Travel Nurse Stories

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South Carolina to Southern California

Cutting-Edge Clinical Techniques, Dating on the Road, Outdoors Across the U.S., Taking (Lots of) Time Off California

Stretching out over the vast blue-green of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica Pier boasts a festive, nostalgic atmosphere. Aya travel nurse Paris currently lives just a few miles away in posh Marina Del Rey, CA. When her boyfriend came out to visit from their native South Carolina, Paris said it was time to do “something I haven’t done since I was a kid” and her boyfriend had never dared.  He had never ridden a roller coaster and she convinced him to give it a go.  In crossing the famous pier off of her bucket list, Paris may have found the perfect metaphor for travel nursing. Seeing the country can feel a lot like that roller coaster ride she and her boyfriend shared, with giddy heights, a few unexpected turns, and the thrill of constantly experiencing something new.

Paris doesn’t restrict her adventures to amusement parks, she is a “spur of the moment type person” whose philosophy in life is to “just hurry up and commit, that way I have no choice but to do it.” Her jump-right-in attitude serves Paris well as a travel ICU RN who loves “the rush” of trauma nursing. She finds inspiration in “seeing patients at their sickest point. When they turn around and you help them get better and walk out of there it’s amazing.” She cares deeply for her patients and traveling has meant learning new medical techniques to help them, which has been especially exciting. Paris has found that “every hospital is a bit different and does things differently so that has been cool.”  A physician at her current facility is an expert in Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery or VATS, and his prowess attracts patients far and wide. While she appreciates his skill, it is his attitude she most admires.  She recognizes a kindred spirit, a true caregiver, and says “I love a doctor who really cares about their patients.”

Even a brief chat with Paris will reveal her passion for what she does. Having worked as a travel nurse for over a year, in Maryland, South Carolina and now California, Paris has come to really appreciate her career and raves that “working as a nurse I get to travel and do what I love.” Her travel journey is just beginning, with Florida and Georgia next up on the horizon.  But before she makes it back to Dixie, she has one last must-see stop on the West Coast. Paris is soon headed to Paris, the Paris hotel…Las Vegas. The Entertainment Capital of the World is a short plane ride from her current home and she can’t wait to “do it all” when she hits the strip.

If things go as well for her at the table as they have while travel nursing, Paris is sure to beat the proverbial house. Thus far, Lady Luck has smiled over her travels. She has found that sometimes the little things count, like how she gets to choose the color of her scrubs at her current facility, or how they provide break nurses to make sure she can grab an uninterrupted lunch – a heretofore unheard of luxury! She has also experienced big things while on the road. She has had incredible surprises, like when her boyfriend discovered family he had never met living near her in the Los Angeles area. She has connected with people all across the country, and she was grateful to recently meet up with her friend and recruiter, Mariam for a fun-filled night of learning to paint. It’s hard to choose a favorite encounter amongst so many meaningful ones, but one tiny person in particular, stands out. Paris happened to be working in the hospital where her nephew was born prematurely. She was able to help care for him and has watched him blossom into a happy, healthy 6-month old “miracle baby” who giggles in the background each time she calls home.