Give up control
Before becoming a travel nurse, I sought advice from a fellow traveling nurse. She warned me that being a travel nurse meant that I had to be okay with the unknown. And being that I’m someone who likes to be in control of things, that was a bit terrifying to hear. She explained that there may be times when you don’t know when or where your next assignment will be. Sometimes, it may take a few weeks, or even a month or two until you land your next assignment. She then reassured me that no matter what, it does find its way to work out in the end. And she was right, a little over a year later, I’m still happily travel-nursing.
Being a travel nurse forced me to practice being brave. Every time I had a new assignment, I had to start over: new location, new people, new hospital. The transition pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. Making new friends means introducing myself to complete strangers. Finding a favorite restaurant means getting lost in my own neighborhood. And finding your next hobby means trying out an activity that I’ve never done before — even if I looked ridiculous doing it — like doing acroyoga for your first time.
To work so I can live
It’s easy to get burnt out as a nurse. We work long hours with barely any bathroom breaks because it’s simply our jobs to put our patients’ needs before ours.
Since the assignment runs for 13 weeks, as a travel nurse, you can choose to recharge before starting your next assignment. And the choice of what to do during that break is entirely up to you. You can spend that time with family, take up a new hobby or even travel more. I have always chosen to travel more.
Last year, I went on a month-long trip to Europe, and this summer, I will be taking another month long trip to Africa. I also like to take advantage of having 4 days off in a week by taking short local trips. I come back always feeling alive and energized, ready and happy to get back to work.
Meet new people
My favorite part of travel nursing is getting to meet new people. I love hearing people’s stories. Each person I have met has given me something to learn about in life.
I had a great life in Hawaii and I also had a great job. I had great coworkers, great benefits, and the coveted day shift position. I had nothing to complain about. But if I didn’t push myself to get out of my comfort zone, I would have never learned all the valuable lessons that travel nursing has taught to me. It’s helped make me a better person.
So if you’ve been wondering if you should become a travel nurse, I say, do it. Jump right in and live life to the fullest because you never know what great things may happen along the way.