issues at play. We’ll include links to relevant articles if you’d like to become an expert.

Wage Recharacterization and Travel Nurse Housing

“Wage Recharacterization” is one of the reasons that all these polices exist. “The IRS uses the term “Wage recharacterization” to describe employers improperly structuring “compensation so that the employee receives the same or a substantially similar amount whether or not the employee has incurred deductible business expenses related to the employer’s business.” That’s a mouthful!

Essentially, the IRS wants to make sure that employers are not misusing tax-free reimbursements by substituting them for what would otherwise be taxable income. Of course, “housing reimbursements” are tax-free.

Create your free Travel Healthcare Resume on BluePipes!

Meanwhile, different companies interpret the wage recharacterization rules in different ways . Hence all the different housing policies.

Larger travel nursing companies typically have investors, stock holders and auditors. Therefore, they typically adhere to stricter legal interpretations of the rules.

Smaller and mid-sized agencies typically don’t have as much oversight. Therefore, they have more freedom to adhere to less stringent interpretations of the rules.

Sometimes It’s Just Easier

Some companies choose ridged lodging policies simply because they’re easier for the company to manage. The ridge policy allows them to standardize their procurement of housing. Moreover, it’s easier for them to explain to their travel nurses.

Volume Discounts

Some companies choose ridged lodging policies because it’s the best way to get volume discounts. If they use the same services all the time, then they’ll do more volume with those services. If the travel nursing company passes those savings to their travel nurses, then they have a competitive advantage.

Better Service

Some companies choose their housing policies based largely on how they believe the policy affects service. For example, some companies believe that flexible housing policies are a better service for the traveler because it gives the traveler options.

The bottom line is that there is nothing nefarious about companies having different policies. Instead, it’s just a matter of them interpreting legal issues differently and making different decisions related to service.

Kudos to you for making it to the end of this article! By now, you definitely know how to evaluate your housing options. Next, you need to know how to manage the various options to ensure you achieve the best results! Select the links below to discover everything you need to know!

does travel nursing pay for housing

Related posts:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Travel Nurse Agency Housing Accepting travel nursing company provided housing is more complicated than...
  • Travel Nurse Housing – Tips for Securing Your Own Lodging Many travel nurses, especially first timers, shy away from securing...
  • Using airbnb, HomeAway & tripadvisor for Travel Nurse Housing There are tons of options to explore for travel nurses...

Popular on BluePipes Blog

Travel Nursing Pay - Qualifying for Tax-Free Stipends and Tax Deductions: Part 1

Discover Jobs

  • Travel Nursing Jobs
  • Travel Therapy and Tech Jobs

© Copyright 2012-2022 BluePipes, Inc

Tips for Travel Nurse Housing Image

  • Licensure Guide
  • Exclusive Jobs

Let's Get Started

  • Setting Up Your Stability Account
  • National Travel Assignments
  • The Best Paying Travel Nursing Specialties

Prepare for Your Assignment

Housing guides.

  • Maintaining Work Life Balance
  • Stability Stories
  • Contract Registered Nursing
  • Contract Registered Nursing 101
  • Nursing Certifications
  • International Contract Registered Nursing Guide
  • Nursing FAQs
  • Working with a Travel Nurse Agency
  • Nursing Compact States
  • Contract Allied
  • Your Guide To Allied Health Travel Jobs
  • Our Company

does travel nursing pay for housing

Finding Housing: Agency vs. Stipend

Housing can make or break your assignment experience. To help you decide which works best for your lifestyle, here’s a comparative look on the two most common options.

Other Housing Options

Travel nurse housing sites.

does travel nursing pay for housing

There are dedicated websites for travel nurse lodging such as: Airbnb – https://www.airbnb.com/ Furnished Finder – https://www.furnishedfinder.com/ VRBO – https://www.vrbo.com/ Hotel Engine – https://members.hotelengine.com/join/stabilityhc Kopa – https://www.kopa.co/kopa-for-good Snap Stays – https://snapstays.com/?utm_source=jpnursebd

Facebook Groups – Travel Nurse Housing The Gypsy Nurse: https://www.thegypsynurse.com/housing/

We also recommend to clinicians to always look at monthly or longer stay bookings as the prices are typically reduced due to the length of stay.

They present housing options that are:

  • Fully equipped
  • Near hospitals
  • Have short-term lease

They offer a wide array of lodging options — from private rooms to complete apartments, and may have bonus features such as incorporating utilities in the monthly rent or being pet-friendly.

Extended-Stay Hotels

does travel nursing pay for housing

Staying at hotels can be a terrific option when you are looking for convenience.

Hotels often provide perks such as:

  • Free continental breakfast
  • Fully furnished kitchen or kitchenettes
  • Bed and kitchen linens
  • Pool and hot tub
  • Workout facilities
  • Events for guests

Ask your nursing recruiter if they have partner hotels that give discounts.

Friends and Relatives

does travel nursing pay for housing

Living with your friends or family is always an option. You can spend quality time with them, and save some money. If those sound good to you then this is a great option to consider.

Housing Considerations

To help you choose the best lodging option that fits your priorities, here are some questions you should ask yourself before finalizing your decision.

General Considerations

Experienced travel nurses prefer self-placement because it allows them to maximize their earning potential. Let’s imagine your rental agency will pay you $3200 per month to find a place to live. If you can get one for $1200, you can save the remaining $2,000.

Are you looking for a way to get a better income? Is it more vital to go on a new adventure? If you want to make as much money as possible, finding your own lodging and taking advantage of the non-taxable stipend may be the best option. You need to have your mind cleared regarding why you are taking on the job.

The typical duration of an assignment is 12-13 weeks, or three months. This makes it difficult to find rental properties, as even most short-term contracts begin at six months. Monthly furnished rentals are now available through Furnished Finder for traveling professionals who want the convenience and stability of a real home without the credit checks and applications that come with it.

Any housing-related questions should be answered by your recruiter. Most travel nurse companies strive to maintain accommodation as close to the hospital as possible—usually within a 30-minute commute—but each location will have its own set of alternatives.

When it comes to parking, each area will have its own set of rules. Off-site parking can add time to a daily journey, so it’s crucial to know what the situation is ahead of time. Some hospitals charge fees for parking in staff lots, while others provide shuttle service to and from lots farther distant from the facility.

Most travel nurses declare a home base (which allows them to receive the additional stipends because they are only considered to be “traveling” if their destinations are a certain distance from their homes) and usually have financial obligations related to that home base, family members, or personal finances such as loans, medical expenses, transportation, and so on.

Furnished apartments should include all essential items, such as tables, seats, lights, and mattresses. Except in places where it is difficult to bring a car, travelers must carry their own cooking supplies, devices, and linens.

Your housing may be located close to the medical facilities, but is it safe? Do basic research regarding the neighborhood where you’re going to live before accepting any travel nursing job.

Housing Stipend Considerations

A housing stipend is a certain amount of money built into your contract to cover the cost of accommodation while you’re on assignment. This can include funds for accommodation, transportation, and food. The stipend is provided weekly through your paycheck and is based on a monthly rate. If you choose a monthly stipend, you will be responsible for your own accommodation and utilities.

A few travel nurses will sell their homes, store their belongings, and travel without a “home” where they can pay rent or a mortgage. In this case, any funds raised for housing will be taxed at the standard rate. You can collect any money granted for accommodation without paying taxes if you have a tax home established wherever you are from. This can make a big difference in your take-home money, especially if you can locate affordable lodging wherever you go.

Simply defined, your tax home is where you earn the majority of your nursing income. For many travel nurses, their tax home is their permanent address, which is the address on their driver’s license.

You may be asking why the GSA refers to it as “Per Diem,” but we refer to it as a “stipend.” The Latin term “per diem” means “per day.” The GSA gives lodging charges as daily figures. For example, the current Per Diem lodging rate in Sacramento, CA is $145 per day. A “stipend,” on the other hand, is a “set recurring sum received as a wage or allowance.” Because most agencies pay their lodging reimbursements in lump sums, this term is better suited to the travel healthcare sector. They usually pay them on a weekly or bimonthly basis. Furthermore, most agencies quote their housing reimbursements as a monthly amount. Also, adopting the term stipend avoids the ambiguity caused by the healthcare industry’s usage of the term “per diem” to refer to daily or on-call staffing.

If they spend their whole stipend on accommodation and only take home $25 after taxes and insurance, the majority of travel nurses would be unable to cover their complete expenses at home and while on assignment. As a result, while assessing whether or not a pay package will fit your budget, you must consider the entire package.

Most recruiters will structure their pay packages to maximize pay while staying under particular taxable ranges. This means that while the housing stipend may appear to be generous, you may be earning a lesser hourly wage (imagine $25 per hour).

For travel nurse lodging, there is no defined stipend amount. While housing stipends vary per agency, each must adhere to the Government Services Administration’s guidelines (GSA). Furthermore, the amount granted for travel nurse lodging is determined by the following factors:

  • The assignment’s location.
  • Season of the year.

The pay for housing for a travel nurse is determined by the next three factors: Assignment location Due to the higher cost of living in some areas of the country, assignments in those areas pay higher stipends. Living expenses in larger cities, such as New York City or Los Angeles, are likely to be more than in a tiny town in Missouri or Iowa, for example. As a result, the GSA stipend maximum will very certainly be higher in such places. Time of the year Let’s say you’ve always wanted to work in Florida during the winter. Because of the increased winter population in the state, the GSA may increase the stipend limit for the winter months to account for rising living costs and a lack of affordable homes at that time of year. Type of housing Naturally, a travel nurse who chooses to live in a two-bedroom apartment will pay significantly more per month for accommodation than a nurse who decides to live in an Airbnb studio.

