“Before I started traveling, I of course heard all the horror stories about how travel nurses were treated poorly and given crappy assignments – but that hasn’t been my experience at all. In fact – I enjoyed my first assignment so much – I’ve already signed a couple extensions at the same hospital. And I’m actually working days, after working nights for 5 years. So it’s really nice to have this experience for the first time.”
~Katie O., RN
This week, as part of our Travel Nurse Interviews series, we’d like to introduce you to Katie O. an RN with over 6 years of nursing experience who has been working with Next Move since January of this year.
Let’s hear what she has to say!
What inspired you to become a nurse?
Every single person in my family (besides my dad) is either a nurse or a paramedic. So it was basically predestined that I choose a career in nursing. That and I really enjoy taking care of people and walking them and their families through difficult times.
What lead you to explore a travel nursing career? Did you know other travel nurses?
I actually wanted to start travel nursing last year – but I got pregnant so I wasn’t able to start traveling as soon as I would have liked. But this past year, my family decided we wanted to move closer to home (Missouri) and the best way to do that and be fiscally responsible – was to take a travel nursing contract.
What’s travel nursing like?
It’s actually been kinda nice because I get to float between ICU and the different Tele floors. That’s been a little better than being a staff nurse because I’m not going to the same place and doing the same thing every day. I really enjoy the variety.
Before I started traveling, I of course heard all the horror stories about how travelers were treated poorly and given crappy assignments – but that hasn’t been my experience at all. In fact – I enjoyed my first assignment so much – I’ve already signed a couple extensions at the same hospital. And I’m actually working days, after working nights for 5 years. So it’s really nice to have this experience for the first time.
The only sort of “culture shock” I had is when it came to the different EHR system my new hospital uses. I came from Meditech so the switch to Cerner took a little bit of getting used to. My Next Move recruiter did inform me of this new system, and from what I read – Cerner was supposed to be really user friendly. While I feel like I’m a quick learner – there was definitely a bit of a learning curve just from a charting standpoint and protecting my license by charting correctly. It wasn’t unexpected. Just a little harder than I thought it would be.
Is nurse burnout a thing?
I would say that nurse burnout is definitely a very real thing. And this go-around, meaning, this latest wave with the Delta variant, has been a lot harder because the population we’re seeing in hospitals is much younger than when the pandemic first started. Not that it isn’t sad when an elderly patients passes, but it just makes it more real and a little bit more scary to see younger patients getting so sick and dying as well.
I think it’s been a tough year, and it doesn’t seem to end and a lot of us, especially these last couple of months, feel a little burnt out.
What do you see changing in the coming year for travel nurses?
I think healthcare as a whole is going to be a lot different not just for travel nurses but staff nurses as well. I think there are going to be some changes in the compensation nurses are given as hospitals try to compete with travel nurse agencies. I think nurses have needed to have higher compensation for quite a long time, so I see this as a good thing. Just this last year alone has shown how valuable nurses are to the healthcare system. Hospitals can only last so long with these rates – something will change – as nurses are learning their value and their worth.
Any advice for first time travel nurses?
I would say go into things with an open mind and try to be the travel nurse that is helpful. Understand that you’re there to fill a need. My biggest pet peeve is travel nurses that come in and have a long list of what they will and will not do. A traveler is there to be helpful. At the end of the day, a travel nurse is there to give the staff nurse a break.
What would you tell other travel nurses about Next Move?
I’ve really had the best experience, and have referred so many nurses to my recruiter, Danielle Adkisson. I feel like Next Move has not only taken care of me this past year, but also taken care of my family. My husband had some health issues several months ago and Next Move made us feel very cared for. I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about you guys.
Next Move Inc
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