My 3years of travel assignments started about 18 months pre9/11 .As in all types of work there were good times and not so good times but fortunately mostly very happy and positive times for me.Prior to my travel assignments I Had been a nurse for over 30 years,in fact training in another country,England,and having already uprooted from one system to another I guess in hindsight that was my first travel gig.I realized a long time ago that the attitude you bring usually is reciprocated.That if I was open to new ways of doing things the process would only enhance my work and the reason to work would remain the same-caring for sick people which once I could get through the distractions of the change in charting,computer systems and surrounding personnel ,would always give me job satisfaction despite the end of shift exhaustion which all of us nurses know first hand.
Before my foray into travel nursing my experiences working most of my shifts as a float nurse in a large hospital and working over 15 different units prepared me to not be afraid to ask questions and to always look for the Nurses on that given unit who looked like they were not burnt out,stressed out and looked like they were enjoying their work and realized that unless I or someone else were there the load would be heavier for each nurse.
So after introducing myself on whatever unit or later,whatever hospital I was in my questions were the same.'Where,s the med room,where,s the restroom and where,s the coffee pot as I usually worked night shift.Wherever I worked,float pool or travel assignment East coast or West coast,Northwest or deep South I have always found nurses to be good people or they would not be in this caring profession.But I also realized that nurses are human and as such,divorce,death in the family,child rearing issues,one,s own health issues,all these things can make it difficult to do the job of 'caring for others 'a mighty task ,so if I encountered such I would offer my help as needed and nearly always found it reciprocated.
With this kind of attitude many nurses make GREAT travel nurses and have no problem fitting in and are almost always welcomed by the staff they will be supplementing.Once a nurse has taken that bold step of going to a new state and a new hospital they will find many memorable experiences,make many new friends and be rewarded manyfold
Jan 15, '14
My family moved about when I was a kid, and vacations every summer to grandparents in several states, and I went to high school for three years in New Zealand. So that probably started the travel bug. Multiple careers and states lived in as an adult, culminating in a traveling construction job for a German construction company (where I first became familiar with per diems and paid housing). I found this job in New Zealand coincidentally. I was on an extended 6 month bicycle trip and things were becoming a blur. So I thought it might be fun to stop for a couple of weeks in the city I went to school in, and was placed by a temp agency with the German company building synthetic running tracks. They asked me to work for them when I returned to the US. Did a couple years of fieldwork and a new engineer asked me to work in his new Los Angeles office. After a year we parted ways and I had a decision to make, go travel the world for a couple of years and come back broke, or go to nursing school. Only two years with my existing college ed, and basically free with my California residency - $50 a semester. I thought that was doable and I had considered it for some time previously as a possible career, meeting nurses all over who made decent money (not as much as I was used to) and seemed to have great flexibility. At the time, I had a L&D roommate from England who worked a few shifts a week agency.
Two years later, California is in a bit of a depression and could not find a job in state I wanted. So I ended up in Baltimore for three years for my first and only staff position and started traveling in 1995. 18 years later I'm still traveling! I've mostly done West and East coasts (including Florida but missing Georgia) plus Denver, and a memorable 9 months in Blackpool England.
So that is my story, lacking the actual assignments and locations and how everything went, but it has been 95 percent excellent!