Housing Tips

Packing tips, important documents, electronics, personal items, first-aid kit, household items, pet supplies, independent housing tips, if it looks too good to be true, it is, research your potential landlord online.

  • Use your instincts; they’re generally correct.
  • Verify that the visuals correspond to the price. ­
  • It’s almost certainly a con if the photographs are stunning, yet the rent is ridiculously low.
  • Never send money to anyone. Scammers are online bullies who prey on stranded tourists.

Vacation rentals yield good results

Extended hotel stay is an option, housing faqs.

Yes, if you accept agency-provided housing and do not request any upgrades. The answer is also yes if you take the housing allowance and find anything within that budget. You’ll have to spend more if you want luxuries like two bedrooms, a vacuum, or a washer/dryer in the housing. Similarly, if you can’t find what you want for the stipend amount, you may have to pay for it yourself.

Most agencies cover the cost of utilities (gas, electricity, and water) up to a certain point; you might have to pay extra if going past an amount. Cable and internet are normally paid for by travel nurses, though some companies may reimburse them.

For the most part, the agency will supply the following:

  • Queen-size bed, one-night stand, one dresser, and a lamp in the bedroom
  • Dining area: Four chairs at a small kitchen table
  • Couch, chair, end table, coffee table, lamp, and TV stand in the living room Dishes, linens, a television, mattress, and a vacuum cleaner are all considered extras that will increase the cost. A washer/dryer and even a microwave are not often included in the usual package. Some of these items are negotiable.

If you ask, most staffing firms will give you two to three options to choose from if they have more than one. You’ll hear the disclaimer that just because you put in a request doesn’t mean it’ll be fulfilled.

The amount of the housing stipend is defined by the contract, the city, and how the specific agency divides its compensation package. As a result, each travel nursing assignment may pay you a different amount.

Most of the time, no. On the other hand, you may be forced to share a room with another nurse or take a lesser income in return for a private room because of short-term assignments. This is something you should be aware of before applying for the job.

Yes! It’s something you’ll want to talk about with your recruiter right away. They’ll have to look for pet-friendly homes, and you’ll almost certainly be required to pay a pet deposit.

This does, unfortunately, happen. Contact your recruiter right away, and they’ll most likely solve the situation if it’s genuinely bad. It is recommended doing your homework before leaving on an assignment as it will help you avoid unpleasant housing surprises.

It could be any of the aforementioned, as well as a hotel. If your assignment takes you to a big city, you’ll most likely be living in an apartment complex. However, in smaller places with fewer alternatives, there is greater diversity in where you may be placed.

Contact your staffing agency and the landlord immediately. The agency should offer to put you up in a hotel overnight if it’s not solved. Usually, issues are more minor than this, if they happen at all.

On a case-by-case basis, this will be decided. Travel nurses tend to face pushback if their organization is locked into a lease that they can’t get out of. They should, however, address the issue if the home is in dire need of repair. However, if it’s just because you changed your mind, relocating at the last minute can be challenging.

Taking the housing stipend carries a significant risk of having your contract terminated. If your contract is canceled, the hospital will usually notify your recruiter, who will then notify you. This tends to happen rapidly and with little warning. In rare situations, though, the hospital would give you two weeks’ notice before ending your contract.

As a traveling clinician, you have plenty of housing alternatives. Here are other common housing options you may consider.

does travel nursing pay for housing

There are dedicated websites for travel nurse lodging such as:

Airbnb – https://www.airbnb.com/ Furnished Finder – https://www.furnishedfinder.com/ VRBO – https://www.vrbo.com/ Hotel Engine – https://members.hotelengine.com/join/stabilityhc Kopa – https://www.kopa.co/kopa-for-good Snap Stays – https://snapstays.com/?utm_source=jpnursebd

does travel nursing pay for housing

Whether you are an experienced travel nurse or just about to begin your first assignment, finding housing may feel overwhelming. So we curated some tried-and-proven tips to help lessen the burden of finding the right accommodation and preparing for your next move.

The amount of items you need to pack will greatly depend on your housing arrangement. But for any assignment, these basic necessities should be in your packing list.

Store them in one secure container to avoid the hassle of transporting them from great distances or paying for replacements.

Make sure you have enough supplies to last you through the first few days. Be extra careful in packing liquids to avoid spills in your luggage.

It’s hard to survive our modern world without our devices. So be sure to pack your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. and their corresponding chargers and adaptors.

Even if you’re a seasoned travel nurse, it’s helpful to have a few items that remind you of your loved ones with you.

Having a first aid kit hand when you’re not at work is important. See here for recommended list.

Bring work clothes (e.g. scrubs) that fit your prospective employer’s criteria. Pro tip: check the average temperature inside and outside of your work location to pack accordingly.

The amount and type of household items you’ll need to bring is determined by the level of furnishing offered by your landlord.

Bring medications and a file (on paper or digital) with your pet’s health certificates and medical history, and contact information for the veterinarian who last treated them.

Finding a place that fits your stipend may appear daunting at first, but you have several resources at your disposal to make the process go smoothly. Consider the following before signing any documents:

On Craigslist, you can find real home alternatives, but they come at a price. You can’t believe everything you see on Craigslist. Someone will post a too-good-to-be-true Craigslist housing offer, and you need to ask yourself whether it’s real or not. Thankfully, if you are part of a travel nurse community, you can ask them about it and get great advice. Always dig more about a place before saying yes to any offer.

Remember these three rules when dealing with potential landlords through email:

Websites that specialize in vacation rentals are a fantastic place to start. HomeAway, VRBO, and Airbnb are three of the most popular. These sites offer some excellent housing possibilities and, for the most part, keep scammers at bay. Simply enter a location or state, and you’ll be able to see a large number of vacation rentals. You’ll need to filter out the houses that don’t make sense for you, just like any other site.

Travel nurses frequently use extended stay hotels as a bridge between standard accommodation and as a housing alternative in and of itself. Some travelers like hotel services such as breakfast, housekeeping, and fitness facilities, and most hotels accept animals weighing up to 60 pounds. In addition, the majority of these hotels include kitchens, which can help you save money on food when traveling and give you a sense of home while you’re away on business. In addition, compared to an apartment, hotels offer more flexibility on the back end in the event that your job is unexpectedly canceled.

Explore Other Resources

does travel nursing pay for housing

Start building your career today!

does travel nursing pay for housing

Earned the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.

Explore Jobs

  • Salary Guide
  • Career Building
  • Life & Environment
  • DAISY Award
  • Managed Services Partner
  • Careers – Clinician
  • Careers – Corporate
  • [email protected]
  • 855-742-4767
  • Cookie Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions

Private Housing

If you choose to elect housing provided by medical solutions, our expert housing team is here to serve your needs. they know that caring for others all day can be stressful, so they go above and beyond to provide you with comfortable housing during your assignment — a place that truly feels like home., with medical solutions, your housing is always:.

  • Fully furnished - including furniture and housewares
  • Pet friendly
  • Utilities Included - such as gas and/or electric, water, sewer, and trash - with set-up covered by Medical Solutions
  • 32" flat-screen television and DVD player

What does pet-friendly housing mean?

We know that our travelers with pets come as a package deal, so we proudly offer pet-friendly housing options. When you take our company-paid housing, we’ll help you find pet-friendly housing for up to four cats and/or dogs. Most properties don’t allow dogs in the aggressive breed category, but in these cases our housing team will do everything they can to find alternatives for you. We also cover refundable pet deposits up front for any fur babies you bring along.

Your housing options can also be customized according to your special needs such as:

  • Floor level
  • Traveling with a family
  • And more -- just be sure to talk to your recruiter upfront about any additional needs or preferences!

Taking a Housing Stipend Instead?

does travel nursing pay for housing

If you prefer to arrange your own housing, you’re eligible for a housing stipend. If you take the stipend, our Housing Team is still a valuable resource for you and always happy to help share recommendations or answer questions. Plus, as a current Medical Solutions traveler, you have access to our company discounts — including hotel and lodging deals!

Have housing you would like us to consider? Submit your information here so we can get it saved in our system!

What do travelers say about our housing.

“We got to the apartment late last night, but had no trouble getting in and settled. We were impressed that the apartment was so large and fully furnished — much better than my last company. It felt like home as soon as we walked in the door!”

does travel nursing pay for housing

Jenna, Medical Solutions traveler

does travel nursing pay for housing

Travel Nurse Housing

Your go-to travel nurse housing resource

Searching for housing?

You've got options.

Whether you want furnished housing provided for you or a housing stipend to find your own place instead, the choice is yours! You may find that Aya-offered housing is best for one assignment while the housing stipend works better for another. It’s okay to switch between housing options from assignment to assignment.


If you’d rather have one less thing to worry about, this is the option for you. You’ll get a nice place to live without having to lift a finger yourself. You may even live near other traveling nurses – and everyone knows that travel nurses are the best company!


Some travel nurses are experts at finding housing online. Some prefer living in an RV so they can bring their housing with them wherever they go. Others may want to choose a location that is between work and somewhere else they want to be, like the beach, ski slopes or the big city.

