Crystal Gustafson
Crystal Gustafson
October 21, 2016 - 2 min read

Adventures In Travel Nursing: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Days Off

I have to say that one of the most amazing aspects of being a nurse is the flexibility of our schedules. We can work all hours of the day and only a few days a week.

Luckily, travel nurses are privy to the same schedule which gives plenty of time to get out there and explore because let’s face it – one of the biggest draws to travel nursing is the adventure.

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New Locations Mean New Hobbies

Making your access to activities both easy and inexpensive is key to an enjoyable experience. When I was working in Los Angeles, I worked three 12’s and always had at least one day off a week. The flexibility in my schedule allowed me to drive to Santa Monica to meet up with friends on a weekly basis.

While on assignment in LA I was able to pick up new hobbies I would have never had the opportunity if not for travel nursing. A couple of my favorites were riding bikes along the ocean and taking trapeze lessons on the Santa Monica Pier.

With the high tourism in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, this commute and ability to schedule trapeze lessons was only possible because I had the flexibility to schedule weekdays off. I personally would not be able to tolerate the traffic or the amount of people on the weekends.

I also found it much easier to go grocery shopping, go to any appointments and even go hiking during the week. Not to mention that work tends to be a bit more chill on the weekends.

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Choose The Schedule That Fits Your Personality

If you know that when you work nights you turn into a zombie who sleeps all day, then it may be wise to avoid working night shift if possible. A big part of travel nursing is to create adventure in your life. Do not ruin your experience by sleeping all day.

If you know that three days in a row kills you, then let your scheduling person know that information. The last thing they want is a nurse with a bad attitude at work. You usually can’t pick your schedule but you can let them know your preferences.

I also don’t recommend working extra shifts because the money isn’t worth it if you will be too tired to go and enjoy yourself.

Extra Effort, Extra Reward

Creating fun and adventure in your travel nursing life takes some planning. It’s not like back home when your friends would call you up and invite you to go do something. You will have to make a point to meet new people and try new things. ‘

Most cities have a website with a calendar of events so plan on doing something new on your days off. Travel nurses have the rare advantage of living in cities all over the country for short periods of time so take advantage of that. You don’t want to return home without some fun stories.

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