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Travel Nursing-Traveling without a "home" to come back to?

Travel   (694 Views | 3 Replies)
by weibelem weibelem (New) New Student Pre-Student

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Hi guys! I've been lucky and have been able to stay home with my parents while going to nursing school. I'm currently finishing up my Associates's Degree, and plan on working as an RN while I finish my BSN. After I finish my BSN I plan on jumping into travel nursing. I'm thinking about trying it out for a year or two and maximizing how much I earn by not paying for an apartment that I come back to in-between assignments. Would I be able to use my parent's home as a "tax home" since I will be living there until I start travel nursing, and can technically come back and stay there whenever I need to? Or are tax homes more complicated than that? 

Has anybody done this? Is it worth it to travel nurse and live more like a "nomad" rather than have a home to come back to?

Side Question: If you are a travel nurse, how much experience did you have before starting travel nursing? I know you need prior experience and the websites say you need 1-2 years. However, nursing peers have said they were able to get travel nursing jobs with much less experience.

Edited by weibelem

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,403 Posts; 45,686 Profile Views

My personal opinion is that your parent's home where you are living (if you continue until you travel) counts as a tax home. Mind you, some tax specialists may disagree and I will not be present if you are audited.

Outside of perhaps LTC, no one will (should) hire you as a traveler with less than two years experience (as a minimum, not all nurses should travel with just two years experience). Outside of safety and competency concerns, you have to recognize that travel is a business. And the business model is a flat bill rate per hour worked. Why would a manager hire a nurse with one year of experience when for the same money get a nurse with 5 years of experience? And why would a nurse with the least bit of common sense take such a red flagged job? 

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3 hours ago, NedRN said:

My personal opinion is that your parent's home where you are living (if you continue until you travel) counts as a tax home. Mind you, some tax specialists may disagree and I will not be present if you are audited.

Outside of perhaps LTC, no one will (should) hire you as a traveler with less than two years experience (as a minimum, not all nurses should travel with just two years experience). Outside of safety and competency concerns, you have to recognize that travel is a business. And the business model is a flat bill rate per hour worked. Why would a manager hire a nurse with one year of experience when for the same money get a nurse with 5 years of experience? And why would a nurse with the least bit of common sense take such a red flagged job? 

Thanks for the advice! I'll look into the tax home situation a bit more.

I did a bit more research on new travel nurses and apparently things have started to change and programs have been initiated so new grad nurses (with less than a year experience) can now work as a travel nurse. These programs apparently offer longer orientation times, a nurse mentor, and other forms of support within the hospitals. I'm not certain why these programs started popping up in nurse travel agencies but it is definitely worth looking into.

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Those programs (admittedly I'm not familiar with them) are a way to expand agency business. Almost assuredly they will place you at a rural hospital, or a large urban hospital with a bad reputation. Both have a hard time finding staff. I'd guess one or two year contracts, and probably minimal orientation (but perhaps better than typical travel assignment orientations). I'd also venture a guess that these programs are aimed at poorly performing students who cannot land an internship at a good teaching hospital. Look into if you want, but if you want to be a good nurse, pass! Also, no tax benefits that travelers enjoy - so I cannot see any appeal. Likely such contracts will make you hospital employees, not agency, so you are almost certainly going to be better off looking for a good internship on your own.

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