Travel nursing has risen in popularity in recent years, with many individuals choosing this career lifestyle. This particular article, however, is aimed at moms who are either travel nurses or exploring this career option. Keep reading for tips on how to make travel nursing work for you and your family.
The opportunities to make it work for you are endless
Travel nursing doesn’t have to be an all-year thing. The assignments can range from 6 weeks to 52 weeks, although the average is 12 weeks. There are enough flexible options to make travel nursing work for you and your family. This is one of the main reasons it’s so appealing to people. While ‘travel’ is in the name, it doesn’t mean you travel across the country or even leave your home state. Some larger states have many possibilities to be considered within them.
If you want your children to stay in their school you have options. You can work outside of the summer months, taking assignments when your children are at school, or you could take shorter contracts and not bring your family along. Whatever arrangement you think could work for your family, it’s important to discuss it with your agency. This allows them to identify ways for travel nursing to fit your lifestyle.
The COVID-19 lockdowns have drastically improved the quality of distance learning. Online schooling is a good option for children of travel nurses. Some online schools can be really understanding of parents’ working hours, so instead of having children study for set hours, they get set tasks that can be completed whenever you can fit them in your schedule.
Another common concern for parents is that home schooling may deprive their kids of socialization with peers. Assuringly, many online schools provide opportunities to go on school trips with other kids. These could include going to the zoo, a museum, and other places where they get a chance to learn. An added benefit of travelling with kids is that it also allows them to explore different places and learn about different cultures, which serves to open up their world.
Another concern every working mom has is finding reliable, quality childcare when you’re on a busy schedule. Luckily, there are websites that can help you with this, such as Care.com or SitterCity. These sites allow you to be extremely selective. You can see the pre-vetted candidate’s reviews and check their references so you know your children are in safe hands. You can even ‘shop around’ for a nanny who shares common interests with your kids, be it dancing, singing, art or finding cool bugs.
It’s important to first know what you want out of childcare and talk to your children about what kind of person they would also be happy to spend time with. Set up phone and face-to-face interviews, and if you like them, arrange a time where you can see them interacting with the kids. Most importantly, inform them about what hours you work, and if they can meet the requirements to come at a short notice.
In terms of safety, setting up a nanny cam would be of great help to ease your mind while you’re at work. Make sure to let your nanny know about it as well as mention it in their contract to ensure you are legally protected.
With finding housing as a travel nurse, there are two options: agency-planned housing, or a stiped. Often with agency-planned housing, the accommodation is big enough for a single person, or couple. Make sure to discuss this with your agency and find out if they will provide housing that’s big enough to accommodate your family. If not, a stiped would be a better option.
A stiped is a sum of money you can put towards accommodation, but bear in mind that it may not be enough to cover housing costs for a family. So it may be the majority of it, but not the full amount. Meaning, that you may have to use some of your own money, However, once again this is something to discuss with your agency, to find out how much you would receive.
Communicate with your agency
Make sure to develop a good relationship with your agency. Ensuring good, clear communication will definitely allow for less headaches, easier transitions, and better opportunities. Ensure that your recruiter is able to understand your family dynamics and the preferences you have in terms of your assignment and it will make the process run a lot smoother. This would ensure that your travel nursing career is tailored to your life as a working mom.
Overall, balancing motherhood with your career as a travel nurse can be challenging. However, it is doable when you have knowledge of the resources that are available to you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your agency and communicate your needs, they will be well equipped to assist you. Also, make sure to network with fellow coworkers who are moms and seek their advice on the best childcare options in the area. The benefits are sure to outweigh any drawbacks. Travel nursing can be one of the most rewarding careers out there, and it can turn out to be a fantastic learning experience for your kids as well.
Chloe Mumford is a content writer and researcher for US Tech Solutions. After completing her BSc in Sociology, Chloe transitioned over into the workforce management industry with an interest in talent solutions. She writes about on-demand talent solutions, Total Talent Management and the potential of talent technology. She can be reached via LinkedIn.