Meet Erin S. – An Inspiring Advantage RN Travel Nurse!
Erin S. had been a nurse for about two years when she decided it was time to expand her horizons. While she worked on a unit and with a staff she loved, she felt “stuck in a rut” and uninspired by the same, every day routine. Travel Nursing with Advantage RN was her answer!
Erin has now been a travel nurse with Advantage RN for 6 ½ years, and in that time she’s made new friends and explored cities all across the county. She’s found inspiration and adventure in unexpected places – from Florida to Alaska.
Advantage RN caught up with Erin for a candid interview. This is a must read for any nurse ready to grow professionally – and personally – with a travel nursing career with Advantage RN.
Advantage RN: What do you like most about your work as a travel nurse?
Erin: The new places. I love the beginning of an assignment. It’s all newish again. I know how to be a nurse. I’d even say I am a darn good nurse, so that part never needs to change. But I can keep myself from burning out by changing the kinds of patients I have, the people I’m working alongside, and what I get to experience outside of work.
Advantage RN: What do you like least?
Erin: When I find myself getting caught up in the politics of the floor. I don’t need to care about what the manager is changing, or who favors whom. When I start thinking about that, I know it’s time to move on.
Advantage RN: What advice would you give a new traveler who is ready to embark on her/his first assignment?
Erin: Expect it to be a little scary. It’s a new job, and they don’t give much orientation. Just trust that you are a good nurse, apply your knowledge and go with it. Be flexible and confident, and you’ll be just fine.
Advantage RN: When you first arrive at a new facility, what do you do to feel more comfortable? Are there tools/habits you use to help you explore your new location?
Erin: I generally just offer to help my coworkers. As long as I know my patients are okay and are taken care of, I lend a hand. That attitude will always get you help in return. And getting your colleagues to like you is a great way to find out what fun stuff there is to do, and will get you people to do it with!
Advantage RN: What are some of the challenges you have faced as a travel nurse? How did you overcome them?
Erin: My biggest stressor is taking an assignment in a smaller hospital and or area that doesn’t take many travelers. Usually because that means they aren’t prepared for you. So they haven’t figured out how to get you a badge, access to med administration machines or the computer charting system. You show up and get a lot of blank stares. That is rough. But fortunately that happened only after I had some experience as a traveler, and at this point I’ve been through so many different orientations that I could teach the class. Overcoming that issue involves a great deal of venting to your recruiter and going with the flow. At the end of the day it’s just about finding out who has the magic hospital paperwork that allows you to get in.
Advantage RN: What has been your favorite assignment with Advantage RN so far? What made it special?
Erin: I loved being in Dillingham, Alaska. It was incredibly small, but the people there were welcoming and fun. No roads into town, so it was a little isolated. But it was a really unique experience. There was wilderness to explore, and all kinds of people to meet. And that little hospital was always challenging me to recall forgotten skills. Plus, I showed myself that I can survive at the edge of anything I’d known before.
Advantage RN: Where would you like to travel on future assignments?
Erin: Where ever the winds push me. Somewhere new. Trying something new.
Advantage RN: Any memorable stories you’d like to share about your life as a road warrior?
Erin: I did a computer conversion in a small town in Washington. Every day I had off was an adventure. It would start as a plan to get some breakfast with the other travelers then would end up a day hiking around Mt Rainier. Or a simple mani-pedi date would lead to paddle boarding. Being open to experiences led to so many great memories, like borrowing cars and driving off to Twin Lakes in Dillingham where I learned to fish with nets then fillet the fish. Not something I’d done in Cleveland. Also, I learned I’m not cut out to fillet fish.
Advantage RN: Any other Advantage RN stories to share?
Erin: My Advantage RN stories are largely good, and largely involve dealing with Donna, my recruiter. My favorite times are the planning sessions with Donna, just throwing out possible places for the future and seeing how they fall. It’s led to many places I never thought I’d visit, let alone live in. So we’ll keep having those planning sessions, and keep finding new adventures!
Inspired by Erin’s story? Join her and fellow RNs and become a travel nurse! The team at Advantage RN is here to help you meet your professional and personal needs. With 6,000+ jobs around the country, there is sure to be one just right for YOU. Check out Advantage RN’s Hot Jobs, and begin planning your career as a travel healthcare professional today and be sure to connect with us Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!