The Gypsy Nurse could not be successful without the support and contributions of it’s readers. Today’s Travel Nurse Interview is from reader and Travel Nurse Belinda, RN.
Name: Belinda, RN
Level of Education: BSN
Do you suffer from Hypertravelosis? YES
What are your Symptoms of Hypertravelosis? , Frequent dreams of far-away places, Starting sentences with “I would love to go to…” or “I wish I could…”, Purchase of multiple travel guides or Visitor guides., Thoughts of changing nursing field., Frequent job changes., Desire to check off the 1000 places to see before you die., A feeling of dread prior to going to work.
How long have you been traveling? Expert Traveler Greater than 5 years
How many locations have you traveled? 10-15
Please list them.
Texas, Wyoming, Washington, Arizona, Oregon, California, Florida
What was your favorite location? Favorite Hospital? Why?Location: Seattle Washington. The city is awesome, great food, great music, and the hospital was top notch.
Hospital: Swedish First Hill in Seattle. I worked as OB float so I worked all areas. They were well organized and very current on best practices. One on one with labor patients, straight cath vs foley after epidural etc. They used interpreter doula combos for those that didn’t speak English. Food for pts and staff was 24 hours, restaurant style, order over phone anytime and delivered to you.
What is the longest you’ve been in one location? The shortest?:
Longest: 8 months in LA
Shortest: 2 1/2 months in Yuma AZ
Share why you started Travel Nursing:
I have been a gypsy my whole life. My dad was in construction and we moved every year. My husband is in construction and the process repeated after I married. When I first read an article about travel nursing, I was in nursing school at the time and knew it was what I would do. I even made a list of everywhere I wanted to go. I have made all my choices about what department to work in based on what would help my goals.
Always love what you do even if you don’t like that day. If you don’t love it, then find another avenue. Life is too short not to enjoy.
Have you changed specialties while traveling? Please explain.
I did my first assignment in 2005 to SF. Loved it, but was working Med-Surg and figured out real fast that if I was in it for the long haul I needed a specialty. I went staff back home to train in L&D since I had used midwives for my own children and had thought about becoming a lay midwife back in the early 80’s. Found my passion and discovered that it is in high demand for travelers and hit the road again after 2 years. I am permanent now to finish my MSN and then back on the road again.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new travel nurse, what would it be? (feel free to list more than one).
Make sure you have some savings. Always get it in writing, verbal doesn’t mean anything. Research before you start. Never say “Where I’m from we do it this way”, you are in their house. Always be friendly and smiling even when you don’t feel like it. Be competent in your skills. Keep your credentials current.
Tell me about an experience that stands out from you Travel Nurse career. It could be clinical, funny, while on the road, etc.
One of the best things I remember was when a group of us travel nurses who met on meetup.com had Thanksgiving dinner at one of the travelers apartments in downtown Seattle. It was a pot luck and we all sat around and shared stories and experiences.
What do you feel was the biggest mistake that you made related to travel nursing? What advice would you give a new traveler to prevent making the same mistake?
Not having enough in savings when we had to transition from CA to FL and I was out of work for 2 months.