You’re nearing the end of your 13-week assignment and it’s time to ask yourself the big question: now what? Travel nurses aren’t lacking for options. After all, flexibility is one of the job’s biggest perks. At the same time, it can be hard to make a decision when you’re burned out after a tough assignment. If you’re wondering what to do between travel assignments, here are some points you should consider.
Can you afford to take a break between travel nursing assignments?
Like any vacation, time off between assignments can cause some pain in your bank account; however, this isn’t the only cost you need to count. If you are considering a longer break (especially one longer than a month) you need to consider how the gap will look on your resume. For nurses with many years of experience, employers won’t be concerned by a gap of several months. It is assumed that an experienced nurse will be able to hit the ground running even after an extended break. If you’ve only got a year or two under your belt, however, taking more than a couple of weeks of between jobs could cost you a job offer. If you’re new to travel nursing, you can still take a break between assignments. Just make sure it’s not too long.
Decide what you want from your time off
Rest up, or catch up? When you’re between assignments, you’re free to do whatever you want. Many nurses use this time to catch up on other obligations, perhaps going home to work on their house and to see family. Others take advantage of their free time to get some well-deserved rest. This can also be the best opportunity to really enjoy the area around your old assignment or to get to know your new city. And don’t feel guilty if you don’t get much accomplished; after all, one of your most important goals should be to arrive at your new job rested and energetic. The only important rule is to do what you want with your time.
Secret vacations – How to get time off without taking time off
If you’ve got any control over your schedule, you can squeeze in a mini-vacation without “officially” taking any time off. Make sure you work the first 3 days of your last week on the job – maybe Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. When scheduling your start date, try to work Thursday through Saturday of the next week. You might rarely have this much control over your schedule; when it works out, however, you get an 8 day vacation without missing a single paycheck. It’s always worth a try.
Taking time off between assignments is a fantastic way to refresh yourself before starting again. To do it well, you’ll want to plan carefully with your recruiter so that there are no unexpected hiccups, such as letting your insurance and benefits lapse, for example. At MSG Staffing, we take pride in working with our travel nurses to make sure all their needs are met. If you’re looking for a new assignment or to start a career in travel nursing, contact us today to learn how we can help.