Partners In ICU Nursing, Travel And Life
Portland is known for its natural beauty, quirky locals and delicious brews. It is also currently home to Allen and his wife Amy who have been travel nurses with Aya Healthcare for several years. They met in nursing school and from the Midwest to Las Vegas and back to where it all started in the “West Coast hipster capital” they have been adorably (Allen may joke “obnoxiously”) inseparable ever since.
This dynamic duo initially found work in North Dakota and while grateful to begin their nursing careers to start it was not the ideal location for them. They had wanted to stay in Portland after nursing school but as Allen puts it “unless you had a 4.5 GPA and saved a bus full of nuns from a fire” jobs were in very short supply. After honing their skills for a few short years they decided to give traveling a try. They bonded immediately with Aya Recruiter Bret over a mutual love of Korean barbecue and the couple was convinced to head to Las Vegas. They hadn’t considered this location previously but as Allen suggests “Don’t pick a city; let your recruiter give you some advice. They send people all over so if they are not well traveled they are well versed.”
Allen and Amy thoroughly enjoyed Vegas (and so did their frequently visiting friends) but they still heard the siren call of the Pacific Northwest. Eventually with Bret’s help they found positions at Oregon Health and Science University. They currently work in the Cardiovascular ICU at OHSU. For nurses motivated to care for the sickest patients this assignment is a dream come true. OHSU is a level one teaching hospital where heart transplants are almost routine procedures and Allen couldn’t be happier with the facility and his welcoming, capable unit. They knew they had fit right in when this unit took both he and Amy out for breakfast and beers after a particularly harrowing but ultimately rewarding first night on the job.
Based on his amazing experience at OHSU and in previous hospitals Allen has some interesting advice for fellow travelers or any job seeking nurse out there. He has found that managers often almost beg travelers to stay which makes traveling a great situation in which to look for a permanent position. A traveler has their foot in the door in a way that the candidates whose resumes sit in a pile on the hiring managers desk never could. Allen explains that “Aya markets you” singing your praises to various facilities and this in addition to the chance to show your skills over a 13 week period really helps a traveler stand out from the crowd.
These are words of wisdom from a man who seems to have always known exactly what he wants. After “watching too many TLC documentaries about the ER and ICU” and realizing as he was “eating a bowl of cereal while watching a kidney transplant” at the age of 16 that nursing was, in scientific terms, “his jam.” He has always followed his heart and it has led him to the career he has always wanted, the woman he loves and to looking after the hearts of others, literally.