Ellen loves her career as a travel labor and delivery nurse. “It has just been a huge blessing to my life,” she says. “I love working with my recruiter, she is an amazing person!” It’s not only filled her passion for nursing and travel but has also allowed her to become nearly debt free. There’s obviously a lot of hard work that goes into her planning, traveling, and working as a labor and delivery RN, but Ellen counts herself lucky for how it’s all unfolded so far.
Recently, she traveled from Ohio to Washington for a 26-week travel assignment at a low-risk birth center in the Seattle area. With the assignment across the country, Ellen was able to travel to ten states this year on her road trip back home. Some of the highlights she mentioned were stops in St. Louis, Cheyenne, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Shoshone Falls in Idaho. While in the Pacific Northwest, she also visited Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Olympic National Park, and even rented an Airstream on the Oregon Coast. Ellen thinks it’s important to have a sense of adventure as a travel nurse because your time on assignment is going to fly by, so you have to make the most of it!
As a travel nurse, it’s also important to be adaptable and go into your new work environment with an open mind. Ellen’s suggestion to new travel nurses is to “be open to learning new approaches to care.” Personally, she loves learning how different facilities operate and takes her new experiences on the road with her for future assignments. She also adds, “always ask questions and know how to access policies and procedures to each facility you go to.”
When it comes to finding housing, Ellen admits she’s been fortunate. Traveling with her beloved dog, she’s seen how limited pet-friendly accommodations can be. While on her Seattle assignment, she booked an Airbnb for a week that ended up becoming a longer stay because she had such a great relationship with her hosts. They had two dogs as well and she was able to house sit for them, so it was the perfect set up for everyone involved. She’s also found housing at a beach condo and a lake house, so we’d say she’s awesome at the housing search.
Ellen really lucked out finding some great friends in fellow travel nurses along the way. Not only during her time on assignment, but afterwards as well. “I have some of the best friendships possible from [travel nursing],” she says. Adding, “I just went on a trip to Kentucky with another labor and delivery travel nurse.”
Her advice for making friends while traveling is to meet other travel nurses at your orientation. When Ellen was in Seattle for her orientation, she met two other travelers that were on assignment at other hospitals within their system. They managed to keep in touch and get together over their 26-weeks in the Seattle area and now they continue to see each other back in Ohio where they’re all working now.
Now that her most recent assignment has ended, Ellen is heading out to work at a summer camp in the Cascades next. We are excited to see where her travel nursing journey takes her and to be along for the ride!
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