Travel Nurse Spotlight: The Best of Both Worlds
In the Travel Nurse Spotlight series, HCT Today is highlighting travelers’ own unique stories and perspectives.
Healthcare travelers don’t have to take assignments on the other side of the country to take advantage of all of the exciting benefits and career development opportunities that traveling offers. A registered nurse and mom of two, Sarah A., is able to enjoy the both of best worlds: travel nursing while staying close enough to home and family.
A Southwest Illinois-native, Sarah started her nursing career at a local community hospital. Her primary specialty is Medical-Surgical, but she was able to do a little bit of everything and developed her skills in several areas. After five years as a staff RN, she wanted a change; she heard about travel nursing and decided to “give it a go.”
“You can have the best of both worlds, traveling and experiencing new environments, and being close enough to home,” Sarah said. Raising two young daughters, she chooses travel assignments at facilities within a few hours away so she can spend time with family on her days off.
In her first year of traveling, she worked with a smaller local healthcare staffing agency, but wanted to branch out for more opportunities. In 2018, she was referred to LiquidAgents Healthcare by a friend and says it’s been a successful experience ever since. Sarah enjoys meeting new people, being with other working moms and making new friends.
“I could not choose a favorite travel assignment because they’ve all been nothing but amazing,” Sarah said. “At each facility, I’ve been surrounded and supported by amazing people. They welcomed me with open arms and brought me in as family.”
Sarah’s biggest advice for travelers is to be open. Traveling puts you in new environments that may have a different way of doing things. Don’t go into an assignment looking to change the processes in place. Instead, take advantage of learning opportunities.
“Even when there may be tough personalities to work with, show them that you’re there to be a part of their team and let them be the guide,” Sarah said. “As a traveler, you’re there to help them with the challenges they’ve been experiencing.”
Sarah loves the learning curve that comes with travel nursing. In addition to MedSurg, she’s very interested in orthopedic and neurology nursing. While on assignment in Springfield, IL, she gained first-time experience at a Level 1 trauma center and teaching facility. For her upcoming assignment this fall, she’s excited to cross the Illinois state line to St. Louis, MO.
“Southwestern Illinois is kind of a trauma desert,” Sarah explained. “Patients that need more critical care or specialized procedures are typically sent to St. Louis. My next assignment at SSM Health Saint Louis Hospital has been on my bucket-list. I’m excited that I’ll get to see and be a part of the next step of my patients’ journey.”
“I’ve worked with Sarah for over a year,” said talent advisor Allie Harrell. “We both have trust in each other during this whole process, and that is exactly the kind of relationship you need in the travel nursing market. Whether we’re going over details for an assignment or just calling to check in and catch up, we’ve built a special bond that will last a lifetime. I can even tell you what the theme of her youngest daughter’s birthday party was.”
When Sarah’s daughters are older, she would love to branch out more and try cross country traveling. But until then, she enjoys the flexibility of staying closer to home.
In the Travel Nurse Spotlight series, HCT Today is highlighting travelers’ own unique stories and perspectives. Want to share your story? We’d love to hear from you.
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