CVOR nurse Julie Ignat knew she wanted to try travel nursing before she’d even decided on a specialty. She’d heard about the career long before attending nursing school and was excited for the opportunity to travel.
Making a long-time dream come true
“I had done many road trips with my older brother over the years and knew I wanted to make travel nursing my profession,” Julie recalls. “When I decided to make CVOR my specialty, I lucked out being able to train at the nation’s number-one heart hospital. After getting two years of nursing experience, I hit the road for the first time.”
Giving travel nursing a second chance
Unfortunately, Julie’s first experience with travel nursing wasn’t all positive. The Ohio native began traveling in 2008 and says the journey was different than she expected.
“I worked at two different companies that made me feel like a number. I left with a sour taste in my mouth toward travel nursing and went back to a permanent job,” Julie says. “In September 2015, I felt the need to make a change and decided to try the travel career with RNnetwork.”
Choosing the right travel nursing agency
Julie encourages new travelers to find a recruiter you mesh well with. She says not having the right recruiter can make your assignment harder than it needs to be.
“I have had two exceptional recruiters at RNnetwork who’ve had my back, solved all of my roadblocks and offered a friendly shoulder to lean on when I’ve had a tough day,” Julie expresses. “I can’t speak highly enough of this company. I’ve never met anyone on the team in person but they still all feel like family.”
Advancing your nursing career through travel
Though she’s now broken her rule to never stay in one place longer than 13 weeks, Julie says her goal as a traveler is working in new places every few months.
“I love to learn new techniques and types of patient care and sharing my experiences with others,” Julie says. “I like being part of the future of healthcare. In my short nursing career — only 10 years — I have witnessed technology advancing to better patients lives.”
Enjoying more time for yourself
Temporary jobs bring a lot of unknowns, especially at the beginning and end of each assignment. However, Julie says the flexibility travel nursing jobs offer has paid off.
“I have taken more time off to do the things I enjoy, like a three-week vacation to the Panama Canal this summer. In my last full time job, I wouldn’t have been able to get the time off,” Julie says. “This last assignment in North Carolina, I was able to run the Marine Corps Marathon.”
Making a difference as a travel nurse
Julie says she’s added numerous hospitals to her resume where she’d never dreamed she’d be able to work, including Duke University Hospital. She’s also felt more at home on her assignments and made friends throughout the journey.
“On my final day at my first assignment, the nurse manager pulled me into her office, thanked me for being part of her team, and told me she wished I wasn’t leaving,” Julie recalls. “She gave me an open invitation to come back whenever I wanted to, as a traveler or permanent employee. This was the first time a manager had ever said thank you to me.”
Want to start your own journey? Check out our open CVOR travel nursing jobs.