Tips & Guides / Travel Nursing

Meet Landing’s Travel Nurses: Lauren Whatley

By Landing | May 6, 2022
Travel nurse Lauren Whatley

Happy Nurse’s Week! We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share the stories of the travel nurses who are living with Landing and taking advantage of the freedom our furnished apartments and flexible leases afford them as they travel from contract to contract. 

Lauren Whatley was kind enough to take the time to chat through the benefits of the travel nursing profession, how she’s lived with Landing as a travel nurse, and how she goes about choosing where to take her contracts. 

Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Lauren Whatley, and I am a cardiac ICU nurse living with Landing in Salt Lake City. I started my career in 2012 working as a staff nurse in central Texas. I’m one of the higher-trained nurses in the profession, and as a staff nurse, I felt like I was being overworked, underpaid, and not really respected for the work I was putting in.

Because of this, I got into travel nursing in 2017. If I were to maintain the average of what I made in my first week as a travel nurse, I still doubled my income. I felt like I was finally getting paid what I was worth, and even though I was temporary employment and would be the first to get canceled if something happened, none of those unpredictable factors of being a contract employee ever applied to me. The only downside is that my health insurance is a little more expensive and I have to have enough self-control to do my own Roth IRA for retirement. 

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Start here, live anywhere

How did you start living with Landing? 

I’ve been a Landing member since the beginning of the pandemic when I was living in Atlanta. I then stayed in Austin for six months, then moved over to a Nashville contract, and now I’m in Salt Lake City. I started looking into Landing apartments and found out that they were nice and dog-friendly, which is a non-negotiable for me. I’m not going to get into any living situation without knowing there is a healthy amount of pet-friendly locations.

That’s one of the biggest things Landing boasts, which was huge. When I looked at the catalog of options Landing had in the biggest cities I would consider living in, filtering by pet-friendly options didn’t take off more than 10% of listings. And they don’t charge an arm and a leg—their pet fees are in line with what a typical apartment complex would charge for pet rent. Everything was reasonable—if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t use Landing! This guy goes everywhere with me. 

Overall, I’ve been really happy with the convenience of Landing, from not having a lease to having no deposits and having all of my bills incorporated into my rent. Now that you can change housing in two weeks with Landing, that’s huge. Sometimes contracts are canceled early, which is just the nature of the business, but if you have housing, you want the maneuverability to get out of your lease and go somewhere else without getting obliterated by costs. I can talk my way out of things, but if I can take that out of the equation, that’s a huge pro in my pros and cons list. 

What do you look for when deciding which cities to do your contracts in?

A lot of people will tell you different things, but many travel nurses chase money, and for good reason. I get it. There’s a threshold I have where I won’t accept anything lower, but I’ve chosen a lot of my contracts because I wanted to check out the city. I want to work in cities I want to live in with good housing situations and a reasonable cost of living. 

The size and quality of the hospital are also big for me. I’ll look at how long the contract is and how much it’s paying, and then research things to do in the city on social media or Reddit.  Once I have a city nailed down, I pick my apartments based on whether the area is close to the hospital and close to fun.

People ask me, “Aren’t you going to settle down?” but it’s only gotten easier to be a travel nurse—I have a dog that I can travel with, the money’s there, and nobody is telling me I shouldn’t. All of the unpredictable factors that might make some people uncomfortable or stressed are taken out of the equation when you rent from Landing. It’s great to know that I can go back to cities and know that I have these living options available to me. 

Looking for travel nurse housing?

If you’re a travel nurse looking for somewhere to live during your contract, Landing offers fully furnished apartments in over 375 cities throughout the U.S., all with flexible lease terms that start at 30-day stays. Two weeks’ notice is all you need to move to your new home within the Landing network. Learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you, and browse our apartments today!

Interested in learning more about the other travel nurses living with Landing? Check out their stories here!

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Ted may be the world's slowest typist and struggle to hold a pen, but he has mastered how to pursue a more flexible lifestyle throughout his airborne adventures around the U.S. Whether you're looking for more information before migrating to a new city or want to find an easier way to rent a nest—erm, apartment—Ted will always be here to share his best advice for where to live and how to thrive.