Each week we give out a variety of travel nursing tips and this week we want to focus on: block scheduling.
Many of our travel nurses come into travel nursing with the expectation (for obvious reasons) of receiving block scheduling. A lot of travel nurse agencies will grant this type of schedule (depending on the rules of the hospital with which they have contracts with) and some will not.
Block scheduling is preferable for travel nurses because it means they can travel to their permanent homes in between shifts and don’t have to be away from family and friends for weeks at a time.
Travel Nursing Tips: If this is important to you: speak to your travel nurse recruiter about this preference and make sure to get that request into your contract – as on of the best travel nurse agencies in the Midwest (if not the best) we always tell our travel nurses: if it isn’t in your contract it doesn’t exist.
What is block scheduling for travel nurses?
Most travel nurses will work three, 12-hour shifts per week. These shifts can be spread out – or they can be “blocked” together. For example if you’ve request block scheduling for your next travel nursing assignment, your schedule could look like this:
Monday – Off
Tuesday – Off
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Off
Friday – On
Saturday – On
Sunday – On
Using the nursing schedule example above: If your travel nursing assignment is close enough to your permanent home – you could essentially drive home after your Sunday shift, and return in time for when you start work again the following Friday.
I work the night shift as a travel nurse, so it’s tough (but worth it) to drive the 4 hours home after my last 12-hour shift. I don’t have a huge family (just my retired mother) but I cherish being able to see her during the week while I’m on assignment.
~Kelly S. – Med/Surg RN
Travel Nursing Tips: It’s important to note that “block scheduling” doesn’t mean you’ll get the same days off every week – the days off a week can vary by what a hospital needs. So, some weeks your travel nursing assignment may require you to be at work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and other weeks Sunday, Monday. Tuesday.
Be sure to speak to your travel nurse recruiter about these details if going home between shifts is important to you!
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