If the freedom, challenge, and paycheck of travel nursing appeals to you, but you can’t imagine leaving your home, local travel nursing jobs might be an attractive alternative. Working as a local travel nurse marries many of the benefits of out-of-state travel nursing with the perks of working and living in a community you already know and love.

Before you scrub in to local contracts, let’s take a closer look at the reality of local travel nursing, its advantages, and how to decide whether it’s the right fit for your travel expenses and lifestyle.

Local Travel Nursing 101

Many nurses see their work as a calling, but the long hours and static wages can still lead to burnout and staff drop-off over time. 

To fill the gap, many hospitals turn to travel nurses, who work temporary contracts at different hospitals, as needed. Travel nurses tend to make more than staff nurses—in some cases, the equivalent of a staff nurse’s salary in only a few months of work as a travel nurse.1

For some travel nurses, the adventure of traveling across the country is part of what makes it so rewarding. But the same area, many nurses who enjoy staying close to home may wonder, can I work as a travel nurse locally?

The Answers is Yes!

Though it might sound like an oxymoron, but you can become a local travel nurse when working with Host Healthcare.

Standard vs Local Travel Nursing: Are There Different Requirements?

Local travel nursing is a great option for clinicians who want to take advantage of the benefits of contract work without going too far from home. Though the requirements to become a local contract travel nurse may vary from agency to agency, at Host Healthcare, local travel nurses are anyone who has a permanent tax home less than 50 miles from the facility they are taking a local contract at.

As a local traveler you are not eligible for tax free stipends, this is known as the 50 mile rule. Tax free stipends are one of the primary financial benefits of being a travel nurse outside of your local area. On the other hand, a standard travel nursing assignment requires that the facility the travel nurse reports to is over 50 miles away from their permanent tax home. With this requirement, a traveler is duplicating their housing expenses, therefore they are eligible for weekly tax free travel stipends.

For local travel nursing contracts, it’s assumed that the traveler does not need to duplicate housing expenses since they aren’t going as far from their primary residence. In this case, the local traveler would receive an hourly rate, but not be eligible for tax free travel stipends. A local travel nurse may still be able to apply for bonuses and student loan reimbursements depending on their eligibility.

Travel nursing is an opportunity to gain experience, pay, and a lifestyle beyond what a staff nurse may achieve in their career. The benefits of working as a travel nurse extended beyond it’s access to travel assignments across the country, the tax free stipends, or the ability to take become a local travel nurse. Travel nurses take advantage of these benefits along with taking control of their nursing career.

The ability to choose when you want to take travel contracts and when you want to take time off to relax and recharge your battery, is what bring so many to pursue a travel nurse career. You may be asking your self now how do I become a travel nurse? Check out our How it Works page for more information on the steps to becoming a travel nurse with Host Healthcare.

What to Expect as a Local Travel Nurse

So, what is local travel nursing? Like general travel nursing, local travel nurses work short-term contracts to support hospitals in need of more nurses. However, with a local travel nursing job, you stay much closer to your local area. 

While placing geographic restrictions on your travel nursing plans can somewhat filter down the available job opportunities, it can also offer a fresh career path and a host of benefits.

Benefits of Local Travel Nursing

Local travel nursing combines some of the best benefits of staff nursing and travel nursing, into one position. 

These benefits include:

  • Staying close to home – If you’ve finally found a house or apartment you love or built a network of close friends and family, you might feel reluctant to leave your own city. That makes sense—in fact, one study found it can take 100 hours in someone’s company before that person feels like a “real” friend.2 A local travel nursing job offers you career flexibility while letting you stay close to the home and community you’ve built. In addition, being a travel nurse with a pet is much more feasible as a local travel nurse.

  • Increased family stability– One study found that frequent moves can negatively impact some children’s ability to form high-quality relationships. When you’re stressed about moving, it can also affect how much energy you have to devote to parenting.2 If you have children or an older family member in the area who depends on you, local travel nursing allows you to access the career benefits of travel nursing while also continuing to offer your family more stability.

  • Lower travel costs – Compared to out-of-state travel nursing, local travel nursing has significantly lower travel costs, meaning more of your salary can go toward other financial priorities. 

  • Familiarity with the healthcare facilities – As an RN in your area, you may already be familiar with many of the local healthcare institutions and the different communities they serve. Staying local with your travel nursing means you can start each job with a broader context and deeper understanding of the community. In turn, this could help you to better bond with other staff nurses and serve your patients.

  • Access to different workplaces – Local travel nursing offers you the opportunity to try out different hospital work environments in your area. Whether you’re hoping to make a permanent switch to travel nursing or test out potential future employers, local travel nursing can help give you a feel for what you want—and what you want to avoid—in your future workplaces.

  • Exploring work beyond your specialty area – The floating schedules associated with local travel nursing might mean you end up working outside your normal nursing specialty. This can prove beneficial for people looking to gain experience in other areas of their profession.

  • Increased pay – While the exact pay will fluctuate by region and employer, local travel nursing generally pays significantly more than staff nurse positions.1 If you’re willing to learn quickly, embrace flexibility in nursing, and rise to the challenge of working in a new place, local travel nursing can prove a lucrative and rewarding option. 

If you think working as a local travel nurse might be for you, it’s time for the next step: pursue local travel nursing opportunities in your area with Host Healthcare! 

Get Started

Explore Local Travel Nursing Options with Host Healthcare

At Host Healthcare, we match travel nurses with nursing contracts for the healthcare providers that need them. Whether you’re looking for an adventure on the other side of the country or an exciting professional opportunity in your own backyard, we aim to make the travel nursing process as smooth and comfortable as possible. If you are not sure if working as a local travel nurse or standard travel nurse is right for you, our top rated recruiters are here to help answer your questions and steer you in the best direction for your needs and preferences.

In addition to helping you land the travel nursing jobs you want, we provide premium employment benefits, like medical benefits that continue up to 30 days between your travel nurse assignments, and 401K matching. We also offer access to a highly responsive support team to help you navigate any challenges you encounter while settling into your new position.

If that sounds like a breath of fresh air in an industry that too often takes healthcare workers for granted, then consider applying to Host Healthcare. Your career as a local travel nurse could start today. 


  1. Hilgers, Lauren. “’Nurses Have Finally Learned What They’re Worth’.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Feb. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/15/magazine/traveling-nurses.html

  2. Stiefvater, Sarah. “Explained: The Psychological Effects of Moving Frequently on Adults and Kids (and How to Ease the Transition).” PureWow, PureWow, 2 Oct. 2019, https://www.purewow.com/wellness/psychological-effects-of-moving