Will taking time off harm my career?

  1. I'm an L&D nurse with 2 years' experience. My husband and I want to move out of the area we're in, and are interested in taking 9-12 months off to travel around the country before we settle back down somewhere. Will this negatively affect my career? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I want to feel confident about doing it.
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    About serenity729

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 31; Likes: 8
    Specialty: Labor and Delivery


  3. by   xoemmylouox
    This is a once in a lifetime thing. Do it!!!
  4. by   Meriwhen
    You have two years' under your belt already, so taking a year off probably won't cause a lot of damage. Go for it.

    If you still want to keep active, you could consider travel nursing, and take an assignment or two based on where you two are going.
  5. by   KelRN215
    This can easily be explained in interviews. I'd do it if given the opportunity.
  6. by   chrisrn24
    Okay that sounds so much fun! Do it!
  7. by   IrishIzCPNP
    Why not look into travel nursing?
  8. by   Been there,done that
    2 years of experience, followed by a year off will make you pretty much unemployable.
    Facilities want current experience ,you will not be viewed as current in your skills.
    Sounds like a great opportunity, to keep your skills current, a travel job could work, but those are usually 13 week commitments.
    Consider agency work to keep current.

    Good luck, keep us posted.
  9. by   Sugar Magnolia
    I took almost a decade off from nursing to raise kids. Jumped right back in after a refresher course. Go for it!
  10. by   roser13
    Only 1 year off, which includes an inter-state move = no biggie.

    Go for it and have fun!
  11. by   Carolina Southpaw
    The bottom line is-you are still a nurse, no matter how long you take off whether for fun, for kids, for family illness! There are times in our lives that we have to make choices. Will this possibly make it more difficult to get a job? Sure, maybe depending on the shortage vs. glut of nurses in the location that you choose to settle. Will it make it impossible? No.

    I did not expect to take a year after my son was born, but I did. I also chose to work only PT and PRN positions for years after that choosing roles and situations that were best for him and my family, not my career. Has my career suffered? In some ways, I suppose, but I will "catch up" pretty soon and I will never, ever regret the time I took. There will always be patients and hospitals and nursing jobs, but sometimes, life and choices you make now are those "once in a lifetime" opportunities. If I hadn't taken the time with him, I would be regretting it now, for he is grown and will be leaving our home before I know it! I am a better nurse and a better administrator now for having taken the time I needed. This year will fly by, but this time growing with your spouse will last your whole life and, hopefully, strengthen your relationship for a lifetime on the "rollercoaster" together! I wish you luck and safe travels!
  12. by   llg
    It may very well hurt your career -- and you'll need to be prepared for that possibility. You might get lucky and/or decide to settle in an area where nurses with experience are in such short supply that you will have no trouble being hired ... but in a lot of communities, people with more than a couple of months of unemployment are considered "less current" than many other applicants. And the explanation that you just wanted some time off to have fun may make you look like you don't have much committment to your career and may not stay long in a job.

    I suggest taking no more than a 2 months completely off ... and use some of that time to find a part time job for a while. Or find some other option (agency?) that will give you occasional work. That will "keep you current" while giving you some free time to have the fun that you want to have. It's a compromise that will both preserve your career and give you the opportunity for some time off.
  13. by   Bruth
    After working only two years, and then taking a year off work, you may well be considered unemployable unless you take a refresher course. Two years is not a long time to learn on the job skills, and then to take the year off, while certainly appealing, would make a future employer question how current your knowledge was. You might want to consider a travelling nurse position, and travel as you work, taking some vacation time every now and then to see the area in which you are working. But, if you want a longterm career in nursing, taking a year off already, is not what I would personally advise you do to.
  14. by   Susan1002
    You have your career and your life. Do what nourishes you. Will you find the "perfect" next job? Probably not, it doesn't exist. Will you grow from this travel? Will you be a better person? Will you be better able to take a less than ideal next job and maybe make it into something special? Sure. That's life. People make/take career moves all the time. For health, financial and family reasons. Do what works for you and the people in your life.