One of the most frequently asked questions by nurses considering a traveling role is how their families fit into the lifestyle. When you first consider traveling nursing, the burdens of being away from your family can feel impossibly hard. But each nurse is different, along with their family situations and all the other factors they must consider before taking on a traveling nurse role. This role will look at one of the harder decisions these nurses face: how to fit into the traveling lifestyle if they have a family to consider.
Can You Take Your Family Along?
It’s interesting that many nurses believe their agency won’t let them take along their family to their new position. In fact, most agencies allow nurses to take their families on their journey; and, even encourage it. It can be motivational to have your family nearby when you’re entering a new workspace. But, what is the practical effect if you don’t take your family on the assignment?
The first thing to consider is that the traveling lifestyle may help or hinder your partner- and family-relationship. It’s true that absence really does make the heart grow fonder, so be prepared to take time to stay in touch with “your people” frequently. Many times we see travel nurses hitting the road because the job prospects are low in the areas where they live. Traveling nurse actually have an opportunity to check out a new area and a new job without the risks associated with packing up their family, moving the kids from schools and all the other changes associated with uprooting from your home turf. We’ve seen many nurses switch to permanent roles then move their families after they’re sure the area is solid.
The issue of money is a big motivator for travel nurses. This is particularly true for nurses working in some of the states that pay less on average than states like Massachusetts, where MAS Medical is located. This could make the sacrifice of travel while keeping the family at home very appealing. If the home state has a lower cost of living, but the traveling nurse can make the big bucks somewhere else, it could be worth the pain of being separated from the family.
We should point out that most travel nurses take a break in between assignments in order to spend time with family. Travel nursing supports this, typically, allowing nurses to take a week or two off in between being on-site with the client. You should also work your requested time off into the contract itself so that everyone is comfortable with your time away and your time at home.
Perhaps the best of both worlds is when the travel nurse takes an assignment within a one or two days driving distance of their home. The only problem with this is that many hospitals will not provide an established schedule for your work and many are unlikely to schedule consecutive workdays. That schedule choppiness may make it harder to return home on your days off. You should also consider the contract; tax-free reimbursements may be tied to your time away from home. If you can return home every few days the contractual agreement may not work well.
Talk with MAS Medical about your options for travel nursing. We can help you determine the best course of action for you and your family.