Travel nursing is hard work.  Beyond the everyday challenges of working as an RN, you have to readjust to a new hospital and a new city every 8 to 26 weeks.  Working hard continuously without allowing yourself adequate time to rest can lead to burnout. It’s important to take time for self-care when you have time off.  Here are some ways you can decompress between travel nurse assignments.

Catch Up on Sleep Between Travel Nursing Assignments

A simple but important part of self-care is getting enough sleep.  This can be difficult with the hectic schedule of a travel nurse. Take some time between assignments to catch up on all that sleep you’ve lost over the past few months.  This is especially important if you’ve been working the night shift. Readjust your sleeping pattern while you have the time to ease into it. You’ll head into your next assignment feeling rested and ready to take on the work.

Take Time for Hobbies

Travel nursing, like any type of nursing, can often mean working long hours.  Once you get home, the only things you want to do are eat and sleep. Now that you have some free time, get back into some hobbies you enjoy.  Go for a run, or read a new book from your local library. You could even try a new hobby by taking a class or joining a club, depending on how much time you have.  Focusing on something fun rather than work, even if you enjoy your job, is a great way to decompress.

Meet Up with Friends

Do you have those friends you never get to see because your work schedules never align?  Use your time off travel nursing to reconnect. No matter what their calendar looks like, yours is empty, so you should be able to find time to catch up.  You might even have the ability to travel to see friends you haven’t seen in a while because of where they live.

Explore New Cities

It’s great when your travel nurse assignment is in a city you’ve always wanted to visit.  What’s less great is when you get so bogged down with work, you never get to find out what the area has to offer.  Once your assignment ends, you can stick around and be a tourist in the city you’ve spent the past 8 to 26 weeks in.  Visit that museum you’ve passed by a hundred times, or spend a day in the park you never had time to stop at. You could also search online for the best food in your area and have your own mini restaurant tour.  Whatever you choose, do something that will make each place you live into a great memory rather than just another city on a list of job locations.

Get Settled

If you’re able to move into your new house a bit before your next travel nurse assignment starts, do it.  Housing for travel nursing can vary widely from location to location.  It can be helpful to unpack and get acclimated to your surroundings before starting work.  This way you can fix any problems before your schedule gets too full. The last thing you want to do is move into an apartment where the hot water doesn’t work or the stove is broken a day before starting your assignment. 

Look for Your Next Travel Nursing Job

If you finish an assignment and aren’t sure where you’re headed next, talking with a travel nursing agency can help.  New Directions Staffing can help you find the perfect positions for your interest and specialization.  Contact them today to learn more.