Behind The Benefits of Being A Travel Nurse: Jeremy & Alina
Imagine if you could go around the country, exploring different destinations and meeting new people, while getting paid and making a real impact. Welcome to the world of being a travel nurse! It’s safe to say that travel nurses get to live the dream – and they’re in high demand. With great pay and bonuses, accommodated housing, and more freedom, this career has been giving nurses the opportunity to experience top facilities for the past four decades!
We had the chance to sit down and chat with two KPG nurses on what brought them down the path of becoming travel nurses and how they fell in love with the work, and each other! Read Jeremy and Alina’s beautiful story below!
What initially drew you to travel nursing?
Alina: We knew that we wanted to move to the West Coast, but wanted to explore different areas. Since we are both nurses, travel nursing was an optimal choice for us. We could still travel, investigate various areas of California, have fun, and still have a great income.
Jeremy: Working as a traveler allows for a good introduction to both a city/area and the potential hospital/unit. If it isn’t a right fit, one can simply finish the contract and relocate.
How did the two of you meet?
Jeremy: We met while working as staff nurses in the Emergency Dept at INOVA Fairfax Medical Campus. She worked in the Pediatric ED and I worked in the Adult ED. It took me a while to ask her out, but thanks to free movie tickets courtesy of Nurse’s Week, I took the chance and did it.
What was your biggest stressor throughout the travel assignment process? How did you overcome it?
Alina: As a female, I love having my ducks in a row. I always plan way ahead of time. Thus, travel assignments were stressful for me, when it came to arranging them, as everything is done last minute. This doesn’t happen because our amazing recruiter wasn’t doing her job properly – it happens because of the hospital. They don’t know if they’re gonna need nurses in three months, they only know if they are in need now. It was definitely challenging finding lodging promptly and in a desirable area. It was hard moving states on such short notice. Finding kitty cat daycare isn’t easy either! Fortunately, our recruiter Janice (and the rest of KPG team) did everything possible to help us out. They took great care of us and made the process as smooth as possible! All in all, I learned that things eventually work out. This experience made me change my attitude towards planning our lives and travel assignments.
Jeremy: I would say learning the culture of the unit, coworker’s names/personalities and remembering all the new passwords. All this with two days of “training.”
How many more assignments did you complete?
Alina: Our first assignment was in Los Angeles. I was at CHLA and Jeremy was at Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City. We both liked our hospitals and medical teams that we started working with. We both fell in love with the area where we were living (Silver Lake) and we decided to extend one month into our first assignment. We ended up staying in LA for six months total. After LA, we left for Russia to visit my motherland and to see my little sister get married.
Upon returning, we decided to go down to San Diego – the land of perpetually great weather, Mexican food, picturesque hiking, and a cornucopia of artisan breweries! I started at Rady Children’s Hospital, while Jeremy ended up at Rancho Springs Medical Center. We both liked it and extended. We did six months total. Again!
What were some of your favorite assignments?
Alina: We both, surprisingly, loved LA. Besides working with friendly nurses in good hospitals, we got to explore so much! We lived in Silver Lake, a little bubbly pocket of life in LA. Even Jeremy’s beard started growing faster to blend in better with other hipsters’ beards. We hiked the Hollywood sign on New Year’s Eve, visited Griffith observatory and even scored free tickets to Jimmy Kimmel’s show! My hospital, CHLA, was only five minutes away from our cute basement apartment. Jeremy and I decided to invest into bikes to cruise around the neighborhood, while I also decided to ride my bicycle to work.
My favorite musician, Moby, had just opened a restaurant in Silver Lake – I was so excited to go. I ran around Silver Lake reservoir all the time. I’m sure I might have several appearances in upcoming movies or series, as there were movies filming everyday! Luckily, I never had to experience real LA traffic on an everyday basis and was excruciatingly happy in Silver Lake.
What’s your favorite part of working in the healthcare industry?
Alina: I like that the healthcare industry offers secure jobs. There will always be hospitals that need nurses to take care of patients. I like that healthcare is not uniform. When we moved from the east coast to the west, I realized that not only did we change our geographical location, but also the way we practice as nurses. Medicine is so different across the country. Different hospitals have different rules, regulations, and protocols. I’m happy that KPG allowed me to see and experience it with my own eyes. It made me a better nurse.
Jeremy: I like taking care of people. Being a patient is a very vulnerable and scary situation. It feels good to make people feel better about the situation and less afraid.
Is it difficult that you both work in the healthcare industry? Why or why not?
Alina: I like that we share the same industry. Jeremy doesn’t have to explain to me that he needs sleep after a night shift. We can juggle our weird schedules easily and still find plenty of time to spend with each other. I feel like I learn so much from Jeremy, from his nursing practice to his medical knowledge. I’ve never worked with adults; I’m a pediatric emergency room nurse. I know nothing else, and Jeremy is definitely expanding my horizons of adult medicine. At times, nursing and medicine takes over our lives, so we decided to institute certain rules. For example, we’re not allowed to talk about work during dinner time.
Jeremy: It can be challenging to be in a relationship with someone who works in the same field, but it also has its benefits. We both have a passion for learning and enjoy the dynamic field of medicine, however it’s very easy to take work home with us. This can result in a steady stream of nurse talk, but we are happy – I wouldn’t change a thing.
What makes working with KPG different?
Alina: I’ve never worked with another travel company, so I don’t have much to compare it to. However, nurses talk and I’ve heard lots of horror stories from fellow travelers. My housing is awful… I didn’t get the shift that I was promised… my scheduled start date has changed… my paycheck is missing… I never got paid that bonus shift that I worked. We’ve never experienced these things. We were always taken care of. Janice, our recruiter, always made me feel that we were enveloped in the softest and warmest safety blanket. She always responded to my emails promptly and returned my texts on time. She and the rest of the KPG team were always able to arrange for necessary health screenings in a timely fashion. We also are proud to say that Janice not only became the best recruiter in our area – she’s our friend. We can’t thank this company enough. To all the nurses eager to travel and have fun, we recommend KPG!
Travel nursing makes a difference in countless lives, including the nurse doing all the traveling! A great way to explore with friends, colleagues – or even significant others like Jeremy and Alina – go on the perfect adventure with help from KPG!