Working as a travel nurse means that you typically don't stay in the same place for very long, making many people believe that this career path is only suitable for single people who don't have kids. That isn't true! While travel nursing with a family can be tricky, it is possible and can be incredibly rewarding. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about travel nursing with a family!
Benefits of Travel Nursing with a Family
Travel nursing provides an incredible opportunity to explore the nation while delivering care to patients who are in need. During a nationwide shortage of nurses, the option to fill 13-week contracts provides a means for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities to fill vacancies. Travel nursing means more qualified staff meeting patients' needs.
Working as a travel nurse when you have a family provides great benefits for everyone involved. For starters, it is a lucrative career path. Many travel nurses earn more than nurses who stay and work in a single location. And, of course, extra money is a wonderful thing for anyone who is raising a family!
Travel nursing with your family can be like an extended vacation. You and your kids get to explore the country together! Plus, your housing and other expenses are covered. When you're not on shift, you'll have opportunities to meet new people, experience different cultures, tour museums, and much, much more as a family. Also included are benefits like retirement plans, free continuing education credits, and health insurance.
Care and Education for Your Traveling Family
If you plan on taking your kids along with you, there are, of course, several things to take into consideration. For most parents, childcare and education are the biggies. If your kids are young, you'll need to have someone who can take care of them when you are at work. Sites like Care.com allow you to search for childcare providers nearly everywhere. You'll also have access to background checks to ensure that the person you choose is safe.
When you frequently travel for work, online schooling is one option to consider when it comes to ensuring that your kids receive a proper education. There are online public schools for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade and, because public school systems typically manage them, you don't have to worry too much about things like credits or graduation criteria. The curriculum is guided and set up in a way that ensures kids complete all of the requirements.
Before the internet, travel nursing with kids may have been nearly impossible. Today, however, you can use the web to ensure that your kids receive a proper education, find a trusted caretaker, and more, regardless of where your next assignment takes you.
Downsizing and Organizing When Traveling with Family
If you plan on bringing your entire family with you as you travel from place to place for your job, you're probably going to need to downsize and get organized. Relocating is never easy, but it's even more difficult when you have tons of stuff to take with you.
Think minimally and try to whittle down your stuff to the essentials. Purge the things that you and your family members don't need. Throw away items that are damaged, and donate ones that are in good condition that you no longer use. You can store ones that you may need later and save the rest of your belongings to take with you. It's also good to create packing lists for everyone in your family, so you don't forget anything important when you start boxing things up.
When it comes to deciding what nursing attire to bring with you, your favorite pair of scrubs is a must! Consider investing in a few pairs of your favorites so you won't have to worry about trying to find new ones wherever you are assigned. Scrub jackets are essential for chilly hospitals, and you'll want a good pair of nursing shoes to travel with, too.
Leaving Family at Home While Travel Nursing
While bringing everyone along is something that works well for some families, sometimes it's not the best choice. If you have weighed the options and feel like you'll need to leave your family at home while embarking on your travel nursing career, it can be difficult but certainly doable.
The length of travel nursing assignments varies greatly, and you may be able to find ones that only require you to be away from home for a few days to a couple of weeks at a time. For most travel nurses who have families at home, these assignments are better options than the ones that stretch on for several months. You may also be able to find jobs within a reasonable driving distance of your home, which would enable you to work as a travel nurse while keeping the "travel" part to a minimum.
If you accept an extension, that doesn't mean that you'll never be able to see your family. Travel nursing offers a great deal of flexibility, and, in most cases, you won't have trouble requesting a few days off to travel home during your assignment.
When you have a family, working as a travel nurse may seem impractical. In reality, though, it's not as difficult as you might think. While you will likely face challenges, whether you bring your family with you or leave them at home while you are away, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for many families.
If you are interested in travel nursing, take some time to consider the pros and cons. You may find that it's the perfect option for everyone in your family. If you do choose to embark on this career path, look for a family-friendly travel nurse staffing agency. Your recruiter will make the experience go as smoothly as possible.
Guest blogger Adela Ellis is a full-time nurse and part-time ambassador for Infinity Scrubs. Adela attended the University of Arizona and has been a travel nurse for the last 6 years. She enjoys working with different doctors, nurses, and patients from all over the country and blogging about her experiences. In her free time, she loves true-crime podcasts and cooking for friends and family.
Interested in speaking to a travel nursing recruiter to learn about your options? Contact us today!