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Career advice from a veteran travel nurse

“What I love about traveling is learning and meeting new people,” says emergency room nurse Kristine Wadley. She’s been a nurse for 20 years and a travel nurse since 2005. “I get to work with some brilliant people,” she says. “I’m always picking up things and adding to my own personal practice on a daily basis.”

Kristine first became interested in traveling because of the many travel nursing jobs available at hospitals near where she was living in Florida. The pay, the learning opportunities, and the freedom appealed to her and fit well with her personal circumstances.

She soon discovered that she loved the traveling lifestyle. “Over the years, I’ve made tons of friends from all over the United States,” she says. “I’ve stayed in touch with these people, and I love that. It’s great when I go onto Facebook and I see I’ve become involved in so many people’s lives.”

Be open-minded and willing

Based on her experience in travel nursing, Kristine’s advice is to be flexible when going to work at a new hospital. “We’re the guest there. Yes, they desperately need our help, because they’re calling in a traveler, but we’re not there to fix anything.”

A positive attitude helps ease the transition into a new environment. “You have to be very open-minded and willing,” she says. “You have to go by what their policies are and what their procedures are. If they tell me I need to float, or I need to do this, just do it. You’ll find you make friends wherever you go.”

Find a recruiter you connect with

For anyone considering travel nursing, Kristine stresses the importance of having a great recruiter who understands your needs. “What I always tell people is to look for somebody that you’re going to connect with personally.”

She’s been working with Rachel at RNnetwork for years and values how responsive she is. “When I ask a question, I want the answer pretty quickly,” she says. “That’s what I love about Rachel. When we’re dealing with something or I have a question, if she doesn’t know the answer she gets it for me very quickly.”

Kristine also appreciates Rachel’s professionalism and integrity. “She’s honest and straight-forward. There’s no smoke and mirrors with her. I get straight answers and that’s what I appreciate.”

Enjoy the relationship

Over the years, Kristine and Rachel’s relationship has grown to be more than just a business interaction. “I love it that we get along so well,” Kristine says. “I feel like she’s family. She knows what’s going on in my life and I know what’s going on with her.”

That close relationship has made a big difference in her life. When a member of Kristine’s family was having health problems, Rachel was able to find work for Kristine nearby. “Rachel always knew what was going on,” she says. “It was out of state, up in Kansas, so she was always checking Missouri and Kansas for jobs for me. She sent me all the information to get my licensure there.”

During a time of illness and crisis for Kristine’s family, Rachel’s care and attention helped make life a little easier. “She was always keeping an eye on what hospitals were available around where my family member was so that if needed I could take a contract to go home and take care of them. That was something that she kept track of for a year. She didn’t have to do that, but she did.”

Looking for your own Rachel to help you with travel nursing? Call 800.866.0407 to talk with an RNnetwork recruiter today.

About the author

Gerry Carpenter

Gerry Carpenter is the managing editor for CHG Healthcare. He is a 20-year marketing veteran who loves to write, edit, and play with words. He enjoys visiting new places, speaks fluent French, and is slowly learning Portuguese and Japanese.


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