Travel Nursing With Family: The Ultimate Guide

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Share on Facebook3Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn2Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

On first thought, travel nursing with family can seem like an impossible option. However, during my time as a travel nursing recruiter, I worked with many travel nurses who had families. Each of these travel nurses had a different set of family related circumstances, but each of them was able to find solutions, or rhythms, that worked amazingly well for them and their families.  In this article, we’ll take a deep-dive into the topic of travel nursing with family so those considering this option can approach it with confidence.

Do Agencies Allow Travel Nursing With Family?

This is the first question most people have when they consider travel nursing with family. Do agencies even allow it? The simple answer is yes! In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find an agency that doesn’t allow it. American Mobile and Cross Country, the largest companies in the business, both allow it. In fact, they write promotional content encouraging it.

That said, some agencies are better at handling the challenges of travel nursing with family than others. As always, the level of service you receive will depend more on the specific travel nursing recruiter rather than the agency itself. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to inquire whether or not recruiters have experience working with families. If they don’t have experience, then ask if they are willing to put in the extra effort.

Which brings us to the main consideration for travel nursing with family, the additional challenges associated with it. These challenges vary depending on your specific scenario. As a result, we’ve decided to structure this discussion around the most common scenarios. These scenarios are:

  1. Leaving your family at home to engage in travel nursing.
  2. Travel nursing with your significant other.
  3. Travel Nursing with children.

In the process of discussing each of these scenarios, we’ll cover all the major issues and provide tips for dealing with all the challenges of travel nursing with family.

Leaving Family While Travel Nursing

Leaving your family at home to engage in travel nursing contracts might sound impractical. However, of all the family related scenarios, this is the scenario I saw the most. In fact, it wasn’t even close. I worked with a significant number of both male and female travel nurses who left families at home to complete contracts. There are many reasons people choose this option.

Relationship Considerations

I worked with a few travel nurses who left family at home because they felt it was better for their relationships. This was definitely the most interesting reason I encountered. Of course, I didn’t pry to get the details; that would be rude. But I can say that all of these nurses had seemingly strong relationships with their families. I keep in regular contact with two of them to this day. They are both happily married still, so it’s clearly working for them.

Limited Options At Home

Another reason nurses choose to leave family at home for travel nursing is that they live in areas where employment options are sparse. However, they love where they live and feel strongly that the location is great for their family. Of course, these nurses typically reside in small rural areas. Often times, there are only one or two smaller hospitals in these areas.

Making More Money for the Family

Many nurses make the choice to leave family for travel nursing contracts because they stand to make significantly more money with travel nursing than their permanent jobs. It’s important to note that this is usually true only for nurses working in the lowest paying states.

Create your free Travel Nursing Resume now!

In the lowest paying states, Registered Nurses can earn anywhere from $20 to $30 per hour. It’s quite common for RN’s in these states to earn $27 per hour. In this case, clearing the equivalent of $35 per hour or more represents a significant increase. This can make a huge difference for achieving the family’s financial goals.

That said, any time you’re interested in travel nursing for the money, it’s vary important to have a clear understanding of all the variables involved. Therefore, we highly recommend reviewing our article on how much travel nurses make. In it, we discuss all the costs to consider and how to evaluate pay packages.

Scheduling Family Visits when Travel Nursing

The only real difference between travel nursing as a single person and leaving your immediate family at home to be a travel nurse, is that you’re leaving your family at home! In other words, all of the other logistical issues are largely unchanged. However, you’re most likely going to have a much stronger desire to return home periodically for visits.

The good news is that travel nursing makes this easy. First, you’re almost always able to arrange a week or two off in between your 13 week assignments. Additionally, you can ask for scheduled time off during a contract when you interview with a hospital for a travel nursing job. The important thing to remember here is that you need to schedule time off in a way that ensures you’ll be able to work all of your contracted shifts each week.

Travel Nursing Close to Home

Many nurses who want to travel while their family stays home will consider the possibility of accepting only assignments that are within a reasonable driving distance from their home. This is certainly an option. However, there are a few factors to be mindful of in this situation.

