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As you are no doubt aware, travel nurses have never been busier or more in demand. The pandemic has pushed many healthcare workers to become stressed and burnt out to the point that they’ve taken long leaves of absence or just quit altogether. This has in need an uptick for travel nurses needed across the country as hospitals are desperate to be well-staffed, as COVID-19 continues to impact the US
However, this situation presents traveling nurses with a challenge: where will they live? Traditional corporate housing providers are not equipped to scale with the growth of the profession. At Travelers Haven, we’ve watched this issue grow and seen first-hand how hard it can be for travel nurses to secure suitable housing, especially when they’re just given a stipend and left to find their own housing. Nursing is already a stressful enough job, they don’t need the added stress of having to find affordable housing as well. Searching through a long list of options is tiring and it can be almost impossible to find a place that aligns with your needs.
With a new variant of COVID-19 rapidly spreading, it will be no surprise to see the demand for travel nurses rise, which means more housing will be required. That also means the search to find suitable accommodations will be increasingly difficult. To help find housing in this tight market, we’ve put together three tips for travel nurses with a stipend who need short-term housing. Whether it’s a three, six, or nine-month stay, these tips can be used to make the search for housing more of a smooth process and alleviate some of the anxiety and overwhelming stress that comes with searching for a short-term rental.
Communication is key
When you receive your next assignment you will either secure housing yourself, work with a housing-on-demand partner, or have a staffing agency seek out suitable accommodations for you. However, communication is sometimes overlooked. Our advice is to consistently and openly communicate with all parties. If you share the non-negotiables upfront, as well as trade-offs and the urgency of your request, the right short-term rental for you can be found much sooner.
We often do not think of what we will and will not accept until we’re at the place and realize the location is in a noisy area, or it’s too small, or it doesn’t have a backyard. Ask questions about what’s available, what can be upgraded, etc. Make it clear where you stand and you will have a far better chance of finding housing that suits most – if not all – of your needs. I also find it incredibly helpful to continuously check in with the parties involved up until you begin your stay. Then, you can get a greater understanding of what to expect, get recommendations for nearby grocery stores, pharmacies, and so much more.
Set a budget
As soon as you get your next assignment, research the market, so you can create a budget plan! The cost of living in Arkansas is much different compared to the cost of living in New York City, so keeping that in mind as you plan your trip is important. When you set a budget, you make it less stressful for yourself to search for the right housing, because you already understand your financial limits. If you utilize a workforce housing-on-demand solution, give them a budget can provide you with options that align with your budget and stipend in significant less time than if you had no clear idea of your budget.
Explore all options – with help!
If you are handling your own booking, you do not have to do it alone. Consider contacting a company that specializes in securing short-term rentals. One of the biggest issues I’ve seen in my own experience is that too much time is spent on searching. Many of our own customers would share that before contacting us they had spent up to ten hours total searching for short-term housing that was not only was comfortable, but affordable. Spending too much time searching or having too many options can cause decision paralysis, which can elevate levels of anxiety and stress. Places like Furnished Finder or other housing-on-demand companies can alleviate some of the stress and anxiety you may otherwise face.
Hybrid housing is also an option that many aren’t aware of. This option can be the answer for many who have to get to their next location asap, but can’t find suitable housing as quickly as needed. When that’s the case, book a hotel or let those who are booking for you know that you’re willing to stay elsewhere until reasonable housing can be found.
Working in the medical field is hard, especially when you throw a pandemic into the mix. Hospitals and healthcare clinics around the country are increasingly needing traveling nurses and other healthcare workers. This demand can make it more difficult for workers to find the perfect short-term housing. While the supply can seem limited, do not forget that it’s extremely important to have a comfortable place to stay while you work through challenging conditions for days at a time. By utilizing these tips, as well as considering using a third party to secure housing, you can reduce some of the burdens that come with being a traveling nurse with a stipend.