Working Travel Nursing Jobs With A Family
How to Strike Balance Travel Nursing Jobs & Family Life
Travel nursing is often thought of as a single-person gig. That’s not to say only unmarried people or people without kids can be travel nurses. However, usually, people think that the travel part of the job title implies only one person.
Some parents do in fact take travel nursing gigs and leave their families back at home. This works if the family can adjust, but it isn’t the only way to make it work! You actually can do travel nursing and bring your family along. Summer is here, and school is out! It’s a fitting moment to talk about how to involve your family in your travel nursing career this summer.
Travel nursing is incredibly flexible because of the nature of the contracts, which generally run eight to 13 weeks long. There is no rule that says you have to work consecutive contracts for the majority of the year. You can work contracts back to back and then give yourself a “summer” off, or simply take as much time off between contracts as you wish. This flexibility lends itself nicely to finding ways to adapt your career to involve your family. Here’s how:
Summer Vacation For Them: Work For You
Summer is a great time to include your family on one (or two!) of your travel nursing contracts. At this point in the year, you don’t have to worry about school, and your family can absolutely treat this as a vacation. There are so many contract locations available this summer that will take your family to beautiful places with both interesting cultural experiences and amazing outdoor recreation opportunities.
Some of our travel nurses do this every year. During the school year, they organize with their partner a schedule of when they’ll take contracts away from home, for how long, and how often. Then, they look at available locations with contracts in the summer months that are of interest and discuss with their families what gets them excited. This is so fun for the kids because instead of the typical one-week vacation trip to visit their grandparents, they get to explore new places every year and over a longer period of time.
Hot summer spots for families with this modus operandi include almost anywhere in the following states: Colorado, Florida, California, Alaska while city favorites include Seattle, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago, Austin, and Dallas.
Before You Move, Do a Trial Run
We’ve also had travel nurses who are looking to relocate their families. This serves as an excellent opportunity for a family to investigate a city or town that they’re interested in moving to. Before committing, sign up for a travel nursing contract and give yourself and your family the time to do more than a weekend trip. Choosing a new place to live is a massive commitment, the further away from your last home, the bigger. Why not give them (and yourself) eight weeks to walk the streets, see the parks, learn the community neighborhoods, and see into the heart of your potential new home?
Load ‘Em Up and Hit the Road
We even have travel nurses who take their entire family on the road with them year-round. This kind of commitment works in a variety of ways and after over a year of COVID-19 in which the U.S. work industry learned that many office jobs really could be done remotely, this just might seem more plausible to you than it would have in 2019. You can do a mix and match of any of the following options:
- Your partner works remotely, you take a contract for night shifts.
- Your partner is also a travel nurse, you both take contracts but avoid overlapping shifts.
- Your partner is also a travel nurse, you alternate who works a contract while the other stays with the kids.
- Your partner is a stay-at-home parent.
- Your kids do online public school.
- Your kids do online private school.
- Your kids do online homeschool.
- Your kids do traditional homeschool.
The number of kids in the U.S. that are homeschooled reached 1.7 million in 2012, and is now estimated to be between 2 and 3 million. What was once considered an option for families primarily due to religious reasons has spread to become an option for the growing number of families looking to provide their children with a nontraditional approach to learning. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but you’ll want to check with your state for any requirements they may have as they tend to vary. Homeschooling while on the road with a travel nurse is possible, provided you and your partner are prepared to be consistent and yet flexible. Make sure you research for accredited curriculums, for more help with this, Accredited Schools Online is a good source to get started.
If you opt for private or public school online, you won’t have the pressure of creating lesson plans, but your kids will have to follow that school’s calendar as well, and you won’t have the flexibility to create free time for them in the way that you would with homeschooling.
These are decisions that can impact your family’s emotional health and well-being. Be open and honest with your partner and your kids about your travel nursing career and how you want to involve them. You don’t have to commit to a year of homeschooling while you travel from city to city if you’re not ready. Take this summer to do a trial run. Pursuing your travel nursing career and having a family doesn’t have to mean you can’t have the career that you want. It simply means you’ll probably need more planning and balance.
Travel Nursing with Elite Specialty Staffing
Take a look at our high-paying travel nursing jobs, we have both rural and urban, and for a wide variety of specialties. Talk to a recruiter today about your desire to include your family this summer and make it happen!