Author Topic: Considering travel nursing  (Read 1519 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Considering travel nursing
« on: May 18, 2019, 10:16:18 AM »
Hello, please share your thoughts and experience if you have any!

My family and I are considering travel nursing - in Canada, essentially we would get paid by the km to travel to the contracts, have free housing including utilities, and I would work for an agreed upon rate between $48-60/h; while my husband would stay in the provided housing  with our daughter who is 1. So we would sell our house which we pay $931 monthly and owe $41000 on, and our bills would essentially be vehicle maintenance, insurance,  and phones. This way one of us can be a stay at home parent. We would do this temporarily, we have a home line of credit 18000 from a roof and structural  repair which we would pay off and close,  and are considering purchasing an income property with the equity when we sell our home as a down payment. We would travel nursing until we can purchase a primary property in a location of our choice, which we think would take 3 years. Currently I work part time making about 55000 and he works full time making about 90000.

It sounds crazy, and we (read:I) am somewhat uncomfortable with going to one income, however my husband wants to leave the industry he is in anyways, and if we had a rental property we could  live off of my income when we do settle down and he could be a stay at home dad. As a nurse I can also work in most communities so we would have a lot more flexibility on where we want to live - preferably somewhere more walkable and family friendly, with good schools. I think if my husband was the nurse and I was a stay at home mom we would be doing this without a second thought.

Has anyone done something like this in health care or a different industry?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Considering travel nursing
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 02:00:28 PM »
Why sell the existing house? Is there no market to rent your existing house out? Especially if you only owe $41k on it.

My wife and I looked into doing travel nursing, but it isn't for us(financially). We feel we can make more money being where we are than if she were to be a travel nurse.

Iw ould consider keeping your existing house, rent it out, and down the road possibly look at acquiring another one. 


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Considering travel nursing
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 04:02:48 PM »
Iím not sure this fits the Case Study section. You might want to move this to Ask a Mustachian


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Considering travel nursing
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 05:53:56 PM »
I do traveling contract work in the industrial construction industry. Most my contracts last around 3-12 months. While your ďbillsĒ might only be those you listed, youíll still have all your standard expenses. Instead of covering my housing, my employer gives me per diem ($980/wk tax free). There are other expenses and struggles involved with moving frequently. For my wife and I, it makes sense, but my income traveling is far far more than it would be if I didnít travel, and my wifeís earning potential isnít nearly as much.

It looks like your income will be going from 145k (currently) to 120k (pending you are able to stay employed 40 hrs/wk at $60/hr for 50 weeks of the year).

Unless youíre able to get long term contracts, or ability to work a lot of overtime, I donít see you coming out a ton ahead financially from where youíre at now.

If your main goal is to have a stay at home parent, then it looks like that will be achieved.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Considering travel nursing
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 01:31:48 AM »
I've been a travel nurse in the US for quite some time.  I have found it's very possible to "hack" the housing stipend. Generally, I have been able to find short term leases/sublets on apartments for significantly less than they give me for stipends. For example, my current contract provided me about 1800 mo, I'm currently paying $400. Taking the provided housing is my very, very, very last option. I'm single, but I basically live off of the food and housing stipends in totality,  saving my entire hourly wage.  It takes some time and effort to do it this way, but if you have a stay at home spouse it'll help lessen the burden of finding housing at the next contract location.

If you want more details about travel nursing (at least in the US) feel fee to PM me.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Considering travel nursing
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 05:12:09 AM »
It sounds like having a one year old, is a period in which you can be a bit flexible, as the child isn't in school yet.

If your husband wants to change career in time, he could perhaps use the stay at home period to do some study in a new field? It might be a mental challenge for you to work fulltime, if you are used to working part time.

Do you get paid for your commuting time between different customers? Do you need to drive between several customers during a day? If that time is not paid for, then maybe it is difficult to get paid for a full time job.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Considering travel nursing
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2019, 04:37:17 PM »
I think itís both exciting and concerning. We considered the same thing several years ago, except Iím the wife and my husband is a nurse. I have a career that could potentially be done remotely, and Iím the breadwinner. At the time we were considering it, we had two young toddler boys. We thought long and hard, and ultimately decided against it. I honestly donít know if that was the right or wrong decision, but Iím pretty okay with how it turned out.

The housing piece was a big unknown for us... the instability of perhaps not finding the right accommodation for our family was a definite concern. Because nurse contracts are so fluid and sometimes donít get executed until just before youíre supposed to show up, it can be hard to find the right place for your family on such short notice.  There were other factors too, but in the end we just decided to scrap the idea for the time being.

I think it can work out if you are super certain this is the path you want, and can be flexible on the kind of housing.

fuzzy math

  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Considering travel nursing
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2019, 05:08:42 PM »
The main issue I see with your plan is that come age 5-6 your kiddo is going to need to be in school, and you will have sold your home. If you live in an area where realty appreciates a ton you may have priced yourself out of the market.
In the US, you are often only able to sign on as a travel nurse in the same location so many times before you are sent on your way. The thinking is "if so and so likes this place so much they should be permanent here" (at the lower pay rate)... So I'm not really understanding how you can put your kid in school. Once you are back making your regular rate your DH is likely going to have to work again. Will him having taken off multiple years harm his career trajectory?

Another thing to factor in is the stress that being the primary breadwinner causes. Working wife here with a DH who was a stay at home dad for years. Have you always just worked part time? Are you prepared to see your 1 yr old less and be more tired around him/her when you are home?