People that know her describe Karen King as the “life of the party” and someone who will turn anyone’s frown upside down! A little over two years ago, Karen had the opportunity to begin travel nursing. She had always thought it would be something she wanted to do but wasn’t ready to take the plunge.
“I thought it would be fun to spread my wings and travel the U.S.,” she explains. “I decided I could visit friends and make new ones along the way.”
Karen is a native Floridian and has specialized for most of her career in Emergency Room/Trauma. For a southern gal, her first experiences with snow were quite memorable for her.
“Before traveling, I had never even owned a winter coat and boots,” she recalls. “One of my first days in Missouri, it was snowing quite hard outside, so I put on my new boots and headed off to work. Well, I always wear a skirt to work and little did I know that I had forgotten to bring my regular shoes. Needless to say, I wore my winter boots all day long, and the staff had a lot of fun chuckling about that all day long!”
When she is on assignment, Karen likes to experience as much of the local culture as possible. On her days off, she will find activities using Google and make a day of it. That plan served her well on her assignment to Barrow, Alaska. While there, during Whaling season, she had an opportunity to walk out almost ½ mile on the frozen Arctic ice to watch the Whalers bringing in a whale.
Karen’s love for her career comes shining through as she describes how much it means to her to help people in times of crisis and trauma in their lives. Travel nursing has allowed her to take her career enjoyment to new levels.
“What better way to fulfill your dreams than to see the world while doing the job you love,” she explains. “Every day, I get up for work I’m like a small child going to a candy store.”
As in any job environment, Karen explains that even when traveling you will run across different attitudes and problems. Her approach to managing these situations is to remind herself that she is there to do a job and to help take care of patients and their families. Karen’s thoughts for others who are considering travel nursing is to “Just Do It!” Her advice to those who are afraid of jumping right into it is to consider taking an assignment that maybe isn’t so far from home.
“Get your feet wet before adventuring too far out. It was the best decision I ever made!”