Home health travel nurse Kirk Rollan has been working as a travel nurse for three years and is completing his first assignment with RNnetwork. Having grown up and lived for years in rural Pennsylvania, Kirk realized that his career as a nurse was limited.
“There weren’t many home health nursing or nursing jobs in general there, and I had to travel a good distance to get to work,” Kirk recalls. “I figured I might as well make the most of it and start traveling around the country.”
Kirk sold his home and got an apartment for less maintenance. He now travels with his wife and hasn’t looked back.
“Working as a travel nurse has allowed me to see the world. My wife and I love hiking and kayaking, and we’ve been to so many different places we would never have been able to see,” he says.
Though he’s currently finishing up an assignment in his home state, Kirk says Charleston, S.C., has been a favorite assignment so far.
“I loved the atmosphere and the culture. It had great music and fine dining if you wanted to go out, or you could just grab a burger,” Kirk says. “Charleston catered to whatever you wanted to do.”
The best part of nursing for Kirk, as a home health nurse, is helping patients with wound care and seeing those wounds close up and heal. He says he challenges the misconceptions people may have about him by proving he’s skilled at caring for his patients.
“Older nurses sometimes think you’re not as good as they are, and guys have been portrayed as rough or uncaring in the past. I sometimes get clients who don’t want to see me because I’m a male nurse,” Kirk expresses. “I just be myself, and after the second visit, they’ve changed their minds. There’s no limitation as a male nurse. Doors are wide open to whatever you want to do.”
Kirk recommends new travel nurses avoid getting wrapped up in office politics and drama and focus on listening and assessment skills.
“Nurses often get in such a hurry that we don’t have time to listen, and that’s a big deal,” Kirk says. “Likewise, when you have patients listen to what you’re telling them, they have a great outcome.”
Want to meet more of our travelers? Check out our travel nurse spotlight section.