Do you think travel nursing is only for singles, child-free couples, and empty nesters? Think again! Nurse travelers bring their families along for the ride every single day. It’s totally possible to travel with your spouse and kids around the country for temporary nursing contracts. Of course, there are some different challenges of being a traveling nurse with your family. However, with careful planning, a few tricks, and a great support system, it can be a super rewarding experience. We’ll go over some reasons many nurses choose to travel with their families, tips for making it easier, and more.
Is Travel Nursing Possible with a Family?
One of the most common questions we get about travel nursing with a family is whether it’s even possible. What you might not realize is that many nurses all around the country travel with their families every day. It is absolutely possible! Of course, it might not work for every family. However, if you think it might work for yours, there are loads of ways to customize it to your family dynamic. The key is first to understand that it’s totally possible. From there, you can start figuring out how to make it work for everyone.
Benefits of Travel Nursing with Your Family
Why are so many families un-settling down for nurse traveling jobs? There are a ton of advantages to being a traveling family. The reasons families do it are different for everyone, but there are a few commonly talked about benefits.
Adventures and Memories Made
Perhaps one of the most cited reasons to take nurse traveler jobs with your family is because of the experience. You can take part in adventures and make a lot of memories along the way. Whether you’re dying to see the Grand Canyon, visit all the national parks in the states, or just want to offer patient care in areas most in need, traveling offers a ton of opportunities for unique memories and experiences. It’s the perfect way to gain more freedom, throw out the mundane, and make the most of every moment not only for your career, but those you love most.
Many nurses decide to start traveling because of the financial opportunities. Travel nurses can make sometimes double or triple what they would make as permanent employees in a facility. A lot of people take traveling jobs to meet their financial goals, like paying down debt, saving for a house, or putting extra away for college funds. This is a huge advantage for many nursing professionals and their families.
Unique Education Opportunities for Children
What better way to learn about geography, history, science, or anything else than experiencing it up close? How better to teach your children to be adaptable than giving them real-world experience doing it?
We’ll talk about education when it comes to school a little later, but we all know that education means a lot of different things. Your kids can learn from the many unique experiences that come with having a parent who is a travel nurse. Just picture the great opportunities that come from having a history lesson about the Gettysburg address while you’re actually visiting the site, or using a road trip to a new assignment as a way to learn more about geography. Let’s not forget that your kids can meet people from many different walks of life when they’re along for the ride for your assignments.
Tips for Travel Nursing with Kids
That being said, traveling with your family does come with its own unique set of challenges. It typically does make travel nursing much different than being solo or even traveling with a partner. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks to help make being a traveling nurse with children smoother and easier.
Planning is Important!
Planning as a traveling nurse is essential, even when alone. However, when your family comes with you to various assignments, planning and organizing becomes even more important. Therefore, get ready to become a planning pro before you take to the road. Planning can help you make sure every member’s physical, emotional, and mental needs are met properly as you take nurse assignments around the country.
School and Childcare
Before you arrive for your assignment, it’s a good idea to have schooling and childcare figured out. These are two of the major factors of travel nursing with children. Of course, there are many different options that you can choose based on your needs.
For instance, when it comes to schooling, you can home school, online school, or enroll your children in local schools while you’re on an assignment. Most traveling nurses choose either online or home schooling because it’s often easier for the on-the-go lifestyle, but it’s not the only option available.
Let’s not forget childcare. Someone will likely need to watch younger children while you’re working. For many traveling families, this means having a stay-at-home parent, a parent who works from home, or a parent with flexible hours that allow them to take care of the kids while you’re working your shift. In other cases, this means finding daycare, babysitters, or nannies. In any case, having a plan before you arrive can make this process much smoother and reduce stress as you begin your new assignment.
Finding reputable healthcare providers is important for children and adults alike. However, when it comes to the kiddos, most need to see a pediatrician more frequently than adults need for checkups. Having a name or two of medical providers before you arrive at your new destination is another great way to save yourself stress and worry later. You can often do a lot of this research online, looking at physician ratings and more before you even step foot in the area.
Travel Nurse Housing for Families
What about housing? Travel nurse housing is another important factor to plan for each of your assignments. In most cases, you’ll need bigger spaces than solo travelers. For instance, you might need multiple bedrooms, a dedicated space for school work, and plenty of room for the kids to play.
Once again, there are many options to choose from, so you can find one that fits your situation best. Some families travel in an RV or motorhome, so the housing comes with them wherever they go. Others work with their recruiter to find agency provided housing that suits their needs. Also, don’t forget that you can choose to take the housing stipend to find your own accommodations, like home sharing, apartments, or other lodging options that fit your family. In any case, make sure you know what you need and do plenty of research before you arrive. Thirteen weeks in the wrong setup can feel like an eternity for everyone.
Get the Fam Involved
A common mistake many people make when they start out traveling with their family is treating them like passengers instead of your team. Getting the family involved can help make sure everyone is comfortable and happy, as well as making sure you’re not the only person running things, which can quickly get exhausting. Letting your family have input on your next destination can help everyone feel involved and bring you closer. Also, making sure everyone is pitching in as needed (like with planning, laundry, driving, packing, and more) so it’s not all on you can make a big difference in the experience.
Find the Right Travel Nursing Recruiter
Having the right recruiter on your side can really make the traveling experience. Your recruiter can help provide support and guidance throughout the entire process. They help you find the right assignments, help you find the right housing, and so much more. Make sure you have a recruiter you can talk to openly and honestly and discuss your family’s needs with. This can help you find a nursing job that suits your needs. Never underestimate the value of an experienced recruiter when traveling, particularly when it involves packing up your whole family.