One of the best things about being a nurse, is the versatility of the schedule. Working shifts or taking contracts allows you to be in control to managing your own time. This freedom and flexibility allows me to book as many vacations as I can afford!
Prior to travel nursing, I worked 4 on 4 off shift. This rotation provided 4-6 days between sets. When faced with 4-6 days off, there a few choices to be made. One can either book “extra” shifts and make some overtime money, one can book a few vacation days and have an extended time off, OR swap a few shifts with your bestie and still have an extended amount of time off. As you can see, each option has its benefits, whether it be money or time off, for me, it all points towards vacations!!
After taking my first contract, I realized that during the contract, time was not flexible! Something I wasn’t aware of, the scheduling at the sites I worked, wasn’t really on a “rotation” basis. All of the contracts I took, the shifts were booked on a weekly basis. This meant each week three 12-hour shifts were required to meet the weekly minimum. It was possible you could work Saturday of the previous week and Sunday of the current week and ultimately work 6 days in a row. Or you could be booked randomly throughout the week and not really have multiple days off between sets. I certainly do not agree with this type of scheduling as it does not provide proper rest period between shifts/sets. Needless to say, I learned quickly to organize and schedule my life to optimize time off, which included ensuring time between contracts for vacations and downtime.
The vacation of choice for us is cruising, this is the ultimate relax and regroup destination. Here’s to many, many vacations on and under the sea!
What do you do during your downtime? Leave your story in the comments!