It’s one of life’s golden moments: you’ve become a grandparent. You spent over 18 years doing the difficult (and sometimes thankless!) work of rearing your own children — and now it’s time to bask in the loving glow of your grandchildren.
Maybe you’re already a travel nurse and wondering how you’re going to fit grandparenting into your busy life. Or maybe you’re a nurse looking at retirement, and considering whether travel nursing might be your sunset career. Either way, there’s plenty of good news when it comes to the perks of being a travel nurse as a grandparent! Let’s take a look.
Your time commitment is flexible.
Few professions give you as much flexibility as travel nursing. You can choose to work as much or as little as needed and cluster your assignments around your availability.
Many modern-day parents find themselves scrambling to meet child care expenses. Do your adult children need help covering childcare during the summer months? You can plan to take off June through August to be available to watch the little ones.
That’s good for them — and good for you. A recent study showed grandparents who take care of grandchildren may live five years longer than average!
If you want more time to indulge in fun, take off during the holiday season to devote yourself full-time to grandparenting. Make memories decorating gingerbread houses, building snowmen, drinking hot chocolate, or doing holiday crafts.
You can choose your location.
Ever dreamed of taking your grandchildren to Disney World? Ask your recruiter to look for opportunities near Orlando. More of the camping out in the wilderness type? See if you can secure an assignment in Wyoming or Montana. If there’s a place you want to go, there’s probably a travel nursing assignment there for you.
Your interest in travel nursing reflects your desire to see the bigger world — and you can find ways to share this value with your grandchildren. The options are endless. See this list of budget-conscious destination ideas. Have teenage grandchildren? Treat them to a celebrity-inspired vacation!
If your grandchildren are spread far apart geographically, that’s another way location flexibility can help you out. Travel to a location close to your daughter’s children in the fall. Then hit the road again and move to an assignment near your son’s family in the spring. Everyone gets their share of the grandparents!
Another cool location idea is to see if you can find an assignment near an area where your family has some “roots.” Use it as an opportunity to get everyone together for a family reunion.
As someone who’s been through parenting, you know how expensive it can be. With today’s soaring costs of living, it’s even harder for your children. Even with inflation, the cost of raising a child today adds up to over $30,000 more than it was in 1960 (not including college!).
Travel nursing is lucrative, and depending on your finances, it may provide a way for you to contribute to your grandchildren’s needs. Many people dream of saving part of each paycheck for their grandchildren’s college funds. 34 states offer grandparents tax deductions for contributions to 529 plans. Beyond practical gifts and contributions, earning good money will let you spoil them rotten, too!
Want more tips on how to maximize your travel nursing salary? See our 2018 Travel Nursing Salary Guide and 10 Tips for Negotiating a Higher Travel Nursing Salary.
You’ll nurture and strengthen your nursing skills.
As a parent and a nurse, you already know a lot about compassion. Caring for others is one of your natural gifts. Being around young children can remind you of how fulfilling it can be to give. Those things can help you avoid burnout.
Depending on your speciality, your experiences with your grandchildren might also help you work better with children, young adults, and their parents. You’ll be able to relate to pop culture references. You’ll be able to more quickly recognize common childhood ailments and calm nervous parents. All in all, grandparenting can make you a better nurse!
You’ll be healthier.
Here’s another reason to look for assignments close to the kiddos. Grandparenting typically provides a lot of joy and mental wellbeing. Specifically, having a close relationship with your grandchildren can be protective against depression.
Children have a remarkable ability to stay present in the moment. It’s the kind of thing we strive to get when we practice mindfulness. Being around your grandchildren will give you opportunities to slow down, fully enjoy the moment, and peacefully accept thoughts and feelings.
In addition to mental health benefits, staying on your feet will mean you’ll be in better physical shape. You’ll be that much faster chasing the grandkids around the living room! Grandparenting may also be motivating you to stay healthier outside of work — which can be challenging in your 50s & 60s.
You’re setting a great example.
Finally, what better way is there to be a good example for your grandchildren than to model a rewarding life? Just as you may feel proud of your own grandparents’ stories, know that your grandkids will feel the same.
You know travel nursing is a challenging career, and you’re more than a little aware of the daily grind. In your grandchildren’s eyes, you shine as an adventurer, a life-saver, and an established, hard-working, independent spirit. Be proud of your legacy!
Make the most of your great experiences by keeping your children and grandchildren involved in your travels. Post pictures on social media, make video calls, and send plenty of souvenirs. You’ll be sure to bring a smile to their little faces.
Want more on travel nursing when kiddos are in the mix? Check out our post on traveling with kids!