Amy has been a nurse since 1999, and has used her experience in many different ways since graduating from the University of Virginia. That’s why she loves nursing; you can always change up your unit if you start getting restless, and there’s always more to learn. Amy’s background is mainly in different ICU settings in a hospital, but she’s also been a public health nurse, camp nurse and school nurse. She’s relocated three times with her husband – with every job change, she’s dealt with being at the bottom of the staffing totem pole once again, fighting to get time off and work the schedule she wanted. There had to be another option. Amy started looking into travel nursing – she shares her experience as a first-time travel nurse in the following interview.
You’ve just completed your first travel assignment and you’re beginning your second – what triggered that decision to consider becoming a travel nurse? Do you think there is a certain point or time in everyone’s life or career stage that we should start evaluating new adventure or opportunities?
Before making the leap to become a travel nurse, I was working a staff position in a hospital PACU. The schedule was challenging because my commute was about an hour each way, plus another drive back-and-forth when I was on-call. This lifestyle didn’t suit the needs of my family or my own career.
As my mind has opened to new opportunities, I’ve wanted more flexibility and the ability to do what I want to do in terms of hours and setting – not constantly barter about getting holidays off. In a travel contract, I can say up front what I want and they can either accept it or not. If it’s not my favorite facility in the world, I’m only committed for 13 weeks. Travel nursing is the perfect fit for the changing needs of my family and the evolving desires for my career.
How did you get connected with Anna Burris at Cirrus Medical Staffing? What made you want to work with Anna once you became connected?
I’m friends on Facebook with another travel nurse who is very vocal about how much he likes working with Cirrus Medical Staffing, and shares their posts about travel nursing from time to time. I reached out to him and he told me about his recruiter, Anna. I gave her a call just to get information because I didn’t know a lot about travel nursing at that point. Anna told me what I wanted to know, listened to my needs, and happened to have an open job in an ICU float pool at a hospital that fit my needs. Anna is a huge reason why I’m with Cirrus Medical Staffing.
How did your recruiter guide you on the process?
Anna sent me the contract, helped me set up all the drug tests I’d need, vaccination records, and other documentation in like a week and a half (that’s fast). She was great at telling me exactly what I needed to do to be prepared before my assignment. Cirrus’s online Traveler Portal also helped my check things off my to-do list.
What did you recruiter do to ensure you got the best of both worlds: an outstanding clinical facility in your preferred unit AND the location you desired?
I wanted to find a job close enough to drive home, but far enough away to count as a travel assignment. Anna found three facilities that fit the bill, and I was able to choose the one that offered the best pay, shift and the unit I wanted.
How would you describe the whole experience of working with a recruiter?
Honestly my experience was easy. From Cirrus’s credentialing specialists setting up appointments for me, to Anna helping me land a job.
What will be your advice to candidates who are evaluating their next steps in their careers or just life, in general?
You have nothing to lose by trying travel nursing. Why not try it? What’s three months? Healthcare is demanding more and more nurses, so this shortage is providing nurses opportunities to explore their options and have fun. If you don’t like it, then it’s not a long-term commitment. If you do like it, then by trying something new you’ve taken a step that benefits your career and your life.
If you’re at a career crossroads, or open to learning about the opportunities in travel nursing, reach out to a recruiter at Cirrus Medical Staffing or view the open jobs – travel nursing might be the answer you’re searching for!