September 6, 2020

Contract Cancellation: How to Roll With Bad Luck in Travel Nursing

We are so excited to bring you the second installment of our Traveling Healthcare Couples Series. Emily and Charles are a travel nurse pair and have some great insight on how finding housing specifically tailored to healthcare travelers has helped them in their travel journey. We loved hearing their story and hope you do as well!

Hello fellow travel nurses! My name is Emily Orlando and I am a travel NICU nurse. I travel with my boyfriend Charles Cane III who is an ER travel nurse. We have been traveling for over a year now, primarily in California.

Travel Nurse Housing

We are both originally from Michigan. When we decided we were ready for a change we were both working in Detroit. Travel nursing was perfect because it allowed us to combine our passions for travel and working as nurses. Since we started traveling we have been documenting our experiences on our Instagram. Here we give other travel nurses tips on how to avoid mistakes we made along the way, enhance their experience on the road, and make the most of their pay packages. Throughout our time as travel nurses we have learned the ropes of negotiating pay, adapting to new environments at a rapid rate, and juggling calls from recruiters.

One area we feel we are still learning about is finding affordable, short term housing.

We originally started using Airbnb for our housing needs because it gave us a monthly discount at most homes. After our first few contracts we were tired of paying the enormous taxes and service fees and decided we needed to look at other options. This is when we discovered Furnished Finder. Right away we realized Furnished Finder had search options that catered specifically to the needs of travel nurses. We particularly appreciate the pet friendly filter because we travel with our lovable German Shepard, Prince Jr.

When we first discovered Furnished Finder we had just come back from a month-long trip to Spain and Morocco and had only two weeks left in our contract in Sacramento before we needed to find new jobs. We arrived back at our house that we had been renting for five months and were told by our landlord we would need to find new housing immediately because our landlord double booked the space while we were overseas. Obviously we tried to fight this but we didn’t have any real knowledge of California rental laws at the time, so we were pressured into packing our things and looking for somewhere to crash while we figured out what to do next.

Travel Nurse Housing

Thankfully we had a coworker who graciously let us stay in their guest room for the remainder of our contract. After being thrown out of our home unexpectedly we were more than ready to start fresh by finding new contracts and a new home for our family. We told our recruiters we were ready to move on and were open to any location in the state. Luckily we both scored contracts pretty quickly in Southern California. I would be working in Long Beach, CA and Charles would be working in the Emergency Room in Torrance, CA.

Just as we were finishing up our last week, finalizing our moving plans and packing up our cars, we got the call no traveler wants to receive. Charles' contract in Torrance had been canceled due to staffing needs changing. We were heartbroken and frustrated by what seemed like nonstop bad news since the return from our trip.

Getting a contract canceled is something all travel nurses should be prepared for. We always have an emergency fund in case of a lapse in contracts, but when you are coordinating two travel contracts at once it adds a new level of stress when you have to find a new placement last minute. With Charles being an ER nurse he usually has lots of options so we were hopeful for a new position to open up near LA County. We decided to go ahead with our plans to move to Southern California.

With our budget for housing in limbo until Charles was able to secure a job, we were under a lot of pressure to find affordable housing fast. That’s when we stumbled upon Furnished Finder.

We quickly were impressed by the variety of options and immediately reached out to a handful of landlords with promising pet friendly homes available for our stay in Long Beach. Our confidence in the site was quickly bolstered by the quick response we got from the landlords we contacted. All of the email responses were filled with information on what the apartments and homes had to offer at incredible rates that we weren’t able to find on other short stay apps.

After communicating with the property managers and landlords of these homes we knew we had to make quick moves to secure a property. Since we were already headed to the area we asked to see the homes in person to make sure they were a good fit for us.

Thankfully we connected with a great property owner in Long Beach who was willing to show us his open properties. He was quick and efficient at getting back to us regarding his availability and pet friendly homes. It was so nice to be able to chat with the landlord directly after the stress of muddling through housing scams and our lease that fell through in Sacramento. That day we were able to view two potential rentals that we both enjoyed. By the end of the viewing we had a lease formally drawn up, signed and we were moved in by the next day. We have continued to have great luck with Furnished Finder and appreciate the resources they provide.

Keep in mind that on Furnished Finder you don’t “instantly book” like on vacation rental sites. You find available properties and then talk to each landlord personally to see if their property is a good fit for you. Then you coordinate a lease. This saves you money because you don’t have to pay taxes and booking fees like on the other sites, but you do need to plan to start looking for housing a few weeks in advance to have time to work it all out.

Furnished Finder has updates everyday and more businesses are realizing that there is a market for furnished homes at affordable rates to experienced renters such as travel nurses and other traveling business professionals.

Overall, Furnished Finder has supplied us with ideal living situations since we had our first big panic moment as travelers between Sacramento and Long Beach. We have also been impressed as they continue to improve their site. We have noticed that more landlords seem to be adding to the site as people realize how great the market is for experienced renters such as travel nurses. The travel nurse community is a close-knit group of professionals and love to help one another out especially when finding housing opportunities and Furnished Finder definitely embodies that mentality. We hope our experiences help travel nurses be prepared for how to navigate short term housing in a smart way.

Emily Orlando

Emily Orlando

Emily Orlando is a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse originally from Detroit, Michigan where she worked for two years before she began travel nursing. Charles Cane III is an Emergency Room Nurse from Detroit, MI where he worked at Henry Ford Hospitals level 1 trauma center prior to beginning travel nursing. They have been traveling over a year throughout California and are currently in the Sacramento region. They have loved exploring national parks, beaches and new cities with their German Shepard, Prince Jr. In between their travel nurse contracts they often are traveling both internationally and domestically, and are hoping to one day work with Doctors Without Borders. You can follow their adventures and learn more about travel nursing on Instagram.