If you enjoy house or apartment hunting or already have your housing set before you begin an assignment, choosing the housing stipend may be your best bet.


Traveling with a pet? No problem!

Just let your recruiter know so our housing team can ensure you and your furry friends find the perfect spot. Read more about Aya travelers who bring their pets along on their assignments.

Want to rent your place?

Do you have a furnished rental you’d like to list for travelers? Complete our form to submit your property now.

Privacy Overview

Earn six figures — mostly non-taxable — as a travel nurse

Registered traveling nurses in New York.

These health care professionals earn excellent pay by filling temporarily open spots at health care facilities around the country.

  • Show more sharing options
  • Copy Link URL Copied!

Anthony Swain, 32, and his wife earn six-figure incomes while traveling the country for work. And they pay tax on just a fraction of their income. Such is the life of a travel nurse. These health care professionals earn excellent pay — much of it non-taxable — filling temporarily open spots at health care facilities around the country.

And, thanks to an exodus of nurses during the pandemic, demand for travel nurses is strong, with some 20,000 more open travel nurse positions than at this time last year, according to Adzuna , a job search engine. Average pay for travel nurses also soared nearly 50 percent from five years ago to nearly $125,000 on average.

Moreover an aging baby boomer population almost guarantees high demand for nurses of all types for decades.

What is travel nursing? Why should you care? What does it take to qualify, if you’re not already a nurse? And where do you find these jobs? Here’s a question and answer look.

What is travel nursing?

The main difference between travel nursing and ordinary nursing is that travel nurses are assigned to temporary positions — usually lasting about three months — outside of their home cities or states. By and large, they’re able to pick and choose among assignments, opting to work in cities or facilities that are attractive to them.

Because this work is too far away from home to commute, travel nurses also are entitled to “per diem” compensation for food, lodging and incidental expenses (such as dry cleaning and tips). That’s in addition to their hourly or weekly pay. And, generally speaking the per diem pay is non-taxable.

How much do you get in per diem pay?

That depends on where you travel and your contract. However, the General Services Administration publishes per diem rates that range from about $166 per day to well over $350 per day, depending on the city and state where you travel.

So, in a typical month, a travel nurse might earn $6,000 for the job and $9,000 for the per-diem (calculated here as $300 per day for 30 days). And, because the aim of per diem compensation is to help you recover additional work expenses that you wouldn’t normally have, this portion of your pay is tax-free.

Why would I care about this if I’m not already a nurse?

You wouldn’t, unless you’re unhappy or insecure in your current profession. If either of those is the case, nursing is worth considering.

Nursing is one of a handful of professions that has a fairly low barrier to entry. You can secure entry-level nursing positions after completing just a few classes that you can complete while working at another full-time job.

To be sure, the best-paid nursing jobs require at least some college and more training. However, many nurses complete both the educational and practical requirements while working, often with economic support from the medical facilities where they work.

And the demand for nurses is likely to remain strong for decades, which makes this a profession that offers a great deal of job security. (The University of St. Augustine has a nice primer on the different types of nursing and the education and testing required. )

When not to consider nursing

That said, don’t consider nursing unless you’re able to handle the physical demands, which require you to be on your feet the bulk of the day. Additionally, you need to be empathetic and psychologically strong enough to handle dealing with people who are sick and, sometimes, dying.

You also need to be good in a crisis. In this field, crises are literally about life and death and one could strike at any time.

Can I be a travel nurse as soon as I get a nursing degree or certification?

No. Generally, you’ll need at least one and, preferably, two years of practical experience to qualify as a travel nurse.

Explain the per diem pay again. What’s the catch?

You do need to follow a bunch of tax rules to establish that your “domicile” is far enough away from your work that you can’t simply go home to eat and sleep. And you must spend enough time in this “domicile” every year to convince the IRS that it’s legitimately your home base.

You also need to only accept assignments of less than a year in states and/or cities away from your home.

Moreover, you’ll need to keep records showing that you paid for accommodations and food during these temporary assignments — as well as records showing the expenses you paid for your home.

So you do need two homes. Does that eliminate the economic benefit?

It could. But most travel nurses are smart enough to economize in ways that make the arrangement work to their financial advantage. It’s best when your home base is in a low-cost city or state and your nursing position is in a high-cost area, Swain explains.

Swain, for example, says his home state is in a small town in Pennsylvania. In his home town, you can rent a three-bedroom home for less than $1,200. Meanwhile, he and his wife have worked in California, Washington, D.C., Maryland and many other high cost states, where per diem rates can hit $350 per day.

Because they both work in travel nursing and both get per diem stipends, they “economize ” by living together. And, since the per diem is non-taxable, they only pay tax on about 60 percent of their income. Better yet, they’re using travel nursing to decide where they want to permanently settle. Most jobs don’t offer that type of geographic flexibility.

Where can you find travel nursing work?

Dozens of agencies around the country offer travel nursing positions. These agencies typically hire travel nurses as employees and then farm them out to health care facilities around the country that have a temporary need.

Some worth noting:

American Mobile Healthcare , Cross Country Nurses , and Trusted Health . All three of these companies serve as agent/employers. So, nurses sign up, choose and apply to nursing assignments offered through these agencies. The agency gets paid by the health care facility. The agency pays and employs the nurse.

That means that nurses are likely to get benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, which might otherwise be unavailable for temporary workers.

Vivian Health is another good option. This site is a health care marketplace where nurses can find both travel and local nursing positions posted by health care facilities and staffing agencies. This provides a substantially wider variety of work options than traditional staffing agencies. To be specific, on a recent check, Vivian posted more than 149,000 travel nursing openings vs. 6,400 travel nursing jobs posted at Cross Country Nurses.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent website that reviews moneymaking opportunities in the gig economy.

Get U-T Business in your inbox on Mondays

Get ready for your week with the week’s top business stories from San Diego and California, in your inbox Monday mornings.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

More in this section

A gambler lights a cigarette while playing a slot machine at Harrah's casino in Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 29, 2023. On Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, a New Jersey Senate committee advanced a bill that would end smoking at Atlantic City's nine casinos. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

National Business

Bill to ban smoking in Atlantic City casinos moves forward on 4th try in New Jersey Legislature

A measure that would prohibit smoking in Atlantic City’s casinos has moved forward after three years of going nowhere

How major US stock indexes fared Monday, 1/29/2024

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street at the start of a heavy week of potentially market-moving news

Grains mostly lower, Livestock mixed

Wheat for Mar. fell 6.75 cents at $5.9350 a bushel; Mar. corn was off 6 cents at $4.4025 a bushel, Mar. oats was up 1.50 cents at $3.6375 a bushel; while Mar. soybeans declined 15 cents at $11.9425 a bushel.

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for March delivery fell $1.23 to $76.78 per barrel Monday

FILE - Norfolk Southern locomotives are moved in Norfolk Southern's Conway Terminal in Conway, Pa., June 17, 2023. About 1,000 engineers and conductors who work for Norfolk Southern will soon be able to report safety concerns anonymously through a federal system without any fear of discipline. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Norfolk Southern is 1st big freight railway to let workers use anonymous federal safety hotline

About 1,000 Norfolk Southern engineers and conductors will soon be able to report safety concerns anonymously through a federal system without any fear of discipline

Florida attorneys who criticized discrimination ruling should be suspended, judge says

A judge is recommending 30-day suspensions for a pair of Florida lawyers who criticized a ruling in a discrimination case

does travel nursing pay for housing

Travel Nurse Pay Breakdown | Expenses & Tax 2022

I was originally drawn to the travel nursing field for the opportunity to travel the country while getting paid at the same time. I knew travel nurses were paid fairly well and had been bombarded with various emails advertising travel nursing pay scales as high as $40 an hour.

Find available positions here!

I am typically not the type of person to do something just for the money. I tend to be more interested in the experience, but I also realize that I have bills to pay too. I didn’t really pay attention to the breakdown of my travel nursing pay, all I cared about was whether or not I had enough money to live and to get from point A to point B.

Fortunately, I had a wonderful travel experience but wish I took the time to really understand travel nursing pay scales, expenses and how to deal with taxes. Many of your recruiters don’t take the time to break these topics down for you so it is ultimately your responsibility to seek out the information and educate yourself.

Non-Taxable Travel Nurse Pay

The most alluring advertisement travel nursing agencies use to get you in the door is the infamous “tax advantage plan”.  This can also be referred to as per-diem, stipends, reimbursements or a combination of all three. What this basically means is that if you are traveling away from your home for work, there are certain expenses that are tax deductible and certain reimbursements that are non-taxable.

The most common types of stipends or reimbursements that you will hear about in the travel nursing world are referred to as meals and incidentals (incidentals include taxi/bus fares, parking, and tips), lodging or housing stipends, and travel reimbursements which cover your expenses to and from each assignment; other non-taxable items can include retirement plans, license reimbursements and health insurance. When travel nursing companies advertise pay rates, they will often tell you a blended rate. A blended rate combines an hourly taxable wage such as $20 an hour with your non-taxable reimbursements and stipends to give you a higher hourly rate. Here is an example of a typical pay package:

  • $20 per hour – taxable base rate that is reported to the IRS
  • $250 per week for meals and incidentals – non-taxable
  • $2,000 a month for lodging – non-taxable
  • $500 for travel reimbursement – non-taxable

Your blended rate is calculated by breaking down your non-taxable stipends into an hourly rate and adding it to your taxable base rate.   For instance, if you worked 36 hours per week on a 13 week assignment, your hourly rate would look something like this based on the above scenario:

Flex Pay and Rigid Pay

There are two different types of pay packages: flex pay and rigid pay.

