If you’re looking for great pay and benefits and more flexibility in your career, travel nursing might be the right solution for you. However, many people think they need to travel across the country to be a travel nurse. That’s actually completely a preference! In fact, you can find a travel nurse job close to home and still get all the perks of being a traveler. Our team is here to help you find assignments that make the most sense for you, no matter where you want to work. In this article, we’ll discuss taking travel assignments locally, some things you should know, as well as the pros and cons of this option.
How to Find a Travel Nurse Job with AHS NurseStat
Before we get into all the details about being a travel nurse in a more local area, let’s talk about how we help you find a travel nurse job that’s right for you. As a top travel nurse agency, we work with thousands of healthcare facilities all across America that want to fill temporary staffing gaps with travel nurses. To find an assignment, you can browse our job board and use the filters to find assignments in your specialty and in the location you’re looking for. You can also search for keywords that help you narrow down the available assignments.
If you find something you like, you can apply right on the page with your name, contact information, and resume. Then, one of our experienced recruiters will reach out and talk to you about the assignment and help you through the process. Your recruiter helps with everything from finding you new assignments when you’re ready to just checking in on you during your assignment to make sure you’re happy.
Another option is to reach out directly to our recruiters for help to find a travel nurse job that fits you. One of our recruiters will get in touch and talk to you about your needs, from your specialty to the details of where you want to work. Then, they match you with travel assignments that make sense for you and help you with the application process, as well as finding you new assignments when you need them and being your resource and support while on assignment.
Is it Possible to Find a Travel Nurse Job Close to Home?
So, can you take a travel nurse job closer to home? Yes, this is typically an option. You can work within the same state or even just a few cities away. If a travel assignment is available and you’re a good candidate for the job, we work with you to make it happen. If you’re not much of a jet setter, but love the freedom, flexibility, and pay of travel nursing, then there are absolutely options available for you. Talk to our recruiters about your needs and we’ll work with you to find your dream job.
Requirements for Local Travel Nurses
Of course, there are some requirements before you find a travel nurse job. The first is you need to have a license and the credentials for your specialty. You also need two years of experience as a nurse in your specialty before taking travel assignments with AHS. Beyond that, there are some other things to think about if you’re considering staying local.
Consider Tax-Free Stipends as You Try to Find a Travel Nurse Job
Travel nurses that travel far from home for their assignments usually receive tax-free stipends for things like housing (or use housing we provide for added convenience). These expenses are generally included in the travel nurse salary for each assignment. However, if you want to be a local travel nurse, there are some things you should know. If you stay too close to home, then you may not be eligible for the stipends. The general rule is that if it’s not feasible to commute back and forth from your primary residence and the assignment facility, then you can receive a travel stipend. Keep in mind that if you choose to commute back home even if it takes several hours, then you’re not eligible for stipends because you’re not duplicating these living expenses.
What About the 50-Mile Rule?
A lot of people believe there’s a 50-mile rule for travel nurses to receive tax-free stipends. However, the IRS doesn’t actually have a mileage requirement. It’s generally just if you work outside the general area of your tax home that you’re eligible to receive the stipend. That might look different for each area, so there’s no specific mile radius.
The so-called 50-mile rule likely comes from facility requirements. Many healthcare facilities require their travelers to live a certain distance away to be able to take the travel job. This is to prevent staff nurses from quitting and taking the travel nurse job for premium pay. Sometimes the requirement is 50 miles, sometimes it’s 100 miles, and sometimes a facility doesn’t have any requirement at all.
Advantages of Finding a Travel Nurse Job Locally
There are many perks of being a travel nurse in your home state and somewhere close to home. Some of the advantages include:
Travel Nurse Salary
One of the many reasons to become a traveler is because of the pay. The average travel nurse salary is often much higher than staff nurses. Pay and benefits for nurses that work with AHS NurseStat include:
- Competitive compensation packages
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance
- 401K matching
- Professional liability/malpractice coverage
- Licensure and credentials reimbursements
- Agency provided housing or tax-exempt housing stipend
Becoming a travel nurse in your home state can help reduce homesickness as well. Many nurses who choose to stay local are within a distance that allows them to drive just a few hours to be back home among friends and family. Many travelers who choose this route visit home on off days.
Being a travel nurse provides much more flexibility than a staff nursing job. Travel nurses work on a temporary contract basis, with assignments usually lasting about 13 weeks or so. After that, nurses can often extend their contract if they like where they’re at or they can move onto a different facility in need. Many of our travelers also take time off in between assignments to relax, spend time with family, or go on vacation. Being a travel nurse provides you a lot of freedom, which is another benefit of choosing this unique career opportunity.
Great for Networking
Working as a travel nurse in your home state is also a great opportunity for networking. You get to meet new people and learn how many different facilities run. This experience and these connections can be invaluable for your career, whether you decide to keep traveling forever or decide to settle down in a permanent position later.
No Need to Get Another License When you Find a Travel Nurse Job
If you find a travel nurse job in your state, then there’s no need to apply for a license in another state. While we have a whole team of Credential Specialists to help nurses get the licensing and credentials they need for each assignment, some nurses prefer the convenience of sticking close to home and avoiding those applications and licensing processes. So, this is another potential benefit of staying in your state as a travel nurse.
Drawbacks of Staying Local as a Travel Nurse
Of course, like any other job, there are some potential drawbacks. Here are some things to consider:
It Might be Harder to Find a Travel Nurse Job that Fits Your Needs
If you want to stay close to home, then this can limit your assignment options. Any time you limit yourself to a certain geography, there are going to be fewer assignments to choose from than the nurses that are willing to work practically anywhere.
You Might Not Qualify for Tax-Free Stipends As Part of Your Travel Nurse Salary
As we mentioned, tax-free stipends for things like housing can make up a big part of a travel nurse’s compensation. However, if you find an assignment too close to your tax home (the city or general area where you live), then you might not be eligible for these stipends. While your salary is still typically higher than a staff nurse even without these stipends, keep in mind that you may need to travel a certain distance away to qualify for these stipends.
Some Facilities Require You to Travel a Certain Distance
As we mentioned in the section about the supposed 50-mile rule, many facilities only accept candidates that live a certain distance away from the facility. Therefore, you might not be eligible for some assignments. This can limit the pool of assignments to choose from somewhat. Talk to our recruiters about common requirements from facilities and to find solutions to help you get your dream job.
Find a Travel Nurse Job Today with AHS NurseStat – A Top 10 Travel Nurse Agency
Our team at AHS NurseStat helps travel nurses all across the country find assignments and pursue their dream job. We are a community of professionals dedicated to helping you achieve your goals, whether you’re a traveler for the amazing pay, the adventure of traveling across America, or the ability to help facilities in need. We are proud to be one of the top 10 travel nurse agencies according to Highway Hypodermics based on feedback and reviews from our travelers. Start your dream job as a travel nurse today. Browse our job board or talk to a recruiter to get started.