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Travel nursing with a spouse – 9 important tips

by Tim McDonnell

Maybe you’re sold on the idea of travel nursing – or just dreaming of a way to add some adventure to your life. If you’re single and have your credentials in place, it’s relatively easy to just pick up and go. For those in a long-term relationship, you’ve got another person’s needs and wants to think about, but a travel nursing lifestyle for two might still be easier than you think. Here are 5 basic tips for travel nursing with a spouse or partner, plus 4 bonus tips from Shawn and Hartley Cole – a couple who has been there and done it.

1. Get clear on what you both want out of life

If you both love travel, switching things up, and experiencing new surroundings, doing travel nursing together can be a dream come true. If your partner is a homebody, travel nursing can still work for you, but you’ve got to be clear with your recruiter on the kind of assignments and housing situations that will work best. It’s also good to talk about your shared personal, professional, and financial goals.

2. Talk openly about the kind of schedule that works for both of you

How much free time do you need for each other? Will the balance of days on and days off meet your needs and those of your spouse or partner? What’s the facility’s track record at sticking to scheduled hours and how likely is it that you might work late when your partner is expecting you at home? These are things that can be checked out in advance with an experienced recruiter who is focused on you.

travel nursing with a spouse - couple enjoying the outdoors on a travel nursing assignment

3. Ask specific questions about the facility where you’ll be working

What’s the patient census and case load like? What have other travel nurses said about the facility and permanent staff? How much floating might be involved in the assignment? Will you have an opportunity to expand your skills or learn new systems and procedures? All of these things will not only affect the quality of your experience on this assignment, but also help position you for great future assignments.

4. Learn all you can about the location and surroundings

Are there major attractions nearby? What about hidden, out of the ordinary sights or experiences that only locals know about? What will your commute be like? Working with your recruiter and doing early research on your own to find these answers can make the difference between an ordinary work experience and an enriching, life-changing one.

5. Bring a little imagination into the mix

Sometimes, trying something unconventional can open up amazing new opportunities and experiences. If you’re willing to be experimental like Shawn and Hartley Cole, you might find joy and adventure in places where you never thought it would show up. They tried a Winter assignment in Wyoming and found unexpected beauty, fun, and quality time around almost every corner. How will you shake things up?

travel nursing with a spouse - image of shawn and hartley cole traveling together

RNnetwork travel nurse Shawn Cole (left) and her husband Hartley

Seeing the country as a couple

Shawn Cole and her husband Hartley nearly missed out on travel nursing, but now find it hard to imagine life without it. They both overcame serious health obstacles and had almost given up on their dreams to see the country together. They were raising a family and keeping up with financial obligations in addition to getting themselves healthy again.

Persistence finally paid off, and RNnetwork recruiter Jamie Zaroff came into their lives at exactly the right moment. Hartley recalls, “If it wan’t for Jamie, I don’t think that I would have done this. Jamie checked in with Shawn, asking about the kids and me.” Jamie immediately understood how much family mattered to the Coles, and she included their needs in the whole travel process.

As the husband of an active and successful travel nurse, Hartley has 4 suggestions to add to our list of success tips. Here’s his perspective on travel nursing with a spouse or partner:

6. Never let fear hold you back from acting on your dreams.

Hartley says there’s always a way.

7. A good recruiter makes ALL the difference.

Communicate, and make sure your recruiter is looking out for all your needs on assignment.

8. Remember to have fun.

Go see everything the region has to offer – you’ll be amazed how many free things you can enjoy.

9. Get paid weekly if you can.

The predictable weekly cash flow really comes in handy when you’re traveling.

Where will YOU go? What memories will you make with your special someone? You can have it all, and you can get paid to enjoy life in places that other people wait a lifetime to see. Talk to your spouse or partner, dream big, and get in touch with an RNnetwork recruiter to find out what’s possible.

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