Kyle Leffel
Kyle Leffel
January 23, 2015 - 4 min read

A Journey into Travel Nursing

I think most nurses would agree with me when I say we get asked a lot of questions. We get asked everything from “what do you think this is?” or my favorite “can you explain what that doctor said because I have no idea what he just told me.” But since I am a male nurse I honestly get asked the question, “So what made you want to become a nurse” the most. My response is always something like this, “I never wanted to be a nurse, I just wanted to help people. Then the whole RN thing just morphed into my signature.“ But in all seriousness, becoming a registered nurse was very challenging but it has become a very rewarding career path. Being a nurse has become second nature to me and I’m proud to call myself one.

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I never imagined I would become an RN

When I was younger, I never imagined that I would become a nurse. I say that because while I was growing up in the Midwest I played a lot of sports, and let’s just say I did “OK” in school. I liked sports because they challenged me not only physically but mentally as well. Naturally I thought I would become a star athlete after high school and make millions of dollars. Boy was I wrong! But playing sports has helped develop one of my strongest characteristic – my competitive edge. I have always accepted every challenge my boss’ have ever given me, and then I take it to the next level. I’ve prided myself on being the hardest and most efficient worker. I just the love the thrill of being the best at what I do whether it’s providing the best patient care or just simply doing paper work. I love knowing that I put 100% effort and accuracy into my work. I mean after all wouldn’t you want your healthcare provider to put 100% effort into you care?

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Sometimes your career chooses you

Travel RNBefore I jumped into nursing school I was actually enrolled at a college to become a Physical therapist. When I was in college “studying” aka playing football with my friends, I learned that becoming a physical therapist didn’t really feed my appetite to help people. I know this because I worked for years as a rehabilitation technician with some of the most amazing physical and occupational therapist around. I learned how valuable their role is in regards to patient recovery, but that inner athlete in me was craving for more. So during my time as a rehab tech, I got to work closely with the nursing staff. I learned how demanding and important nurses actually are to patient care. I saw firsthand how every day was a new challenge and obstacle to overcome. I watched and witnessed how nurses collaborated and assessed, diagnosed, planned, implemented and evaluated their patient care. When it was done correctly and efficiently the whole patient care team benefited from it, including the patient’s outcome. After witnessing this, I changed my major to nursing and started on my journey.

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The start of my nursing career

While in nursing school I quickly learned how to properly study and commit myself to my school work. I also discovered that I was drawn into acute care. I loved helping people when they needed my help the most. So after I passed the dreaded NCLEX it was time to start my nursing career. I started working as a floor nurse on a progressive care unit. I learned all of my basic fundamental and nursing assessments skills there. I also met and built some lasting friendship with people. I moved around within the hospital, working in different units. I was trying to find a new home, which would feed that inner athlete in me. I kept on wanting to do more while helping people. Then that’s when I was introduced to travel nursing. I reached out to an old friend I met while working on the progressive care unit. She was already traveling and seems to love every minute of it. So I reached out to her and the next thing I knew, I was a travel nurse.

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Why I loved travel nursing

I love traveling! So working as a travel nurse was an easy decision for me. Basically I got paid to travel! What more could you ask for? So for my first assignment, I set my eyes on the west coast mainly because I have never been out west. Why not take this opportunity to do so, and I am so happy that I did. It was an amazing experience! I was able to learn and work with some of the most experienced nurses and Physicians anywhere. I was also able to learn how to deliver care to a new patient population, and I gained valuable experience and some great memories that I will never forget.

My nursing career still continues

Today, I am a Medical Administrator for an occupational health company. I work with acute injuries that people sustain while working on the job site. In my free time, I write articles and post YouTube information videos to help aspiring travel nurses. I am always looking for my next opportunity to help people. Yes, I still get asked the same old questions but recently someone asked me, “If you could go back and do it all over it. Would you choose a different career?” I politely put my smile on and said “No because I don’t think I would be as lucky the second time around.”

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