Have you heard about local travel nursing contracts? Chances are if you’re an RN you’ve (at bare minimum) considered travel nursing and chances are even though the high salaries may have seemed tempting – you just couldn’t imagine leaving home for 13-weeks at time.
Perhaps you have familial responsibilities such as young children or aging parents. Perhaps you have community projects you’re committed to such as a local PTA or a church group. Or perhaps you just love coming home to familiar surroundings in the comfort of your own home.
Whatever the case may be – we assure you that you CAN travel nurse without having to travel.
Here is how you can travel nurse locally, get that great pay, take more time off work, have access to full healthcare benefits, and have 24/ access to a nurse advocate without leaving the comforts of home:
Take a Local Contract
This will typically be a contract at a local hospital in your hometown. Many do hire local travel nurses for travel contracts at the same great rates you’ve been seeing but with one major difference: stipends.
Here’s how your income will be different with a local travel nurse contract:
- Nurses on a travel assignment are typically paid an hourly rate + a travel stipend to cover the costs of travel. The stipend being tax free.
- Nurses who take local travel contracts will not get a travel stipend (because there is typically minimal travel involved), but will have a higher hourly pay.
Take a Travel Nurse Contract 50 Miles Away
If you’re not against a long commute – it is possible to meet some hospital’s “radius” requirements for travel nurses – by choosing a contract in a hospital that is 50 miles away.* This way you’ll qualify for the contract, get paid like any travel nurse with a tax free travel stipend and be able to tuck that stipend away each week.
Fifty miles is usually a one-hour commute each way – which – can seem like a long time – especially after a 12-hour shift – but if you look at it like your “down-time” it can be a relaxing way to start and end each day with a hot beverage, some good tunes, or your favorite murder mystery podcast.
If that commute sounds the most “relaxing” nightmare you’ve ever had – you can also talk to your recruiter about block scheduling. Block scheduling simply means your shifts are blocked together so that you can go home in between shifts. For example: you could work three, 12-hours shifts Monday through Wednesday, and go home Thursday through Sunday.
*Hospitals have various policies on just how far a travel nurse must live from the facility in order to qualify for the travel contact. This can be anywhere from 50 to 150 miles away.
Local Travel Nursing Contracts Q&A
Question: Are There Local Travel Nursing Contracts Near Me?
Answer: None of the following should come as any surprise: If you live in a small rural area, without many nearby hospitals – the chances of landing a “local” contract are going to be slim. But if you live in a pretty populated area with a few hospitals in the vicinity, the chances for landing a local contract are going to be high!
The best way to learn about your options for a local contract is to speak to a recruiter who will be able to give you some better insight into what’s available in your area.
Question: Will I make more money than a staff nurse?
Answer: Highly likely. Even at the low end, a travel contract that pays $3,000 a week works out to $156K a year. Most of the travel nursing contracts at Next Move pay between $3,000 & $5,500 per week gross, depending on your specialty and location.
And remember, no one wants to work every single week of the year. Most travel nurses take between 2-8 weeks off per year and still gross over $100K annually. Staff nurses earn anywhere from $55-85K per year gross depending on their specialty and years of experience.