Question About Typical Weekly Schedule For Travelers

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by NightNerd NightNerd, MSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 8 years experience.

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I'm considering taking the leap into travel nursing! My question is regarding how your shifts tend to get scheduled - specifically, do you find yourself able to work three or four in a row if your want, or do your shifts often get split up? Is this something that can be specified in your contracts, or is this unrealistic?

My ideal situation would be to accept assignments within a few hours' driving time home, as I would love to work my three and come home for a few days off before heading back. My boyfriend and I aren't sure where we want to settle yet, so I'd like to use travelling to try a few different areas out (and also $$ for when we do eventually put down roots, LOL). He would certainly come and see me too, but his job isn't as portable, so he'd mostly still be home for most of the time I'm gone. Will agencies and hospitals work with me on this to some degree (I know it may not be perfect every week), or would this not be a great fit for me?

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

You can specify work schedule. You will have contractual assurance before you agree to go on any assignment and you don't want to take an assignment with an ambiguous schedule. Probably not possible for your first work week while in orientation but thereafter.

Personally, I think looking for assignments only a few hours drive away is too limiting. Sure, if your goals for a permanent position are close to home, that is fine. But this is your chance to find out if a dream location could be worth rethinking staying close to home. Obviously if you do that, you don't necessarily care as much about schedule restrictions. This would open up more possible assignments, including working at facilities where you might be interested in working permanently in the future as well.

Sure, I get the relationship. Possibly a couple month separation was even a factor in a loss of a fiancee for me. However if a short separation is damaging, perhaps it is not meant to be. Hard to know before or even after some circumstance you may blame later. And no offense, but if you (or your significant other) are that codependent, perhaps that is something else to contemplate.

NightNerd

NightNerd, MSN, RN

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 8 years experience. 1,129 Posts

6 hours ago, NedRN said:

You can specify work schedule. You will have contractual assurance before you agree to go on any assignment and you don't want to take an assignment with an ambiguous schedule. Probably not possible for your first work week while in orientation but thereafter.

Personally, I think looking for assignments only a few hours drive away is too limiting. Sure, if your goals for a permanent position are close to home, that is fine. But this is your chance to find out if a dream location could be worth rethinking staying close to home. Obviously if you do that, you don't necessarily care as much about schedule restrictions. This would open up more possible assignments, including working at facilities where you might be interested in working permanently in the future as well.

Sure, I get the relationship. Possibly a couple month separation was even a factor in a loss of a fiancee for me. However if a short separation is damaging, perhaps it is not meant to be. Hard to know before or even after some circumstance you may blame later. And no offense, but if you (or your significant other) are that codependent, perhaps that is something else to contemplate.

Thanks for your reply; good to know! It's entirely possible that after starting to travel, I'll look at jobs further from home - just trying to start slow and get a feel for what it'll be like. I definitely have some farther reaching locations in mind if it turns out traveling is a good fit for me. LOL, not codependent so much as I enjoy the guy's company and would like to see him more than every 13 weeks. If that's codependent...🤷‍♀️ Oh well!

NO JOKES OR PUNS ALLOWED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, travel. Has 13 years experience. 49 Posts

It depends on the hospital.  Some don't care if you have to take your elderly mother to dialysis every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  Not their problem to make your life easier when they're in need.  Some are more accommodating.  

More importantly, if it's a big deal to you, get it in writing.  

I also wouldn't limit myself to just a couple hours' drive away.  I typically work out of state, and I travel by train and plane.  I see my family about once a month when I'm working and school is in session.

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

1 hour ago, NightNerd said:

LOL, not codependent so much as I enjoy the guy's company and would like to see him more than every 13 weeks. If that's codependent...🤷‍♀️ Oh well!

Believe me, that's a great sign! 

NightNerd

NightNerd, MSN, RN

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 8 years experience. 1,129 Posts

@NO JOKES OR PUNS ALLOWED may I ask, do you rent a car when you travel by train or plane, or are usually able to get around on public transportation or walking? I'm assuming this is probably dependent on where you are; just curious how you explore the new place.

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

I cannot live without a bicycle. I use it to commute to my assignment (so I always get housing within say 5 miles of the hospital), sightseeing, and ADLs. When I have to fly, I bring it. For assignments that I drive to, I also bring skates. Great in big cities. Walking is too slow (and tiring), bicycles can be too fast, skates are just right in cities like New York, and yes, San Francisco. New Orleans for Mardi Gras and the list goes on. Mostly the car gets parked having done its work getting me there.

NO JOKES OR PUNS ALLOWED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, travel. Has 13 years experience. 49 Posts

14 hours ago, NightNerd said:

@NO JOKES OR PUNS ALLOWED may I ask, do you rent a car when you travel by train or plane, or are usually able to get around on public transportation or walking? I'm assuming this is probably dependent on where you are; just curious how you explore the new place.

I don't.  Given my second career, I stick mainly to major metropolitan areas and use public transport.  As @NedRN mentioned, bikes are great and I've found them easy to rent in NYC and Albany.  I also would prefer a beating to driving either in Boston or NYC.

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

The rules of driving are definitely different in Boston!

NO JOKES OR PUNS ALLOWED, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, travel. Has 13 years experience. 49 Posts

13 hours ago, NedRN said:

The rules of driving are definitely different in Boston!

I think the state of the subway in NYC at the moment may trump it.  I love the subway when I'm traveling alone, but even I'm laying off for awhile.