Perhaps the biggest draw for many to travel nursing is the opportunity to experience new work and social environments. At Medical Staffing Options, our recruiters thoroughly enjoy hearing about our nurses’ adventures, particularly what they liked and didn’t like about their assignment location. To give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life as a travel nurse, we asked some of our own nurses to share their favorite job locations.
My favorite travel assignment, by far, was in Pikeville, Kentucky.
The hospital was right in the middle of the mountains and the area was beautiful. The hospital and all affiliated building were black, and their accent color red. The building looked like one big mirror with all of its windows, which they decorated for Christmas and I regret not taking pictures. The inside of the hospital looked like a 5-star hotel and had rock fireplaces and seating everywhere. The cafeteria was AMAZING—I gained literally 30 pounds in 7 months (they had fresh-baked cookies twice a shift). The food was better than anywhere I’ve ever been.
The doctors were really the icing on the cake for me. The ICU had intensivists there at all times (5 on days and 2-3 on nights). You didn’t have to worry about someone not being there for the patients when you needed them. The leadership was amazing as well—there was always a shift supervisor available and the clinical manager always came through each unit and helped. When it came to teamwork, it was all out.
The area was beautiful and had more things to do in spring and summer than in the winter. My favorite was the Hillbilly Days festival (yes, whatever you’re imagining is what it was probably like). There was a very large variety of food booths open, as well as places to shop. It broke my heart the day I left there and I would go back again and again as many times as they wanted me.
My favorite travel assignment hands down, with no need to think on it, was in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
This assignment kept me busy as a nurse and challenged me every shift I worked. There was not one night that I went into work that I was not challenged and learning something I didn’t know. The acuity of the patients in the trauma ICU I worked in was almost always Level 1 ICU high, and because this was a teaching facility, the ICU was always hopping even in the early hours of the morning.
I rarely have free time, but during this assignment I stayed in a hotel in Grove City, Ohio, and spent what time I did have shopping. On long weekends I brought my children with me to see downtown, visiting COSI and the Polaris and Easton Malls.
I have worked for numerous large organizations, as well as a few small community critical-access hospitals. I love the feel of the small community hospital. The employees have taken me in as one of their own, and the environment is a little more laid back than that of a large hospital. My love remains in the emergency department, but it has been nice to take a step back from the chaos of the ER and dig deep for my inpatient nursing skills from when I was a baby nurse. It has been a great learning experience!
My favorite place was Toledo. First and foremost were the people I worked with, but what made it great was the excellent management in the emergency room. Even though it was crazy and busy, you always could rely on the management team to come help. Even the director was starting IVs, triaging, or taking patients to the floor to help the flow of the department. I enjoyed multiple events while I was there and continue to be invited. Even though I haven’t made many visits back since I left, the fact that I am still one of them means the world to me! Also, this is where I received my first award in nursing.