First, most hospitals are not willing to provide a set schedule or commit to scheduling all work days in a row. This is important because the schedule can impede your ability to return home on your days off. It all depends on how far the hospital is from your home base.

Join the largest community of travel nurses.

Second, there could be tax implications relating to the tax-free reimbursements the agency pays as part of the compensation package. Technically, the reimbursements are only supposed to be paid when someone is away from their tax home for work. Most travel nursing pay packages operate under the assumption that the traveler will be away for the entire duration of the contract. If you are returning home on your days off and thus not incurring the expenses, then there could be a problem. Therefore, we recommend contacting a tax adviser with experience on this topic just to be sure.

Finally, it’s important to understand that restricting your options in this way can make it difficult to stay continuously employed as a travel nurse. The more flexible you are, the more job opportunities you’ll have and vice versa. As a result, we recommend being as flexible as possible. One option is to accept assignments outside your preferred area when absolutely necessary. Another is to keep working ties in the form of PRN or Seasonal Employment at your home base. We’ll discuss that later in the article.

Travel Nursing With Your Significant Other (Husband, Wife, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Partner)

In my experience, travel nursing with a significant other is the second most common scenario pertaining to travel nursing with family. Many of the travel nurses I worked with in this scenario proclaimed that it was far easier than traveling on their own. That may be true, but there are still several unique circumstances to consider.

Travel Nursing as a Couple

One possible scenario is that of the travel healthcare couple. I worked with many such couples. I had an ER RN and an ICU RN from Oklahoma. I worked with an ICU RN and CVICU RN from Georgia. There was a Cath Lab RN and OR RN from Florida. And then there was an OR Tech and ICU RN from Iowa.

Find your next travel nursing job now.

Travel healthcare couples face circumstances that are unique in and of themselves. It can be a little more difficult to find both travelers a job in the same location. Moreover, there are implications for tax-free lodging reimbursements to consider. We discuss the issues pertaining to travel nursing couples in detail in this article.

One Travel Healthcare Professional in the Couple

Of course, the other scenario is for one person to be a travel healthcare professional while the other is, well, anything else. The main challenge in this scenario is figuring out what the other person is going to do for work.

Taking Care of Everything Else

Some couples choose to have the partner not work a traditional job. Instead, the partner takes care of everything outside of work. I worked with many traveling couples who operated this way. The partner would do all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, event planning and anything else. I even worked with a couple of partners who handled the travel nurse’s job searches and contract negotiations.

Working on the Road

Of course, these days there are tons of jobs that allow you to work remotely. I worked with one couple where the partner was a web developer. He simply continued to work as normal while they traveled around the country. I also know of a couple where the partner is a travel nursing recruiter. How cool is that?!

The easiest way to manage your travel nursing career.

If you are not already in such a situation, then you can certainly find something similar. For example, many travel nursing companies work with remote recruiters. It’s a very intense sales job, but it can be rewarding and lucrative if successful. Additionally, there are many freelance opportunities in today’s economy. You can drive for Uber and Lyft. You can sign up to work through ThumbTack or TaskRabbit. You can sign up to deliver food for Postmates, DoorDash and/or GrubHub. You can even try your hand at freelance writing if you’re up for a challenge.

Travel Nursing with Children

Travel nursing with children is certainly the most daunting of the three scenarios pertaining to travel nursing with family. Children add a host of dynamics to the mix. They have an impact on the logistics of both travel and living conditions. Perhaps more importantly, you have to be concerned with child development and education issues. And, of course, all of these issues vary with the age of the children.

I had the pleasure of working with four travel nurses who traveled with their children. One of them traveled with her husband and children. One of them traveled with her sister and both of their children. And the other two traveled with their children alone. They all had a wonderful time and worked for over a year as travelers. Let’s take a look at some of the tips based on their success.

Travel Nursing with Children: Managing the Drive

First, it’s important to remember that traveling with children, specifically younger children and babies, will require additional time. Babies will need breaks for diaper changes, feedings and a change of pace. Young children will need bathroom breaks and breaks to move around. It’s possible for driving times to be doubled and even tripled depending on the situation, so it’s important to account for that when planning your drives between assignments.

