Your next assignment starts here. Search jobs now!
By August 24, 2011 2 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: Can travelers work close enough to home to be back on days off?


travel nurse  and  daughter

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Is it possible to do travel nursing close enough to home so that I can come back on my days off?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Yes, that is possible.

To take full advantage of any tax breaks that you could receive, you will want to take an assignment that is far enough away from home that it is reasonable to expect that you would need to stay somewhere (hotel,etc) rather than returning home at the end of a work day. Some people call this the “50 mile rule”, but in fact, the IRS does not have such a specific rule. The IRS is hardly ever specific on anything and in this instance, they say something to the effect that an assignment needs to be far enough away from your permanent “tax home” to require an overnight stay rather than returning home from work each day. If you would like to read up on the taxing aspects of this, Joseph Smith is a well known tax expert in the world of travel. You can access a bunch of info on his website under his FAQ page.

Joseph is also very knowledgeable about tax advantage programs, which your company might offer. He is also very approachable and if you have further tax questions you could send him an email through his site or even contact him by phone….believe he has contact info on his site

You can actually take a local contract that is a travel assignment. I have worked a “travel contract” that was just 15 miles from my tax home. However, under taxing guidelines, you are more restricted on what you can claim as far as housing reimbursement, meal and incidentals deductions, etc. To stay the safest under the eyes of the tax men, you could just take an assignment in another part of the state (maybe a hundred miles away or more) and then easily return home on your days off.

If you do not already have companies you are working with, I can give you the names of a few of the recruiters I use at companies I trust (my email is listed below). Be sure to join more than one company (I am on file with about 6) to open yourself up to the widest range of assignments. Hope this helps.



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.

2 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: Can travelers work close enough to home to be back on days off?"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. George Bowers


    Thanks for all the helpful info. I am on my first travel assignment and am wondering what took me so long, as I’ve been a nurse for 29 years. I live only 90 miles from my assignment and travel home to my wife on my days off. After seven weeks, I still feel that the people in this facility [a very large hosp. & OR in DC] have been very nice to me and extremely helpful. Maybe its my attitude or that in the OR one spends an extended amount of time with your colleagues and get to know them quite well. Thanks again for writing.

  2. Jeff says:

    I am glad you find our site useful. And more glad that you are enjoying travel nursing.

Post a Comment