Lehi chose to be a travel nurse for all the right reasons: adventure, knowledge and finding a place to settle down and call home. She shares her story about making her dreams come true and offers some great advice for travelers.
Pediatric ICU, Pediatrics
Total years as a nurse?
Total years as a traveler?
Do you travel with a significant other? Children? Other family? Pets?
I'm traveling alone. I do not have a pet, but have been contemplating on getting a dog as of recently.
What made you decide to pursue a career as a traveling nurse?
I've always wanted to do travel nursing since the first time I heard about it from a nursing instructor at the beginning of my LVN program years ago. Her stories were inspiring and adventurous. I wanted to experience living in different places as well and work when and where I wanted to.
And since I enjoy traveling on my own already to visit friends and go sight seeing, I figured I should really get paid to travel - which travel nursing gives me the best of both worlds! 🙂
How did your family react to the news of your plans to travel? How did you handle this?
My family were supportive but concerned for me at the same time. They've known that I've always wanted to get out of California, always seeking to live elsewhere but had no clue exactly where... and when the day finally came for me to really move out of state, I think it made them all happy and proud to see me actively making my dream come true. I had to focus on what it was that I needed to do for myself to make me happy even though they were scared for me; of what I was getting myself into when I already was doing well back home, living on my own with two good paying hospital jobs. But life is about taking chances, right?
What was your biggest fear when you first started traveling or considered traveling? Looking back, were those fears justified?
My own personal doubts about my nursing skills... how I'm expected to be able to hit the ground running. I was scared, but I knew I can do it. I wanted the challenge. I want to learn. I wanted to see different nursing practices at different hospitals.
I worried about making less money, what happens if an assignment gets canceled. Where will I go after? Will I miss my family? Will the nurses be mean to me?
Looking back, I came to realize that I really do know more than I thought I did and that travel nursing is worth more than worrying about having a lesser income. It's a lifetime experience for young single individuals!
What were you most excited about?
No politics. No ties. The freedom to start fresh. Meet people. See what else this country has to offer.
Which company do you currently travel with? Why did you decide to go with them?
I'm currently with RN Network. I chose them because of their day 1 benefits package and my recruiter was able to find me my first assignment when I really needed it the most.
What do you love most about travel nursing?
Being able to explore and experience each new city in a different perspective unless you live there.
What do you find to be the hardest part about traveling?
Packing and unpacking! Not only packing things into suitcases, but also having to play tetris with your belongings and your car. Finding housing can be stressful at times. Taxes time. Missing family, friends, "home."
What’s your main goal for traveling? Adventure? Gaining knowledge? Looking for a place to settle?
All three, but when it comes down to it, I am looking for a place to settle. I want to buy a house somewhere with big front and back yards. CA is too expensive and doesn't have that anymore.
What’s one piece of advice you would pass along to a new traveler or someone considering traveling?
Do your research! Sometimes, the places you don't want to go to turns out to be one of the greatest places you'll ever experience. Be open and flexible.
Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
You can follow Lehi along her journey on her blog
We would love to hear your travel nursing story! If you are up to the challenge, you can easily submit your story online. Whether you are just getting started as a traveler or have traveled for several years, your story could inspire others and help them decide if travel nursing is right for them. Thanks!