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Travel Nurse Spotlight: Christine Harrison

Christine while on assignment in Charleston, S.C.
Christine while on assignment in Charleston, S.C.

Christine Harrison, an emergency room nurse working with RNnetwork, was shopping with her mom just a few days before Christmas, when she saw an elderly woman lying unconscious in the middle of a busy intersection. She rushed to her side and performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. Christine saved this woman’s life, and the woman now refers to Christine as her “guardian angel.”

Being a travel nurse, Christine says, “gives you the confidence to adapt quickly and adapt to any situation.”

In addition to teaching her adaptability, Christine says that working as a travel nurse helps her love her job, travel to places she would have never had the chance to see, and develop relationships with people across the country.

Loving your nursing job again

Christine spent about two years as a staff nurse in an emergency room, but she saw some older nurses who didn’t enjoy their jobs. They were tired and burned out, but they had to work.

“I didn’t want to look at my career years down the road and think, Is this all I did with it?” Christine says.

A friend of hers had done some traveling, so she started working as a travel nurse in 2007, and since 2010 she’s worked exclusively with RNnetwork. She’s worked more jobs than she can count, from Vermont to South Carolina.

Christine says she doesn’t experience the hospital drama or burnout that often tires staff nurses.

“I get to go to work, do what I went into nursing to do, and then go home at night,” she says.

Traveling the country as a nurse

While Christine admits that being away from family is hard, she says traveling has been an incredible experience that has helped her see places in the country she would have never thought to visit, expand her skills by using different technology, and experience small and large hospitals.

“Traveling has allowed me to grow as a person, grow as a nurse, and feel like I’ve actually done something with my life, with my career,” Christine says.

On travel assignment that stands out to Christine is Newport, Vt., where she’ll return for another assignment soon.

“The people I worked with at Newport are incredible. They’re some of the best doctors I’ve had the honor of working with, and it’s just a fantastic work environment. It’s like its own little family. Everybody looks out for one another, takes care of one another, actually cares about one another,” she says.

Developing lasting relationships with patients and coworkers

Many people assume that travel nursing means nurses can’t develop the same relationships with coworkers and patients that staff nurses do, but this hasn’t been the case for Christine.

While she was in Vermont, she cared for a 14-year old patient who had been seriously injured in a dirt bike accident.

“Everything lined up right and the way it should have…I feel like God had a hand on this child,” she recalls.

Christine now keeps in touch with both the patient and his mother. She’s visited with them twice now, and they keep up on social media. She’s also bonded with coworkers, especially at her assignment in Augusta, Ga.

 Making a difference in patient lives

The elderly woman Christine saved spent some time in a senior residence to recover and decided she wanted to meet her guardian angel. She reached out to the Montreal Gazette, and the paper published a column in search of the savior.

Christine stepped forward, and a few months after she saved the woman, they met again. The woman showed her around the senior residence, and Christine got to see just how grateful people are for the work she does.

“Once a nurse, always a nurse, whether you’re on duty or off duty,” Christine says.

Check out our open travel nursing jobs to see how you can make a difference like Christine did.

About the author

Kathleen Stone

Kathleen Stone is a writer for RNnetwork from Salt Lake City, Utah. In her spare time, she loves going to the desert, trying new foods and being with family.


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