Travel Nurse Spotlight: Doing What You Love
In the Travel Nurse Spotlight series, HCT Today is highlighting travelers’ own unique stories and perspectives.
“I’ve been loved all my life and I wanted to give love back to others.”
That’s what Laura V., a Telemetry Travel Nurse, said when she found her love for nursing. In university, she started in Forensic Science, but discovered it was more time spent in a lab, and she wanted to be out in the community helping people. She switched to Forensic Nursing, and ultimately, she followed her heart to traditional nursing. After two years serving as a staff RN in Pittsburg, she started her travel nursing journey in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since.
“The reason I started traveling is ‘to see beautiful places and to meet beautiful people‘ and I do feel like I’ve done just that through my experiences,” Laura said. “I’m so in love with being in awe of all that I’ve seen and experienced.”
Her first assignment was in Texas just outside of Austin, where she fell in love with the unique city and the traveler lifestyle. She stayed in the central Texas area for a few more assignments including a contract at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, which she said has been one of her favorite hospitals so far.
For travel assignments, what are top qualities to look for in a hospital?
“Each hospital has its pros and cons, the most important thing is a good team environment,” Laura said. “I like facilities with stricter policies. When you start somewhere new, it’s easier to grasp when there is more structure in place.”
High workload is always going to be a factor in nursing, so Laura values hospital environments where everyone has respect for one other. For travelers, it’s especially important to feel comfortable to ask questions as needed to learn and understand the unit procedures quickly.
How did you meet your recruiter?
Unique story! Laura met her current staffing agency while visiting her friend in Dallas. They went to the House of Blues and stumbled upon an event that was celebrating nurses hosted by LiquidAgents Healthcare, a nationwide healthcare staffing company specializing in travel nursing. Being a new traveler, she was seeking more insights and guidance, which she was not getting at her current agency. There she met Senior Recruiter Jayson Sipe and discussed the issues she was having on her first assignment.
Even though Jayson wasn’t her recruiter at the time, he tried to help in any way he could. “He looked up details about my current facility and pay rates, and gave me advice on how to communicate my contract,” Laura said. “I’m so thankful for how straight forward he was.”
Openness and transparency are key qualities to finding a great recruiter. Laura appreciates how her agency provides clear details for each assignment, like how the hospital is run and if a location is hard to get to. She also enjoys working with her compliance manager, Katrina Anderson, who sets everything up for her and provides easy checklists and reminders to stay on top of credentialing deadlines.
“Laura is the type of RN any recruiter dreams to have working with them,” Jayson said. “She is calm, professional, understanding and a pleasure to work with. She works as a travel nurse for all of the right reasons and is embracing the best parts of the industry to the fullest.”
Loving Every Minute of the Travel Lifestyle
Outside of the hospital, Laura spends as much time as she can outdoors and exploring the local culture. When she worked in a permanent position, she said she found herself not going out as much, but traveling has been the complete opposite. Now, she wants to experience as much as she can on her days off, especially given the limited timeframe in one place.
“I feel like ever since I started traveling, I’ve been on vacation,” Laura said.
For every new city Laura travels to, she makes a list of the top things she wants to do before her assignment ends, “including the touristy stuff,” she added.
While in Austin, you could find her at Barton Springs and Lake Travis or attending local music festivals like Austin City Limits. On assignment in Reno, Nevada, she spent days at Lake Tahoe and soaking in the phenomenal views hiking. While in Phoenix, Arizona, she frequented nearby trails and tried all of the top-rated restaurants.
“I love getting to hear about all of her adventures,” Jayson said. “Wherever she goes, she makes the best of where she is at and loves every minute of it.”
Where is Laura’s next stop? Portland, Oregon! She’s looking forward to being back in the mountains, waterfall hunting and hiking as much as possible.
See more photos of Laura embracing the traveler’s lifestyle.
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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