Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I am thinking of entering the travel nurse field and I was wondering: Does taking long breaks in between assignments looks bad on a travel nurse resume?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
The answer to this would be based on the perception of the person looking at your file. It would also be based on what you were doing during those periods off.
When I lived in Ohio, I would travel about nine months out of the year and then take summers off and return home. However, during those summer months, I worked per diem at a local hospital in their ICU. So even though I was not traveling, I was keeping up my skills with recent critical care experience. That probably would not even be a hesitation when someone looked at my file because I was continuing to work as a critical care nurse and I did have quite a few other assignments under my belt.
If you were to do something similar, I’m sure that many would not hold this time off against you. However, if you are talking about taking two months off in the winter to go skiing in Aspen, and then two months in the summer to go kayaking in Alaska, then it might be more of an issue. If you increased that time without doing nursing (like spending a year abroad studying the migration patterns of the common crow), then it would be even more of an issue.
You will need to maintain some sort of experience in your specialty throughout your career to ensure that you will be atop the files when unit managers are considering a handful of applicants for a travel position. However, when you have been at it 5-10 years and have a dozen or more contracts under your belt, it does become less of an issue despite what you did with your time off.
A good dose of common sense, and maybe a little input from your travel recruiter, will also go a long way in ensuring that the assignments keep a comin’.
Hope this answers your question.