ICU travel nurse Gabrielle Reed once drove 14 hours in one night to visit a place she’d never been before. Only a few months earlier, she would never have expected taking that opportunity.
Challenging yourself as a nurse
“I started into nursing as a really, really shy person. I went into the ICU because I knew if was going to learn, I needed to throw myself out there,” Gabrielle recalls. “Travel nursing is definitely something that terrifies me, but I enjoy doing it.”
Setting your own schedule
Though she likes the sense of adventure travel nursing jobs provide, Gabrielle says one of the biggest perks of traveling is taking time off between assignments to go home.
“It’s really nice to have a flexible schedule because I’m a very big family person. I can schedule all my shifts together and just pick up and leave for eight days,” she says. “I never would have had this opportunity if I didn’t have traveling available to me.”
Connecting with the right recruiter
Gabrielle recommends finding someone who’s worked at the hospital you’re interested in before you so you can ask questions and prepare ahead of time. She also suggests finding a recruiter to help you land the right jobs.
“I can just text my recruiter at RNnetwork and say, ‘Samantha, I had a really bad day today.’ She encourages me and lets me know that things will be better and I can find something new,” Gabrielle expresses. “Samantha is always checking in on me, making sure everything is going well. She has my back.”
Making lifelong friends
While shifts as a travel nurse can be difficult, Gabrielle says she appreciates the opportunity to meet incredible staff members and band together to help others.
“I had a horrible night where a young patient died, and I was really proud to work with some amazing people. The doctor, another nurse and I didn’t leave her side for six hours. It was nice to be a part of something beautiful like that,” Gabrielle says. “Nursing is such a team job, and I’ve learned a lot about myself.”
Test-driving new locations
Though Gabrielle hasn’t been traveling for long, she’s enjoyed exploring new places before deciding where to live permanently.
“Travel nursing has opened a lot of horizons for me. It’s exciting, and I always have another option if I end up not liking a job or a place,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and feeling the way I feel as a nurse. It’s definitely an exciting life.”
Gabrielle was one of eight nurses who attended our recent nurse panel. Check back for her video interview — and check out panelist Amanda Sweitzer’s story to see why she recruits all her friends to travel nursing.