Nursing is a career that affords you many opportunities. As a nurse you can work in schools, clinics, hospital, corporate America, and many other areas. These are all things I considered when entering the nursing field. After finishing my BSN, I chose the hospital setting, in the operating room.
Working as an operating room nurse is amazing. I have always loved medical shows on Discovery Channel, and now I am a part of the cases I use to watch on television. I worked in neurosurgery for three years and I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed going to work everyday, and being able to help people during a difficult time. While working in neurosurgery I had the chance to work with a travel nurse. Up until this point I’d heard of travel nurses, but this was my first time talking in depth with one. She told me how travel nursing works, and about all of the place she’d been. This nurse also informed me on how to get started as a travel nurse. That conversation with her started me on my adventure.
I began as a travel nurse January 2015. It was an exciting and scary time. I was leaving my friends and family, and a job that I loved, but at the same time I was starting a new adventure. My first assignment was in Seattle Washington. I packed up my car and headed west. It took me three days to drive to Seattle, and it was amazing to see the landscape change. I went from flat farmland to mountains and never ending trees. When I arrived in Seattle the first two things I noticed were how green everything is and the rain. I heard about it raining in Seattle, but I kind of dismissed it. I’m here to tell you that everything you heard about the rain is true. It rained most of the first three months of my stay. The rain took a bit of getting use to, but I finally purchased a raincoat and embraced the rain. I went hiking in some really cool places, like the Cascades where I was able to explore Mt. Rainer. I also had the privilege to seeing Olympic National Park, the Space Needle, Pikes Market, and many other places, that up to this point I had only seen in books and on television. One of the most memorable activities I remember was whale watching in Vancouver Canada. As if it were not enough to be in Vancouver I was able to be up close and personal with real life whales in the wild. It was amazing to see just how large these animals can get. All of the activities I accomplished while living in the Pacific Northwest would have taken me years if I had not decided to try travel nursing.
Travel nursing is not just about the beautiful place you experience, but also the people you meet and the skills you develop working in different hospitals. I have met a lot of wonderful people who have a lot of knowledge to share. I can say that I have become a better nurse over this time.
Now that I have been on the path for over a year I can say I am very happy with my decision to take a chance on traveling nursing. It is easy to stay in your safe comfortable routine, but in doing so you may miss out on amazing opportunities. Yes I miss my friends and family at times, but I am able to see and experience what this amazing world has to offer. This journey has taught me it’s ok to leave your comfort zone and take a chance on the unknown.