The time between travel nurse assignments can be fun. Travel nursing is a profession that allows you to take off time between your assignments, unlike other jobs where you only get time off on weekends, limited PTO, or holidays.
You can learn a new skill to help you in your professional career, satisfy the travel freak in you or do something productive. No matter what you do, make sure to plan in advance. Also, keep in mind that this leave is usually unpaid, so plan your activity accordingly.
Today, let’s learn how to use the time between travel nurse assignments in a productive way.
Do Travel Nurses Have Free Time?
Yes, the best thing about travel nursing is the time they get between their assignments. Imagine working six months a year and getting six months of vacation with it. Travel nursing is every person’s dream come true.
Do you know what is more exciting? You can get vacations as long as you want after every assignment. Although this leave is unpaid, some agencies offer paid leave too.
If you are a travel nurse planning to go on vacation after the current assignment, check out if the agency is paying you or not and plan accordingly.
Research shows that taking a vacation during work can lower stress levels, increase work productivity, and helps you focus more on your goal. Fortunately, travel nurses get all these advantages.
How To Spend Time Between Travel Nurse Assignments?
If you are a travel nurse, you might be wondering how to spend time between travel nurse assignments. You are either a travel freak, a lazy person, or someone buried under never-ending house chores. Plan your vacations accordingly.
Nursing can be a tough job with 12-hour shifts and three or more shifts per week. Usually, work fatigue won’t allow you to do something productive or improve yourself, but you can use the time between travel nurse assignments for a positive change.
You can either go sight-seeing in the area you are currently living or do something productive like tackling household chores, do charity, plan your professional career, learn a new skill, or improve and upgrade yourself.
5 Productive Habits In Time Between Travel Nurse Assignments
Travel nurses ’ free time matters. We have combined a list of 5 productive habits you can develop in time between travel nurse assignments this time.
You ought to believe that travel nursing doesn’t give you enough time to do those chores you have been delaying for centuries. When you get time between travel nurse assignments, make a list of all the pending tasks in your house.
Start by creating a list of chores for each room or portion in your house. Gather all equipment required for those chores and start. Besides, plan expenses for each room.
Do necessary repairs, fix out that electric work that needs to be done, clean that messy kitchen cabinet, paint your room, vacuum the curtains, organize your documents and clean your garage.
Break down bigger chores into smaller parts and divide them into the number of days you got off between your assignments.
Learn a New Skill
Learning something new is the best thing you can do in the time between travel nurse assignments. The world is growing out fast, and technology is changing with the speed of light. You can either learn skills that can help you in your professional life or learn anything randomly.
|Skills Related to Nursing Career||Skills Not Related to Nursing Career|
Learning these skills can help you in the short and long run. Hospitals prefer nurses who have the know-how of using modern technology. The skills you learn will contribute to your resume.
Charity is a selfless act that can improve self-satisfaction and make you feel happier. You can either donate food, help in fundraising, and plant trees in community gardens.
Doing charity explains the importance of generosity to your friends, family, and kids and encourages them to do the same. Also, it increases your community standings and reduces your taxes.
If you itemize your tax return and report the amount you have donated to charity, the government deducts that money from your yearly taxes.
If you don’t have cash, you can donate clothes or furniture. You can save taxes and satisfy yourself with charity. Also, note that charity acts will look great on your resume – a win-win situation.
Plan Your Professional Career
A sincere piece of advice: start searching for a new job as soon as you get a job because why not? Travel nursing assignments typically last from 2-3 months, and after that, you will have to search for a new job again.
Doing so will not only help you land a better-paying job but will also help you understand where you want to go as a travel nurse. You can also plan taxes and save costs.
Besides, you can start a new specialty course and gain a certificate. This specialty certificate can increase your worth. The more you offer, the better job you can get. Finally, keep your medical records and other nursing certificates up-to-date.
Investing in yourself can help you in the short and long run. Below are some ways you can improve yourself in the time between travel nurse assignments.