Flex pay packages allow you to mix and match, add or subtract various non-taxable stipends such as healthcare, retirement, and license reimbursements to your pay package, while rigid pay packages are non-negotiable.  The benefit of flex pay is that you can decrease your hourly taxable base rate and increase your non-taxable earnings by adding more benefits such as 401K. Many travel agencies have to be careful not to enter the illegal realm of wage re-characterization when dealing with flex pay packages. To learn more about wage re-characterization visit traveltax.com .

Travel Nurse Overtime

There are some travel contracts offering overtime; for example, some agencies will ask you if you want to work 4 days a week instead of 3 days a week. Overtime by law has to be paid time and a half of your taxable base rate. So, if you make $20 and hour, then your overtime pay will be $30 an hour. In the world of nursing, $30 an hour isn’t really that much extra money for an extra shift; however, over the long run it does add up. If this is something you are considering doing than make sure you negotiate a higher taxable rate for lower non-taxable stipends if possible so that you really get more bang for your buck. I have never heard of a part-time travel contract so if you are looking to work part-time than it would be better to consider an agency job in your desired destination.

Discover available travel nursing positions today!

Disadvantages of Non-taxable Stipend Pay

Travel nursing Pay package

We also have to take into consideration retirement. I know many of you aren’t necessarily thinking about your social security check right now, but it is important to take into consideration that the social security payments are based on 35 of your highest income earning years. Non-taxable money is not considered income.

Last but not least, if you get injured on the job, you only receive 2/3 of your hourly taxable base rate. These are some scenarios to take into consideration when thinking about a travel nursing pay package.

Travel Nursing Pay: Things to Consider

With all things considered, a travel nurses pay rate, is very comparable to a staff nurse’s pay rate. However, there are some out of pocket expenses travel nurses have to be aware of that regular staff nurses don’t have to consider;

  • Most travel nursing agencies do not offer paid time off. If you are thinking of taking a vacation or are taking time off in between assignments then you will not be paid
  • Most travel nurses have to pay for their own certifications such as BLS and ACLS
  • Sometimes travel nursing agencies will not pay for your annual physical and TB tests
  • If you want to take an assignment that is across the country, your travel reimbursement might not cover the entire cost

Just like any of other profession, it is important to budget and prepare for the unknown. Take care of yourself make sure you are well organized.

What is an “IRS Tax Home”?

In order to qualify for these non-taxable stipends or reimbursements, one must maintain what the IRS calls a tax home. A tax home is your place of residence that you maintain and pay for while you are out on your travel assignment. Ideally, the IRS would like a travel nurse to take an assignment somewhere and then return to their tax home where they maintain a PRN or full-time nursing job.

Most travel nursing agencies will have you sign a form stating that you do have a tax home. If you do not have a residence that you are planning on maintaining when you are traveling, you will be referred to as an itinerant worker. As an itinerant worker, you will be required to pay taxes on all income earned including stipends and reimbursements. When applying with different travel agencies, make sure they are aware of your itinerant status. You can get more information about tax homes here .

Ready to start travel nursing? Start here!

Tips to Make Traveling a Snap

All of this talk about taxes and the IRS can be a little scary. Here are a few easy tips to follow to make your traveling experience a little less complicated:

  • Maintain a mileage log. You will have to write down you odometer reading the beginning of the year on January 1 and again at the end of the year on Dec 31. If you start traveling in the middle of the year you can look back at your maintenance records for previous odometer readings. You must also document your mileage to and from your place of employment.  Click here to print a mileage log.
  • Return to your tax home in between assignments if possible or at a minimum of once per year. Document when you travel back to your tax home. Here is a travel log for your trips back home .
  • Maintain a PRN or agency job in the same vicinity as your tax home. The IRS would like to know that you do business on a regular basis where you live.
  • There is no need to keep track of meal or grocery receipts. The IRS gives you a set stipend for meals. If you exceed the stipend you are considered to be living above your means and will not be reimbursed.
  • Keep a copy of all of your travel contracts. Make sure they have a beginning and ending date on them. This proves that you were really working on a temporary basis.
  • Don’t work in a city more than 12 months in a 24 month period. The IRS will think you abandoned your tax home.
  • There are tax people who specialize specifically in travel nursing. I recommend getting in contact with these people prior to starting your assignment. If you want to tackle this on your own then I recommend getting organized. Here is an organizer that helps you keep track of all your tax information;

Don’t let the IRS or financial aspects of travel nursing scare you.  Travel nursing should be an enjoyable experience not an accounting nightmare.

As with any tax issues, you should seek advice from a licensed tax professional before filing. This article only offers suggestions and isn’t meant to be tax advice. We leave that to the pros.

Professionals can help you through this experience in combination with educating yourself about nursing pay packages. It sounds complicated in the beginning, but the more you learn the lingo, the more prepared you will be to negotiate your next travel contract.

Start your travel nursing adventure here!

You may also like

8 Best Places For Travel Nursing In The Summer

8 Best Places For Travel Nursing In The Summer

Current Nursing Compact States 2023

Current Nursing Compact States 2023

Travel Nurse Insurance Guide

Travel Nurse Insurance Guide

10 Ways To Earn Rewards For Travel Nurses

10 Ways To Earn Rewards For Travel Nurses

Three nurses standing

Join the many nurses already traveling.

Don't miss out on your adventure..

By continuing to use our website, you are consenting to Cookies being placed on your device. If you do not want Cookies placed on your device, we suggest you exit our website

does travel nursing pay for housing

How Do Traveling Nurses Find Housing?

does travel nursing pay for housing

Table of Contents

Travel nurses have a unique set of housing needs. They often need to find housing for short-term assignments in unfamiliar cities. Travel nurses seeking accommodations using a housing stipend may search extended-stay hotels, vacation rental websites, or websites that cater specifically to travel nurses looking for furnished housing. These resources can help travel nurses locate desirable housing options for their work assignments. Travel nurses who don’t have the time or resources to find accommodation on their own may choose to use company-provided housing through their travel nurse agency.

How Much Do Travel Nurses Get For Housing?

Travel nurses can receive a stipend for housing based on their assignment location. The General Service Administration (GSA), a federal government agency, determines the maximum amount for travel nurse housing stipends, which travel nurse agencies use as a comparison tool when establishing housing stipend amounts. The GSA bases these maximum amounts on location and short-term stays, which are typically more expensive than assignments of travel nurses.

The housing stipend amount will vary and can be higher or lower depending on the cost of living and the per diem rates for the area. Knowing the cost of living in the area of your travel assignment can help you better negotiate how much you will receive for your housing stipend. Using the agency’s internal housing department, you can secure housing that the agency pays for. This service removes the responsibility of securing your own accommodations  during a travel nurse assignment but leaves no room for negotiating housing costs. 

How Much Do Travel Nurses Pay For Housing?

The amount of money travel nurses pay for housing varies based on several factors, including assignment location, time of the year, and the type of housing. The cost of living in some parts of the country is significantly higher than in others, particularly in cities such as New York and Boston; therefore, employers in these locations will pay higher housing stipends. Areas like these will also have a higher GSA stipend maximum than a small, rural area. So your housing stipend may be higher in New York than in rural Minnesota, but you will also pay more to secure your housing in these areas. 

Depending on the time of the year and the location, the cost of housing may be affected. If you are looking to take an assignment in a warmer area during the winter months, such as Florida, the accommodation cost will be higher because of the increased winter population. The GSA may increase stipend limits due to a lack of affordable housing in the area. The choice of housing type also impacts how much travel nurses pay for housing. Accommodations for a two-bedroom apartment would naturally be more expensive than finding a studio apartment on Airbnb or going through a travel nurse community to find housing with reduced rates in your assignment area. 

Travel Nurse Housing Options

There are a variety of housing options available for travel nurses. Some travel nurses choose to let their agencies provide them with housing. This option can be great for travel nurses who don't want to worry about finding their own places to live. It also takes a lot of the hassle out of moving since you won't have to worry about finding a place to live in an unfamiliar area. The downside of company-provided housing is that it's often not as nice as what you could find on your own, and you may have less control over your living situation.

Another popular option for travel nurses is to rent an apartment or house. This option gives you a lot more control over your living situation since you're the one who's responsible for finding and renting the property. It also means that you'll likely have a nicer place to live since you'll be able to pick and choose what kind of property you want to rent. The downside of this option is that it can be more expensive than company-provided housing, and it's also more work since you'll have to take care of everything yourself.

Vacation rental websites such as VRBO and Airbnb are good places to search for short-term rentals, but they may include booking fees in their costs. Other resources available to the travel nurse community include websites that offer furnished monthly housing specifically for traveling nurses. 

For those travel nurses who want to save money on housing costs and meet other nurses, sharing an apartment or house with other travel nurses may be a good option. This choice can be an excellent way to decrease housing costs and have some flexibility in accommodations. 

Extended-stay hotels are another housing option for travel nurses. These hotels have more space and offer amenities such as kitchenettes and furnishings. It’s worth  checking the availability of the discounts provided to nurses, which may be specific to each hotel chain. 