En Route Entertainment

Given that these drives are almost always long and grueling, it’s important to bring things to entertain your child while in the car. For babies, it’s advised to bring a variety of new and old toys. The variety helps overcome their relatively short attention span. For additional tips on driving long distances with babies and toddlers, check out this comprehensive article on the topic.

There are a lot of great options to keep younger children occupied on the road these days. For example, there are a host of kid’s tablets that include learning based games. The LeapPads made by LeapFrog are among the most popular. You might also consider a portable DVD player.

Of course, you’ll want to bring as many toys and games as you can when you’re travel nursing with children. But you’ll also need to pack much more than just their toys and games. In a perfect world, you’d be able to bring it all. How much you’re actually able to bring will depend on your transportation situation.

Travel Nursing with Family: Transportation

When it comes to transportation, there are tons of possibilities. Many people think they’ll need a large SUV, van or truck to make travel nursing with family work. While these options are nice, they aren’t necessary. It’s possible to make it work with a compact car!

Travel Nursing with Family in a Compact Car

I worked with a travel nurse who traveled with her 2 boys aged 7 and 9 in Mini Cooper Coupe. How’d they do it? They had a trailer hitch added to the car. For each assignment, they would rent a 4 X 8 or 5 X 8 cargo trailer from Uhaul.

I checked Uhaul’s website and they will add a hitch to your car for $200 to $300 depending on the make and model of your car. You can check the rate for your car here. You may be able to get this done for cheaper somewhere, but this is a nice option if you plan to rent cargo trailers from Uhaul as well.

Uhaul’s cargo trailers usually cost $20 to $35 per day. The cargo weight you can transport depends on the size of your car, the size of the trailer and the trailer hitch rating. I checked the weight limits for a Mini Cooper Coupe and they ranged from 1,100 to 1,650 pounds. That’s a lot!

Storage Racks for Travel Nursing with Family

Of course, you can make use of a cargo trailer with almost any car. However, you may be able to get by with much less depending on the size of your car. There are tons of amazing storage racks and other storage options available for cars, trucks, vans and SUVs.

Roof Racks and Cargo Boxes

Roof cargo boxes are a popular option for adding storage capacity to your car. The maximum weight you can store in a roof cargo box varies by car. The maximum weight typically ranges from 75 to 200 pounds. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will most likely include this information.

Roof cargo boxes attach to your vehicle’s roof rack. If your car doesn’t have a roof rack, then you can almost certainly attach one. This link will take you to a site where you can enter your vehicle’s make and model to see some options available for your car.

Hitch Carriers

Hitch carriers are another option for adding storage capacity to your car. The maximum weight you can store on a hitch carrier is determined by your vehicle’s “Tongue Weight Capacity”. The tongue weight capacity will determine the “Hitch Class” you’re able to use with your vehicle. The maximum weight ranges between 200 pounds for a smaller car to over 500 pounds for large trucks and SUVs. This link provides further details.

Below is an image of a hitch carrier.

Hitch Cargo for Travel Nurses Image

Cargo Saddlebag

Finally, the Cargo Saddlebag from Rightline Gear is another great option if you have a hatch door.  You can use it instead of a roof cargo box or a hitch carrier. It’s maximum load is 100 pounds.

Below is an image of a Cargo Saddlebag.

Saddlebag for Travel Nurses

Travel Nursing with Family in an RV or Trailer

One way to avoid the logistical issues involved with standard vehicles is to go all in with an RV or Trailer. Travel nursing with family in an RV or Trailer is a topic for another article. For now, we just want to let you know that many travel nursing families use this method and love it.

Facebook Groups for RV/Trailer Travel Nursing

In fact, there are a couple of Facebook groups devoted to travel nursing in RVs and Trailers. They’re a great place to get tips, advice and overall support. The first is called Highway Hypodermics: RV Travelers. The group is administrated by Kay Slane and Irene Jervis. The group has 3,900 members as of the writing of this article.

Kay is an active travel nurse and the author of Highway Hypodermics, a must read book about travel nursing. She also operates a website by the same name with many useful features including travel nursing agency ratings and reviews. Irene is also an experienced and active travel nurse.

