From Rural Roots to Big City – Life of a Travel Nurse

travel nurse adventuresI grew up in a very small town in rural Massachusetts, and by very small,  I mean an absence of traffic lights and real traffic for that matter. A place most might refer to as a ‘one-horse town’, which was fine when I was young. It meant I basically had free rein to run around all over the neighboring woods and enjoy the comforts of knowing everyone in my town on a first name basis.

Fast forward twenty-something years, where I found myself graduating from the University of Boston with a B.S. in nursing and starting off my new and exciting life in nursing. And of course, where was my first assignment? Right back home! Who would’ve thought that after living in the big city of Boston I’d end up right back to my roots, but there I was, tending to my neighbor’s great grandmother who was in the final stages of dementia and needed round the clock care. The way I looked at it was that I should relish this time at home, after all, who knows when I might be able to spend this amount of time with my family. I got to cheer on my teenage brother as he made the winning layup to claim our local High School’s State Title that year and also photograph my younger sister with her boyfriend as they headed to prom together.

Soon after, I received my new assignment taking me all the way across the country to Butte, Montana working at a substance abuse clinic. Talk about being worlds away, or was it?  When I got settled in my new home, I began to get my bearings, researching the local mining culture and joining in the same type of activities that I had back in Massachusetts.  I immediately found a Dojo so I could continue with my Kendo practice and haunted all the numerous historical and mineral museums. I even made the pilgrimage to visit the Lady of the Rockies.  Butte was great, cold in the winter, but don’t forget I grew up with bitter nor’easters so unlike some of my nursing brethren from fairer states. The weather didn’t bother me…  or so I thought.

Yes, my next assignment took me out of the mountains and into the high desert heat of Scottsdale, Arizona where I continued on with geriatrics, withering under the suffocating infernos of the southwest. I know, they call it a dry heat, or so I’ve been told a million times, but after the 14th day of temperatures over the 110° mark, I begged my agency to place me anywhere that’s at least fifty degrees cooler.  So you can imagine my relief when I applied for the Barrows, Alaska assignment and soon left behind the heavy traffic and heavier heat for a blissful eight months in one of the most remote corners of the United States.

Of course, there were much different issues to contend with (having to leave my car running 24/7 and dodging moose on my way to work), but I learned to be content with much less, to adapt to the local lifestyle, bear stew and stink heads (yes, people there really do eat fermented fish heads),  but the experience I gained was invaluable and no matter where I hung my nursing cap at the end of the day, life was never dull, it was filled with new and exciting challenges.

Though I’ve returned to my New England roots to raise my own family, I hope that someday my own children will find the courage to venture out into this great world, knowing they always have a home with me, too.

About the Author
Kathryn Norcutt has been an active member of the health care community for over 20 years. During her time as a nurse, she has helped people from all walks of life and ages. Now, Kathryn leads a much less hectic life and devotes most of her free time to writing for RNnetwork, a site specializing in traveling nursing jobs.

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Traveling Nurse Blog Roundup – 11/1/12

Perhaps you missed some of the exciting travel nursing blogs that were posted the last few weeks? Or maybe you just have time to read them all. That’s ok! We’ve picked our top 5 favorite articles from the last few weeks that we think you should read.

Here there are:

The Ultimate Travel Nurse Resume

By Kyle, The Truth about Travel Nursing on October 23rd, 2012
Below is a checklist for the ultimate travel nursing resume. Again, agencies are going to want you to fill out their applications because they need to get you into their applicant tracking systems…
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Ask a Travel Nurse: Can you recommend good companies?

By David Morrison, Travel Nursing Blogs on Oct 17th, 2012
Hi. I  have recently decided that I want to try travel nursing for a bit. I have tons of questions after spending a fair amount of time reading about it online.

What Kind of Scheduling Does Travel Nursing Offer?

By Joel Pilka, Medical Solutions on Oct 24th, 2012
In the past I have had travel nurses work weekends only or even blocking shifts together where they worked 3 days on the floor in a row.

Medical Surgical Nurses Week

By American Traveler Blog on Nov 1st, 2012
From now until November 7, it’s Medical Surgical Nurses Week. This is a great time to take a friend in med surge jobs out to lunch, or simply let them know how vital med surge nursing careers are in the world of public health..

Registering Your Car on a Travel Nurse Assignment

By Healthcare Travelbook on Oct 19th, 2012
Registering your car in a new state every time you take an assignment can be quite expensive. However, do you really need to register your car every time?
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