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Local travel nursing, is it right for you?

Want to get paid like a travel nurse, but have ties to where you live now? Insert the hidden gem of local travel nursing. Many nurses want to take the leap to travel, but can't because they have commitments that require them to be close to home. 

Main points

  1. What is local travel nursing

  2. How to find a local travel position

  3. Benefits of local travel

The travel assignment I originally planned on taking fell through and a local hospital was hiring travelers. I asked the recruiter I was working with  if they accepted anyone local and he introduced me to local travel nursing. Local travel nursing means that instead of taking the tax free stipend. The money you make is all taxed because you are not duplicating expenses. The local travel assignment I took was  about 20 miles from home, so it was easy to drive back and forth every day. Keep in mind that the 50 mile rule isn’t real and is actually a myth. The 50 mile rule is a common misconception in travel nursing communities that states you can take tax free stipends if you live over 50 miles away from the hospital. The way that you are eligible for tax free stipends is if you are duplicating expenses; have a tax home and pay rent somewhere else. Please discuss any tax free stipends with  a tax professional that is well versed in travel nursing. Local travel jobs aren't posted as such unless they are internal jobs that the hospital is posting. 

How to find a local travel position?

Local jobs aren't posted any differently. Just search for the job you want to apply  for and reach out to  the hospital or recruiter to see if the hospital accepts local travel nurses. Then you'll need to ask if the pay is the same when they factor in no stipend. This results in a higher hourly rate. If you are already working with a recruiter or company, reach out to them before you apply to the job. 

The other option I mentioned before is internal travel nursing. Internal travel nursing is where the hospital hires you instead of the travel company. Jobs are usually posted on the hospitals website. This is pretty new as hospitals want to cut out the travel nursing companies and could be another good option. Many of the internal positions either have benefits or the option to make more money without benefits. 

What are  the benefits of local travel?

Benefits can include higher hourly rates than staff nursing, time off between assignments  and the ability to request time off during  an assignment. You are also still able to get the  travel nursing perks and benefits without actually having  to leave your own home  and can still take care of your responsibilities. This was also a great way for me to decide if I even liked travel nursing before I left my support system and spent money to travel further away. 

Local travel is definitely a great option if you are  looking to save money while making great money! It allowed me to purchase some big ticket items, achieve my financial goals and save. 

Take home points:

  1. Local travel has great benefits

  2. Finding local travel assignments are easy if you know  what to look for

  3. Local travel nursing is a great way to make money and still have the perks of not being a staff nurse. 


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