You love working with your patients and being around different sights and locations. 

But with your current schedule, you don’t have time for sightseeing or even going home for a few days to see your family. 

Maybe it’s time to look into block scheduling. Many travel nurses like block scheduling because it gives them time to see the local sights; others like that they can go home a few days each week. 

Whatever your reason, a block schedule may be just what you need. 

Keep reading because this article will discuss block scheduling, travel nursing and block scheduling benefits, and tips to make it work for you.


what is block scheduling for travel nurses

Table of Contents


What Is Block Scheduling for Travel Nurses?

With block scheduling, travel nurses can have their shifts set up to be consecutive.  

Even though block scheduling may not bring more money or bonuses, it can certainly bring happiness and peace of mind. Most people believe that those things are worth their weight in gold.

Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you find the right position — and schedule. 

Your career is in the best possible hands when you work with us. Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service and a personal experience every step of the way. 

You are not just a number to Trusted Nurse Staffing. What are you waiting for? Contact us today.


travel nurse block scheduling


Example of a Regular Schedule for Travel Nurses

You will find that different facilities have different policies and processes regarding scheduling as a travel nurse. Your working schedule, traditional or block, will be included in your contract. 

Contracts are part of every travel nursing job, and they typically specify the:  

  • Shifts
  • Shift lengths
  • Assignment durations; and
  • Any time off that has been mutually agreed upon between you and the healthcare facility

When you are a travel nurse, your schedule may be viewed differently from that of a permanent employee; however, it is similar to the schedule of a permanent employee. 

The most common scenario is working three to four days a week, with most shifts lasting 12 hours.


Example of a Block Schedule for Travel Nurses

A nursing block schedule is three or four days scheduled back to back. 

For example, a travel nursing block schedule may look something like this:

  • Monday, off
  • Tuesday, off
  • Wednesday, on
  • Thursday, on
  • Friday, on
  • Saturday, off
  • Sunday, off

There is also the possibility for block schedules to change every week. 

For example, the first week’s block may be Wednesday through Friday, while the second week’s block may be Monday through Wednesday. 

When you block your schedule, you will have several days to relax and recharge over your days off, so you do not burn out.


4 Benefits of Travel Nurse Block Schedules

#1: Flexibility

Some nurses may have a very routine schedule. For example, eight-hour shifts, Monday through Friday. 

Need a more flexible schedule? Block scheduling might be a perfect fit for you. 

In contrast to traditional scheduling, block scheduling lets you switch shifts between weeks. You can choose different shifts each week to accommodate your varying availability throughout the month.


#2: Balance

Burnout among healthcare workers has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. In recent research, more than 40% of registered nurses reported high burnout due to the pandemic.  

Adequate time off is crucial to stay healthy and motivated as a healthcare worker—and block scheduling can provide it at no sunken cost. 

With block scheduling, it’s possible to create time for yourself. 

Spacing out your shifts over the week will allow you to save time for self-care activities such as: 

  • Exercise
  • Family time
  • Socialization; and
  • Sleep


#3: Travel

Do you have an upcoming beach vacation planned but are considering taking a per diem nurse job in the meantime? If you have block scheduling built into your travel nurse contract, it’s possible not to lose pay while on vacation.

In a typical nursing schedule, you may work five days a week, every week. You’d have to request time off and lose potential pay to take a short vacation. 

You can, however, space out your shifts for substantial time off without losing pay if you use block scheduling. 

Travel nursing and vacations, without losing pay, become possible with block schedules. 

An example of a vacation-friendly block schedule would be as follows:

Week 1:

  • Monday, on
  • Tuesday, on
  • Wednesday, on
  • Thursday, off
  • Friday, off
  • Saturday, off
  • Sunday, off

Week 2:

  • Monday, off
  • Tuesday, off
  • Wednesday, off
  • Thursday, on
  • Friday, on
  • Saturday, on
  • Sunday, off 

While you work the same amount of shifts each week, you get seven consecutive days off within two weeks without losing any pay.

As you can see, the block scheduling method is the best choice if traveling is a priority.


#4: Consistent Income

If you are a travel nurse working per diem, you must count every shift towards your desired income. With typical scheduling, this type of travel nurse may be short on money and unsure whether they will get enough shifts next week.

