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Read about Jordan
Our Trusted Nurse, Jordan, Says Traveling has Helped her Build Confidence
Life as a travel nurse is filled with friendship, opportunity, and adventure for Jordan—not to mention more time with her kids. Originally intent on going to school for pharmacy, she changed gears when she had her son. Inspired by the compassionate, knowledgeable nurse who aided her delivery, Jordan set her sights on becoming an RN and did just that. Now, she’s in her third placement with Trusted Nurse Staffing and has no intention of looking back. Here, Jordan talks about her experience and the flexibility that affords her more quality time at home.
What made you want to become a nurse?
When you have a child at a young age like I did, you’re terrified and everything’s scary. Your life is changing, and delivering a baby is difficult, whether you’re prepared or not. When I was in labor, I was having a hard time and felt nauseous and nervous. My nurse was really intelligent and made me feel comfortable. She talked me through everything, helped me with my breathing, and made sure my son was okay. Afterward, I wanted to do something like that for other people.
What led you to travel nursing?
I’ve been an RN for almost four years now. When I first started thinking about travel nursing, I was working in a small hospital. While I loved it there, I felt like I wanted more for my family and myself. I wanted to be tested and broaden my horizon.
How did you find out about Trusted Nurse Staffing?
I found out about the agency through a friend who referred me to my recruiter, Neal. I knew Trusted Nurse Staffing was out of Buffalo, and I wanted to stay in the area. As my liaison for placements and go-to for questions, Neal explained everything to me and answered my texts around the clock. He gave me the pros and cons of everything, so I could make a decision without jumping into it. He wasn’t just in it for the money; he really wanted to make sure my placement was the best option for me.
How has your experience been since then?
Trusted Nurse Staffing pays us well and treats us with respect. From our first interaction, my recruiter showed me that he’s someone who deserves my loyalty. It’s hard to talk when you work in an operating room, so I text him a lot. At the beginning, he sent me available assignments based on where he thought I’d be comfortable and said, “Once we get you into a place, I’m going to be messaging you all the time to make sure it’s a good fit and that they’re treating you well.” And he has.
How did that first placement pan out?
My first assignment was a three-month placement at a hospital in Buffalo. Everyone was really welcoming and helpful. You get about a week to train, and then you jump right in.
What was your experience like once you jumped in?
The biggest thing I learned was to be confident in myself and my skills. I knew a lot more than I thought I did. So, I was able to go and coordinate a specialty I had never run before, and I was surprised to see how well prepared I was.
Did that confidence carry into your second placement?
After my first placement, I felt much more comfortable meeting new people and being at a place where I don’t know the staff or practices. I went to another hospital, this time in Geneva, New York, for six months. They have a hospital and surgery center that I floated between. I got to learn new specialties like ortho spine and different techniques for things like shoulder and knee scopes, which was amazing. Being able to learn new things was a big part of why I decided to travel.
What was the most challenging part of that placement?
I was nervous to meet friends because it was so far away, and I had to stay overnight when I worked. We were also split between a hospital and a surgery center, where the pace was completely different. It was a lot to learn, but the facility was amazing, and they gave me extra time to train. They never left me in a room alone if I wasn’t ready for it, and they did a really good job of making me feel comfortable. If it weren’t for the distance, I would’ve stayed at that facility as long as I could as a traveler.
Where did you stay when you were there?
You get stipend that goes toward your food and living expenses. Depending on how far away your placement is, they can compensate your travel. At my Geneva placement, there were a lot of travelers, so a handful of us pitched in and got an apartment together.
Do you stay in contact with them?
Yes! I have definitely made lifelong friends through my placements. I still keep in touch with people from both of my assignments.
Tell us more about your current assignment. What’s it like?
Right now, I’m in Batavia, New York. This hospital does c-sections and has an OB-GYN specialty, which I haven’t done since my home assignment. My favorite part about all of this is learning new things, but it’s also amazing to see how friendly people can be to new staff. At every place I’ve been so far, the staff has been been willing to help, and they want you to succeed, because you’re there to help them get through their days when they’re short staffed.
Other than meeting new people and learning different skills, what’s the best part of travel nursing?
You have a lot of flexibility. Within the nine months I’ve been at Trusted Nurse Staffing, I’ve already taken six weeks of vacation. You can put right in your contract the time you need off, and when you sign up, you know for sure that you have it; you don’t have to wait for a rotation or seniority. That flexibility allows my family to travel more and spend quality time together at home.
How do you spend your time off?
I’m very family oriented, and I have a four-year-old named Bradley and a seven-year-old named Nicholas. If I’m not home with them, we’re visiting my in-laws, parents, or friends. The kids are in sports, and we like to bake together. We also go to the movies and have dance parties.
