“I think I made the switch from staff to travel nursing as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. When covid hit – my mental health was at an all-time low. At that time, I really felt like I had lost a lot of control over many things in my life. So when I started travel nursing I felt like I was gaining some of that control back. Like if I was doing a 13-week assignment at a place I absolutely hated, I knew I could finish my contact, pick up, and move on. And if I loved it – I had the option to extend my contract and stay. It just feels better knowing I’m in control of what I do and where I go.”
First-Hand Insight into Travel Nursing: Welcome to “Travel Nurse Interviews,” a series where we introduce you to some of the travel nurses that work for Next Move Inc. Here we’ll give you a little first-hand insight into the world of travel nursing, offer you some tips on moving from staff to travel nursing, talk about the effect covid-19 has had on healthcare, and have some honest, open discussion about the future of travel nursing.
This week we’d like to introduce you to Samantha H, a Critical Care RN with over 5-years of experience who is currently on her second travel nursing contract.
Let’s get going!
What was your inspiration to become a nurse?
There’s quite a few things actually, but what comes to mind is that I’ve always enjoyed caring for others. And science was always my number one favorite subject in school. So nursing seemed like a natural career path. Plus, I enjoyed the flexibility a nursing career has provided me and the pay is pretty good as well.
There’s really so much you can do with a BSN degree. Of course nursing, but should that not work out – you can always go into things like sales. For me personally, I knew I wanted to do bed-side nursing for a while. I really think it’s interesting meeting and talking to different people.
Why travel nursing?
I think I made the switch from staff to travel nursing as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. When covid hit – my mental health was at an all-time low. At that time, I really felt like I had lost a lot of control over many things in my life. So when I started travel nursing I felt like I was gaining some of that control back. Like if I was doing a 13-week assignment at a place I absolutely hated, I knew I could finish my contact, pick up, and move on. And if I loved it – I had the option to extend my contract and stay. It just feels better knowing I’m in control of what I do and where I go.
Travel nursing has definitely had a positive affect on my mental health. While I really loved my staff job, and I was at a great hospital with great people, I felt an instant relief when I quit. It was that sense of control over what I was going to do next that just felt good. And the pay for travel nursing is better as well.
Also, I do have a decent amount of experience, so it’s really satisfying for me personally, that while I may be going to a new hospital where I don’t know the providers, or the charting system, or the pumps, I know I can still provide the highest level of care. It’s just very reassuring to know that your skills, knowledge and experience are appreciated and will go into good use wherever you go.
How did you hear about Next Move?
I live in Kansas City, Missouri, and Next Move Inc. is a local agency. I worked with John Heymach, one of the founders of Next Move, back when he was an RN and he turned me on to traveling, and of course, traveling with Next Move!
What has your experience with Next Move been like?
I’m thrilled with them. They’ve been great. My recruiter has been amazing. She helped me so much with the transition from staff to travel nursing. It can be overwhelming, especially as a new traveler to make the switch because you don’t really know what to expect. It can seem like everything is up in the air. I mean, I quit my staff nursing job, even before I had a contract! It was a little nerve racking, but Next Move made sure my experience went smoothly, always answered my questions at all hours of the day and were generally just very helpful.
I’ve also talked with other travel nurses about pay, so I know that the pay I’m getting is really good, and I’m on one of the better paying contracts.
Lastly, I like that I can work somewhat “locally” and travel home in between shifts. I try to make it home when I can. I have dogs, and they’re old so it’s nice to be able to spend time with them even when I’m on contract.
How has nursing changed over the last year as a result of COVID?
There are a lot more travelers. Something I noticed even before I started traveling and was working as a staff nurse. As I mentioned earlier, I worked as a staff nurse for many years at a local hospital and over the course of my time there I saw maybe a handful of travel nurses. But then of course Covid came in, which resulted in a lot of staffing shortages. Many of the staff nurses left; either to go travel or get out of bed-side nursing all together.
What do you see changing in the coming year for travel nurses?
I see a lot more travel nurses starting to work in hospitals. I think across the board – nurses are now demanding more pay and travel nursing is an easy way to get there without waiting around for it. I also think that nurses as a whole are rethinking this idea that a nurse who is loyal to a hospital, will have great career success. I don’t think that loyalty is actually rewarded, and that at the end of the day, anyone is replaceable. Really, we all need to do what’s best for ourselves, both financially and mentally.
Do you have any advice for a nurse considering traveling for the first time?
I’ve talked with other travel nurse agencies and have run into some recruiters that really put the pressure on to accept a job, and I really hate that because it’s a tactic to make nurses feel like they have to jump on something with a false sense of urgency. But the reality is, there are a lot of jobs out there and the need for nurses is really high (especially right now). So my advice to new nurses is to not feel pressured into taking an assignment just because you’re afraid that there’s not going to be another job out there. There is.
It’s also a good idea to be a little flexible – but at the same time have a list of your negotiables and non-negotiables. Like some of my negotiables/non-negotiables were that I wanted block scheduling but I was willing to work either days or nights.
Travel Nursing Tips for Travel Nurses
How to Make a Travel Nurse Resume + A Real-Life Sample Resume
How to Pay Off Your BSN in Just Over One Year
Top 10 Toughest Travel Nurse Interview Questions (and Answers!)
Top 6 Nursing Side-Hustles
Top 19 Mobile Apps for NursesHow to Find Furnished Short-Term Housing
What is Block Scheduling?
Travel Nurse Salary: Top 3 Ways to Make the Most Money
Travel Nurse Qualifications: What Paperwork Do You Need?
Travel Nurse Contracts: How to Avoid Cancellations
Travel Nurse Benefits: Health Insurance & 401(k)
Travel Nursing Testimonials
Started traveling simply because she wanted to make more money.
Started travel nursing to take control of life and boost her mental health.
Tried travel nursing 16 years ago and didn’t like. See what changed her mind.
Chose travel nursing so she could take as much time off as she wanted.
Med/Surg RN with 4-years’ experience. Her tips for nurses new to travel
Stayed with her hospital when covid hit. After 8-months started travel nursing
Started traveling the second she got 2-years nursing experience
They cut her pension – so she quit and started travel nursing
Got Travel Nursing Questions?
Did we miss anything? Do you still have questions about travel nursing? Give us a call (or shoot us an email) today and one of our dedicated team members would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Next Move Inc
(816) 601 -3800