Bummed...Can I not do travel nursing in the area I currently live?

  1. Hi everyone,
    I guess I have been naive, because I was all pumped up, thinking I would make some extra money at an in-between point in my life by switching to travel nursing, yet I wanted to "travel" to a local hospital. I just talked to a recruiter, however, who said that you must live over 50 miles from the city in which you want to travel, in order to qualify to be a traveler. Is this true? I am not trying to get out of paying taxes--if the only difference is that I would not receive the fancy "tax-free stipend", that's no problem. But there are other things I liked about the idea of traveling, so I was really bummed when he told me I wouldn't be able to do it.

    The main appeal to me was that, aside from making more money, I could accept a short-term assignment and still get benefits (unlike per diem nursing, where I believe you can't get benefits, and where you wouldn't be guaranteed hours). I really have to get out of my current job--I just hate the floor I'm on, mainly because of a horrible manager and "politics". However, I am thinking of going to grad school, and I don;t want to start up a new perm. position, when I might just end up leaving it. Since I rely on benefits, I thought travel nursing would be a perfect temporary solution for me. Does anyone know if that recruiter was telling the truth, or if he was basically trying to save himself money, because I simply wouldn't qualify for the tax-free money? Or, does anyone have any other suggestions about temporary agencies similar to traveling, that might be an option for me? I live in San Diego, CA, in case anyone knows anything local

    Thanks so much for any help!
  2. Visit KLeigh profile page

    About KLeigh

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 22; Likes: 10
    RN, BSN
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in Oncology, Apheresis, Clinical Research


  3. by   fergus51
    That's not true. I am a "local" traveller. I do assignments close to my home. It means you probably would have to pay taxes on the housing subsidy is all. Some hospitals or companies have the 50 mile requirement, but it's just them as individuals. You just need to find a travel company that doesn't have that requirement.
    Last edit by nightingale on Aug 12, '06
  4. by   nightingale
    so everyone beneifts, please keep conversations on the forum

    staff member
  5. by   RNratched
    i think that many nurses with families reluctant to travel far would benefit from this information. i never hear anything about local travel and find this to be very interesting. it gives so many other personal opportunities to someone settled with a family or any other obligation. please tell more if any other nurses do local traveling!
    Last edit by RNratched on Sep 12, '07 : Reason: spelled word wrong...
  6. by   duggram
    Would agency work be the same as local travel?

    When I was at my first assignment there was a local agency nurse living in the RV space next to me and her take home pay was a lot more than mine.
  7. by   RNratched
    i still don't understand all of the differences between travel nursing and agency nursing. the way i understand it thus far is that agency nurses are not gauranteed shifts, hours, etc. whereas with travel nursing you have a gauranteed assignment for a length of time where you choose. i have also read that in order for some places to conisider you a traveler, you have to travel at least one hour from your homebase. i don't know if this is true in all cases. if i have this wrong i appologize, but like i said...it is just the way i have understood it.
  8. by   duggram
    I'm not an authority on the subject, but you do seem to understand things the way I do.

    That rule about traveling at least an hour from the hospital is a local hospital rule. Do they also tell you at what rate of speed you are supposed to travel during that hour?

    The only real government requirement that I know of is the IRS requirement that your travel assignment be at least 50 miles from your tax home. I got this from my CPA and I would encourage you to visit one too.
  9. by   caroladybelle
    In many places, you can do local "travel".

    However, some hospitals place restrictions, that to qualify to work as a traveler, your permanent residence must be over "X" number miles from the site. The number of miles vary - generally 50-100 miles.

    The facilities put these rules in place to keep from "poaching" their own staff - their staff quitting and then coming back to work for them for higher wages/housing stipend. This was common in parts of Florida, especially with For-Profit hospitals.

    There are tax regulations regarding what things are deductable on taxes when you are working "away from home" vs. working "in your home area". And there are some mileage regulations on that. But there is no ironclad rule about not being to work "travel" within 50 miles of home. But many hospital clients will not accept a traveler within a certain distance for their own reasons.
  10. by   rdeemed70
    I am a local travel nurse who works in a hospital 50 miles from home. I get the housing stipend, but I have it taxed because I do not have a separate tax home. I work in the cath lab, and have to take call, so I use the stipend for a hotel close by for safety sake.
    I have a friend who is working at the same hospital who lives 20 miles away. It really depends on the hospital. The main thing is that you must understand the IRS rules for travelers in tax free per diems. If you look on this forum, there are resources to help you under stand this.
  11. by   rdeemed70
    Oh, and the tax free per diem is not dependent on the distance you are from the job. It depends on whether it will be a hardship for you to work a shift, drive home and drive back to work in the morning. Thus, 50 miles might not qualify. Some people try to get over, hoping to not be audited by the IRS. I'm not taking the chance.
    Also, you must have a tax home, that is you have a residence where you are paying rent/mortgage, and you have to take up residence elsewhere where you are working. I don't have a tax home because I don't have another residence where my job is...
    Be careful... don't let people or $$$ lead you astray and get you in trouble...
    Local travel is pretty cool. I'm loving it right now and it fits my life. Good luck! Check out Highway hypodermics website as noted above. Lots of good stuff there...
  12. by   RNratched
    thanks for all of the hlepful information on this forum. what would be my best option if i am thinking of traveling to save money? i would like to spend the next few years traveling, but for the purpose of paying bills off and saving money to eventually buy a house. i have been hearing of the taxable/untaxable deals. what is the best way to go if you are traveling for the purpose of saving money.
    nappydogg rn