By July 28, 2011 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What should I do when a long commute is part of my housing?

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travel nurse stuck in trafficAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

I will be doing a travel assignment at Boston Children’s Hospital. Not being familiar with the area I am planning on taking housing offered by my company. However, the housing is in Waltham, Quincy, and/or Malden which I’m finding is a commute of an hour or greater. Just wondering if you had any advice or info you could share.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

I have over 15 years of travel experience and during that time I have always allowed my travel company to provide my housing. However, I have never had more than a 30 minute commute and that was only when my company specifically asked me if such a commute would be okay.

I do not know the company you are with, but there are currently hundreds of travel companies out there and not all are equal. I tend to travel with “well-rounded” companies that might not pay the highest hourly wage, but they offer a fair rate, good housing (close to the facility), and good standard benefits (health insurance, travel reimbursement, etc).

Even when I have been in places known to have expensive housing, the company has placed me within a reasonable distance to the hospital to allow a commute that is less than 30 minutes. Your situation would be unacceptable to me, but honestly, with the companies I travel with, it has never even been an issue; it’s simply not something that is done.

I would tell your housing coordinator at the company that it is unacceptable and that it might cause you not to take the assignment. Of course I do not know your specific situation with the contract you signed and that affects a lot. But most contracts allow the company to terminate the contract (with or without advanced notice) and mine have all stated that I can do the same. This is especially true when they have no expense involved (if you haven’t taken travel money and haven’t stayed in any company housing, what money would they ever be out as a result of you not taking the contract?)

Again, it’s impossible to know specifics without reading your contract and knowing your situation. But I would also contact your recruiter and get them involved on this. If it can’t be worked out to your satisfaction, there are plenty of other companies that would place you closer to your assignment facility (you might even mention this to whomever if you have to play hard ball).

I hope this helps.

David
TravelNursesBible.com
david@travelnursesbible.com

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About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

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