Why Retired Nurses & Those on Hiatus Should Consider Travel Jobs
Nurses Jump Back Into the Industry Via Travel Nursing Jobs
If you’re a nurse who’s considering taking a hiatus from the industry or alternatively are on hiatus but ready to tag back in: read this! There are lots of valid reasons to take a break from your nursing career, you are not alone in that at all. Some of the main reasons that account for nurses who have taken a break or are considering a long leave are:
- Taking time off to have kids or be more involved with the raising of your kids
- Personal medical reasons
- Taking time off to care for a disabled spouse or aging family members
For Nurses Ready to Tag Back In
As previously stated, these reasons (and a host of others) are absolutely valid. However, they can present challenges for when you are ready to get back in the game. Here are some things to consider.
Be realistic. In spite of the fact that there is a nursing shortage (do we remember a time when there wasn’t?) your time away from your career will make what once felt easy, feel like a lot more work. We’re not talking about the work itself in this case, although that certainly applies. We’re talking about the work involved in making yourself an attractive job candidate.
Be thorough. You’re going to need to:
- Rework your resume
- Update your references
- Take an active role on LinkedIn
- Take some refresher courses
- Reach out to former colleagues
- Apply, apply, and apply
Be willing. Hand in hand with the advice that you need to be realistic, you need to be willing. Be willing to accept a job that you might, once upon a time, have considered an entry-level position. After a long hiatus, you aren’t considered a seasoned nurse anymore despite what your resume shows prior to your break. Be willing to take a job that might not be your ideal, in order to get your foot back in the door and start building your career again.
Be a travel nurse. Travel nursing is a niche of the nursing industry like no other and is an excellent way to tag back into the nursing game. Travel nursing gets a lot of attention for the jobs available in competitive paradise-type destinations such as Hawaii, but the reality is that there are travel nursing jobs across the country, in every state you can name, and in a few you might have forgotten about. All these job contracts are to fulfill a very real need, and some of them are in cities that don’t have all the shiny paper packaging that New York City or San Diego has. These destinations are going to have less competition and will make them an easier grab for you. Once you start working travel nurse contracts, you might find yourself surprised with the opportunities that present themselves. Maybe you’ll find the benefits of travel nursing agree with you, and your nursing career. After all, the more experience you gain, the more competitive you will be.
Be a networker. Networking will be more important for you than ever when returning from a long break. As a travel nurse, you can make contacts that you’d never have imagined previously. Approach each travel nurse gig as an opportunity to build a solid reputation, and then foster those connections you’ve made, even after you leave.
For Nurses Gearing Up for a Hiatus
We encourage you to make a plan for how you will stay connected to the industry while you’re away to limit the liability to your career.
Keep current by finding the time to maintain your license and special certifications through continuing education courses. This is of course easier said than done, particularly if you’re running around after littles, losing sleep with a baby, or struggling with your own medical hurts whether physical or mental. However much you can do, will help you stay connected to the industry.
Follow some nursing blogs (ahem…) and nursing podcasts. The Daily Nurse – Nursecasts, Nurse Talk Media, Nursing Economic$ Podcast, Nursing Uncensored, and Black Girl Blue Scrubs are a few podcast favorites.
Be a travel nurse. One of the amazing things about being a travel nurse is that there is no requirement for how many contracts you take during a year. If burnout is one of the main reasons you’re leaning towards leaving the industry, then travel nursing could be the balm to your burnout. Travel nursing contracts range from eight to 13 weeks long, and typically even shorter if you go for the crisis response placements.
Travel nurses can more easily stay out of workplace politics. The changing geography and work setting can work to excite a weary heart. And the networking and contacts you can create and foster will be as wide-reaching as you want them to be.
(Obviously, if medical reasons compel your impending hiatus this may not be an option for you. We are not encouraging you to disregard your own health.)
More About Travel Nursing Jobs
It can be intimidating to do all this work and planning after a long pause from nursing. There are multiple benefits to a career in travel nursing, and it might be just what you need to get back in! Our blog features a wide array of subjects including nursing stories, news in nursing, travel nursing tips, and more. Take some time to read a bit and ask yourself if this could be what you’re looking for?
At Elite Specialty Staffing, we’re committed to our nurses and offer comprehensive benefits and the opportunity for nurses to earn bonuses. Our founder, Jen, was a travel nurse herself, and her insight has stayed with us as we’ve steadily grown over the years. Give us a call and we’ll discuss how to help you end your hiatus and step back into the world of nursing, via travel nursing!