Travel Nurse Interview (Couple Edition): Krystal + Nick
Krystal and Nick have been nurses for about 2.5 years and been dating for 1.5 years. They met on Instagram through the unintentional matchmaking skills of Angelina from @travelnursinginsider after Nick happened upon a photo of Krystal and DM’d her. That DM turned into phone calls, then FaceTime dates, then to a handful of flights out to Vegas, where Krystal was living. Soon Nick was living there too.
Krystal and Nick enjoy everything from hiking and camping to binge-watching their favorite show (currently, This Is Us, though Nick won’t admit it). Avid readers and self-proclaimed wine connoisseurs, they also like to cook and work out (Nick runs. Krystal runs to Target.)
Why did you get into travel nursing?
Krystal: Travel nursing sounded exciting and challenging (it 100 percent is!) and I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try. But, it wasn’t until I met Nick and we talked about doing it together that I was ready to take the leap.
Nick: I like challenges and to test my ability to adapt to the way the new unit works, new charting systems, new policies, etc. Being a travel nurse has boosted my nursing self-confidence and is great experience. I also love to travel and meet new people.
Krystal: Having the opportunity to explore a new place with your best friend is a big pro, but it can be tough if your schedules don’t line up. Currently, I’m on night shift and Nick is on day shift. Traveling together has made us stronger — it hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve managed to support one another and make it work.
Nick: It’s a great testament to your relationship if you can work through the stresses of frequently moving and traveling together. It’s also pretty great to get to share the experience of a new city with someone you love. There would be a lot of FOMO if one of us was traveling without the other! You have to be more flexible to find contracts that accommodate both of you, though — we’ve had to compromise for two contracts that are at the same hospital with same dates.
What are some tips you can give couples interested in travel nursing together?
Krystal: Have patience! It took us awhile to find contracts that worked for both of us, since we’re in different specialities. Be willing to compromise a little too — I wasn’t thrilled that Nick and I would be on opposite shifts, but ultimately, we knew it wouldn’t stop us from enjoying our free time together.
Have patience with each other too. You’re going to learn a lot about each other — somethings you’ll love and others not so much. Be able to acknowledge when you need some space or “me” time.
Pro Tip: Find a travel nurse recruiter who has patience to give you the attention you need as a couple.Nick and Krystal
Nick: One thing our recruiter does for us that is super-helpful is to provide us each a list of open contracts for both of our specialities with the same start dates in the same state. This way we can evaluate the opportunities and find the best option for both of us.
Also, hospitals can be fluid with position start dates. We found that submitting applications for contracts and then telling the interviewing managers about our unique situation has encouraged some flexibility on the hospital’s part. When I interviewed for my current unit, I told the manager that I was traveling with my fiancée and we were a package deal. He worked with HR and they placed her in a unit quickly!
What has been your favorite assignment location so far?
Nick: Seattle, of course! It’s been our only assignment, but prior to coming we heard from our travel nurse friends how great we’d be treated here. The hospitals are incredible, the mountains are gorgeous, and the food delicious.
Krystal: Yes! The mountains are incredibly beautiful and it’s so green. After living in Vegas for so long, I’ve also learned to appreciate how much water there is around here.
What destinations do you hope to go together in the near future?
Krystal: After this assignment, we’re going to pause on travel nursing for a bit. But, when we pick it up again, we’d love to go to California, Alaska, and maybe out of the country!
Nick: I’m starting graduate school in May to study to be an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, which is forcing us to pause on traveling. If we start back up, then definitely California, Alaska, and potentially Hawaii.