Travel Nurse Talk: On Being Guided by Morals, Learning Everything, and Taking Mini-Vacations
We caught up with some travel nurses to ask them about their experiences on the road. Charlotte Loyd shares how she learns as much as possible, how she dedicates her best to each hospital she visits, and why she loves her recruiter.
“Going into travel nursing felt like a choice to do something for myself for a change.”
I’ve been traveling for about a year and a half. Before that, I was a charge nurse in the ER, and we had a steady stream of travel nurses who came to help us out. I oversaw the travelers, and I thought that their life seemed intriguing. My kids were off to college, my son was getting married, and I was going through a divorce. Going into travel nursing felt like a choice to do something for myself for a change.
“The life of the travel nurse is a constant education.”
I really enjoy the flexibility and independence of being a travel nurse. You get to call the shots about where you work, how long you take a position, what shifts you work, and if you work overtime. There’s a freedom in making these decisions that you just don’t get from a permanent position.
Plus, the life of the travel nurse is a constant education. Each facility you visit is like a new classroom. You learn different procedures, strategies, and techniques. You’re able to observe unique regional operations, research advancements, and technologies — it really lends insight into the entire complex tapestry of the medical field.
Permanent staff also turn to you. Because of your experience in hospitals across the nation, you become a teacher. They ask you how procedures are done in other hospitals and ask you for advice on improving their techniques. In that way, you get to share information across hospitals, which can really strengthen each team you visit.
“My days off are like mini-vacations.”
I’ve visited many beautiful places but so far, Virginia has had the most to offer. I enjoy the rich history, how much beauty and culture there is to experience, and how close I am to so many different places. My days off are like mini-vacations. I can go to DC, Baltimore, North Carolina, Florida. It gives me an opportunity to explore the world that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
“I strive to make the decisions that will make me feel good about my work at the end of the day.”
Travel nursing has made me more kind, sincere, and empathetic. Since I’m only there for a short period of time, I strive to do my absolute best at every assignment, to give 110%. You never know what kind of care your patients will get when you leave, so I always look at each assignment as an opportunity to maximize good.
I don’t know that many travel nurses think of this, but the work that you do in each assignment affects your reputation as a nurse. I represent my company, but I’m also representing myself and the work I’ve dedicated my life to. So, in each assignment, I make sure to not only do my absolute best, but to stay true to myself in all the decisions I make. I’m guided by my morals, and I strive to make the decisions that will make me feel good about my work at the end of the day.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to always be learning. ”
I would tell aspiring travel nurses to take their first assignments someplace close to home. You never know when you’ll be homesick — that first assignment can be tough.
Also, I can’t stress enough how important it is to always be learning. You can never know everything and each facility offers a unique education if you’re open to it. Travel nursing is a once-in-a-lifetime experience because you get to see the world, but it’s also an express track to improving your nursing practice. Every hospital has hidden secrets and unique tricks that you can utilize throughout your nursing career.
There’s this idea going around that some hospitals are “travel-friendly” and others are not. But I think each hospital is exactly what you make of it. If you put yourself out there, remain flexible, and avoid hospital politics and negativity, you can create a good experience for yourself.
“LiquidAgents Healthcare is just amazing. They always have my back.”
My recruiter at LiquidAgents Healthcare, Paul, is amazing. He isn’t just a recruiter helping me find a job — he’s become like part of my family.
Paul has come to know me as a person. He’s familiar with my strengths, my personality, and my qualities, and he looks for assignments that fit me precisely. He’s also always honest with me, so I can trust him to have my back.
One of my assignments was unexpectedly tough. After 9 weeks, Paul said, “We have to get you out of this assignment.” And before I was halfway home, he had assignments he wanted to submit me to. And by the time I got home, two hours later, he already had another assignment for me.
LiquidAgents Healthcare is very professional, organized, and responsive. For example, they give you advanced notice that your credentials are expiring. Or they will call to let you know they haven’t received your timesheet. LiquidAgents Healthcare is just amazing. They always have my back.
Want LiquidAgents Healthcare to have your back? Check out our open job postings.