The second group is called Adventures in RV Travel Nursing. The group has 7 administrators. One of the Administrators is Patty Hingst, a highly experienced and active travel nurse. I know Patty well. She is actively involved in the travel nursing community, routinely providing valuable advice and support. Four of the administrators work for Atlas MedStaff, a respected healthcare staffing company. The group currently has 5,300 members as of the writing of this article.

Travel Nurse Housing with a Family

One of the best things about travel nursing with an RV or trailer is that your housing is all taken care of. But if you’re travel nursing with family in a standard vehicle, then it’s important to know how the family dynamic affects the housing dynamic.

Travel Nursing Housing with a Non-traveler Significant Other

If you’re travel nursing with significant other who isn’t a travel nurse, then there isn’t much difference when it comes to housing. This assumes that you can utilize the same type of lodging that you otherwise would as a single traveler.

Travel Nurse Housing with a Travel Nurse Significant Other

However, if you are traveling with your significant other who is also a travel nurse, then are implications for the lodging stipend. Essentially, the IRS rules are such that the agency is technically allowed to provide company housing or a lodging stipend to only one of you. This is because the rules require the agency to have reason to believe their employees will in fact be incurring the expense. Of course, two people living together can’t both incur the same expense.

Different agencies will handle this in different ways. Some will include housing or a stipend in one traveler’s pay while adding the same value to the other traveler’s taxable wage instead of paying the stipend. Others will split the single stipend evenly between the two travelers and add what’s left over to the taxable wage. Some will even give both travelers the full stipend and/or company housing.

Travel Nurse Housing with Children

The housing issue of concern when travel nursing with children is space. Namely, you may need more space. You might want a two bedroom apartment or house, perhaps even 3 bedrooms. A studio or Extended Stay type hotel most likely won’t be an option.

Obviously, more space costs more money all else being equal. So, here are the main things to know about this situation:

  1. If you take company provided housing, then the additional cost of more space will be factored into your pay package. This will reduce your pay rate all else being equal.
  2. If you take the stipend and find your own housing, the housing may cost more than the stipend provided by the agency. In this case, you can ask the agency to divert a portion of your taxable wage to the stipend so that you avoid paying taxes. If this is not possible, then it is important to save the lease agreement and travel nursing contract as proof that you paid more than you received for housing. This way, you can declare the difference as a deduction on your income taxes. Of course, this assumes that you have a legitimate tax-home.
  3. More space typically requires more furnishings. More furnishings cost more money, especially if you or the agency use a furniture rental service. However, there are several ways that you can save on furnishings if you’re willing.

Furnishings When Travel Nursing with Family

Renting furniture from a furniture rental company is quite expensive. When I was recruiting, our supplier charged $425 per month to furnish a one bedroom apartment. That’s $1,275 per 13 week contract!

The package was pretty basic. It included the obvious items, a bed, a couch, a coffee table, an end table, a couple of lamps, a night stand, a dresser, a small TV, and a table with four chairs. It also included pots, pans, linens, towels and silverware. However, we had to pay extra for a “cleaning package”, things like a vacuum, broom and dust pan.

Remember, that was for a 1 bedroom apartment. The cost to furnish an additional room was anywhere from $100-$125 per month. That brought the total to $1,575 per 13 week contract. That might not sound like much on the surface. However, multiply it by 3 or 4 contracts per year and we’re looking at $4,500 to $6,000 per year!

How to Save on Furnishings

So, how can you avoid spending so much on furnishings? Several of the travel nursing families I worked with would furnish their entire living space upon arrival using a combination of inexpensive retail options, Craigslist and inflatable furniture.

Beds

Let’s run through an example. For starters, beds are typically the most expensive furniture items. Many of the travel nursing families I worked with used inflatable mattresses. They swore by them…said they were as comfortable or more comfortable than their traditional mattresses. And the fact that they are small enough to pack is an extra bonus.

The SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology might be the most popular and the most highly rated. It comes with a built in pump which will also deflate the bed when you’re ready to pack up. You can get them for less than $150 on Amazon.

Another popular option is the Insta-Bed Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump. It also has a built in inflation / deflation pump. You can get them for less than $100 on Amazon, so it’s a bit less expensive. The expense may be related to lower quality given that many of the bad reviews indicate the item started leaking. However, this product has a 1 year warranty, so you should be fine as long as you put it to immediate use.

