Jake Shearer, a med-surg nurse from northern Florida, recalls that his mother wasn’t exactly pleased when he announced he was taking travel nursing jobs.
“My mom has been an ICU nurse for 30 years and had watched me move up at my last hospital and become friends with the hospital president. She said, ‘What are you doing? You’re throwing away your career. You’re not going to have a job in three months,’” Jake recalls. “I told her I was a hirable person and would make it, and now I already have more job offers than I did at home. It’s awesome to know that I’ll land on my feet and that I made the right choice.”
Taking the legwork out of finding a nursing job
Jake credits his RNnetwork recruiter with helping him jump into new jobs easily.
“I really like my recruiter, Rachel, because she’s always staying in touch with me and making sure we’re both on the same page with my next assignment or how my assignment is going,” Jake says. “I feel like she really cares and is there looking out for me.”
Though he’s only been working as a travel nurse for a short time, Jake says it’s nice to have a staffing company do most of the work.
“Traveling makes getting a job a lot easier. I just gave RNnetwork my resume, and they really did the rest,” he recalls. “It has also allowed me to get my foot in the door relatively easily for places I think I might have had a hard time getting into on my own.”
Advocating for those in need
The best part of being a nurse, Jake says, is helping a lot of different people who walk in the hospital doors each day, no matter their circumstances.
“I get to advocate for people who wouldn’t normally have somebody advocate for them. I feel I really make a difference when I’m there for someone who feels lonely and helpless,” Jake expresses. “I help remind them that they can make it and keep fighting.”
Even though there are challenging days, especially while working in a new place, bright spots make work as a nurse worth it.
“When a patient says thank you and they really mean it, that’s enough for me. They notice when I go the distance for them and appreciate it,” Jake says. “Doing something as simple as asking their doctor for a diet change, which I’ve been able to do, means so much to patients in that time of their life, and having them say thank you does it for me.”
Strengthening your skills as a nurse
When friends ask about travel nursing, Jake lights up.
“I tell everyone it’s a great opportunity and experience for you to get out of your comfort zone and try something different,” he says. “Traveling has allowed me to expand my horizons and know that I can adapt and be thrown into an unfamiliar environment for a couple months. I know I’m a strong nurse.”
Jake was one of eight nurses who attended our recent nurse panel. Look for a video about his experiences coming soon — and check out panelist Becky Ouellette’s story about why travel nursing helps her avoid burnout.