Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
Hi, I’m looking to try Travel Nursing for the first time. Can you tell me: How does taking company housing affect my pay? If I have the agency set housing up for me does it reduce my weekly pay? Also, I will be bringing my family (husband and two young sons) — what should I ask the recruiter for in regards to that?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
Whether or not having your company set up housing for you will affect your pay depends on the quote you were given and what it includes.
Some companies will elevate their hourly rate by including your housing stipend in the quote. You need to be very clear about what is included in any quote and make sure it is reflected that way in any contract that you would sign.
For example, some companies will quote you like this, “The pay is $30 per hour worked and company will provide a one-bedroom apartment, free of charge.” If you have a company quoting something like, “You will make $30,000 in three months,” watch out. A quote like this would probably include your hourly pay, a housing stipend, any travel reimbursement monies, license reimbursement, etc. Basically, anything they provide would be rolled into this quote.
Always have the travel company give you a written quote that includes your hourly rate, overtime rate, on call and holiday pay, hours required, shift you will work, location you will work, weekend shift mandates, any travel monies or license reimbursements, amount you will pay for healthcare coverage, and either the amount of your housing stipend (and how it is paid out) or what they will provide as far as housing (make sure it is spelled out as there is a difference between being placed in a one-bedroom apartment versus an extended stay hotel). Often, the initial quote will not be this thorough, but when it comes time to signing a contract, you want all the details spelled out.
As far as your family, you will want to make sure you are working with a company that really has all their ducks in a row and understands your travel needs. You will want a two-bedroom apartment, but will likely have to pay an extra amount for this (expect somewhere between $100-$300/month extra depending on location). Also be sure to specify the number of beds needed in your rental furniture agreement.
You may also want to check into the travel company’s insurance plan and research the doctors included in the plan that are in the area you seek to travel. As one of your children is quite young, you might have to do a little extra research on the things that apply to child care.
I hope this helps.