Onestaff Medical provided this article.
Becoming a travel nurse can be both challenging and exciting, as well as come with huge life changes you may not expect. Travel nursing with a family can be even more challenging but also more rewarding, especially if you’re a single parent. Being able to expose your children to these journeys and not having to spend weeks or months away from them is truly a blessing.
Every family is different, so you need to think long and hard before deciding if it’s best to bring your children along on your next travel nursing job.
Can Travel Nurses Bring Their Children With Them?
Can you be a traveling nurse with a child? In short, yes! Your recruiter will work closely with you so your housing situation best fits your needs and wants. With there being roughly 10.5 million single parents in the United States, having a reliable job and housing is essential.
Deciding if this career path is right or if it’s best to bring your children along on your assignments is up to you. Your family is unique, and you must consider many factors before traveling cross-country.
Pros and Cons of Travel Nursing As a Single Parent
An effective way to assess if travel nursing with a family is ideal for you is by jotting down the pros and cons. Depending on how many kids you have, how old they are, and what grade they’re in in school, these decisions can be easy or difficult.
One of the benefits of travel nursing is that you can make it what you want. So, depending on your specialty and location, you may be able to pre-determine your schedule so it can fit your family’s needs. However, if that is not an option, obtaining child care may be a challenge, especially if you’re new to the area.
Pro: High Salary
While certain specialties and locations pay differently, typically, travel nursing positions pay very well. This is because travel nurses need to be flexible and accommodating over the course of their assignments. This dedication is rewarded with considerable pay, which can make it easier for you to pay for various necessities like childcare, after-school activities, and more.
It also provides an opportunity to invest in your children’s education and create a comfortable living environment. This financial stability adds to the appeal of the profession, allowing single parents to balance their career aspirations with their responsibilities and goals for their children.
Pro: Free Accommodations
Along with a high-paying salary, working with a travel nursing agency means that your housing accommodations will be taken care of. There are many housing options you can consider, including:
- Extended Stay Hotels
- Sublet Apartments
- Friend’s or Family’s Home
This is especially important since you are not traveling by yourself. You can speak to your recruiter about your family’s size and needs, and they can help you find a suitable living situation. What’s great about this arrangement is that it is tied in with your salary, so you don’t have to worry about rent.
Pro: Schedule Flexibility
Travel nursing agencies value your time and family. That is why, when choosing an assignment, you can set up a schedule that meets your and your family’s needs. This gives you the ability to build your schedule around your children’s schedule, so you don’t have to worry about setting up after-school care.
This also allows you to spend quality time with your kids, which will help foster a strong bond while living in a new city. Whether you spend your evenings at home playing games or exploring the area, having time allotted for your family will make your next assignment easier and more rewarding.
Con: Work-Life Balance
Even though travel nursing allows for flexibility in scheduling, it’s important not to impede on your work-life balance. These positions can mean working long hours, so you should be tedious when creating your work schedule and take your kids into consideration.
Travel nursing parents should consider establishing a daily routine for the entire family to ensure everyone can manage their day efficiently. This routine should include set times for work, school, meal times, and family activities. By doing so, you can balance your professional commitments and your responsibilities as a parent, fostering a harmonious and well-organized family life.
Remember, successful travel nursing as a parent requires careful time management and coordination to provide the care your patients need and the attention your family deserves.
Con: Childcare and Education
If you are scheduled to work after school is let out and your kids are not old enough to be home alone, you must make childcare arrangements. There are many options for this, such as:
- After-School Care or Activities
- Child Care Programs
- Find a Sitter Through Co-Workers, Friends, Family, or Other Resources
Travel nurses can address their children’s education by exploring options such as local schools or homeschooling programs.
Before starting an assignment, research the area to find suitable schools. It’s important to maintain communication with your child’s school and teachers. This may mean sharing your travel nursing assignment requirements and ensuring your child stays on track with their studies.
Alternatively, some travel nurses choose to homeschool their children, which allows for flexibility in lesson planning and scheduling. If you want to homeschool, you’ll have to consider how this will fit into your busy schedule and whether you’ll have enough time to give your kids the education they need.
Just because you are traveling does not mean your kids’ education has to take the back seat. By proactively managing their education, travel nurses can provide a stable and supportive learning environment for their children while pursuing their careers.
4 Tips for Travel Nursing As a Single Parent
Travel nursing can already come with its own level of stress. Before starting your next assignment, you’ll want to plan out how you can be a great nurse and parent without letting one area suffer because of the other.
Whether you need to hire a nanny while you are at work or form the assignment around your family’s schedule, it is possible to be a travel nurse as a single mom or dad.
Hire a Babysitter or Nanny
Since travel nurses make more money than staff nurses, you may be able to allot more of your salary towards nannies or babysitters. Whether you hire one for each location you move to or one to travel with you on your journeys, there are many options for you to consider. Hiring a permanent nanny comes with many benefits, including consistency for your children despite being placed in a dynamic environment.
Additionally, you can utilize websites like Child Care Network or Care.com to help you find care for children in your specific area. These sites provide reliable resources so your family can receive the care they need.
Another solution for childcare is teaming up with another travel nurse on your team. You can split schedules and take care of each other’s kids. This guarantees:
- A Smart and Capable Caregiver
- Friends For Your Children
- Time Spent With Your Kids
Choose Assignments That Fit Your Family’s Schedule
If you don’t think an assignment will fit your family’s schedule, you may not want to accept it. You do not want to put your kids or yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Speaking to your family candidly will clear the air of any confusion so you can make the best decision possible.
Consider Your Child’s Needs
If you think moving across the country will negatively impact your kids’ education, social life, or interests, consider your options more carefully. It often takes children more time to get acquainted with their surroundings, so constantly uprooting them might make them uncomfortable.
Speak to your children about the importance of your work, how you can positively impact countless patients’ lives, and how they can be a part of that exciting journey.
Manage Your Time Wisely
Don’t let time with family be put on the back burner. When you are not working, it’s important to relax and spend time with your kids. Time spent with your children is priceless and should be valued, especially in a changing environment.
Our recruiters at OneStaff Medical are dedicated to helping you find the right assignment for your family. We’ll help you obtain proper housing, insurance, and more. Ready for a family adventure? Call us at 877-783-1483, and let’s get started!
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.