Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I understand that the housing allowance varies from region to region and even city to city, but how is a Travel Nurse housing stipend calculated? Is the allowable stipend it based on city/county housing? And how can I find an area’s values?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
Unfortunately, the answer will never be the same from location to location and even company to company (one company may allocate more toward housing than another company, even on the very same assignment).
Now companies can have a little “wiggle room” as far as housing or stipends. I have negotiated contracts where they could not do anything with my hourly rate; however, they could increase my housing stipend by a hundred or more a month.
The housing stipend or amount they will spend on housing depends on a travel company’s allocation toward that aspect of the compensation package to the traveler. It’s also based on the compensation the hospital is providing to the travel company for the traveler.
On some contracts, the compensation from the hospital may allow the travel company to provide a good rate and good housing or a stipend. On other contracts, the money the hospital is offering, compared to the housing market in the area, may make the profit margins “tight” for the travel company and they may not be able to offer a good rate coupled with a high stipend or premium housing. So unfortunately, there are not many constants when it comes to the stipend or housing allowance offered.
If your company is not offering enough of a stipend to allow you to find quality housing in the area, then voice this to them. They may or may not be able to offer more. But if the company simply cannot provide enough of a stipend to allow good housing options (perhaps due to factors beyond their control), then you may need to choose another location.
One easy way to see neighborhood rents is on a site like apartment.com or rent.com.
I hope this helps answer your question.