Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
Hi, David! Is there a certain number of assignments Travel Nurses typically take per year?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
The short answer is, no.
I strongly caution nurses against ever signing any contracts or agreements that mandate that they take a certain number of assignments with any given company. Fortunately, I am not aware of any travel companies that currently do this. With most companies, it even states in their contract, that you are only obligated to them, and they to you, for a single contract.
It really all depends on the Traveler. For me, I enjoyed the aspect of seeing new places; however, I didn’t always relish the idea of having to pack up all my stuff every 13 weeks and move somewhere else. For many of my contracts, I would extend for at least one or two more assignments. In several locations, I stayed for more than a year.
Additionally, when I was living in Ohio, I used to enjoy going back and seeing all my friends and family during the summer. I had a local hospital that kept me on their payroll so that when I was back, it was as simple as picking up the phone and saying, “I’m back. What do your scheduling needs look like for the next month?”
So, it’s up to you. If you want to hit as many destinations as possible, feel free to take an assignment every 13 weeks. But if you like the facility and people with whom you work, also feel free to stay put for a while.
In closing, I will mention one thing about staying in a location for a long period of time. If you are participating in any tax advantage program through your company, you do need to be aware of the tax implications in staying in any given location for more than a year.
The very minute that you agree to stay in a location past a year, the IRS no longer categorizes you as a traveler that is entitled to take the deductions allowed for maintaining a “tax home” and you can be taxed on any housing stipends or even company provided housing.
Obviously, tax situations are very complex thing, and not every travel nurse will fit into the same situation. But if you do plan to stay in any given location beyond a year, be sure you understand the tax implications of that decision.
I hope this helps.