How Long Can Travel Nurses Stay in One Place?

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By AB Staffing Solutions

June 9, 2023



How Long Can Travel Nurses Stay in One Location?

AB Staffing Solutions provided this article.

Traveling and taking vacations can offer many health benefits and is a great way to improve your overall well-being. Exposure to new cultures, landscapes, and experiences can help stimulate your mind and enhance your creativity. Taking a break from your everyday routine can help you relax and rejuvenate, which will lower your stress levels.

Just like traveling for vacation, travel nursing assignments come with loads of benefits for your body, mind, and career. Work freedom and acquiring new skills that put you ahead of your nursing peers top the list.

travel nurses stay one place

You can also make more money as a travel nurse while enjoying various perks, including travel and accommodation untaxed per diem. The average salary of a travel nurse, according to, is $92,247 as of December 2022, compared to $60,100 for a staff nurse.

If you love the area and facility where you are working, you have the possibility of extending your contract. Staying in one place for too long can have its downsides, though. You can end up losing some of your travel benefits. How long can you stay in one place as a travel nurse and still enjoy your high pay rate and untaxed per diem? Here’s what you need to know. 

For How Long Can a Travel Nurse Stay in The Same Place?

How long you stay in one place depends on several factors, including your contract period and whether your facility wants to extend your contract. The typical travel nurse contract usually lasts 13 weeks, while some last up to 6 months.

According to the IRS, if you’re a travel nurse with a tax home, there’s a one-year (12 months) limit to staying in one assignment. The months do not have to occur in sequence to achieve your 12 months limit. The IRS refers to assignments that last over one year as ‘indefinite.’ These assignments do not qualify for tax benefits on reimbursements or tax deductions.

The Real Reason Travel Nurses Can’t Overstay in One Place

Foregoing tax deductions is just one downside of staying in one place for too long. But here’s the real reason: Your tax home could shift to your current area, which means you lose your tax home. 

If your tax-home shifts, you will pay taxes on all the tax-free reimbursements you collected for your entire travel assignment period in that city. That could mean huge expenses for you. 

For How Long Should a Travel Nurse Leave Before They Return to the Same Place?

travel nurses stay one place

The IRS directs that you cannot stay in the same location for more than 12 months in a rolling 24-month period. That means you cannot exceed 1 year at one workplace within 24 months, whether you’re working continuously or taking breaks between the months.  

If you’ve worked in an area for 3 months, you can still return and work for 9 more months before you hit your one-year limit.

The main trick is to avoid working in one area for too long, as that may shift your tax home. 

Your tax home is where you earn the highest percentage of your annual income. If the annual income from a new location exceeds that from your tax home, your tax home shifts, and you lose your tax deduction benefits upon travel.

The Bottom Line

While you can work in one place as long as you like, staying in one area for over a year disqualifies you from receiving tax-free reimbursements and tax deductions. You could also lose your tax home if the annual income from a new area exceeds that from your tax home. 

You must keep moving around to maintain your current tax home. No hospital away from your tax home should become the leading source of your income for many years. 

The Right Agency Can Help You Land Travel Nursing Jobs in Different Areas

Having a variety of travel nursing jobs in different areas is one of the best ways to grow your travel nursing career. Choosing the right travel agency helps you land the best travel nurse jobs when you need to make that change. AB Staffing can help you find jobs in various travel nursing specialties, including Acute Care, Corrections, and Education jobs.

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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