By Sarah Wengert
One of the greatest things about travel nursing is the freedom to choose what you want when you want it, and to design the exact career and lifestyle you desire. That means you can determine your jobs, benefits, locations, when you take time off, and so much more. Whether you want to go from one assignment to the next with very little gap or you prefer to take a longer break, it’s totally up to you — you can even mix it up, as many travelers choose to do.
If you choose to take less than 30 days off between two assignments with Medical Solutions, we’ll even cover your benefits in between so you don’t have to worry about a lapse in coverage! Plus, even if you don’t plan to do back-to-back assignments, we can still get you placed for your next travel assignment before your break so you know your next opportunity will be right there waiting for you when your time off ends — giving you one less thing to stress about in between.
Although the freedom of choice is fabulous, it often has travelers wondering what to do between travel nursing assignments. But don’t worry, there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to that too.
Overall, we suggest spending the time between travel nursing assignments doing something that will refuel and refresh you in one way or another, whether you’ve only got a few days or a roomy couple of weeks to spend. Here are a few popular ideas for what to do between your travel assignments.
Travel for Leisure
You’re always on the go for your patients, traveling where your skill and talent is most needed. Sure, you get to make an adventure out of travel nursing, but you’re on the clock too. Weekend trips are fun while on assignment, but where else do you want to explore? Where would you go if it was all about you? Maybe it’s the three-week European getaway you’ve always dreamed of, or maybe a domestic location that just never seems to have the right assignment for you. In between travel nursing assignments is the perfect time to schedule your dream vacation. Travel just for yourself for once and you’ll come back to your next assignment refreshed and ready to provide great patient care again.
Visit Friends and Family
Sometimes it works out to see your friends and family throughout the year while you’re on assignment. But when it’s been awhile and you’re really missing your people, in between travel assignments is a great time to go visit them on their home turf and catch up. Seeing your favorite people can really fuel you up and prepare you to head back to your next assignment when that time comes. You can also plan to meet friends and/or family somewhere else for a combo vacation catch up session!
Home Sweet Home Base
If your friends and/or family live near you, you can combine visiting them with a visit to your home base. Even if you’ve loved the many cool locations you’ve been able to explore through travel nursing, it’s so nice to go home for a bit when you’ve been traveling awhile. Just to check in, see your hometown people, and see a familiar place. Get your hair cut by your favorite stylist, have dinner at your favorite restaurant, see your own doctor for an annual exam, check in on your home — stuff like that!
Volunteer Your Talents
Travel nurses already give so much of themselves, but some of you take your time off between assignments to give even more! If you have the bandwidth, you can choose to volunteer with an organization fighting for or supporting a cause that matters to you. Also, the American Red Cross, founded by nurse icon Clara Barton, always needs volunteers and even has a handy search tool for opportunities near you.
Invest in Yourself
Invest your time between travel assignments in yourself. Take a class you’ve always wanted to take, do a yoga retreat, or just take a moment to just be. Or, like anybody else, travel nurses have neglected items on their to-do lists, so get out your red pen and get to crossing things off! Clear some of your mental or physical clutter. Do a digital purge and clean up your inbox and documents you no longer need. Or, go through clothes and other items that it would feel great to shed. Marie Kondo would be proud!
Plan Your Next Assignment
Regardless of how long your break is between assignments, it’s wise to take a beat to plan your next career moves. We always suggest booking your next travel assignment as early as possible, because there are typically travel job openings available now with start dates that are not immediate. It’s really nice to have your next job locked, loaded, and waiting for you. However, If you haven’t booked your next assignment yet, it’s smart to take advantage of your downtime to be proactive and start looking for amazing travel nursing locations. Always make sure to keep your recruiter in the loop, too! Let them know your timeframe and they’ll be there to help.
Whether you’re suffering from nurse burnout or simply a serious case of wanderlust, be sure to make the most of your time between assignments. And whether it’s a week or a few weeks, when you make your time work for your needs, you’ll be shocked that you ever wondered what to do between travel nursing assignments!