Am I dreaming?

  1. I've been really dedicated and really lucky thus far in my nursing career and actually managed to land a job in the ED as a new grad in CA. I had this crazy idea when I started nursing school that some day after getting a few years of experience I wanted to spend 6 months working a LOT of hours, and then take 6 months off. Now my family is bi-national, and having the ability to spend extended amounts of time in my wife's home country with her family would make us all much happier. We are very good at living on very little money.

    My question is, does something like this (6 month on 6 month off) exist?
    Could I do this through travel nursing? Working for a registry?

    I intend on staying in the ED where I am now for a couple of years until I have my feet under me, but I'd like to start exploring options now.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. Visit bernal4eva profile page

    About bernal4eva

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 6


  3. by   TheCommuter
    I used to spend four months out of the year working nearly 7 days a week between two jobs to accumulate cash rapidly.

    I would work Monday through Friday, five 8-hour night shifts per week at a nursing home. Then I would work every Saturday and Sunday at a specialty hospital for the increased PRN hourly rate. If you do this for 6 months straight, you'll accumulate enough money to live off for one year.
  4. by   bernal4eva
    Thanks so much for the reply!
    So did you quit your job and find a new one each time?
    I guess thats part of my question too. What kind of position (per diem/traveler/registry) allows you to take that kind of time off?
  5. by   TheCommuter
    After my months of working almost daily like a workhorse, I never really quit. Instead, I changed my status to PRN/per diem and dropped my schedule down to maybe two shifts per week.
  6. by   amarilla
    I think TheCommuter works like a crazy person, *laugh.

    That aside: I have been per diem for my entire (rather short) 2+ year nursing career. I am required to work two weekend shifts each month and two holidays each year, but usually work full-time, overtime and agency if I can fit it as well. While per diem has a lot of flexibility, it still does have requirements - a certain number of shifts monthly and possibly weekend/holiday commitment at many facilities. Taking months off at a time would make you ineligible to work and you would be fired the second month in which no shifts were completed, from my experience, (though every facility has their own rules.)

    A better bet might be - others can chime in here - to work a few years in your specialty, gather your references from coworkers and then sign on with an agency. Get some work in with them, build a good reputation *and then* start taking your time off. If you have a history with an agency (or more than one), you'll have some choices available when you want to start working again without bothering to go through the whole application and hiring process with a specific facility. Blow out some 13-week contracts, extend them a few times and then take your time off; come back and repeat. Might work?

    Good luck.
  7. by   HouTx
    There may be seasonal jobs available in areas that are affected by the Snow Bird phenomenon... places where retired folks tend to spend the winter. This certainly used to be the case in the Tx Rio Grande Valley. However, I haven't seen any recruitment for it lately. Of course, this would be limited to the Winter months - and may not suit the OP's timing or location needs.
  8. by   pbajil
    I have worked with a lot of travel nurses who do this. Never met anyone who took 6 months off. But definitely 3 months is not a problem. When you work with a travel agency, it's usually a 3-4 month assignment. You can take time off in between your contracts. good luck.