Friends Travel Together As Travel Nurses
The best day Dylan Lackey has had so far as a travel nurse was parasailing in Honolulu with his friend and Matt Martin, also a travel nurse. “Matt was terrified at the beginning but ended up loving it. It was a wonderful experience,” he says. The two met in nursing school and have been friends for four years. Matt decided at age 40 to be a traveling nurse. Dylan was 23. “When you travel with someone, you at least know one person when you move to a new city,” Matt says. “Plus you get to share your experiences with someone else and your bills. Plus, he’s a better cook than me.”
Many travel nurses end up traveling with another nurse to make things more fun, more stable and less lonely.
Here’s Matt and Dylan’s story along with Gloria Means and Cheryl Clay’s journey into travel nur
Where do you two work now?
They are at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, Maine. Both work in the cardiac unit. They contract through Jackson Nurse Professionals.
Where did you start out being a nurse?
Dylan – He started out as a nurse at the University of Alabama Birmingham Kirklin Clinic as a float pool nurse. He also worked at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital in the liver transplant, GI medicine, GI surgery and surgery oncology departments.
Matt – In the ENT, OMFS, urology and plastic surgery floors at University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital.
Why did you feel it was the right time to be a traveling nurse with a friend?
Dylan – “Traveling with a friend works out better financially. Traveling can allow for a way to boost your income as a nurse. However, you have to be smart with your money. When traveling with a friend, you get to split the cost of everything whether it be rental cars, grocery bills or housing. Also, travel nursing is in way like a free vacation. You do work while you are on assignment. But on your days off, you get to experience a variety of activities you might not have ever been given the chance to experience otherwise.”
Why did you want to be a nurse in the first place?
Dylan – “As a child, my family and me were in a car accident and were hospitalized for several days. One of my younger cousins, he was 6 at the time, passed away shortly after the accident. The compassion the nurses shared that day made me want to pass that same compassion along to other people in the same way that it was received by me.”
Matt – “Nursing as a career has so many attractive characteristics. You get to help people and interact with other professionals. The schedules are flexible, and you get to constantly learn new things.”
Do you two always work in the same hospital or department?
Matt – “No. This assignment, we are on the same floor, but usually we work in different areas.”
Dylan – “Most managers try to work with your schedules to give you as many days off together as possible so that you can enjoy activities with each other when off.”
What are some of the things you two have been able to do as travel nurses that you would have never been able to do if you had stayed where you were?
Matt – “I have been able to save more money and live in Hawaii for six months. And now I get to snowboard in Maine.”
Dylan – “I hope to continue my education with a degree as a CRNA and traveling has made it possible to make my savings account closer to my goal more quickly than when I was working full time as permanent staff. I also have gotten to meet and make a lot of new friends and memories along the way.”
What destinations are you hoping for as a travel nurse in the future?
Matt – “I am open to trying just about anywhere. My goal is to end up in California.”
How has the higher salary helped you fulfill some dreams?
Matt – “I am saving money so that I can get my master’s degree.”
How long do you think you will travel nurse together, and why?
Dylan – “Hopefully, we can travel together for the next couple of years. We have a lot of fun together. Traveling with someone means that you are guaranteed to know at least one person when you get there.”
Matt – “Probably a couple of more years as long as I am enjoying it.”
Every travel nurse has their own stories and experiences. Here’s Gloria and Cheryl’s story, who contract with Stability Healthcare:
How long have you been friends?
Cheryl — “I met Gloria in 2010 at Washington Hospital at her the travel nurse contract. We met during orientation, worked in similar departments and formed a friendship.”
What age were you when you decided to be a traveling nurse?
Cheryl – 57
Gloria – 55
As friends, do you always live in the same apartment when you are traveling nurses?
Cheryl – “Not always, but it is convenient if we are in the same location. We’ve also worked at different hospitals but lived in the same apartment or worked at the same hospital but lived in different housing.”
Why did you decide to be a travel nurses together?
Gloria – “We found out that we liked to do the same things, shared expenses cut down on costs and it’s always fun to explore the area with another friend.”
What was the absolute best day you’ve ever had as a traveling nurse?
Gloria –“I loved being in Alaska and taking a tour of Denali. Another time when there were three of us together and had the same day off, we jumped in the car and headed to Lake Tahoe.”
What have been some of the experiences you have had as a travel nurse?
Cheryl – “I lived in Hawaii for six months, Alaska for 1 ½ years and always explore the environment, experiencing nature in its natural habitat versus going to a zoo. I’ve met some really nice people. In Alaska, I learned about the culture of native Indians, something I would have never had knowledge or access to anywhere else.”