When Two Traveling Nurses Are Better Than One
By Megan Krischke, contributor
“I probably never would have started traveling if a friend I knew from nursing school hadn’t agreed to go with me,” began Ruth Ann Fackler, RN, BSN. “I had always wanted to do it, but I was scared at the thought of being out there by myself and not knowing anyone and driving around alone. Also there is no guarantee that your co-workers are going to want to go out and do things.”
Looking back, Fackler, who traveled with American Mobile Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company, believes that she would have been fine traveling alone once she arrived at her first assignment. But her decision to experience travel nursing with a friend gave her the extra confidence to take the first step.
“Now, I would encourage new nurses, after they have two years under their nurse’s cap, to try travel nursing,” she said. “It was a wonderful learning experience and fun as well. I know there are a lot of other nurses who would love to do it but are held back by relationships, house mortgages, kids, etc., etc. So, I say, ‘Go while you can!’”
Fackler and her friend, Ursula, took their first assignment as traveling nurses in Louisville, Ky.
“At the time there weren’t a lot of nurses traveling in pairs, so we were kind of unique, but our recruiter was happy to help us find assignments in the same location,” she reflected. “Louisville wasn’t our first choice, but our recruiter encouraged us to take the assignment as a starting point to open up more possibilities for subsequent assignments.”
“It ended up being a great assignment,” she said. “We were placed in a Humana hospital and were housed in a beautiful apartment with all the amenities.”
Fackler, a critical care nurse from Portland, Ore., had three years of nursing experience working in a six-bed step down unit before she started traveling.
“I loved having an opportunity to be in other places and go to other states,” she said. “We drove to all of our assignments and had fun planning little trips in between assignments--like going to Graceland. When we were working in Sarasota, Fla., we went to Disneyworld, the Everglades and Cape Canaveral. It was great to be in Florida for the winter with no snow and just blue skies, sunshine and all that sand.”
Fackler also enjoyed seeing how different hospitals function and the differences between states in terms of nursing practice.
“Our recruiters made everything easy and gave us up-to-the-minute updates. That is a big part of it--you want to travel, but there is a lot of paperwork and a lot of details to take care of and you need to work with someone who knows how to make that happen and get it all done,” commented Fackler.
“I think everyone should try travel nursing,” she added. “There is a lot of need for nurses. Traveling offers the opportunity to experience so many new things, to meet interesting people--and some not so interesting people,” Fackler chuckled.
“It is a lot of fun and I really loved traveling with a buddy.”
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