Block scheduling ensures that you have a set number of shifts in the future, which means a set salary. 

What’s even better? During those weeks when you need some extra income, block scheduling allows you to pick up more shifts.


travel nurse block schedule


4 FAQs About Travel Nurse Block Schedules

#1: How Do You Get a Travel Nurse Block Schedule?

Tell your recruiter what you are looking for!

You have the benefit of working with flexibility as a nurse. Nursing contracts with block schedules are highly flexible and can be found in various settings. 

How can you combine the flexibility of a travel assignment and block scheduling? You should find a reputable recruiter, such as Trusted Nurse Staffing. 

Trusted Nurse Staffing has been named one of the Best Travel Nursing Companies in 2022. 

We work hard to find the perfect setting and schedule for you. 

Why trust your career to anyone else? Contact us today.


travel nurse block scheduling


#2: Do All Hospitals Offer Block Scheduling?

Unfortunately, no. This is where a quality recruiter can help! 

If a block schedule is a priority, talk with your recruiter about having it written into your contract. 

If one hospital does not offer block scheduling, a nearby one may. Your recruiter should be able to find you what you are looking for.


#3: Can You Get Per Diem With Block Scheduling?

Yes. Per diem and a block schedule is possible!

In fact, a block schedule simplifies per diem scheduling and ensures consistent patient care. 

Since working per diem nursing jobs means you will only get paid for your work days, it makes it a win-win for you and the facility.


#4: Can You Go Home on Your Days Off?

Yes, of course! This is one of the many advantages of working a block schedule. A block schedule allows you to go home for the several days in a row you are off because you are working so many days together. 

Work with your recruiter to find facilities willing to accommodate block scheduling so you can work shifts and enjoy your free time at home.


4 Travel Nurse Block Schedule Tips

#1: Consult Your Calendar

It doesn’t matter what setting you work in; block scheduling requires you to book your shifts in advance. You must know your calendar from front to back, with no exceptions.

Prior to picking up any shifts, consider …

  • Conflicts
  • Holidays
  • Vacations; or 
  • Any other priorities

… that may require days off over the block. 

To remain on good terms with your facility, you must ensure there are no mishaps.


#2: Consider Your Personal Preferences

Would you describe yourself as a night owl? Do you like getting up early in the morning? Are you a one-day-off, one-day-on worker? 

When you block schedule, you can build a schedule that suits your preferences, so know what you prefer. 

Nursing can be exhausting; you can feel refreshed and prepared for every shift when you plan ahead.


#3: Communicate Your Scheduling Preferences

It is your responsibility to share your scheduling preferences with recruiters and administrators, so do not be afraid to ask for what you want. 

Your travel nurse agency should stand up for you and what you need. 

This includes things such as: 

  • Block scheduling
  • Not switching night shifts to day shifts; or
  • Changing settings at the last minute

Whenever you are considering an assignment, make sure you express interest in block scheduling and any other scheduling requirements (i.e., nights only, weekends every other weekend, etc.) you desire.


block scheduling travel nursing


#4: Partner With a Staffing Agency That Listens to Your Preferences

You should have a good relationship with your nurse recruiter because they will act as your advocate. 

Great recruiters listen to their candidates and help them reach their goals. To help job seekers prepare for their next assignment, a great recruiter will make several phone calls to get to know them. 

In addition, they will assist you in: 

  • Navigating national council licensure state requirements
  • Preparing you for interviews; and
  • Connecting you with human resources


Trusted Nurse Staffing: A Staffing Agency Dedicated To Finding the Right Schedule for Your Dream Job

Do you want to work a block schedule? Is having flexibility important? With Trusted Nurse Staffing, we will make sure that happens

With the help of our representatives, you can customize your resume and meet hiring managers whose interests and objectives match your own.

When you find the right travel nursing assignment, we assist you with your: 

  • Certifications
  • Training; and 
  • Other compliance requirements 

Our experienced staff works hard to find you a good contract that pays well. 

In addition, while traveling, we offer: 

  • Assistance
  • Answer questions; and 
  • Address any concerns you may have

Whether you are a seasoned travel nurse or new to the field, we are here to help you find your dream job. 

We have a wide variety of placements for nurses in all 50 states and would love to help you find the travel nursing job of your dreams. Contact us today.


travel nurse block scheduling