headshotOne of the biggest concerns travel nurses have is finding housing for their next assignment. Finding housing for a job you don’t even have yet is tricky, especially when it’s only temporary. At LRS Healthcare, we want to make sure our nurses don’t just find a place to stay; we want to find them a great place to live. That’s why we have our own housing specialist on staff to help find the perfect place for each individual travel nurse.

We asked our Housing Coordinator, Kati Fletcher, to answer a few questions about what exactly she does.

What exactly do you do for LRS, in summary?

As the Housing Coordinator I assist our travel healthcare professionals in finding a safe, nice place to live during the time of assignment, arrange flights, car rentals, driving directions to their destination, and find fun exciting things to do along the way. I’m very much like a travel agent for the healthcare recruiting industry.

LRS provides every nurse with fully furnished private housing or a stipend. What exactly does that mean for them?

Our travelers have the option of having LRS Healthcare pay for their housing within a certain budget, or they are able to take a “stipend,” which is money given to them weekly to pay for their own housing.

What are benefits/drawbacks of those options?

Benefits of taking the stipend are usually that I can find housing cheaper than what the stipend is, so they have extra money for other things. Benefits of us providing housing are they will have a stress free experience and can focus on getting ready for their upcoming assignment.

What are the options for travel nursing housing?

There are many different housing options out there. Hotels, extended stays, renting a room within a home, or renting a fully-furnished apartment. We also have a few that like to travel with their RVs.

Can you explain the process for setting up a travel nurse in housing?

Once a travel healthcare professional lands an assignment, I am sent information containing what hospital they are going to and the dates they will be working. After that I reach out to gather information to make sure I find exactly want they want. From there, I start my search while keeping them in the loop and sending over options as I find them. We will usually weed out a few and come to an agreement on the best housing option for the travel healthcare professional based on their needs. I will make sure to secure the housing for them on the dates needed and always follow up after they arrive and throughout their stay. LRS Healthcare’s main goal is to make sure that all travel and housing assignments go as smoothly as possible and that the travel healthcare professional is happy.

What are a few of the most common questions travel nurses have for you about housing?

The most common question is, “What’s the cost or how much is this housing option?” LRS Healthcare understands that they are traveling and are on a budget, so I will do whatever is needed to stay within their budget while making the most out of their experience.

Another question is, “How far away is the hospital?” A lot of times the nurse needs to be on call and has to be at the hospital within 20 minutes, so housing needs to be somewhat close to the hospital for them to make it on time.

One last question is, “Do they accept pets?” Many travel with their furry friends while they are away from home. I find that a lot of places understand and will accommodate pets, but sometimes there are additional fees for this.

What does LRS do differently than other staffing agencies?

At LRS Healthcare we strive to make the best experience possible for our travel medical professionals. Building and maintaining a great relationship is key. We understand they are very busy but want to enjoy their downtime with fun things to do while they travel. I find events happening in the area from concerts to festivals to great hiking trails and make sure they know about them. I am here to assist them in all travel requests they may have. We truly are a travel agent for our travel medical professionals.

LRS finds housing customized to a nurse’s needs. How do you ensure that nurses get what they’re looking for?

Ask lots of questions! I have created a list of questions I ask every time I find housing for someone. Not only does this keep me organized, but I don’t want to miss any detail or request they have.

As a housing specialist, what tips can you offer travel nurses looking for housing?

Use the free service that LRS Healthcare offers for housing, this is what I am here for. Regardless if they are taking their stipend or LRS Healthcare is paying, the housing coordinator is here to make sure that your travel and housing goes smoothly. Another tip would be to watch out for scammers. If you are looking on Craigslist for options, be careful as there are many scammers on there. Don’t ever send a money via wire transfers or bank transfers.