There are several options available for travel nurses looking for housing. Agency-provided housing is often the easiest option since everything will be taken care of for you, but it's important to remember that it might not be as nice as what you could find on your own. Renting an apartment or house is a popular option because it gives you more control over your living situation, but it can also be more expensive and more work. Finding housing as a travel nurse doesn't have to be complicated. Many resources are available to help you find the perfect place to live during your assignment . With a bit of research, you'll find housing that meets your needs and budget. 

Miranda Edwards, DNP, CRNA

Miranda is a practicing CRNA with almost 20 years experience in nursing. Miranda aspires to produce health and medical content for both businesses and consumers that is relevant and relatable.


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand.

mobile phone mockup

Similar Posts

Best travel nurse housing sites, exploring travel nurse housing and rental options, understanding travel nurses' housing benefits, view top jobs in.

Search, apply and be the first in line for your dream job today.

does travel nursing pay for housing

Apply to Top Jobs in

does travel nursing pay for housing

Get Started in

does travel nursing pay for housing

Take Control of Your Career with

does travel nursing pay for housing

Politics latest: Iceland boss accused of 'sour grapes' over Labour switch - as minister hits out at 'sweet-like' vapes

Rishi Sunak has rejected criticism from Liz Truss and Boris Johnson of the government's ban on tobacco and disposable vapes. Elsewhere, Lord Cameron is primed for a return to the Middle East for talks on the crisis there - and the government's Rwanda plan is being scrutinised in the Lords.

Monday 29 January 2024 22:00, UK

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

  • PM rejects criticism of tobacco and disposable vape bans
  • Starmer 'delighted' as Iceland boss endorses Labour
  • But minister accuses supermarket chief of 'sour grapes'
  • Cameron returning to Middle East as talks ramp up
  • 'Horrifying' allegations of sex assaults in mental health hospitals
  • Jon Craig: 'Will of people' vs 'will of God' in Rwanda Lords debate
  • Poll tracker:  Reform UK overtakes Lib Dems in polls
  • Politics At Jack And Sam's : The Week... Sunak takes on The Plot
  • Live reporting by Faith Ridler and (earlier)  Ben Bloch

Last week, the government's plan to grant new oil and gas licences every year passed its latest hurdle in parliament.

The bill's supporters say it will improve energy security, as the UK still relies heavily on fossil fuels. 

Critics, however, argue it will not cut energy bills and instead will break the UK's promise to phase out fossil fuels.

One of those critics is Chris Skidmore ,  who recently resigned as a Conservative MP over the government's net zero strategy and its decision to boost new oil and gas production.

Mr Skidmore, who led the independent government review into net zero, talked about the decision and Rishi Sunak's climate agenda with Sky's science and technology editor Tom Clarke on the latest episode of ClimateCast.

The second reading of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill has passed the House of Lords and will move on to the next stage.

This came after six hours of debate by peers, and a defeated amendment vote.

An amendment to the Rwanda bill proposed by Liberal Democrat peer Lord German has been defeated in the Lords tonight.

The motion had been designed to block the legislation.

There were 206 not content votes to 84 content, marking a significant government majority of 122.

After a six-hour debate, peers are now voting on a proposed Liberal Democrat amendment to the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.

This was proposed by Lord German.

By David Blevins, Ireland correspondent

The protesters outside were to be expected but no one anticipated details of the DUP's highly confidential executive meeting to be live tweeted from inside.

The running commentary, shared on X by loyalist activist Jamie Bryson, made a mockery of the party's attempt to debate a potential deal in private.

But his account must be read in the context of him being the arch-opponent of any compromise to restore power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.

"DUP meeting descends into mayhem," he writes. "Jeffrey Donaldson saying texts being sent to Jamie Bryson who is giving a blow-by-blow account of the meeting.

“DUP meeting now halted.  Fury and mayhem.  Jeffrey Donaldson says Police Service of Northern Ireland brought in to try and block phone signals."

The Democratic Unionists have boycotted power-sharing government for two years in protest over the power-Brexit trade border in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

But their negotiations with the UK government are now understood to have concluded and Party Officers have been weighing up a possible return to Stormont.

Having kept the venue for tonight's meeting secret until the last minute to limit opposition outside, it ironic that the disruption has come from inside.

The surge of Reform UK continues as the party overtakes the Liberal Democrats in the polls for the first time.

The Sky News live poll tracker - collated and updated by our Data and Forensics team - aggregates various surveys to indicate how voters feel about different political parties.

Labour is still sitting comfortably on a roughly 20-point lead, averaging at 44.3% in the polls, and the Tories on 24.6%.

In third is Reform UK on 10.3%, followed by the Lib Dems on 9.8%, the Greens on 6.2%, and the SNP on 3.1%.

See the latest update below - and you can read more about the methodology behind the tracker  here .

By Faye Brown , political reporter

Rishi Sunak kicked off 2024's political season with a hint at when the next general election will be - saying earlier this month that it's his "working assumption" it will happen in the second half of the year.

Speculation has been rife for months about when the prime minister will choose to go to the polls, with some pundits  believing he would call one in May to coincide with the local elections.

UK general elections have to be held no more than five years apart, so the next one must take place by 28 January 2025 at the latest.

This would be five years from the day since the current parliament first met (17 December 2019), plus the time required to run an election campaign.

The phrase  "working assumption"   does give Mr Sunak wriggle room should circumstances change, and he has not ruled out a spring election.

Sky News spoke to pollsters about the factors the prime minister will be weighing up in making his decision - and when they think the election should be.

Kenneth Clarke's mobility is severely limited these days, and he perches on a walking frame when he attends the House of Lords.

But there's nothing slow moving about his intellect, as he demonstrated with a powerful speech opposing the government's Rwanda bill.

His reliance on his walking frame means he doesn't sit with his colleagues from John Major's cabinet on the front bench below the gangway on the government side of the chamber.

Instead, he and his frame sit directly in front of the cross-bench peers, with Lord Clarke facing the wool sack and the throne, rather than facing the opposition benches like the rest of the Tory peers.

But while this physical limitation means there's no opportunity for any theatrics, dramatic arm-waving gestures or the sort of rhetorical flourishes for which he was famed in his pomp in the 1980s and '90s, at 83 he's still a class act.

A grandee and national treasure these days, Lord Clarke said the bill was "a step too far" and it risked moving the UK towards an "elective dictatorship".

And on Rwanda's suitability for deportations, he claimed the country had been ruled by a "one-man dictatorship" and had "a dodgy record on human rights".

Vintage Clarke: the kind of plain speaking for which he has been renowned for decades.

Criticising the government's response to the Supreme Court ruling on the Rwanda policy, he said: "They have decided to bring an act of parliament to overturn a finding of fact made by the supreme court of this country."

And vowing to back amendments to the bill, he said the government had "dug a hole for itself" and it was guilty of  "follies in crashing on" with the policy.

Of course, we're used to listening to Lord Clarke speaking with gusto and flair. 

But he wasn't the only member of John Major's cabinet to attack the bill. And it was someone we might not have expected to speak out so passionately.

Douglas Hogg, now Lord Hailsham, made a fiery speech of the kind we didn't hear from him when he was a cabinet minister in the 1990s (see 20.10 post).

"This bill trashes our reputation for domestic and international probity," he declared angrily.

And on ditching human rights protections, he quoted Martin Niemoller, a German pastor who spoke of his failure to speak out against the Nazis.

He admitted the circumstances were very different from those of the 1930s, but warned "best not to step on to a slippery slope because it can end in some very murky places."

But another member of the Major cabinet and a former home secretary like Lord Clarke, Kenneth Baker, backed the bill, as did Boris Johnson's former chief of staff, Eddie Lister.

Well, it was Eddie's old boss who launched the Rwanda plan back in 2022.

Also backing the bill was Lord Frost, who has been threatened with losing the Tory whip and being dumped from the candidates' list for would-be MPs over claims he's linked to the plotters against Rishi Sunak.

Well, up to a point, he backed it. 

"I think it would certainly have been better if it had been amended to strengthen the exclusion of international law as proposed in the Commons, in my view we will one day have to go there in this area," he said.

"But it's done now, the Commons debated it fully and has now spoken, I support the government in bringing it into force swiftly.”

He appeared to be saying he backed the rebel amendments proposed by Rober Jenrick and Sir Bill Cash in the Commons. On that, he was a lone voice in the House of Lords.

When Tory rebels were plotting against John Major, Ken Clarke famously declared at a Tory conference: "Any enemy of John Major is an enemy of mine."

That was more than 30 years ago. These days, despite his mobility being impaired, Lord Clarke's ability to make a decent speech certainly isn't.

Back to the Lords, where a busy afternoon of debate on the Rwanda bill has just entered its fifth hour.

This evening, we expect a vote on a proposed amendment, and a shout on the second reading of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.

Ahead of this, Tory peer Lord Frost has said he doubts that the legislation is "robust enough" in its current form.

The former Brexit negotiator told the Lords: "Of course I support the bill and its deterrent purpose, I do admit some doubts as to whether the bill in its current form is robust enough to achieve its desired end.

"I think it would certainly have been better if it had been amended to strengthen the exclusion of international law as proposed in the Commons, in my view we will one day have to go there in this area.

"But it's done now, the Commons debated it fully and has now spoken, I support the government in bringing it into force swiftly."

