Arkansas native and ICU nurse Tiffany Fleeman had never been outside the South and saw travel nursing jobs as a way to explore the country. When her youngest daughter moved out and she became an empty-nester, Tiffany knew it was time to travel.
Sharing your new experiences with family
“In a sense, travel nursing is like being on vacation all the time with a little work mixed in. I work three days a week and have so much time left for exploring local eateries, hiking trails, festivals, beaches and lakes,” Tiffany says. “Another plus is that my kids and grandkids visit and also get to see and enjoy places they have never been.”
Though she’s been traveling for three years now, Tiffany recalls having a few concerns when she was first researching agencies.
Building a relationship with your recruiter
“As a staff nurse I met a few travel nurses, and they told me about the places they’d been. I started researching companies and thought I would love to do that,” she says. “I did hear some negative things, but my recruiter, Michele, answered all my questions and eased any fears I had.”
Now on her tenth assignment, Tiffany says it’s important to find a recruiter you can build a great relationship with.
“Find a company that not only has good pay and plenty of places to go but cares for its nurses. RNnetwork is by far on top of that list,” Tiffany expresses. “They have always gone above and beyond for me anytime I had issues or concerns.”
Dealing with homesickness as a traveler
Tiffany says the toughest part of being a traveler is being away from family, but she’s found ways to make that separation a bit more manageable.
“Thanks to FaceTime, Skype, and meeting other travelers along the way, it’s a little easier to leave family behind,” Tiffany says. “Don’t sweat the small stuff while traveling. You’ll run into bumps in the road, but it will all work out if you have a positive attitude. Remember the adventure is worth it.”
Checking must-haves off your bucket list
Colorado was Tiffany’s favorite travel nursing assignment (she stayed nine months) because she could experience all of the seasons and enjoy breathtaking views from the Rockies. However, she’s always anticipating the next place she can visit and more “firsts” to check off her list. She’s already been skiing, whitewater rafting and bungee jumping.
“Travel nursing has allowed me to literally go cross country, starting from the east coast of Virginia all the way to the west coast of California and many stops in between,” Tiffany says. “It has allowed me to meet and make so many new lifelong friends and experience different cultures. I am looking forward to all the new adventures ahead and hoping Alaska will soon be in my future.”
Did you like Tiffany’s story? Check out Mary Pitman’s story about working as a travel nurse during a tragedy.