The Best Days I’ve Had as a Travel Nurse
When someone decides to be a travel nurse, he or she does it for a myriad of reasons. Adventure is on the top of the list along with making more money and meeting new people in new parts of the country.
Of course, an adjustment period usually happens – getting used to the area, understanding the facility you work in, and eventually, connecting with your co-workers and other travel nurses. Some people love it from the first day. Others take a while. But most have great stories and great memories of amazing days on the job and off the job.
Here are four travel nurses who contract with Host Healthcare who talk about their best days as a travel nurse:
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Kentia Davis, who has been a travel nurse two years, has had assignments in Colorado, Arkansas and Washington. Her next destination is California.
When and why did you decide to become a travel nurse?: “I grew up in Northwest Arkansas, went to college in Northwest Arkansas, and obtained my first nursing job in Northwest Arkansas. I love Fayetteville, but I wanted to see more while I had the chance. I have always had an adventurous spirit, and knew that travel nursing was calling my name.”
Her best day as a travel nurse outside of the job: “Hiking Mt. Rainier in Washington State was the most beautiful, incredible and breath-taking experience of my life. This is a must do if you take an assignment there.”
Her best day as a travel nurse on the job: “Being new to units can be scary as a travel nurse. I was fortunate in my first travel assignment to have an amazing colleague who was also a former travel nurse really help show me the ropes of my new unit.”
During her first assignment, she was really nervous that nurses in her assigned unit wouldn’t be helpful or receptive to a traveler. To combat this, she just made it very clear that she was there to help the unit. Having this mindset really helped her and is something she would tell all new traveling nurses.
“Stay positive. Most units are very glad to have some back up come in,” Davis adds.
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Kendall Turner, who has been a travel nurse since 2013, has had assignments in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Virginia.
When and why did you decide to become a travel nurse? “I decided during school that I wanted to be a travel nurse. What drew me to becoming a travel nurse was the ability to learn something new every day. Being a travel nurse has allowed me to meet so many amazing people. I also like that being a travel nurse pushes me a little outside my comfort zone. I am forced to meet new people quickly, explore new cities and enjoy new experiences.”
Her best day as a travel nurse outside the job: “Visiting Lambeau Field, Home of the Packers. It is such an amazing stadium and a wonderful tour. But I also love just being in and exploring Appleton. It’s a smallish town, and the people are so friendly.”
Her best day as a travel nurse on the job: “I had a patient come in during my first day of my new assignment. She was a young girl who was clearly scared and nervous. I took some time and just chatted with her. I learned about what she liked, her hobbies and her favorite food. That connection that we make as nurses really motivates me to want to help as many people as possible.”
Sonya Rymarchyk, who has been a travel nurse since 2014, has had assignments all across the country. Some of her early assignments were in Pennsylvania but she recently came to California. She took that time to drive across the country and check out some amazing places.
When and why did you decide to become a travel nurse? “I decided to become a travel nurse in 2013. I met a few travel nurses, heard how much fun they were having and I thought ‘I want to do that.’ ”
Her best day as a travel nurse outside the job: “My favorite experience, so far, was getting lost in Napa with my best friends. It’s a great place to get lost.”
Her best day as a travel nurse on the job: “My favorite part of being in the ER are the highly skilled people you meet and work next to. I learn something new every day. You never know what will come in on a stretcher. No matter how bad the situation is, you have the confidence that the team you are with will do their best.”
One of her favorite things about being a travel nurse is the places you get to see. Her favorite place so far is San Diego. It’s 70 degrees all the time and is better than a snow shovel any day.
“I love all the hidden treasures southern California has to offer including great eateries, places to visit and meeting wonderful people,” Sonya says.
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Tom Baker, who has been a travel nurse since July 2015, has worked in Alaska, Maine and Nevada. So far his favorite place is Reno. “If there is one word to describe Reno, it’s passion. That place will always be a second home to me,” he says.
When and why did you decide to become a travel nurse? “My wife and I wanted to see the United States before having kids. We are both nurses and becoming a travel nurse seemed like an awesome way to take a perpetual vacation,” he says.
His best day as a travel nurse outside the job: “During one assignment in Alaska, my wife and I decided to see the Northern Lights. It was so great watching the Northern Lights explode to life in the night sky.”
His best day as a travel nurse on the job: “I have had the pleasure of working with amazing people. I have always been welcomed with open arms. I remember my first day at an assignment in Reno, my unit wrote me a very nice welcome card. It was that little gesture that made me feel welcomed and like I belonged.”
Being a travel nurse has given him so much flexibility to spend more time with his family. You work long shifts and during assignments, and sometimes you aren’t always on the same schedule as your family. “But when you are in between assignments, it’s great to explore the world. One of my favorite trips with my family was seeing the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland,” Baker says.