Travel Nurse Talk: Traveling with 6 Kids at Home, Lending a Helping Hand, and Meeting Challenges (on Crutches!)
Travel nurse Jessica Murry is no stranger to a good challenge. Camping alone in the woods on a recent travel nursing assignment, Murry slipped and broke her leg while she was stepping out of her camper. Instead of yelling for help or waiting until one of her family members could come take care of her, she crawled across the ground, hobbled into her car, and drove herself to the hospital. She still showed up to her shift on time — and on crutches.
The hospital sent her home to recover. Out of commission for 13 weeks with the fracture, Murry is going a little stir crazy. “I love to work,” she says. “Sometimes travel nursing is my vacation. I work harder at home than I could at any job.”
“Travel nursing works out perfectly for us. The pay is better and the work is actually more consistent than staff nursing.”
When her home hospital started cutting her shifts due to budgetary constraints three years ago, Murry knew she had to make a change. With six kids to take care of, making do with a partial paycheck wasn’t possible. So, she started travel nursing, taking assignments within a two-hour radius of her home.
“My family and I love it,” Murry says. “Travel nursing works out perfectly for us. The pay is better and the work is actually more consistent than staff nursing was for me. I work nights and schedule my shifts three days in a row, so the only thing I miss is sleeping time. I can also schedule time off to spend time with my family — I can build that right into my contracts.”
“The travel nurse experience on my resume proved to hospitals that I could learn quickly and adapt to challenges.”
Along with high pay and flexible scheduling, travel nursing allowed Murry to get the nursing experience that she couldn’t access as a staff nurse. “Originally, I was a Med-Surg nurse, and I couldn’t get cross-training as a Labor & Delivery nurse. I tried for two years at my home hospital and I was stuck — I couldn’t get experience because I didn’t have experience. Then, I did a couple of travel contracts and a larger local hospital hired me on their L & D floor. The travel nurse experience on my resume proved to hospitals that I could learn quickly and adapt to challenges.”
“Nursing is always the same, but each hospital has its own culture, so I learn something everywhere I go.”
Murry is gaining a comprehensive perspective on nursing. Rather than being limited to the procedures and philosophy of a single hospital, she collects insights and knowledge from each hospital she visits. “Nursing is always the same, but each hospital has its own culture, so I learn something everywhere I go. And then I get to share that knowledge with other hospitals, offer little suggestions for how I’ve seen other facilities tackle problems.”
“I love helping hospitals and nurses in their time of need.”
Murry also draws a lot of satisfaction from meeting new people and helping however she can. “At every facility I’ve been to, I’ve met these amazing nurses and amazing patients. I’ve always been an outgoing person. So, whenever I head into a new hospital, I think, I’m going to treat this hospital like my home hospital. I’m going to do my best and they’re going to love me.”
By giving it her all, she provides a helping hand at a crucial time for the hospital. “These facilities have nurse openings for a reason. Maybe a staff member had a baby or there’s been high turnover — whatever the reason, they need some help. I love helping hospitals and nurses in their time of need.”
“I felt like LiquidAgents was my lifeline . . . they were for me every step of the way.”
And when Murry was in need, her LiquidAgents recruiter had her back, too. “I think I have the best recruiter ever. Calvin is amazing. I love him to pieces. He’s checked in on me every week since I broke my leg because he knew it was driving me crazy not to work.
I’ve had one bad assignment in three years. It was a rough time, and I felt like LiquidAgents was my lifeline. They asked me if I wanted to leave the contract – but I said, ‘I’ve never quit anything in my life, and I’m not going to start now. I’ve got this.’ And LiquidAgents stuck by me — they were for me every step of the way.”
LiquidAgents provides Murry with the support and stability some may find in a staff position. “We don’t just work together. Calvin checks in on how my kids and my family are doing. So, even though I don’t have a close hospital family, being with LiquidAgents makes me feel like part of a team, like a family.
Once, I wanted to travel to a hospital LiquidAgents didn’t serve. And my husband said, ‘LiquidAgents has been so good to you. We don’t need to go anywhere else.’”
Looking for more travel nurse interviews? Check out our entire Travel Nurse Talk series.