How long can a travel nurse stay in one place

How Long Can a Travel Nurse Stay in One Place

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How long can a travel nurse stay in one place?

So, you’re on assignment and you want to know how long can a travel nurse stay in one place. It’s been 8 weeks and things are going well. You get along with the manager, the unit is friendly and you found an affordable and cute place to lay your head for the duration of the contract. The only problem is, you don’t want to leave!

In this blog we’ll answer the question of how long a travel nurse can stay in one place or assignment. 13 weeks can fly by and no doubt at some point in time in your travel nursing career you’re going to want to “extend” on your assignment. If you wish to stay in one location a bit longer, the best advice we have is to communicate and contact your travel nursing agency as early as possible.

How long can a travel nurse extend (Max extension length)?

Overall, a travel nurse can take travel contracts in one place/facility for 12 months. This means you can extend at the facility you’re currently on contract with for an additional 39 weeks or up until the year mark of your first contracted day.  An “extension” is not guaranteed though. The facility approving an extension requires them to having a need for a travel nurse through that time period still. In most situations, the facility will still need this traveler for some time frame depending on the the time of year the contract ends. In the winter, extensions are much more probable as census can remain high.

Can My Extension Be Guaranteed?

In summer months when flu season is over and the census can drop at facilities, an extension to stay in one location might not be approved. In that situation the facility “declines” the extension. In that scenario, you still have the ability to submit your profile to another facility close by if they have a need for your specialty. The jobs and relationships your agency has will come into play here greatly. If you work with a smaller agency that is limited on facilities they may only be able to send you jobs from a great distance. If you work with a larger company, or one with a great presence in that area, they may be able to find you a facility that will allow you to submit and interview and being an assignment there. But all of this is really chance. There’s no guarantee that the facility will have that job or even that they would select you for the interview. As always, being flexible and looking at every possible option is recommended.

Some facilities will offer an extension without you putting in a request for one. In this situation, the facility is pleased enough with your work as their traveler and is offering you another 13 week extension (or whatever extension the facility is approving but its typically the same length as the original contract). You then can choose to accept or decline this offer, as well as send over requested time off dates for approval.

Time Off Requests

As we discussed in the previous blog on how does travel nursing work, we outlined the submission process to a new facility and how you have limited time off that you can request. But when you are extending, whether it be by your own request or the facilities, you can expect that the facility will be open to a higher amount of time off. This is because it takes time and resources to bring a new travel nurse in. So they are more inclined to accept your time off and keep the traveler they have, rather than bring in someone new who may not be a good fit. This is extremely useful if you would like to fit an extended vacation in an extension or between the end of your first contract and the extension. Facilities can offer 1-2 weeks usually from the end of the contract to the start of your extension. In this time, you can go on a cruise, travel abroad, or just go back to your tax home and recharge for your next stint on assignment.

Extensions are a great way to save time and resources as you don’t need to pick up and move and incur the stress that comes with moving or finding another assignment. Yes, you may not be traveling, which is why you might have originally became a traveler in the first place, but who are we kidding, you also do this job to pay the bills and at the end of the extension, you’ll find your bank account is very happy with the consecutive weeks of work.

How Are Your Taxes Affected?

Understanding how taxes work for travel nurses can be perplexing, it is best to consult a certified tax professional for assistance or any other questions regarding taxes. You may also ask your travel nursing agency about how to stay tax compliant. One of the most important things for all travel nurses to remember is how necessary it is to have a permanent tax home.

What is the Difference Between a Permanent Residence and a Tax Home?

One important thing to note is that a permanent residence and a tax home are not the same thing. To put it simply, a permanent residence is the area in which you have obtained a driver’s license, where your mail comes, where your vehicle is registered and where you received your professional practice license, etc. A tax home is essentially the area where you make most of your income.

How Are Tax Rules Applied to the Salary for Travel Nurses?

A travel nurse has a different pay structure than a staff nurse because they also get a base hourly pay in which taxes are applied, as well as additional payments that are not taxed to make up their total salary. When you enter into a contract for a travel assignment, you will receive a pay package that will stipulate all of the varying features of what you will actually be compensated. For travelling nurses, the IRS grants an exception to the tax home description. Rather than looking at the initial place of income, it is possible for the tax home to become the permanent residence. For more details about how taxes are applied to a travel nurse salary, we advise you to contact your recruiter.


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