If you’re like me, then you might be concerned with the way your bedroom will look if you just toss an air mattress on the floor. However, you can certainly dress them up to look nice. This Pinterest board might give you some ideas.

Couches and Chairs

Couches and chairs are perhaps the second most expensive and difficult item to deal with when you’re traveling. You can certainly look for couches on Craigslist, but it might take a while to find one you’ll be comfortable with and getting it delivered can be difficult. One of the families I worked with would make this the single item they would “splurge” on. For example, this DHP Futon Sofa costs $159. The matching chair is less than $75.

Tables

Of course, you’re going to need several types of tables to make your living space complete. The great thing is that you can find all of these items for relatively cheap both new and used. This DHP Coffee Table is less than $30. This set of two Furinno End Tables are also less than $30. You can get these two table lamps for less than $15.

I recommend getting a dining or kitchen table on Craigslist. For some reason, this seems to be an item that people will practically give away. For example, I found the dining table and chairs below on Craigslist for $50. There were several advertised for free as well.

Dining Table for Travel Nurses

Everything Else

At this point, we’re left with cookware, dinnerware, silverware, linens and towels. Most of the travel nurses I worked with packed these items. However, these are also items that you can secure for relatively cheap, even new.

Wait, How Am I Going to Pack All This Furniture?

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to pack all this stuff. The simple answer is, you’re not. The couch, chairs, tables, dresser and any other large items are going to be sold or given away before you move to your next location. You can do this and still save money a lot of money! Let’s tally our total cost on those items:

  1. Couch: $159
  2. Chair: $75
  3. Coffee Table: $30
  4. End Tables: $30
  5. Lamps: $15
  6. Dining Table and Chairs: $50
  7. Total: $359 (plus tax)

Now, we may want to purchase a few extra items like night stands for the bedroom or a dresser. But you can see that even with those items, we’re spending much less than we would with the furniture rental. Additionally, there is a very good chance that you’ll be able to sell most of these items for 1/4 to 1/2 what you paid for them.

Packing

Even with these items sold, you may still be wondering how you’re gong to pack everything else! We recommend reviewing our 22 packing tips and tools for travel nurses.

Childcare and School for Travel Nurses with Children

Childcare and school are perhaps the most daunting aspects of travel nursing with family. If you’re lucky enough to be traveling with a significant other who doesn’t need to work, then you most likely have childcare covered. Otherwise, you can rest assured that handling childcare while travel nursing is not much different than handling it when you’re at home.

Of course, your childcare needs will vary with the age of your children. Daycare programs are an obvious solution to consider. Most states license daycare programs for children up to the age of 12. However, daycare programs typically have all-day care for children aged infant to 5, but only offer before and after school options for school aged children. Moreover, many of these programs may not be able to accommodate the 13 to 14 hours of care required to cover the traditional 12 hour shift of a nurse.

Therefore, if you want to use a daycare program, then you’ll most likely need sitters or nannies to fill in the gaps. Otherwise, you can rely strictly on a sitter or nanny.

Childcare Services

Finding a daycare program is fairly simple. You can use Yelp and/or Google to find daycare options near you. Luckily, finding a nanny or sitter is also becoming much easier thanks to the many services that have popped up in recent years to simplify the process. The two most popular services are Care.com and SitterCity.com.

While nannies and sitters are great options, it can be difficult to fully trust them with your children. Every traveler that I worked with used a “nanny-cam” to rest assured. Below are two popular options:

  1. The Indoor Wireless IP Camera
  2. Nest Cam

Tax Implications of Childcare

It’s important to note that there are tax implications for both daycare programs and in-home sitters/nannies. If the care is taking place outside your home (daycare program), then you will most likely qualify for a tax credit. The maximum credit is $3,000 for a single child and up to $6,000 for multiple children. This article provides further details.

Household Employer

If the care is taking place inside your home (sitter/nanny), then you will most likely be classified as a “household employer.” Household employers are required to withhold payroll taxes. For the year 2017, you are a household employer if you pay wages of $2,000 or more per year, or $1,000 or more in any quarter. See IRS publication 926 for further information.

