Travel Nursing With a Partner — Good or Bad Idea?
As a travel nurse, you spend a great deal of time away from home. While you may appreciate the change of scenery and look forward to discovering new places, you may prefer some company. Having your spouse or partner come along while you’re on an assignment can be good and bad. Let’s address some concerns about travel nursing with a partner or spouse.
What About Their Job?
Although the overall benefits of having a travel mate with you during an assignment outnumber the drawbacks, some issues may be weighing on your mind. Will your spouse or significant other want to leave a permanent position to come along with you on a temporary assignment, and how would that affect your mutual finances? What will he or she do while you’re working at your assignment?
Your spouse or partner may not be eager to leave a career behind to join you. Most permanent positions provide vacation pay, so he or she may be able to spend two or three weeks with you while you’re on assignment, but then what? At that point, you may be coming home from work to an empty apartment, hotel room or rental house. For some nurses, that’s not a big deal. FaceTime, text messaging and Skype sessions can help keep a relationship alive and well during a work-related separation. Some will even agree that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
How Will It Affect the Finances?
One of the biggest concerns about travel nursing with a partner can be the financial factor. Can you both afford it? How will your shared absence from your permanent residence affect your regular monthly finances? Can you both meet all of your financial obligations on a one-person salary?
For some nurses, the assignment’s income can cover the financial needs of two people. Agencies may also offer attractive housing and travel-expense compensation plans that can help make this type of arrangement workable. The cost-of-living difference between your regular residence and your housing costs at your assignment location should also be considered. The average monthly rental cost between a major coastal metropolitan area and a rural location in the Midwest can reflect a difference of $1,000 or more. You may also consider subletting your permanent residence while the two of you are away.
When traveling as a duo, housing costs could be your number one consideration, but things could work to your advantage under the right circumstances. Taxes and allowable deductions will play a role in how things work out, and the travel nurse agency may offer a generous reimbursement plan for your expenses. It’s not a bad idea, however, to forego DIY strategies and consult a tax professional before coming to any conclusions.
What Will They Do While You Work?
It can be great to have them come along, but many nurses may wonder what their significant others will be doing while they’re working. If you’ve got preschool kids, the answer is easy to see. You’ll have a stay-at-home husband or wife to take care of them while you’re working. Older children, of course, change the picture; you can’t bounce them around between schools to follow your assignment locations.
For nurses without kids, your tagalong doesn’t need to remain idle while you’re working. A local on-demand job can be an additional source of income. No matter where you are, there are opportunities for remote telecommute contract work or on-demand jobs that are relatively easy to depart from when a nursing assignment is up. More Americans are working remotely, and the gig economy is growing. In an ideal situation, your husband, wife or significant other has a work-at-home occupation that can operate from anywhere with an internet connection.
How Will It Help?
Nursing can bring unexpected stress to your day. Depending on the assignment, it could be a regular part of the job. As a newcomer, you may not be able to build the type of support group among your coworkers that you’d like. You may truly welcome your spouse or partner being there when needed, especially when you may be hundreds or thousands of miles away from friends and family.
In addition to providing emotional support, your travel mate can also cover the logistical-support duties that accompany a temporary but extended relocation. While you’re working 12-hours shifts, it will be comforting to know that all the background stuff is being attended to.
The Best Part Can Be the Sharing
Working as a traveling nurse brings you more than just financial rewards. You’re also adding new experiences to your life and growing in your career. Sharing these memories and experiences with a travel partner who is also your life partner can provide much to be grateful for.