This article was provided by RN Network.
By Lynne Gross, President, RNnetwork
Travel nursing plays an integral role in healthcare, often meeting needs that would otherwise go unmet. I am proud of the work we do at RNnetwork and all of the nurses we get to work with on a daily basis. I have seen firsthand the many ways that travel nursing changes lives. Here are just a few of them.
1. Delivering care (and caring) to those that need it most
Trauma nurse Kathleen Johnson treats all of her patients like family. When she started nursing in 1973, she joined the field because she loves people. She never really cared about making money. Since becoming a travel nurse, she has treated gunshot wounds in Chicago and other crime-related injuries in California. She said that she talked to those patients about their lives and how they can get out of crime.
“When people are sick, they have a certain open door, and we nurses can walk through it, and we can actually heal,” says Kathleen.
Nancy Abelson came to nursing later in life, graduating from nursing school at the age of 59.
“I love my job. I love my patients, and I love my coworkers,” says Nancy. “I’ve made so many connections with my patients that you take with you when you leave at the end of the day and that you remember. I feel a great deal of compassion for my patients. I’ve always wanted to serve a medical mission, and in many ways, this has been my mission field.”
2. Gaining balance between work and personal life
“The permanent game is great, but unfortunately, dialysis has a pretty high turnover. That can lead to staffing shortages, and the burden gets placed on those who are permanent,” Katie Elliott, PCT, says. “I was working a lot more hours than I wanted, and I didn’t really have any social time. When I found out about traveling, there was a lot that appealed to me. I especially liked that traveling gave me more control over when and how I work and didn’t burden me financially at the same time.”
3. Growing and finding yourself
“The personal growth I have experienced through travel nursing is something I didn’t expect,” says labor and delivery nurse Rachel Ronk. “I always expect to leave the hospital feeling like I made a difference. Those feelings weren’t new to me. But the feeling of growth and confidence instilled in me through traveling has been huge. I feel like I’m an entirely new person since I moved here. I never expected to be where I am right now. I’ve learned a lot about myself.”
“I didn’t realize I had as much in me as I have until I started traveling. And I didn’t realize how much of myself I was giving to others,” ICU nurse Angie Kyler shares. “I have always been there for my family, but I knew they had reached a stage where they could do it on their own. I needed to find my own focal point. Travel nursing has helped me find myself.”
4. Meeting your true love
Most nurses don’t take a travel job expecting to meet the love of their life, but it still happens. William and April Cantwell met when William was working a travel assignment at the facility where April was working. One thing led to another, and now they are a travel nurse family, traveling with their baby boy.
“When we started traveling, we explained to our recruiter that we only want to go to places that need at least two nurses,” says William Cantwell. “Everywhere we’ve gone was with the understanding that it’s a package deal. You don’t get me without her, and you don’t get her without me.”
5. Becoming part of a new community
ER, nurse Deb Kelly doesn’t take an assignment just for the job. She loves to throw herself into the local community as well.
“When I’m not working, there are things that I can do to get my mind off of work but also help. I love helping people. And if I’m not starting an IV or starting medication, then I’m going to help pass out food and try to help somebody’s weekend be better,” says Deb. “That kind of keeps me going.”
Travel nursing is more than a job, it’s a calling, and for those who do it, it changes their lives for the better every day. Whether it’s connecting with a patient, a coworker, or exploring a new part of the country, travel nursing offers many life-changing opportunities.
Lynne Gross is the president of RNnetwork, one of the nation’s leading travel nurse staffing agencies, and has more than 20 years of healthcare staffing experience. Since joining RNnetwork in 2011, Gross has held a variety of leadership roles in the company, including director and vice president. RNnetwork is part of the CHG Healthcare family of companies.
We hope you found this article on five ways travel nursing has changed lives helpful in your travel nurse journey. Have you found ways that travel nursing has changed lives? Comment them below.