Questions to Ask Your Agency’s Housing Department

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By TNAA- Travel Nurse Across America

December 19, 2022

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Questions to Ask Your Agency’s Housing Department (If They Have One)

TNAA Healthcare provided this article.

There are a few things that can make or break a travel nurse assignment, and housing is at the top of the list. Not having safe, comfortable, affordable housing is an assignment dealbreaker.

Travel nurse housing is an industry pain point for travelers and agencies, but some of these can be fixed by squashing a myth around travel nurse housing and explaining how it works.

Often, when a traveler hears an agency offers housing assistance, they think the agency will not pay a per diem. Because of that, travelers won’t reach out to an agency’s housing department at all. What should be understood is that there are multiple types of housing assistance, and some agencies do it better than others.

Housing Assistance With a Per Diem

Say you pay a mortgage in your home state and qualify for a per diem when you take a travel nurse assignment. When a traveler takes the per diem, sometimes their agency’s housing assistance ends there. However, other agencies will still help you find safe accommodations within your budget, whether you want to stay in an apartment, private rental, long-term hotel, or elsewhere.

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Even if you take a per diem, talk with your agency to see what housing resources they offer. After all, your agency is supposed to be your support system on the road.

Housing Paid For by the Travel Nurse Agency

The next statement is a big point to understand: When you take housing that’s paid for by your agency, you won’t receive a housing per diem. This is because you’re not duplicating expenses by paying for your own accommodations. Instead, the agency is handling the bill.

In the industry, it’s becoming less frequent to take agency housing. Many travelers feel they can find accommodations at a better rate and pocket the rest of the per diem, or they aren’t happy with the ‘paid for’ options they’re provided.

Regardless of whether or not you take the per diem, you’ll want to work with an agency that can assist you in finding the right place to stay, especially in a tight housing market. To help you, here are the travel nurse housing questions you should ask when researching agencies.

Questions to Ask About Travel Nurse Housing

  1. Do you have a housing department, and will I get a dedicated housing specialist?
  2. If the agency pays for housing…
    1. Will I be working with the housing department or an outsourced vendor to secure a place to stay?
    2. Will I have multiple housing options presented to me?
    3. How much input do I have in the option picked?
    4. Are utilities put in the agency’s name or my name?
  3. If taking the per diem…
    1. Will the housing department assist me if I take the per diem?
    2. Does the agency have a leads list I can use to find reliable private owners renting to travelers?
    3. Will the agency help me find an extended-stay hotel and get the best rate?
    4. Can the agency assist with some of the upfront costs of moving, like having to pay deposits or the first and last month’s rent?
    5. Does the agency have discount codes I can use to get the best rate?
  4. If traveling with others…
    1. Will the agency assist me if I want to travel with my friends, family, or pets?
    2. Does the agency consider whether the housing option is in a family-friendly location?
    3. Does the agency consider whether the housing option is in a pet-friendly location?
  5. Will the agency help me find another place to stay if I don’t feel comfortable or safe when I arrive?
  6. Will the agency help me if I want to see the area before I make a final housing decision?

As a travel nurse, you have plenty of to-do’s with each assignment, and finding housing is one of them. With the current housing market, it can be easier to work with an agency with a housing department and specialists dedicated to finding a safe, affordable, and comfortable place for you to stay that accommodates you and any others you bring along for the ride.

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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