Being a travel nurse comes with plenty of perks and rewards and when traveling with the entire family it can be an even greater experience. There are not many careers out there that give you the freedom to bring along the whole gang and depending on your own situation, bringing your spouse and children along for the ride can be one of the greatest memories you can all share together, over and over again. At times, it can feel like and endless vacation… But to your kids, it also means having to make new friends and possibly start over at a new school. This is where the fun may seem to come to an end.
It’s very possible to bring your children along with you on every travel nursing assignment you choose to take, it just takes a little more effort and kids that are resilient and open minded to change. Whether across town or across the country, changing schools can be surprisingly tough on kids. There are a few things to consider if you plan on taking school age children with you on your next travel nurse move.
The number one thing to consider when planning your next assignment as the beginning of the school year looms is to get there ahead of the start of the semester. Give your children time to adapt to the new neighborhood and make new friends in the area. This way they won’t have so much to adjust to at once, it will help ease the move.
Ask around your new hospital or neighbors in the area about the schools your kids can choose from. Maybe one school has a better arts and sciences program than the others, or they have excellent sports programs. Whatever your kids interest, seek out the ones in which you think your kids will thrive at most. It will make it easier for them to make friends if there are programs and after-school activities they have a strong interest in.
Another important thing to think about when enrolling your kids in a new school is to sign them up in the schools buddy program, should there be one. Many schools have programs in place to pair your child with a classmate to clue him in about where the restrooms are, the lunchroom, that kind of thing. If the school does not have such a program, suggest they start one. If all else fails, take initiative yourself and scour the neighborhood or ask around for kids around the same age to help. You may not earn any cool points right away, but later your kids will definitely be thanking you… In their own way.
Once the school year is underway, check in with the school and your kids about the progress thus far. Are they getting acquainted to their new surroundings or are they shying away from making friends or any new contacts. A check-in will do a great deal in squashing any situation that may arise if the kids just aren’t liking it. Your awareness of the difficulty they’re going through will help tremendously. A little bit of extra cuddling and conversation will multiply the odds that your child will make it through this trying time just fine.
Changing schools is never an easy task. It is possible, but may require a bit extra from you and your kids. You’re a team and the only way you can do this is together. The pay-off is the great experiences you’ll share together…Your children may not realize it now, but after awhile I’m sure you’ll all look back and think just how cool it was to go to school near a beach, or take a rock-climbing class and so on. The opportunities are abound, not only for travel nurse, but for the entire family.
Here are some great resources to help you and your family make the change a smooth one, or two, or three…