Unfortunately, handling household-employer payroll taxes is not the easiest thing to do. In fact, many payroll services and accountants do not handle this service. Using a service that doesn’t handle these services can result in a real mess so it’s important to get it done right.

Watch Out for Dad Payroll Service Advice!!!

And be careful, there is a lot of bad information out there. For example, one of the most popular travel nursing websites reports the following:

If you want to use a payroll company to deduct taxes, Patriot Software has the best nanny payroll system. They even do all the reporting and it is automatic set up for money to deduct from checking account and it is the cheapest I found.

Unfortunately, this information is completely incorrect! Patriot Software is a great payroll processing service. However, they do not have a “nanny payroll” system. In fact, they are not set up for household-employers at all. We inquired and received the following response:

If you are required to file a Schedule H, you CANNOT use our Full Service Payroll software. It would file a quarterly 941 automatically rather than a Schedule H. Essentially, it would be filing the incorrect paperwork for your type of business.

You may choose to use our Basic Payroll software. With Basic you will be responsible for collecting, filing, and depositing your payroll taxes. However, we will provide you with a payroll tax liabilities report that will show you the amounts. The Basic also allows you to download the W-2’s and W-3. You would fill out and file the Schedule H on your own at the end of the year.

Also, our third-party for direct deposit, Natpay, only provides direct deposit for business bank accounts, not personal accounts. That is often a problem household employers face if trying to use our software.

A “Schedule H” is one of the required tax forms for a household-employer. If you took the advice above, you’d have a real mess to clean up at some point. Luckily, there are many companies that do provide services for household employers.

Tired of filling out skills checklists? They’re free on BluePipes.

Recommended Nanny Payroll Services

Care.com offers a service for running your household payroll called HomePay. The service is a bit expensive, but it handles all of the required tax filings. This link describes all the services and fees.

SavvyNannyPayrollServices.com is the least expensive option we could find. However, it’s only available in 24 states so you’ll need make sure they offer services in your desired destinations. SurePayroll was the second least expensive service we could find. They are operated by PayChex, one of the nation’s largest payroll processing companies. HomeWork Solutions is another service that specializes in household payroll. They’re a reputable company with over 20 years experience.

It’s important to note that cheaper isn’t always better. We recommend using HomePay’s list of services as a checklist when evaluating the other payroll services. Essentially, you want to make sure that all the bases are covered.

All things considered, it’s a great idea to rely as much as possible on day care. Then, use the sitter or nanny to handle everything else. This way, you can get the tax credit to offset the payroll processing costs.

School for Travel Nursing Children

There are essentially two fundamental schooling options when you’re travel nursing with children. You can either enroll your children in the local schools or home-school them. There is some gray area with both options.

Enrolling Travel Nurse Children in Local Schools

There are several important factors to consider before enrolling your children in local schools as you travel about the country. First, different states are going to have different rules regarding whether or not the children are eligible for admission to public schools at no cost. You may come across some districts that require you to pay out of state tuition. However, this should be relatively rare given the 3 month duration of most travel nursing contracts.

Second, different schools have different curricula. Therefore, moving frequently can disrupt the continuity of education. Third, many experts believe that frequent school changes have a negative impact on child development. They argue that the lost time due to adjustment and missed school-days puts the child months behind. They also argue that adjusting to new friends and then losing them can have long term negative effects.

All of that said, there are also experts who believe that most, if not all, of the negative effects exhibited by children who move frequently are the result of factors unrelated to the move itself.  They argue that the negative effects are often the result family strife which ultimately resulted in the move.

Fourth, if you are travel nursing in an RV and you enroll your children in a public school, you’ll need to explain your situation carefully in order to avoid being classified as homeless. Given your scenario as a travel nurse, this should not be a problem. You should have a tax-home and you have a legitimate reason to be living in your RV/Trailer. I know this sounds strange, but apparently it’s an issue according to one of the travel nursing families I worked with.

At the end of the day, you may determine that the benefits of enrolling your children in local schools outweigh the potential negative impacts. Public schools offer a rigid routine. You can rest assured that your child is in an accredited schooling program with certified instructors. Moreover, you’ll have childcare taken care of during normal school hours.

