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3 ways to design a flexible travel nursing lifestyle

by Kathleen Stone

When Amy Gonzalez first started nursing school, she knew that her ultimate goal was to become a travel nurse. She loved to travel as much as she loved nursing, so to her, a flexible travel nursing lifestyle that mixed work with new life experiences was a no-brainer.

But once Amy finished nursing school and was ready to start her career, things weren’t so clear. She left Michigan and moved to Florida without a job, staying at a friend’s house until she could find work. She reached out to recruiters from lots of travel nursing companies to find jobs, and heard a lot of exciting promises that never turned into real assignments. Finally, Amy met her RNnetwork recruiter, Alaina Robertson. Alaina told Amy that finding work would take time, but she explained the process and assured Amy that she’d be there to help every step of the way. Here are three important discoveries that Amy made.

1. Commit to small first steps

Alaina helped Amy find her first travel nursing assignment and took time to learn Amy’s needs. Based on that first experience, Amy made a special effort to get out of her comfort zone and embrace new learning opportunities. Amy said that Alaina has been helpful ever since by always being available, honest, and focused on getting Amy’s needs met through other RNnetwork departments. This frees Amy up to focus on what she does best—saving lives in emergency rooms across the country.

Once Amy started working her travel nursing jobs, she realized that they were more than just an opportunity to travel while working. Throughout her career as an Emergency Room nurse, Amy has been in a variety of emergency rooms. Each emergency room has slightly different systems and ways of doing things, and Amy has been able to build on the best practices she’s learned from each emergency room. Now, at each of her travel nursing jobs, her coworkers ask for her opinions on procedures.

2. Try your hand at networking

Travel nursing has also given Amy new interpersonal skills. While the procedures across emergency rooms vary, the people who Amy meets during travel nursing are even more varied, she said. This has pushed Amy out of her comfort zone, but Amy said that once she learned how to work with anyone, her personal life benefitted just as much as her professional life did.

Amy met her husband while she was a travel nurse in Florida. Her husband is a professional musician, and it’s quite possible that musicians are the only ones who might have schedules that can be more chaotic than nurses. When they were first married, Amy and her husband didn’t know if their schedules would work together, especially with both of them traveling. However, they quickly found out that with the flexibility of travel nursing, Amy can travel and work wherever her husband needs to be for his career.

“Traveling musicians have been around a lot longer than travel nurses,” Amy said. She and her husband have a shared understanding about the odd hours they work and plan for dealing with the unexpected on the road. They know how to build and maintain the professional and personal relationships they need to make the lifestyle work for them.

3 ways to design a flexible travel nursing lifestyle

Amy Gonzales (far right) sharing her travel nursing story at the RNnetwork 2017 Nurse Panel

3. Think bigger about what’s possible for your travel nursing lifestyle

Amy and her husband have found that their schedules work together perfectly. They both work late nights and irregular days. Perhaps even more important, Amy can support her husband by traveling with him wherever he needs to go, and vice versa.

Nashville, Austin, and other music capitals of the country all still need nurses, so Amy’s husband can travel to new cities to grow his career, and Amy can find a nursing job in any of those cities. She said that now that she’s in her dream career, she has more freedom to support her husband’s career dreams too.

Want to find a job that offers flexibility, travel, and new experiences? Check out open travel nursing jobs with RNnetwork.

 

About Kathleen Stone

Kathleen Stone is a writer for RNnetwork from Salt Lake City, Utah. In her spare time, she loves going to the desert, trying new foods and being with family.

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