Travel Nurse: Checklist (Housing Stipend)

Another name for this post might be "Things I wish I'd known before signing with my first travel nurse agency." I have compiled the following checklist of housing related questions I now ask prior to taking any travel nursing assignment. Get stuck living in an apartment in Chicago next to a train station located 45 minutes from your work facility and you will quickly learn the value of the questions contained in the checklist. Trust me, it's no picnic. On the other hand, the "resort" condo in West Palm with fenced in pool, hot tub and spa was right up my alley.

Ask the agency:
1) What kind of housing is being offered, private or shared?
2) If shared, can I request a nonsmoking roommate or a roommate that works the same shift as I do?
3) Where is the housing located and when can I move in?
4) Can I get a housing stipend if I live in a home I have purchased in my new assignment area, live out of town with friends or relatives, or rent a home on my own while on assignment?
5) If the travel agency offers a stipend to pay for utilities, when is it paid and is it taxed?
6) Does the assignment I'm considering offer free private housing?
7) Can I take my spouse, significant other, children or pets without any additional charges?
8) Is the house or apartment furnished?

Finally, from all the research I've done, the most important bit of advice I can give is that everything should be included in a written contract. What sounds too good to be true probably is, and the only way for us to be sure we will get all the things we've been told we will get, is to have it put in writing. We should ask our recruiter and the facility to put down on paper the things that are most important to us (if they haven't already). There are lots of agencies and millions of facilities out there, we should be a ble to get what we are looking for and we shouldn't have to settle for less.