Recently, a nurse considering her first assignment emailed me to ask about travel assignment housing. Her question will be the genesis of the posts in the coming weeks where we’ll take a look at the different aspects of assignment housing.
As most travelers know, when you take a travel nursing assignment, your company will often arrange your housing for you. However, in most instances, this option is yours to accept or decline. Personally, I have always allowed my travel company to set up my housing for me. This is mostly due to the fact that I don’t wish to have to worry about anything more than necessary when starting a new assignment. However, the reason I have continued to allow my company to provide my accommodations is because they do a good job in providing this service.
WHAT TO EXPECT
If this is your first assignment, you might not know exactly what to expect in the way of housing. As an example, my current assignment has me housed in a one bedroom, second story apartment. The complex has one large heated pool outside the clubhouse and two smaller, non-heated pools, with hot spas, in other areas. It also has a workout room, to which the tenants have keys for 24-hour access, and a few tennis courts. The parking area and apartments are gated and the grounds are nicely decorated with trees and flowers and the property is kept clean. The apartments are also kept nice and all include built-in microwaves and washer/dryers.
This complex is a perfect example of the type of housing you should expect from your company. I have lived in complexes with extravagant pools, tennis courts, huge workout facilities with aerobic and exercise classes, and even one with an indoor racquetball court. Some will be nicer than others, but after a while, you should get a feel for what to expect. When you arrive on assignment with sub-par housing, you will know.
WHAT THEY PROVIDE
One reason I allow my travel company to provide my housing is because there is relatively little involved on my part. I simply tell them if I have any preferences (like a second floor unit), or if I have any special situations (like traveling with a pet), and then they have their housing department work on finding me a place to stay.
Another reason I like for my company to provide my housing is because they arrange for furnished accommodations. Since it will often be an apartment they provide, they will notify a furniture rental company to deliver the rental package either the day you arrive, or many times, a day or two ahead of time. The rental package usually includes: couch, loveseat, coffee table, end tables and lamps, kitchen table and chairs, a bed frame and mattress (you can specify a queen or king sized bed), a chest of drawers, and a nightstand and lamp. If you require anything else, it can be negotiated with your travel company.
Your travel company should pay for your basic utilities such as gas, water, electric, and trash, but you will have to arrange for such services as phone, internet access, or cable TV. When your travel company calls to tell you your assignment address, they might also give you the information for setting up these services (such as, which cable provider is in that area). If they do not, you can always call the apartment complex and they should be able to give you that information.
I like the simplicity of having my travel nursing company provide my housing, but if you wish to have a bit more control over your accommodations, then next week we’ll take a look at how to arrange your own travel assignment housing.