Home Schooling Your Children as a Travel Nurse

While enrolling your children in local public schools as a travel nurse may sound appealing, the vast majority of those traveling with children choose home-schooling. In fact, every travel nursing family I worked with home-schooled their children. Let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider.

First, there is plenty of research indicating that home schooled children actually outperform their public schooled counterparts. A 2009 study found that home school children achieve average scores in the 86th percentile on standardized tests. While some critics express concern about the socialization of home schooled children, there is research suggesting that they actually have a stronger bond with their local communities. The research also suggests that home-schooled children are better at communicating with people outside their demographic and grade level. Perhaps that’s why schools like MIT, Stanford, Harvard and Duke all have active recruitment programs for home schooled children.

Home School Options for Travel Nurses

If you’re comfortable enough with this option, then there are many resources available to help you out. For example, a large number of public school districts throughout the country offer free home schooling options through services like ConnectionsAcademy.com and K12.com. I inquired with ConnectionsAcademy about the requirements for using their service and received the response below:

To be eligible to enroll in a Connections Academy-supported school, a student and family must physically live in the same state as that school. Students in the public school program are also required to complete all mandatory state testing in person. In order to remain eligible, families are required to obtain principal approval for travel outside of the state that lasts more than three weeks at a time.

As you can see, you’ll need to receive principal approval to use their public school option. My understanding is that you will technically “live in the state” as long as your tax-home is there.

Discover why travel nurses are calling us their “secret weapon”.

There are many other online options as well. Below is just a short list of some of the more popular ones:

  1. Calvert Education: They’ve been in business for over 100 years.
  2. Bridgeway Academy: They’ve been in business since 1989. They are a Christian organization that caters to both religious and secular families.
  3. Abeka : They’ve been around since 1972 and offer “education from a Christian perspective.”
  4. Acellus Academy: This service began as an initiative at the International Academy of Science in 2001.

While all of the services we’ve highlighted here are fully accredited, there are still some legal issues that you may want to familiarize yourself with. Here again, there are many services to assist with this. For example, the Home School Legal Defense Association is a non-profit organization and advocacy group for home schooling families. A2Z Homeschool provides information on a wide range of topics including a list of homeschooling laws by state.

Keeping Working Ties At Home as a Travel Nurse

Whether you decide to travel with family or leave them back at home, it’s a good idea to maintain ties to employers back at your tax-home. There are three reasons for this. First, working at home helps you maintain your home’s status as your official tax-home. You need a tax-home to qualify for the tax-free compensation agencies provide. Second, you never know when a family issue might arise that requires your attention back at home. Third, it’s always good to have a fallback option in case travel nursing jobs are hard to come by. This is especially true when you have family relying on your income.

PRN or Seasonal Employment

The two most common options for maintaining working ties at home are PRN and Seasonal Employment. We highly recommend that all nurses inquire about these options with all the hospitals in their home area prior to engaging in travel nursing.

When it comes to PRN, you can set it up directly with the hospital or through local staffing agencies that help hospitals fill their daily needs. Many hospitals require a minimum number of hours per month or per quarter in order to work PRN directly with them. Agencies do not maintain such requirements.

Seasonal Employment isn’t as flexible as PRN, but it’s usually more reliable. Essentially, you’re going to check with the employers to see if they can use your services during specific seasons. This way, you can complete travel nursing contracts during the remaining portions of the year.

Travel Nursing With Family: Not Easy, But Worth It?

Wow! We’ve covered a lot in this article. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the longest article on our website! But that makes sense. The decision to engage in travel nursing with your family is huge. There are clearly many moving parts to consider.

There is certainly a lot of work involved. However, it’s important to remember that a lot of that work involves spending quality time with your family. Of course, the experiences and memories you build will certainly be unique and cherished by all. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your family to decide whether or not travel nursing will be worth it. One thing is for certain though, it’s certainly possible!

As always, we hope you found this article helpful. We’d love to hear your tips or any questions you may have. Please post them in the comments section below!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Share on Facebook3Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn2Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Share a comment or question!