Having a Work-life Balance as a Traveling Nurse

Having a Work-life Balance as a Traveling Nurse

Nurses are known as “lifesavers” with more than three times the number as there are doctors in the healthcare industry. The difference between doctors and nurses is that doctors usually specialize in one area, while nurses can adapt to the care of all aspects of a patient’s health. 


Having such specialties makes nurses extremely busy with increased workloads leading to more stressful situations for staff. In recent years and with COVID-19, there has been a higher demand for travel nurses worldwide due to increased workloads. Being a traveling nurse, you must learn to balance work and fun to avoid burnout and negligence of nursing duties. 


Let’s dive in to see some ways to achieve this work-life balance.


Try and make good use of your free time:

Nurses are always very busy, so some may forget they are supposed to be-free-of-work on their days off. Most nurses work through the day, especially for healthcare centers who do not respect work-life balance. Nurses could also use their time to do some quick chores in their home or run errands to catch up on all the things they missed while at work. It is important to know that free time is for you to partake in your hobbies, or else it feels like all work and no play. 


As a travel nurse, there are always great opportunities to explore new places. For nature, there is an app called AllTrails. AllTrails will provide users with the best hiking, biking, and running trails nearby or in a specific region. In addition, the app includes details on trail length, starting location and trail quality. It also includes honest reviews and photos from a community of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to make it more encouraging to get out there and explore. 


For urban cities with minimal nature/scenic destinations, you could shop to get some sneakers, clothes, or any necessary items to make your day run smoothly. If you’re looking for a way to relax, the best app to allow that is the Calm app which has meditation, breathing exercises and more all in one! Using your free time to relax your body and ease yourself of all the stress you endured during your working hours is also a great way to utilize your free time.  


Make a bucket list of things you want to do before for every assignment:

Travel nurses can visit new cities for each assignment they choose. However, getting ready to travel to a new city doesn’t just happen overnight. There is always some time to organize yourself and plan before moving out. 


As a travel nurse, you can inquire about various attractions in the new city before you set off. All the famous well-known landmarks and local restaurants shouldn’t just be for your viewing pleasure. Explore neighborhoods or eateries to get outside of your comfort zone. We recommend preparing a bucket list for each assignment location so you won’t miss out on any excitement and to avoid an “all work and no play routine.” Making these bucket lists can help you stay positive even during those tough days knowing you have some fun to look forward to on your days off.



Choose assignments based on YOUR needs:

As a travel nurse, understanding your needs and choosing your assignments based on criteria can help balance your work with fun. 


Everyone has their own idea and understanding of a work-life balance, and sometimes they will have to discover how the balance will work for them to live it. For example, you may work better during the night shift than during the day shift. So, why not work with your travel nurse agencies to find the perfect fit for you to be able to maximize your days and nights. You might not always get the desired shift you want, but adapting and switching up your routine can bring in some excitement. Allow yourself to utilize your day or nights, depending on your shift needs.


Create a schedule that you plan and know you can stick to:

As a traveling nurse, it is possible to forget to have fun if you do not create a schedule that allows it. If you struggle with managing your time effectively, we recommend a planner. 


However, day are never the same, and a planner might not account for that. If you can do your best to stay by it, it will create a better flow to your day. Creating a schedule takes little effort and time. All you need is a work schedule and knowing your days off. From there, decide how you will adjust your free time. 


With a schedule, you can set aside time for the fun activities from your bucket list. If you need some cool ideas, check out this list of “20 Things to do on Your Days Off as a Nurse.” One thing that most people enjoy in their free time is working out/exercising. If you can’t get to a gym, there are multiple apps on your mobile phone to download to get those muscles working and your body moving. You can write out your schedule on a calendar app or a physical calendar. 


Having your day in order encourages you to think about your time differently, using it to optimize balance in your daily activities.


Final Thoughts

Like other traveling personnel craving to balance work and fun, travel nurses are no exception. It is challenging for a nurse to find time to have fun while working, but it is achievable if you care about your health and overall well-being. 


A nurse use a planner to maximize their travel and fun while on assignment. If you’re not a planner, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and take small necessary steps to developing a plan. All the tips here will guide you in that direction; of course, we know that there are different stages to it. From creating a bucket list to preparing a schedule to utilize your time well, you can establish the perfect work-life balance as a traveling nurse.