Any advice for nurses looking to travel?
My biggest piece of advice would be to plan it out and trust yourself. It might be scary, but stepping outside your comfort zone is worth it.
Read about Sean
Our Trusted Nurse, Sean, Has No Regrets About Travel Nursing
Sean has his sights set on Hawaii—and not just for vacation. When he signed on with Trusted Nurse Staffing in November 2018, he traded in a stable job working in the operating room at a level-one trauma center for the opportunity to travel and see new places. Apart from the change of scenery and respectable pay, being a travel nurse has also given Sean the flexibility to stay relatively close to home when he needs to. Here, Sean talks about his experience with Trusted Nurse Staffing and opens up about how travel nursing helped him grow a backbone.
What’s your background?
Right out of my undergraduate program, I went into the operating room at a hospital in Rochester, New York, and worked there for about three years. I have a bachelor’s in nursing, and I’m working toward my master’s at St. John Fisher to be an acute care nurse practitioner.
Why did you decide to get into travel nursing?
Last October, I got an email from Drew, a recruiter at Trusted Nurse Staffing. He had a job offer I couldn’t turn down. I’ve always thought about traveling, and I definitely wanted to see places and get paid to do it. Going from a full-time employee at a hospital to a traveler was also a huge difference in pay and benefits.
What made you want to learn more about travel nursing?
My recruiter, Drew, was very human and down to earth. He gave me his number right away, and we chatted while I was walking through the store looking for stuff for the holidays. He ran through the whole thing with me, and it sounded too good to be true. But he kept reassuring me that there are no catches, and he was right.
What sold you on Trusted Nurse Staffing?
I talked to other agencies prior to Trusted Nurse Staffing and was connected to different people all the time. Even when I told them what I was looking for and needed, I had to repeat it over and over again to the next person. It was like I was just a file on a desk. At Trusted Nurse Staffing, Drew has completely stayed on top of everything, and he’s a good guy. He asks how my weekend’s going and keeps me updated, so I never feel like I’m left out in the cold.
If you had to describe Trusted Nurse in one word, what would it be?
Loyal. It’s a company that has your best interests at heart, and that’s rare for an employer.
How many placements have you had so far?
I’m on my fourth contract, but they’ve all been at a medical center in Batavia, New York. They keep extending me, because they have a need, and I’m doing well. In my contract, it states that if my placement needs me and I want to stay, I get the position. I’ve gotten to renegotiate little things like days off for each 13-week contract.
What has your assignment been like?
Everyone here was thrilled to have another person to help out, especially someone from another place. I bring a different perspective, and they’ve really appreciated it. I’ve been able to help them with issues they’re having that we solved at my last job, and I’ve even taken best practices from my current assignment and sent them to my old manager. It’s nice to see a different way of doing things.
What do you do day to day?
As a first assist, I’m responsible for helping surgeons with retracting, sectioning, suturing, cauterizing, and whatever else they need. In Batavia, they offer a different set of surgeries than what I was used to. They took into account the fact that I didn’t know certain procedures like total joint replacements and c-sections and invested time in me to teach me how to do it.
How has your role challenged you?
In the operating room, I work with a lot of different teams from anesthesia to surgeons and other nurses. There are a lot of people who want to provide the best care possible. I’ve grown a backbone and can now stand up for what I believe in while still listening to what everyone around me is saying.
How do you balance work and school?
I have class once a week, and I do clinicals 12 hours a week. My placement has been really great with everything. If I ever need to switch a day off for my clinical, they have no problem working with me. Plus, Batavia isn’t too far from where I live. A lot of people think if you travel, you have to go really far, but you don’t. If you go a minimum of 50 miles, it counts.
Do you plan on staying in the area when you’re done with school?
There was a job opportunity in Hawaii that I had to turn down because of school, and that was really upsetting. When I’m done with my program, I would definitely consider another placement like that.
What does an ideal day off of work and school look like for you?
I would get breakfast, go to Letchworth State Park, and hike the whole thing. There’s this amazing drive-in movie theater near there called the Charcoal Corral and Silver Lake Drive-In. After hiking, I would stop there for dinner. They have an ice cream parlor and mini-golf, and you can see two movies for around $10 a person. It’s perfect.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in travel nursing?
Take the leap and do it. It’s scary, because you’re quitting a stable job to go into something that has an end period of three months. Drew has always assured me that there will be another spot, and he hasn’t let me down yet. If I hadn’t taken this job, I would have always wondered what it would have been like. You don’t want to live with regrets.