If you’re a single mom, becoming a travel nurse can be a great career choice for you. While most of the organizations and companies working in the healthcare sector are undoubtedly pursuing some form childcare in their business model, it is also no surprise that this profit-making business, travel nursing, offers numerous opportunities to families as well.
It is no surprise that there are certain times even in developed countries when hospitals and other medical facilities face issues like unparalleled demand and supply of medical staff. This is the point where professionals like travel nurses tend to be the best available resource for fulfilling temporary shortages of medical staff. Mostly, such travel nurse assignments have a time duration between 4 to 16 weeks.
Why become a travel nurse as a single mom?
Aside from usually being in high demand to fulfill temporary staff shortages, travel nursing is an excellent profession with many perks of its own especially if you are also a single mom and have a family to support. With this perspective in mind, it is certainly one of the best career choices you will ever make. This is because in addition to above, the benefits associated with travel nursing are:
Relocating to a new place is definitely not easy and has its own challenges like trying to adjust with people you haven’t worked before, totally different work environment, different work shifts, etc. Since travel nursing is about being flexible and accommodating, it is paid for as well with high salaries depending on your level of skills, expertise and experience.
Unless you have plans of being a private duty travel nurse, most travel nurses are on payroll of companies which are in the business of arranging travel nurses for hospitals and other healthcare centers. Being on payroll with any such company also gives you the advantage of getting a fully paid accommodation during your travel nurse assignment.
To help you give quality time to your family as well, most travel nurse assignments have the advantage of choosing between what work hours suit you well. This way you can focus on your children as well as work without worrying about neglecting any for the sake of others.
Free and unlimited traveling
Perhaps this is one of the coolest advantages of being a travel nurse especially if you are a travel enthusiast as well. This might also be your only chance to not only spend time with your kids, but to make everlasting memories of the different places you traveled together. By the time your children grow up, they would have experienced so much in traveling that many of their friends would only wish for.
Making new connections
The profession of nursing is about caring for those that need you most. By being a travel nurse, you will have the chance to expand your friend circle as well as make new connections with professionals and peers that will help you grow in your career and life. Often your patient might end up being one of your best friends. With friends and known faces in various cities and states, you will feel at home and more welcomed the next time your agency reassigns you to a previous place.
Challenges of being a single mom travel nurse, and how to overcome them
As much as being a single mom travel nurse seems fun and exotic, this multi-aspect rewarding career is no short of its own challenges as well.
Managing your work with toddlers
Fortunately, many hospitals today have an in-house child daycare facility. So chances are that the one you will be assigned to will have some sort of arrangement of its own or even if they don’t have one your employer might arrange one for you in the locality where you will be posted or least of all you can ask someone with toddlers of their own to babysit while you are away at work.
Your child’s education
Definitely as a parent and especially as a single mom, what bothers you most is how your children will cope with their education when your permanent job is based on temporary assignments.
Thanks to the ease of technology, the education of your child should not worry you. Remember that you are not the first, neither are you the only single parent having a career like travel nurse. Keeping in view this issue, depending on the age of child many schools and colleges today offer online learning programs so that no matter where the students are geographically situated, they do not stand a chance of being left behind in their academics.
In addition to this, many schools and colleges arrange trips to museums, parks, zoos, sporting events and other places of interest in various locations for their students and count the time spent by them as their credit hours. This way your child not only keeps pace with its education, but it’s extra-curricular activities are also taken care of.
Allocating your time properly
Allocating your time properly between your career and your children is of much essence and should be done in a way that neither your job nor your children feel compromised at the cost of another.
Discussing your worries with your employing organization will greatly help you in getting the best working schedules where none of your core responsibilities are affected.
For example, if your children go to bed early taking night shifts could work great for you. This way you can work while they are asleep and return when they wake up for school or college. You can then sleep in the morning while they are at school and can then spend evenings with them helping them with their homework, etc.
Contrary to this, you can work in the afternoon to evening shifts if your children take online classes in the morning. By being at home during their online schooling sessions, you can join and assist them with their school work.
Do not assign for emergency calls
While being on standby to deal with unforeseen healthcare cases is a part and parcel of the medical field, being a single mom travel nurse is something that you should stay away from as much as possible. Unless your child completely understands your professional needs and is okay with it, some children might feel ignored especially when they only have a single parent to look towards.
While some children might enjoy travelling to new places and getting to know more people and experiences, others might miss their friends or their old routines. Since travelling is an unavoidable part of your profession and in some cases your assignment might get extended as well, waving any hopes of returning home any time sooner, there ought to be a way out.
For these reasons, we suggest that whenever you are assigned a new location, you research beforehand for all the fun and exciting places there. This way you can discuss with your child what new things they are about to experience. This might not be a perfect alternative to missing their friends but will at least get them excited to some extent.
Definitely work and children are not the only things in your life. As a human, you and your children need to socialize as well.
While there might be many opportunities for you to socialize as a grownup, finding the same for your children’s age group can be quite hard. A solution to this is to check for any kids’ events like fairs, magic shows, or perhaps a birthday party that your child can visit. It is something you should look out for and never ignore. Additionally, you can also plan a weekend to invite your friends or colleagues’ children over at your place or plan a trip to a park, etc.
Tips for a single mom looking to become a travel nurse
Taking the time to decide what career suits you most is nothing to be ashamed of. Not everyone around you would still be happy with their career choice. It is for this reason that we believe that taking the time to decide what is right for is far better than taking a wrong decision in a hurry.
Similarly, it is possible that you might be planning to pursue a career in travel nursing because you are a single mom and your current career is not financially viable to support your and your family’s needs. Or it can be the case that you are expecting your child while pursuing this career. Whatever be the case, in order for you to make the most out of this decision of yours to become a single mom travel nurse, we have compiled a list of some tips that we believe will help you greatly.
Involving your children
If your children are of the age where you can talk to them about the career choice you are planning to make, it is always better to involve them in the process. Try to make them understand to the best of their capability why this decision of yours will benefit everyone and then ask what they think about it. Do not ignore what they say, their emotions, or even how they react after once they are aware of it.
Take online classes
Although this might be the only option for you to continue your studies right after giving birth, this is nevertheless an option in any other case as well. If you think that you cannot leave your toddlers unattended or at the mercy of a daycare or nanny, it is better to take online classes especially those that offer recorded sessions as well in case you are not able to attend the live ones.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the decision to become a single mom travel nurse is nothing new. So check for forums on the internet or ask your friends for suggestions on how you should navigate through the process.
Follow a schedule
Nothing beats a well prepared and carefully followed timetable. Without having a proper schedule, your life will turn into a mess and things will get out of control. Avoid making any unplanned moves.
Single mom travel nurse – Conclusion
Travel nursing is definitely a highly demanding career. But while your professional life will last more years, the part of your life that you get to spend to raise your children will soon be over. Within a few years you won’t even know how quickly time passes with children and they become adults. It is therefore for you to enjoy this part of your life as much as possible while also fulfilling your professional duties.