One year ago, Rishi Sunak made five pledges for voters to judge him on.

The prime minister met his pledge to halve inflation by the end of 2023 - even though there was a surprise increase in the 12 months to December - leaving four pledges outstanding.

When it comes to the NHS, while both waiting lists and waiting times are shrinking slightly, the waiting list is still longer than in January last year, and the junior doctor pay dispute has not been resolved.

And as the Rwanda plan divides the Tory party, small boat crossings continue.

So, with the general election approaching, how is the prime minister doing on delivering his other promises?

You can see the progress for yourself below.

Be the first to get Breaking News

Install the Sky News app for free

does travel nursing pay for housing

College of Nursing

Leading improvements in rural healthcare through mobile simulation.

View as pdf A later version of this article appeared in  Nurse Leader ,  Volume 21, Issue 6 , December 2023 . 

Abstract Simulation in Motion – Iowa (SIM-IA) is a high-fidelity simulation education for healthcare providers throughout Iowa. SIM-IA is administered by the University of Iowa College of Nursing with mobile simulation trucks in Iowa City (east), Des Moines (central), and Sioux City (west). SIM-IA’s goal is to provide simulation continuing education to improve patient outcomes. In year one, SIM-IA provided 110 sessions for over 2,200 providers. Second year goals include expanding from EMS providers to hospital and long-term care facility providers. Major implementation challenges include planning, budgeting, and supplies during COVID-19 pandemic, decentralized simulation staff, fiscal sustainability, and diverse local EMS protocols.

Iowa has ninety-nine counties and all but three have at least one hospital. The state has eighty-two critical access hospitals (CAH), over 400 emergency medical services (EMS) agencies which transport patients, and another 400 basic EMS services (e.g. law enforcement, first responders, fire departments) which do not transport patients. A needs assessment performed in 2019 found that many EMS services had little or no budget for continuing education (CE). Additionally, CAHs had limited CE budgets for clinical providers. Most CE given to EMS providers at the time of the needs assessment consisted of lecture presentation once a month or viewing a recorded presentation. Findings were similar for CAHs where CE was conducted largely via third-party computer-based review, without simulation-based education (SBE). A survey of EMS providers and hospital educators showed they preferred hands-on interactive learning and SBE.

Benefits of Mobile Simulation-Based Continuing Education  

The benefits of SBE and interactive CE for healthcare providers have been confirmed in multiple studies. 1,2 There are also many known impediments to SBE including: cost of space and simulators, availability of trained educators, and the loss of healthcare providers who are needed to provide care during training. High-fidelity healthcare simulation centers are usually located within or proximate to a health education facility or a larger academic medical center. “Brick-and-mortar” facilities are filled with health education students receiving pre-licensure education and hospital-based healthcare providers receiving CE. Making it difficult for outside providers to get access to SBE. Additionally, smaller healthcare facilities are not able to purchase high-fidelity simulation equipment or do not have trained personnel dedicated to provide SBE.

Most EMS providers in Iowa are volunteers and may be the only emergency response providers in their town or county. To receive simulation education EMS providers often travel to a distant simulation center, which deprives the community of EMS personnel while they are gone. Additionally, volunteer EMS providers may be expected to pay for their education and/or travel costs. The total cost of sending an EMS provider to a weekend conference to receive SBE was estimated to be around $1,200 per person. Bringing SBE to EMS and hospital providers in their communities provides many benefits such as being able to educate multiple providers at the home site versus sending one to a center. Secondly, performing onsite simulations using the providers normal equipment (in-situ) may highlight process gaps that would not be uncovered in a free-standing simulation center. This was experienced simulation events previously coordinated by the authors and in SIM-IA in-situ simulation experiences. One onsite simulation involved calling for additional personnel to help in a maternal crisis. They never arrived because the entry point to the unit was automatically locked after hours for security purposes. Personnel were not aware of the recent safety change until the in-situ simulation. Another site needed a medication to treat a simulated operating room emergency. When pharmacy was called, OR staff were told the medication was no longer stocked due to expense and frequent expiration. Finally, a dysfunctional automatic external defibrillator (AED) was discovered when used during a mock cardiac arrest. Simulations in a simulation facility would not have identified these process issues.

Development of SIM-IA

In early 2018, Drs O’Sullivan and Bunch became aware of grant-funded opportunity to bring SBE to rural Iowa. Dr. O’Sullivan and colleagues had been providing SBE at CAHs for about 5 years and Dr. Bunch was an expert in rapid response teams (RRT), president-elect and advisory committee member for the International Rapid Response Society, with experience in simulation education for undergraduate nursing students. Dr. O’Sullivan and Bunch explored the grant requirements and felt the University of Iowa College of Nursing had the vision and support to lead this ambitious SBE for CE in Iowa. The University of Iowa is a research level one university with highly ranked Colleges of Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and a large academic medical center (AMC). The colleges and AMC have multiple simulation programs to support learning and many personnel who have been certified as Simulation Healthcare Educators (CHSE) by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). This combined expertise along with strong professional connections to multiple SBE collaborators at the AMC provided a supportive environment for the initiation of SIM-IA.

Drs. O’Sullivan and Bunch developed an internal proposal and presented the concept of SIM-IA to Dean Zerwic with the University of Iowa College of Nursing. A subsequent CE needs assessment of EMS agencies and healthcare providers  in Iowa was completed using the 2017 Iowa State Emergency Department Data (SEDD) set available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). This data was combined with surveys of EMS providers and system supervisors, hospital emergency department (ED) providers, and hospital administrators in collaboration with the Iowa Bureau of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services and the Iowa Hospital Association to provide a holistic view of healthcare provider CE needs. The needs assessment found statewide support for a SBE CE program from providers, hospitals, and EMS agencies.

Program Development to Initial Implementation

One of the biggest challenges for SIM-IA was planning and budgeting during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic along with pandemic supply-chain issues. Developing a multi-million-dollar budget in 2020 when companies were unable to give an estimate of when equipment would be available or predict future costs was extremely challenging. For example, a large part of the annual budget was diesel fuel to move the mobile simulations labs (trucks) across the state. In 2020, diesel was at a historically low price per gallon which was anticipated to spike post-pandemic, necessitating estimating fuel costs 4-5 years into the future. This was done by collecting data from government and private resources on fuel costs over 20 years and forecasting into the future.  Estimating too high would be viewed poorly by the granting agency while estimating too low would severely hamper the program’s ability to deliver education. The high-fidelity simulation equipment would normally have been trialed in person but this was not possible during the pandemic. Manufacturers provided marketing brochures and other documentation, as well as provided videoconference-based demonstrations of equipment. However, evaluating over a million dollars-worth of simulation equipment without touching or trialing it in person was very challenging.

SIM-IA was funded in January 2021 and Dr. O’Sullivan and Bunch quickly began ordering the custom mobile simulation trucks, simulation equipment, and task trainers given the current supply chain issues being seen across the United States. While the mobile simulation units were being custom built based on an existing template, but the process was delayed by supply chain issues for the chassis as well as many specialized parts requiring many zoom calls with the manufacturer. Overall, the arrival of the trucks and simulation equipment was delayed by almost a year which required additional efforts to keep local stakeholders interested in the development of SIM-IA. In order to work around pandemic supply-chain issues, the simulation equipment for the first truck arrived 6 months prior to receiving the first truck creating storage issues. The College of Nursing redesignated a small meeting room into a temporary storage and work room for SIM-IA simulators. The mobile simulation trucks are 44 feet long by 12 feet wide and 14 feet high, about the size of a fire engine pumper truck. Process the purchasing agreement required submitting an address for the physical storage location of the trucks. Since it was not feasible to secure a climate-controlled garage for over a year while the trucks were being built, Dr. Bunch’s third floor office in the College of Nursing was the first address of record for all three trucks. Despite the fact that the trucks do not fit in the elevator or in her office. Timing the delivery of simulation equipment, the arrival of three large trucks, and the hiring of personnel to be stationed in three locations hundreds of miles across the state is not a typical skill set for most nursing professors requiring leadership, creativity, and innovation. 

The educational vision for the program was to provide standardized evidence-based education while complying with state EMS regulations and local EMS protocols. A program director was hired 6 months prior to program launch (i.e., receipt of the first truck) to time to build relationships across the state and begin to build the SIM-IA team. An educational coordinator was tasked with the responsibility for the educational mission of the program, developing and troubleshooting scenarios, and training the staff who would provide education across the state. Having the educational coordinator begin 3 months prior to program launch allowed the creation, pilot testing, and customization of clinical =scenarios with local EMS providers using SIM-IA program equipment and existing classroom spaces. While this did not provide the physical environment and equipment available in the simulation trucks it was significantly more engaging for participants than watching on online videos or presentations in a garage.

Launching SIM-IA

The first truck arrived in Iowa on June 21, 2022, four years after the needs assessment and two and a half years planning and budgeting began. Coincidentally, Iowa hosts RAGBRAI, an annual week-long bike ride, in July. About 30,000 bicycling enthusiasts from across the state, country, and globe ride bikes across the entire state passing through small towns and camping overnight in larger communities. On such a ride in the summer months when temperatures are in the mid-upper 90s, there are minor accidents and medical emergencies throughout the week. The timing of RAGBRAI 2022 provided a perfect kickoff event for SIM-IA’s launch. The eastern truck drove across the west to east route bicycle route, stopping in the seven towns overnight and pass through towns educating EMS personnel and in-hospital nurses on typical bike ride injuries including cardiac arrest, heat stroke, and seizure protocols. Dr. Bunch led many of the clinical simulation sessions as an educator since the program was not yet fully staffed. The education was unanimously well received by the providers. For the article’s authors, this event clearly demonstrated the importance of SIM-IA and the potential to impact healthcare across the state.

