What Travel Nurses Should Know About Housing Stipends
When you land a travel nurse assignment, most times, you’ll have two housing options: company housing, which is when the agency you’re working with takes care of all your housing needs, or a housing stipend, which is when you’re responsible for securing and paying for your temporary home.
Housing stipends, also known as housing reimbursements, are sums of money that support travel nurses’ living costs while they work. If you’re a travel nurse or are interested in becoming one, take a look at what you need to know about housing stipends.
Who Decides the Housing Stipend?
Your travel nurse agency will refer to stipend rates decided by the General Service Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the U.S. government that manages and supports how federal agencies run.
On top of many other government-related responsibilities, the GSA takes care of travel nurses’ per diem rates, which are rates that account for the daily cost of lodging. These rates are allotted to employees on official travel and based on the different costs of living across the country. Therefore, your housing stipend will be dependent on the location of your assignment. To better understand the varying cost of living expenses across the nation, take a look at the GSA’s per diem rates.
Why Are Some Areas More or Less Expensive than Others?
In addition to costs of living varying across the country, pricing will fluctuate depending on your living arrangement. For example, a furnished apartment can sometimes cost more than a non-furnished one.
Time of year also factors into costs, such as a summer living situation sometimes being more expensive than a winter one. Stipend ranges vary, but payments will often come in lump sum intervals. For example, if you’re working in Austin, Texas in October, your stipend can be $158 per day and can get paid weekly or biweekly.
What Should Travel Nurses Look for in Housing?
If you’re leaning towards finding your own place to live with your housing stipend, there are a few factors you should consider:
Do you need a vehicle?
Some locations, like major cities, have reliable public transportation, while others don’t. Determine the proximity and walkability of where you’re living, working and exploring.
What appliances and furniture will you have?
Your living arrangement may already have everything you need, but if it doesn’t, consider the costs of having to buy what you feel are essential to your lifestyle.
How long is your lease?
Find a new home that works best with your assignment length. If you need to break your lease, remember to factor those costs into your housing budget.
These key considerations are personal to what you want out of your travel nurse experience, but if you need professional guidance, HealthCare Support can help.
Find Your Ideal Stipend Living Situation with HealthCare Support
HealthCare Support can help you land your dream assignment, location and housing situation. HealthCare Support is a national staffing resource that supports the professional, personal and financial goals of passionate healthcare professionals. With compassionate guidance and highly responsive support, our dedicated team can help you thrive in your new role and home. We’ll help you throughout the placement process and walk you through stipend living.
To connect with our team, please give us a call at 888-219-6285.