Brittany Monteiro has been a telemetry nurse for two and a half years, and she has already traveled in three states for her job. As a travel nurse, she’s gotten to meet all sorts of new people, and she’s been able to travel with her two best friends: her human best friend, Amanda, and her furry best friend, Bentley. Here’s more about why Brittany decided to travel nurse.
Making the jump into travel nursing
Brittany had only been a nurse for about a year when she decided to start travel nursing. While some nurses might think they need lots of experience before travel nursing, Brittany knew that travel nursing was the perfect way to gain experience. Each hospital and region has its own way of doing things, so Brittany has already gained a wealth of experience in the places that travel nursing has taken her so far: Lynchburg, Virginia; Greenville, North Carolina; and Orlando, Florida.
“When I first started travel nursing, I was a little bit nervous about going somewhere I hadn’t been before,” said Brittany. “But, being a nurse is universal. If you know how to be a nurse in one place you can be a nurse in a different place.”
Traveling with friends
There were two things that helped Brittany start off travel nursing. First, she got to go on her first two assignments with her best friend since childhood, Amanda. They had always talked about wanting to do travel nursing together, since it’s much less scary to go into a new job in a new place when you have a friend. RNnetwork made that work for Brittany and Amanda, so they travelled together for Lynchburg and Greenville. Amanda is now working in Boston, but they had each other while they were both learning the ins and outs of travel nursing.
Now, Brittany still travels with her other best friend, Bentley. Bentley is a seven-pound Yorkshire terrier, whose size is perfect for travel. Brittany was nervous that Bentley would be anxious during travel, but he’s a complete natural, and he isn’t fazed by the fact that Brittany is often gone for long nursing shifts.
“I love having Bentley with me because he really is like my best friend,” said Brittany. “He is like a little piece from home. He’s always there.”
Choosing her assignments vs. her assignments choosing her
When Brittany first looked into travel nursing, she had a specific list of destinations she wanted to visit, but there weren’t any assignments available in those places at the time. So, she went to Virginia first. She said it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. She made close friends during her time in Virginia, and she still keeps in contact with them.
“Be open to different places. You may be set on one specific place that you want to go to, but be flexible,” said Brittany. “Try different places, you never know what can come out of them.”
Later, she got her wish to go further south than Virginia, by going to places like North Carolina and Florida. So far, Orlando has been her favorite destination. With Disneyworld right around the corner, why wouldn’t it be? She loves being able to fully explore the parks.
Staying close to family
When Brittany first started looking into travel nursing, her parents thought she was crazy. They worried that having to move all over the country and switch jobs every three months would be too unstable, but they have come around as they have seen how much Brittany loves traveling.
Plus, Brittany said that FaceTime and other apps make it easy to stay in touch. She talks with her Grandma every Sunday, and she talks to everyone in her direct family every day.
Lessons learned as a travel nurse
One of the things that made Brittany nervous about traveling was not knowing what to do if she needed help. However, she said that she quickly learned that people are there to help, whether it’s the other travel nurses, the full-time nurses, her recruiter at RNnetwork, or just her friends and family.
“If I feel lost, I always ask questions. If I feel like I’m stuck, there’s always people there,” said Brittany. “And if you need help, people are always willing to help you.”