Breaking Routine, Nurse Traveler Gains New Lease on Life


By Megan Murdock Krischke, contributor

Thirteen years into her nursing career, Dee Viera, RN, could not be more excited about her decision to become a travel nurse with NursesRx, an AMN Healthcare company.

“I heard about travel nursing all the time from travelers who came into my unit,” stated 47-year-old Viera. “I was ready for a change and just knew there was more out there. Sometimes change is a good thing, even though we get accustomed to the routine. Traveling gives you a chance to reinvent yourself, and that is the reason I did it.”

One of the things Viera enjoys about working as a nurse traveler is that she feels genuinely appreciated.

“My work gets acknowledged and I have the opportunity to show what I know. I was recently able to teach a skill to some nurses I am working with on my current assignment,” she said. “As a traveler you have to go in and know the job in less than three days. In fact, I was already seeing patients six hours after arriving at the ER. When you go in as a traveler, the folks you work with trust you.”

“I know how to be a nurse, I’ve mastered a lot of skills, but what I enjoy about travel nursing is feeling more independent and more respected,” Viera continued. “The director of nursing even asked my opinion on what her staff could do to improve the way they function. To me it is like getting a promotion.”

Viera’s first nurse traveler assignment was at Yale University’s New Haven Hospital. In her current assignment, she is working at Good Samaritan Hospital in Long Island, N.Y.

“I feel like a kid in a candy store being able to say, ‘I want to go here, but not there,’ and getting to choose my hours,” she effused. “I’ve chosen my assignments based on my interview--whether or not I enjoy my interview with the nursing director.”

“I am really proud of the fact that I was chosen by Yale,” she continued. “I have been told that they are selective in who they choose and rarely take a first-time travel nurse. But they chose me and that feels like a significant accomplishment. My colleagues are all impressed when they hear that I worked at Yale.”

Part of what makes Viera an excellent nurse traveler is her willingness to jump in and do what’s needed.

“Dee’s commitment to her facility and co-workers is admirable,” remarked Tawana Perry, recruiter at NursesRx. “She is the ‘go to’ nurse, who has the ability to train and motivate her team to keep positive attitudes and work cohesively together. I find myself calling her sometimes, just to hear the enthusiasm in her voice to continue in my day. She is just amazing and an inspiration to everyone she encounters.”

“I really get involved and focus on being a team player,” Viera reflected. “You have to be a warrior to do it. You can’t go in being like, ‘Not me, I’m not doing that.’ People will notice if a nurse is like that. I’m very compliant and try to jump in and help. I’ve been in really good places at strong hospitals. I like working in a fast-paced environment. Those are the assignments that I look for--the challenging ones.”

Though she is only at her second assignment, Viera is already planning to travel for a long time.

“I feel like I have a new lease on life,” she said. “I’ve raised my kids. Now I go get my nails and hair done at different places. The hospital where I’m working is a block from the beach. After a 12-hour shift I can go sit on the beach and unwind.”

“You learn a lot about yourself when you travel--I’ve discovered I’m even more adaptable and able to take on challenges than I knew,” she added.

Viera raves about her experience working with NursesRx.

“The support from my recruiter is wonderful and she understands me. It is a nice support system. She calls to see how I am doing. That is important to me because it communicates that I am a valuable employee,” she said.

“From the beginning of our working relationship, she has just been a gem,” Perry said of Viera. “Besides her qualifications and experience, Dee is energetic and has the greatest personality! She can work well in a team atmosphere and gets along well with her co-workers.”

“When I left my past job, I was not happy after so many years of feeling like I was overlooked for promotions and trying to tolerate and to change the negative things,” Viera said. “People at my old job made fun of my accent. At NursesRx, they love that I can speak Spanish and I feel accepted.”

“Traveling gives you the opportunity to be who you are. I really love it,” she concluded.

Ready to become a travel nurse, or learn more about what’s involved? Just request a call from one of’s staffing partners.

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