Travel Nurse Talk: Stepping up to Challenges, Maximizing On-the-Job Learning, and Getting into Travel Nursing by Accident
We caught up with some travel nurses to ask them about their experiences on the road. Travel nurse Maryam Tajrishi tells us how she accidentally found travel nursing and how she turned an unusual assignment into the learning opportunity that ignited her career.
“I got into travel nursing by accident.”
I had been working as an RN for about a year. I was just trying to find a job in a hospital setting, but it was difficult because I didn’t have any hospital experience — it was a bit of a Catch-22. I frequently got phone calls from travel nursing agencies, but they were looking for someone with at least a year of experience.
Then I met my recruiter, Paul, from LiquidAgents Healthcare. I almost ignored his call because I was getting so frustrated with agents telling me they had nothing for me. But Paul was different. He said, “Let me see what I can do.” A few weeks later, he called back and offered me my first travel nursing assignment to New Mexico. He went out of his way to make it work for me.
“My recruiter calls and texts me more than my mother!”
I’ve been with LiquidAgents Healthcare the whole time I’ve been a travel nurse. It’s nice to have a recruiter that you can develop a really close business relationship with, someone who constantly follows up with you to make sure you’re ok, that all your questions are answered, and that you’re taken care of. I have someone who has my back.
“It’s nice to have a recruiter that understands where I am in terms of my career.”
I went to Crownpoint, New Mexico, for my first assignment. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m from California, so I was used to 170-bed hospitals — bustling, loud, with alarms going off all the time. I walk into my new assignment, and it’s quiet. There are no alarms, no patients that I can see. The staff is sitting down. I asked the supervisor how many patients were in the hospital — and it turned out to be only one.
I called Paul, and he said, “This is going to be a great way to get some experience. Once you put your time in here, you’ll be able to travel to other hospitals.”
And he was right. I stayed with them and I learned a lot. I even ended up doing another contract there in the ER, which is what I still do to this day. It worked out well for me.
“Don’t think about it too intently, just do it, and don’t look back.”
It’s scary to know that you have to move your home, but if this is something you want to do, it’s totally worthwhile. You’re there for 3 months, which flies by very fast. You meet various different people from different places. You get to choose your destination. Not only are you learning about yourself and how to break out of your comfort zone, but you can visit destinations instead of just dreaming about them.
I also love choosing the months I work. One of my travel nurse friends arranges her schedule so she never works in December. She never has to worry about getting time off to spend with her family.
“LiquidAgents is on top of everything.”
I’ve been in situations where there were issues with my timesheets, and they always come back and work it out. Or, when my BLS certification was expiring in a month, they reminded me. It’s nice to have my recruiter, who’s constantly calling me daily or weekly, making sure I’m okay. Anytime I have an issue or a question, LiquidAgents is always there.
To learn how other travelers make the gypsy lifestyle work, check out our interview series.