In October I am scheduled to publish my new book “Bon Voyage, Florence Nightingale! A Take-Action Guide to Travel Nursing” It is going to have both a practical side, (answering questions on travel nursing), and a hopefully entertaining side, (telling some real life stories of nurses on the road.
One of the very interesting stories is about Karla, a young woman on a fascinating journey….here is an excerpt.
(Continued from my previous post on July 23rd, you should read that one first).
Through her five years of traveling
she took other assignments in such diverse places as San Jose, California,
Manhattan, Phoenix, Arizona, Los Angeles and Hana, Hawaii.
Hana was unique. It is an isolated area of Maui and was a four-month
assignment instead of the usual three. The social life was very quiet and
“one four-month stint was enough”. Los Angeles gave her more beach time.
She loved Manhattan and again it was Spring. That’s a great time to be
young and in Manhattan. There was a lot of social life there!
When pressed on her favorite assignment she mentions Hana
again. “Well, because I don’t think I’ll ever get that experience again. It was
beautiful. It was different.”
I asked her if she had any funny stories in her times out there.
She laughs that contagious laugh of hers. “Yeah, that first assignment
in Sacramento. I got there early so I decided to go to a coffee shop and
get a cup of coffee. While I was there this dude was leaning near the
doorway smoking a marijuana joint right out in public! I couldn’t believe
it. I said something to the manager and he told me it was OK because it
was medical marijuana. So I went over to the guy and asked him to move.
He was indignant and told me it was his MM( medical marijuana). Well I told him I
didn’t care, I was a nurse starting a new job and I didn’t want to go in on my first
Day smelling like pot, so move it!” Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has
to do. [This sounds kind of awkward to me. How about, “I wasn’t about to
start my new assignment on that note!”]
Prospective travel nurses always want to know about the housing. “I was
pretty much happy with all of the living accommodations . For the first three
assignments I accepted the offered housing but then after that I started
going on Craigslist and getting my own. The agencies gave me housing
stipends and I generally made out better.”
Eventually Karla got tired of all of the travel and decided to take a break.
She had found a city she liked, made friends there and wanted to settle
down for awhile. She’s still living and working there in San Jose, California.
It’s now been three years since her last travel nursing assignment. She
may do it again, but for now she really likes where she is. She’s clear on
one thing. “I’m very happy to be able to list “travel nursing” on my resume.
I believe it shows that I am flexible, that I am strong and efficient and
smart enough to learn something new swiftly. It gives you the initiative and
confidence that a lot of nurses don’t have.”
It seems pretty clear that the adventure story is not finished for that 13-
year-old girl from Monterey. It’s a big world out there, full of wonderful
places to see, fascinating people to meet and new experiences to enjoy!