- Do yoga: yoga can help relax your mind and body after weeks of hectic travel nursing assignments.
- Start exercising: you rarely get time during travel nurse assignments to exercise. Now when you are free for weeks, start exercising again. It not only keeps you fit but also promotes healthy sleep, boosts your energy level, and improves mood.
- Study online: improve your worth by gaining more-and-more certificates in various courses.
- Plan a meetup with family and friends: having family and friends around will help you gain emotional support and comfort.
Travel nursing can make you lonely as you have to travel every 2-3 months to an entirely new place. Now you have time to meet up with your family and friends, revive old memories and make new ones.
- Focus on your communication skills: communication skills will allow your colleagues and patients to understand you easily.
Read our guide on the pros and cons of travel nursing here.
Understanding Travel Nurse Assignments’ Mechanism
To become a travel nurse, you have to complete your nursing degree, give the NCLEX-RN exam and gain 12 years of experience. The purpose of travel nursing is to help overcome the shortage of nurses throughout the country.
You should apply for a Compact Nursing License so you can travel to 34 US states on one license only. Getting eNLC will save additional costs.
Once you fulfill the requirements mentioned above, you apply for travel nursing assignments in a travel nursing agency. Once you get the job, the health care center wants you to join as soon as possible.
You travel to the city, you have got a job a few days before the job starts to understand city routes and attend orientation sessions.
A typical travel nurse assignment is around 8-13 weeks long, and during this time, you are free to accept any other job proposal. Also, you can extend your assignment if you want to stay in the same place.
Make sure to maintain your tax-homes while you are working in another state.
Are you searching for the best travel nursing assignments? Read our guide.
FAQs About Time Between Travel Nurse Assignments
Understand more about travel nursing assignments with these frequently asked questions.
Can travel nurses choose where they go?
Yes, travel nurses are free to choose a state, a city, a hospital, or a health care center they want to work in. You can either choose cities with beautiful sights if you’re going to enjoy sightseeing along with your job.
Else, you can go to non-urban areas too. If you have an important event in another state, you can apply for a job over there.
Can travel nurses travel together?
Yes, the best part about travel nursing is that you can travel with your partner, sibling, or friend. It is a unique opportunity for travel nurses.
If you want to travel with someone else, tell your travel nursing agency. The agency can help you both find a job in one state. Although you can travel together, you need to know that you both may not get a job in the same hospital or health care center.
If you both are lucky enough to land a job in the same hospital, know that your shift timings may differ. If your shift is on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, your partner’s shift will likely be on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
It is also possible that you get a morning shift and your friend or partner gets the night shift. Before you apply for travel nursing together, keep in mind all these factors.
How long do travel nurse assignments last?
Travel nursing assignments typically last from 8-13 weeks. However, if you apply for an extension, they can last up to 26 weeks too.
A travel nurse assignment can be extended (also regarded as renewed) on the current contract; you are free to accept any other position while you’re working at one job and get time off between assignments. You can stay in one state for one year at most.
How much time off do travel nurses get?
Travel nurses can get time off between assignments as long as they want. However, take into notice that companies won’t pay you for these leaves most of the time. Plan and budget your vacations before you plan to take time off between travel nurse assignments.
Is travel nursing lonely?
Yes, you can say so. As a travel nurse, you need to travel to different places every 13 weeks. This means that you have to leave your family and friends behind.
Each assignment takes you thousands of miles away from your friends and family. After every assignment, you need to travel to a new city and meet new people.
To overcome this loneliness, you can either get a pet, video call your friends and family, make friends at your workplace, make new hobbies or join social media. During the time between travel nursing assignments, plan a meet-up with your friends and family.
You can utilize the time between travel nurse assignments practically. There is no absence of productive things you can do at that time. Make sure you put your free time to create some positive and progressing changes in your life.
Travel nursing is a profession that is a little different from those typical 9-5 jobs but in a better way. You get to satisfy that traveling freak in you, explore new places and new people. Ensure that you make the most of your profession.
Don’t wait; apply for travel nursing now.