Following the launch of SIM-IA, the day-to-day work began in securing home bases for the western and central trucks, hiring expert clinical staff, and building the vision of SBE in rural Iowa. As the University of Iowa is in the eastern third of the state, the first (eastern) truck was based near Iowa City. Securing locations for the western and central trucks required additional planning and strategy. While there was great support for the program in the western and central areas of the state, there was limited capacity for hosting this large mobile simulation truck in a climate-controlled environment. As such, the first year saw the eastern truck staff driving across the state adding more miles and using fuel than planned to keep interest alive and fill requests for SBE. Serving these areas from the east required complex scheduling and additional time and effort from the eastern Iowa staff. From a budget standpoint it was neutral because even though expenses for the eastern truck were higher, there were no travel or staff expenses for the other two trucks.

Through our work with Sioux City Fire Rescue on SIM-IA’s pre-RAGBRAI event in their training facility, our team developed a strong working relationship with the Fire Chief and his leadership team.  Based on this relationship, the fire chief suggested we locate a truck with Sioux City Fire Rescue (SCFR) training facility as the western SIM-IA base. After a period of negotiation between university representatives and Sioux City administration, a memorandum of understanding was completed in late 2022 to house the truck with SCFR with additional SBE support for their EMS crews by the SIM-IA team. The next step was identifying the right person to lead the western SIM-IA team, which delayed the launch of that truck to April of 2023. Until a full time leader was hired in June 2023, Iowa City educators drove 5 hours one-way to Sioux City at least once a month to mentor part-time staff and provide education to SCFR and western Iowa EMS providers. The response to SBE CE from western Iowa EMS providers was just as positive as in eastern Iowa. These positive experiences contributed to the endorsement of the program by the SCFR fire chief to Des Moines Fire Department (DMFD) chief. Ultimately this led to SIM-IA partnering with DMFD as the central base for SIM-IA with a completed MOU in early 2023. Identifying full-time leadership in both locations as been challenging as salaries for nurses and EMS providers rose significantly during the pandemic and have remained elevated compared to budget. This necessitated an increase reliance on part-time staff, subsequent budget review, and increase in the salary ranges.

Future Educational Goals for SIM-IA

Much of the first six months of SIM-IA was spent orienting educational staff to the trucks, equipment, and goals of the program. Many simulations focused on allowing EMS providers the opportunity to practice critical thinking and skills they may not have used in many years in their rural patient populations. All simulations were designed to provide education and NOT a critique of skills. There was not enough time in the sessions to provide unlimited practice attempts or move all providers to a “mastery” of skills they might be expected to perform in practice, however providers are given additional opportunities to perform skills with a goal of achieving basic competency. There is also a focus on team skills and closed loop communication in high stress scenarios.

Goals for the SIM-IA include modifying simulations each year while adding one to two new scenarios annually clinical data and local requests. Provider turnover within local EMS crews and orientation of new SIM-IA team members is an anticipated challenge. Another major goal is to move simulation into the rural Eds, including all ED staff members. A common challenge in rural EDs is workload when SIM-IA arrives for the day of education with no empty beds or staff able to leave patient care to participate. Overstaffing and using the truck versus in situ simulations is a possible solution but most CAHs do not have staff or funding to make this feasible.

At the time of this writing, SIM-IA has completed one full year of education and a second successful pre-RAGBRAI event. Most of the education was provided by the eastern Iowa with the western truck operating for three months and the central truck anticipated to begin in fall 2023. SIM-IA conducted 120 educational events, educated over 2,000 providers, and visited over 54% of Iowa counties in this first year. With all three trucks in operation, the program is on track to serve all 99 Iowa counties in year two. Year two will also see an increase in SBE for hospital EDs and long-term care facility personnel. Learner evaluations have been positive with multiple sites requesting second and third visits.

Moving to Long-Term Sustainability

As stated, the program has seen early success. The greatest challenge going forward is achieving long-term financial sustainability to support SIM-IA into the future. Most EMS providers in the Iowa are volunteer and receive little or no funds for CE. An additional desire is to provide free SBE for EMS providers who do not receive financial support for their CE to improve pre-hospital outcomes. Achieving this goal requires a strong business plan and philanthropic support. Funding above and beyond supporting free EMS education provide free or reduced SBE costs for other healthcare providers to further improve health outcomes for Iowans. 

Moving to Long-Term Financial Sustainability

 A major challenge for the next two years is the ending of grant funding which initiated the program and provided partial operational support for three years. SIM-IA’s goal is to provide clinical simulation education to all providers to improve healthcare outcomes for Iowans. However, most EMS providers in Iowa are volunteers who receive little or no funds for CE. SIM-IA has a goal to provide free SBE to improve pre-hospital outcomes and support these first responders within their communities.

SIM-IA has been working with the University of Iowa’s robust philanthropic support team since inception to notify donors of this opportunity and create avenues for funding support. Multiple generous donors have sponsored a day of education, covering the expenses of SIM-IA to provide SBE providers in their communities. Legislators and other state leaders have identified SIM-IA as a visionary resource to improve the health of Iowans. A final avenue for revenue will be billing providers for CE when feasible.

Simulation in Motion – Iowa successfully launched in 2022, providing crucial SBE to improve healthcare outcomes across the state. What started as a vision to provide high quality simulation-based education (SBE) to EMS providers and nurses throughout the state has quickly expanded to all healthcare providers. Thankfully the program has a wonderful director, educational coordinator, office manager, and dedicated truck leads, staff who love to educate, and an abundance of educational requests. The final remaining challenge is financial sustainability which must be achieved to benefit all Iowans. SIM-IA is an investment in the health of Iowa and support for healthcare providers.

  • Al Gharibi K.A., and Arulappan, J.. Repeated simulation experience on self-confidence, critical thinking, and competence of nurses and nursing students—An integrative review. SAGE OpenNurse. 2020;6. doi:10.1177/2377960820927377.
  • Armstrong, P., Peckler, B., Pilkinton-Ching, J., McQuade, D. and Rogan, A. (2021), Effect of simulation training on nurse leadership in a shared leadership model for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the emergency department. EmergMedAustralas, 33: 255-261.  doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.13605

Return to College of Nursing Winter 23/24 Newsletter

CBS News

How much does a nursing home cost?

W hether it's someone to help with household tasks or an occupational therapist, many people will need help when they get older. In some cases, older people need to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility so that they can be surrounded by professional care at all times. 

One major issue for a lot of American families is that these facilities are prohibitively expensive. As such, it's important to know exactly how much a nursing home will cost — and what you can do now, when you're still working, to help defray those costs later in life.

Start shopping for a long-term care insurance policy online today . 

When considering how much a nursing home will cost, it's important to consider a few factors, like your location and whether you want to have a completely private room when you move into your new home.

Nursing home costs vary by state and type of service

The cost you'll pay for a room in a nursing home will vary greatly based on where you live and what type of service you want. According to Genworth's 2021 Cost of Care Study  — the most recent numbers available — the national average for a private room in a nursing home was $108,405 per year. For a semi-private room, you'd pay $94,900 per year. If you don't need all the services of a nursing home but still want to live in a place where you can get help, the average annual cost of an assisted living facility was $54,000.

Let's look at a few examples to show how location matters. In New York State, the average cost of a private room was $158,797 per year in 2021. In Texas, it was $85,107, while in Arizona a year in a nursing home cost $96,360. 

This disparity also goes down to the municipal level. In the New York City area, the average cost of a year in a private nursing home room was $158,775, while in the Utica area it was $125,925 per year as of 2021.

Prepare for the costs of nursing homes by buying long-term care insurance now .

Long-term care insurance can help

Those numbers likely leave many people wondering how exactly they will pay for these services if they need them later in life, as Medicare generally won't cover nursing homes. Luckily, there is something you can do now to offset the costs of care later in your life: purchase a long-term care insurance policy .

Long-term care insurance works much like any other insurance policy. You enter a contract with an insurance company and make premium payments now in exchange for money later if you need it. With long-term care insurance, you get money to pay for long-term care services like nursing homes.

Exactly how much money you'll get for long-term care services will depend on the policy you choose. There are also many types of long-term care policies to choose from. For instance, you could pick a hybrid policy that combines long-term care insurance with life insurance . In this case, you would get benefits to pay for long-term care and a death benefit paid to your family on your death. This can be helpful if you are concerned that funeral and estate costs will be a burden for your family. 

Long-term care insurance can  cover nursing homes and many other services , including adult day care services, respite care, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing care and occupational therapy. Some even allow you to pay family members who are helping to take care of you. 

The bottom line

Nursing homes, like most medical services in America, are expensive. Depending on where you live, you could end up paying more than $100,000 per year for nursing home care, which will be out of the price range for many people. There is something you can do right now, though, to prepare — find and purchase a long-term care insurance plan. Paying premiums now will give you money to use for long-term care later in life, potentially saving you much angst in your later years.



