Travel nursing is the talk of the town right now. For a nurse with experience, there are endless possibilities to quickly earn a lot of cash. It’s easy to assume that travel nursing is only for people without a spouse or kids. I am a mother of three, a wife, and currently enrolled in graduate school. I never thought I could be a travel nurse; I was wrong.
While not impossible, it’s still challenging to travel with children utilizing these tips to still accomplish the goal of working as a travel nurse.
FIND A RECRUITER WHO UNDERSTANDS YOUR NEEDS
Ensure that your recruiter understands your needs and respects your wishes about each travel contract. You can start this process by asking your recruiter relevant questions such as:
- What is the best mode of communication for you?
- What hours are best to communicate?
Your recruiter will be your essential resource for any issues that arise. Knowing that they will provide you with the best contracts for your situation is critical.
Be Intentional In Your Communication
Once you have found a recruiter who understands your needs, be intentional with your communication. Both you and your recruiter need to have an understanding of your needs and wants in a travel nurse assignment. Below are some aspects that you need to consider and then communicate to your recruiter. There are several travel nursing jobs available, so be selective.
SHOPPING FOR CONTRACTS CLOSE TO HOME
Not all travel nurse positions are super far from home. The miles away from your stated home address may be different depending on the travel nursing agency. Yet, the government has placed a specific tax code in place to receive these nontaxable stipends on travel. If you cannot travel outside of these boundaries, discuss these needs with your agency. You can travel to these facilities, but your pay will not include all of the stipends that usually make up most of the money. Travel nursing can be an excellent fit when looking to gain experience and increase your income.
SETTING FIRM BOUNDARIES
Setting boundaries for yourself and your family is the number one rule for successful traveling. Starting this new adventure comes with additional stressors. With the new commute time, locations, and staff, treat yourself and your skills as a business. Protect yourself. Find the right company and recruiter. They are your backbone, and you need to trust them.
Time management is your best friend. You have a longer travel time and new stresses, but the family still needs you. Take care of yourself and set aside time for your family. Being away from family can be challenging. Routines are vital to keeping family life happy. Establishing a routine gives the family organization and offers children a safety net in times of stress. Sticking to a routine will prevent excessive strain on home life.
REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE
You are brought to this facility to help fellow nurses. You are not there to work yourself to death. Many times these contracts will include overtime. Working many hours is fine but remember that you need time for yourself and your family. Do what you can handle. Do not push yourself into working more hours than you can handle.
Should You Bring Your Kids On Your Assignment?
Besides your own needs, there are several things to consider when bringing your children on your assignment. In addition to communicating your needs to your recruiter and time management, there are additional key considerations and potential benefits. You should take these into account before making your decision to bring your kids on your travel nursing assignment. Let’s review these below.
Whether you’re a single mom or dad, or if you’re married, traveling with multiple children can be difficult. Not everyone can do it either. It’s not impossible, but it will require some coordination on your end. If you plan to move to a new location, you will need to create a budget and make arrangements within your budget. For example, if you have multiple children, living in a one-bedroom apartment is probably not feasible. You will need to research your own housing that can accommodate several people. Keep in mind, if you choose to partner with Health Carousel Travel Nursing, our dedicated Travel & Housing department removes that extra burden of finding housing by helping help you and your family find a home away from home that suit your needs.
Also, since you will work long 12 hours shifts and some weekends, consider finding childcare for daytime or after-school coverage. Even if you have a support system of local family members, there will be instances where a nanny might be needed to help run errands or watch the children for a few hours. Pay your nanny through a nanny payroll system to track your expenses, because many times you can write this off on your taxes. If your children are old enough not to require a nanny, consider buying a nanny cam to check in on them while they are at home.
Since you will be moving to a new destination, you will also need to research local doctors. It’s important to find a doctor in case of emergencies or for routine medical care.
Potential Benefits of Travel Nursing For Family Life
There are several potential benefits of travel nursing as well for families. Travel nurses make higher wages than staff nurses. They also receive extra pay through meal stipends, travel reimbursement, and a housing stipend. Even when traveling with children, you can save money if you stay on budget.
In addition, you will get to spend more time with your family and explore new places. It can be fun exploring new places and trying new activities!
Consider Schooling Options
Before speaking to a recruiter, consider your children’s schooling options. Research local schools in the area where you are interested in taking a travel nurse assignment. If you don’t like the school’s rating or reviews, look in a different location for your assignment.
If your children are not school age, you will also need to research local nannies or childcare services. Some nannies even offer at-home teaching. Use a nanny payroll system or payroll system to track your expenses. Another option for childcare is a local community center or church. They sometimes offer daycare and preschool classes to children below the age of five or six.
Check in With Your Family: How Are They Handling Things?
Once you’ve started your assignment, check in with your family. Are you spending enough quality time with them on your days off? Sometimes travel nursing brings you closer to extended family members that you may have not visited in a long time. Plan a large family event or activity to get some fun, quality time.