Whether you’re looking into becoming a travel nurse or you are already a travel nurse but are exploring new options, you might be wondering, “Is it possible to be a travel nurse in your own state?”
The answer: Absolutely!
Local travel nursing is possible, but there are some important things you need to know before you start.
Keep reading to learn how to be a travel nurse in your own state, the benefits and drawbacks of hometown travel nursing, and more.
Table of Contents
- Can I Be a Travel Nurse in My Own State?
- Can You Be a Travel Nurse Where You Live?
- Breaking Down the “Radius Rules” of Being a Travel Nurse in Your Own State
- Are There Benefits to Local Travel Nursing?
- Disadvantages of Local Travel Nursing
- FAQ About Local Travel Nursing
- Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Find The Right Travel Nursing Assignment for Your Needs
Can I Be a Travel Nurse in My Own State?
Being a travel nurse in your own state is 100 percent possible.
Many travel nurses are unaware that it is possible to be a travel nurse in your home state.
Becoming a travel nurse doesn’t mean you have to travel across the country or leave your home state to land a job.
Maybe you’ve heard about the “50-mile rule” and are thinking, “I could never be a travel nurse; I enjoy being close to home.”
And that’s the beautiful thing about travel nursing; you can work ten miles away from your front door — it just comes with certain stipulations from the IRS and occasionally the agency you work for.
Can You Be a Travel Nurse Where You Live?
If a facility in your hometown is looking for contracted travel nurses, you can certainly be a travel nurse where you live.
The myth that travel nursing in your own town or state may have come from hospitals and other facilities trying to prevent their full-time staff from picking up contracted positions — but we’ll never really know if that’s true.
So, how can you be a travel nurse where you live? It’s easy.
All you have to do is register with a travel nursing agency, like Trusted Nurse Staffing. From there, you will work with one of our recruiters to customize your resume for the positions that interest you in your hometown — or anywhere in the country.
But there’s a rumor about some radius rules for travel nurses that we feel would be helpful to address.
Breaking Down the “Radius Rules” of Being a Travel Nurse in Your Own State
The radius requirements for being a travel nurse can get a little confusing — oftentimes being blamed on IRS regulations, but these are generally established by staffing agencies or healthcare facilities.
For example, a facility in your state may require that any travel nurses they hire must have a tax home be so far away from the facility — could be 50 miles, or it could be further.
But what about the tax-free stipends? How do those work if you’re travel nursing in your own state?
IRS Publication 463 states that accepting tax-free stipends is determined by whether a person needs to sleep or rest in order to meet the demands of their work while away from home — this mut include an over night stay.
Rules regarding travel nurses’ “tax homes” also come into play. This can complicate things for those nurses who take on continuous assignments without having a home base.
To ensure you’re doing the right thing when it’s time to file your taxes, it’s best to consult your tax professional about your specific situation.
Are There Benefits to Local Travel Nursing?
Although it may not seem like it if you’ve never been a travel nurse before, local travel nursing offers a host of benefits — and some of them benefit you both financially and personally.
After you read the next section, we think you’ll agree, local travel nursing certainly has its perks.
Staying With Family
We get this question a lot:
“Can I be a travel nurse in my own state if I can’t travel with my family?”
And the answer is yes.
If you are someone who really enjoys the field but isn’t ready to leave — or can’t bring your family — local travel nursing is the perfect solution.
Whether you’re looking to start travel nursing in your own city or at least be able to commute home for weekends, being close to family is one of the primary reasons why many nurses choose to keep it local.
No Need for Additional Licenses
Another benefit of local travel nursing is that you don’t have to worry about applying for additional nursing licenses, especially if your state does not offer compact nursing licenses.
Although some travel nursing agencies cover the costs of applying for licensure in different states, obtaining them can be a hassle, especially on a time crunch.
Local travel nursing makes it easy to maintain one state license while still enjoying contracts throughout your city or state.
Receive Higher Pay Than Staff Nurses
As a travel nurse, even in your home state, you’ll receive higher pay than an average staff nurse.
Even as a local travel nurse, you may be required to take on a nursing role quickly, due to demand in certain areas, or during times of need, with little to no training.
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we understand how difficult it can be to sign on to an assignment and “jump right in”.
This is just one of the many reasons our travel nurses receive some of the highest pay in the industry.
We believe in offering our travel nurses the best because they provide the best for their communities, which is why they also receive:
- Part-time and full-time positions
- Referral bonuses
- Flexible contracts from as short as 8 weeks to as long as 52 weeks
- Sign-on and completion bonuses
- License, CEU, and certification reimbursements
- Insurance plans
- And more
Whether you’re a local travel nurse or a nurse who travels across the country for your assignments, we have a benefits package that will work for you.
Opens New Doors to Those Questioning if Travel Nursing Is the Right Career Path
Have you worked as a nurse, but you’re questioning if becoming a travel nurse is the right path for you?
Local travel nursing is one of the best ways to decide.
By staying local, you can experience different contracts throughout your city or state while still having the comforts of home, and learn about the best travel nursing opportunities for your wants and needs.
You’ll gain great experience for your resume and have the opportunity to decide if the fast-paced, ever-changing field of travel nursing is the right fit for you.
Disadvantages of Local Travel Nursing
Although there are many advantages of local travel nursing, there are also some things that you might consider to be disadvantages.
As a local travel nurse, you miss out on the opportunity to see new places around the country.
If you’re a homebody, this may not be a deal-breaker, but if you’re someone looking for adventure and don’t mind traveling outside of your state, consider becoming a regular travel nurse instead of a local travel nurse.
Another disadvantage, one that can be a deal-breaker is that contract options in your area may be limited.
Are you in a city that doesn’t have a high demand for nurses? Hospitals and other facilities in your area may not be looking for contracted employees. You may want to consider looking outside of your local area to begin travel nursing.
And finally, something important to consider, especially if your local travel nursing contract has you working farther from home than you’d like to drive regularly: you will likely have to maintain two living spaces.
Although you may be making a housing stipend, you may also have to maintain your family’s home, as well as your “work” home.
If you are considering becoming a local travel nurse, talk with local agencies. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to help you determine if local travel nursing is the right move for you.
FAQ About Local Travel Nursing
Can I Start as a Local Travel Nurse and Request an Assignment Away from Home at Another Time?
Of course! If you’re looking to get your feet wet or want to switch things up, becoming a local travel nurse and then requesting assignments outside of your local area is pretty simple.
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, for example, our recruiters are here 24/7 to support you.
If you’re currently in a local contract and it is coming to a close, one of our recruiters can help you find the perfect fit for your next assignment — near or far.
As for other agencies, be sure to read your contracts and ensure that you have the option to ask for an assignment farther from home after your current contract ends.
How Long Can I Stay in One Location As a Travel Nurse?
Most travel nursing contracts last anywhere between 8 to 52 weeks, and to be considered a travel nurse in the IRS’ eyes, you must change assignments at least once a year. After a year, the IRS considers your assignment permanent.
This doesn’t mean you have to move from location to location in a year, but you will be required to move to a different facility/contract.
Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Find The Right Travel Nursing Assignment for Your Needs
Are you ready to dive into local travel nursing? Whether you’re looking for your first travel nurse contract or hoping to switch it up and stay local, Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to help you.
Our number one goal is to put our nurses first and help them reach their goals, professionally and personally.