  1. Travel Nurse Salary 2024

    does travel nursing pay for housing

  2. Does Travel Nursing Pay for Housing? Exploring the Pros and Cons

    does travel nursing pay for housing

  3. Travel Nurse Salary Guide

    does travel nursing pay for housing

  4. Housing for travel nurses

    does travel nursing pay for housing

  5. How Much do Travel Nurses Make?

    does travel nursing pay for housing

  6. Everything About Travel Nurse Housing

    does travel nursing pay for housing


  1. Top Paying Travel Nurse Contracts in 2023

  2. Dealing with these nursing homes and companies that simply don’t want to pay for services

  3. Premium Assisted Living Facilities, 3 Bridhyasram Details @shelter9595

  4. How to Enhance Your Residents/Seniors Lives, Giving Them Freedom & Joy

  5. How To Get Started as a Travel Nurse


  1. FAQ: What Is a Travel Nurse Housing Stipend? (With Salaries)

    Interviewing Pay & salary FAQ: What Is a Travel Nurse Housing Stipend? (With Salaries) FAQ: What Is a Travel Nurse Housing Stipend? (With Salaries) Ingrid Monteiro Updated January 26, 2023 A career as a travel nurse can be rewarding and may offer professionals a high salary and several compensation benefits.

  2. How Do Travel Nurses Find Housing?

    Learn how travel nurses find housing in two options: agency-placed housing or stipend pay. Compare the benefits and drawbacks of each option, such as availability, cost, security, and flexibility. Find out how to choose the best option for your travel nursing assignment and budget.

  3. What Is the Average Housing Stipend for Travel Nurses? How the Dollar

    How the Dollar Amount Is Determined What Is the Average Housing Stipend for Travel Nurses? Understanding Factors That Contribute to the Dollar Amount by Trusted Nurse Staffing | Jan 15, 2024 | News

  4. How Travel Nurse Housing Stipends Work

    No, travel nurse housing stipends aren't taxed. Thus, if you qualify for stipends, you don't pay income taxes on them. To be eligible for tax-free stipends, you must have duplicate expenses between your permanent tax home and another home you stay at while on assignment.

  5. Everything You Need to Know About the Travel Nurse Housing Stipend

    Simply put, a housing stipend is a sum of money an agency provides to a travel nurse to cover the housing costs that the travel nurse incurs while working a travel assignment. People also refer to the housing stipend as a "housing reimbursement". Most travel nursing agencies offer a choice between company housing or the housing stipend.

  6. Comprehensive Guide to Housing Stipend for Travel Nurses

    While some travel nurses are provided with housing by their employers, most receive a housing stipend as part of their compensation. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about travel nursing housing stipends, from understanding your pay package to navigating housing options and making the most of your stipend.

  7. Travel Nurse Housing Stipends: Calculators and Insights

    What is the cost of living in your facility? Square one is looking at what pay packages in the area are looking like for your specialty. Unfortunately, the pay that hospitals are offering may not line up well with the cost of living in the area they are located.

  8. Ultimate Guide to Travel Nurse Agencies That Pay for Housing

    A travel nurse housing stipend is a fixed amount of money that is provided by the travel nursing company as part of the compensation package. For nurses who prefer to make their own housing arrangements, having a housing stipend can be an attractive alternative to the rigid housing options often provided by travel nursing agencies.

  9. Travel Nurse Housing Stipend: What to Know

    Get Started Now Travel nurses typically work 13-week contracts opening up many possibilities for spending free time, including experiencing a region's unique attractions, finding local hidden gems, and maybe even checking off a bucket-list item or two.

  10. Everything You Need To Know About Travel Nurse Housing Stipends

    Back to Blog Everything You Need To Know About Travel Nurse Housing Stipends 2023-05-15 19:30:00 | Meredith Warren Have you heard about the travel nurse housing stipends or housing allowance that is often offered as part of your compensation package, but aren't sure what it covers or how to make the most out of it? You're in the right place.

  11. What's Included in a Travel Nurse Housing Stipend?

    Who decides this? This is handled by the General Services Administration (GSA), which is in charge of managing and overseeing the business of the U.S. government. Although this branch has dozens of responsibilities, one of their tasks is determining and setting per diem rates for federal employees. Per Diem, is Latin for "per day."

  12. How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?

    According to Vivian, a healthcare jobs marketplace, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), travel nurses earn jan average of $2,183 per week, while RNs earn a mean hourly wage of $42.80. However, aspiring travel nurses should note that living on the road leads to additional personal expenses, so the increase in pay accounts for ...

  13. Travel Nurse Housing Guide

    Does Travel Nursing Pay for Housing or Find a Place for You? Travel jobs that pay for housing are common and healthcare travel is no exception. There are two ways to pay for housing: find travel nurse agencies that pay for housing, or take a stipend and find your own travel RN housing.

  14. Should You Take Travel Nurse Agency Housing or Find Your Own?

    Below is a table of contents. Select a link to jump to the topic. Table of Contents: Select a topic to jump to it. Do Travel Nurses Get Free Housing? Reasons To Find Your Own Travel Nurse Housing How Much Money can You Save by Finding Your Own Housing? What Type of Housing do Travel Nursing Companies Provide?

  15. Travel Nursing

    That compensation may include the following: Housing, meal, and incidental stipends, which could cover a majority of your bills Travel expense reimbursement for getting to your new nursing assignment Reimbursement for things like your scrubs, books, or nursing supplies Bonuses (signing, referral, stay-on, or longevity)

  16. The Complete Guide To Travel Nurse Housing

    The pay for housing for a travel nurse is determined by the next three factors: Assignment location Due to the higher cost of living in some areas of the country, assignments in those areas pay higher stipends. Living expenses in larger cities, such as New York City or Los Angeles, are likely to be more than in a tiny town in Missouri or Iowa ...

  17. Travel Nurse Salary Guide

    ZipRecruiter.com reports the national average for travel nurses is $118,400 per year. The highest-paying states are New York, California, and Idaho while the lowest reported salaries are in Louisiana and North Carolina. Even though North Carolina has the lowest travel nurse salary, the annual travel nurse salary is still more than the $77,600 ...

  18. Travel Nurse Housing

    Travel Nurse Housing - Paid & Private Housing for Travel Nurses Private Housing Traveler Benefits Private Housing Private Housing If you choose to elect housing provided by Medical Solutions, our expert housing team is here to serve your needs.

  19. How Travel Nurse Pay Works: A Comprehensive Guide

    1. Travel Stipend: Many travel nursing contracts include a travel stipend to cover the cost of transportation to and from your assignment. This amount varies depending on the distance of the assignment and the travel nursing agencies you choose. 2. Housing Stipend: A crucial aspect of a travel nursing pay package is the housing stipend.

  20. FAQs

    To learn more about the types of housing available to you, visit our Travel Nurse Housing page. What does travel nursing pay? Travel nurse pay varies for many reasons. These reasons include specialty, location, benefits, whether a traveler takes company-provided housing and more. There's no "set pay" for any specialty.

  21. Housing

    Learn about the different housing options for travel nurses, such as furnished housing, housing stipend, and rental property, and how they can help you find your perfect place. Aya Healthcare offers you a variety of housing options, flexible payment plans, and a housing team to support you on your assignments.

  22. Earn six figures

    And, thanks to an exodus of nurses during the pandemic, demand for travel nurses is strong, with some 20,000 more open travel nurse positions than at this time last year, according to Adzuna, a ...

  23. In a surprise move, UPMC cuts hourly wage for some traveling nurses

    UPMC travel nurses, who receive drive-time pay plus a travel allowance of $1,860, fill six-week shifts at hospitals in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. The unit was formed after a nationwide ...

  24. Travel Nurse Pay Breakdown

    Crystal Gustafson January 26, 2022 - 7 min read Travel Nurse Pay Breakdown | Expenses & Tax 2022 I was originally drawn to the travel nursing field for the opportunity to travel the country while getting paid at the same time.

  25. 5143 Sullivan St, Cheyenne, WY 82009

    Pine Bluffs Real estate. Zillow has 36 photos of this $484,900 2 beds, 2 baths, 3,025 Square Feet townhouse home located at 5143 Sullivan St, Cheyenne, WY 82009 built in 2023. MLS #92185.

  26. How Do Traveling Nurses Find Housing?

    The amount of money travel nurses pay for housing varies based on several factors, including assignment location, time of the year, and the type of housing. The cost of living in some parts of the country is significantly higher than in others, particularly in cities such as New York and Boston; therefore, employers in these locations will pay ...

  27. Politics latest: Iceland boss accused of 'sour grapes' over Labour

    When it comes to the NHS, while both waiting lists and waiting times are shrinking slightly, the waiting list is still longer than in January last year, and the junior doctor pay dispute has not ...

  28. Leading improvements in rural healthcare through mobile simulation

    View as pdf A later version of this article appeared in Nurse Leader, Volume 21, Issue 6, December 2023.. Abstract. Simulation in Motion - Iowa (SIM-IA) is a high-fidelity simulation education for healthcare providers throughout Iowa. SIM-IA is administered by the University of Iowa College of Nursing with mobile simulation trucks in Iowa City (east), Des Moines (central), and Sioux City (west).

  29. How much does a nursing home cost?

    The cost you'll pay for a room in a nursing home will vary greatly based on where you live and what type of service you want. According to Genworth's 2021 Cost of Care Study — the most recent ...