I obtained my ADN (associates degree in nursing) through a local community college. About two years after I received my ADN, I began working towards an online nursing program to bridge my ADN to a BSN (bachelor’s degree in science of nursing). In the process of all this, I was looking online through different websites to find a possible second job. I wanted another job to work a few days a week, or even a few days a month. This was just for extra income since paying out of pocket for a bachelor’s degree wasn’t easy and quite financially depleting. One night, I was at work and was called to go to patient’s room. Without even knowing it, I filled out my name and email on some page that asked if I wanted to know more. To my surprise, I woke up the next day with a thousand voicemails and a bombardment of phone calls from recruiters who thought I was interested in travel nursing. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind, or better yet, it hadn’t in over a decade.
Long before I became a nurse, I had heard about travel nursing from my aunt who once did it years ago. She told me illustrious stories of her traveling to California, working, and all the while having the greatest of times! For weeks I allowed multiple phone calls go to voicemail. One day, a phone call went through while my boyfriend and I were out to dinner. He asked what that call was and I told him it was a travel agency number to do a travel gig. It sparked numerous conversations that lead us to the road ahead. Our ultimate goal is that we both want to leave Chicago and find a different city to settle down in. Could this be the opportunity we were looking for?
We wanted to do it right. We moved out of my mom’s house into an apartment complex and stayed there for several months. After I was done with the nursing program, we began working on the extensive research on travel nursing agencies. We looked into multiple agencies, what they had to offer, and spoke with different recruiters. Our research delved into several websites that rank travel agencies and other travel bloggers. If you look online there’s a long list of companies. We went with a company that a friend of my boyfriend, Eric, has gone with. She loved working with them and recommended them. Their name is Aya healthcare. She highly recommended this company and we decided to get acquainted with her amazing recruiter, Jan. After choosing a company and completing the application process, the rigorous process begins. Loads of paperwork after more paperwork to fill out, phone interviews, immunizations, blood tests, etc. The lists goes on. Time began to run out for us. Our lease was ending at the beginning of December. Being a first time traveler was one of the toughest things to go through. Many facilities and states that I wanted to go to required experienced traveling nurses. All of them were in the South. Fearful that all this work would go to waste, our recruiter wanted us to try Portland. She gave us an interesting sales pitch about how Portland’s winters weren’t as brutal as Chicago. We wanted to escape the winter cold that plunges us into that deep, painful chill that hits hard down to the bone. I wanted to turn into a snow goose and fly south for the winter, but we decided to give Portland a try. The last few days we packed our items into storage, stuffed our cars to the max and headed West for the winter.