January 2005: Nikkole Kantola, RN
I have been a travel nurse for six months. I have always wanted to travel but didn’t have the right opportunity until recently. I began traveling to challenge myself. I felt as though I needed something different in my professional life. I wanted to see how differently, good or bad, other hospitals functioned. I wanted to validate all of my competencies and knowledge.
As a traveler, sometimes you are left feeling like an outsider. On my first assignment in Virginia, I didn’t know what type of reception I would receive. To my pleasant surprise, not only was I accepted as a fellow staff member but I was also made to feel as though I was a friend. I was only there thirteen weeks and multiple people had warned me of never being able to make friends in such a short time period. On the last day of my assignment, the staff surprised me with a going-away party. They made homemade treats, signed a card with their appreciation and even gave me gifts, including a pair of handmade earrings. I cannot explain to you how much that touched my heart. I left the assignment excited to meet my next group of friends.
I have two favorite parts of traveling with Travel Nurse Across America. First of all, the staff, especially my recruiter Donna, has been so helpful and considerate. I absolutely love to receive gifts out of the blue from the company such as the nice bag that I received this past week. I cannot express how much it means to me when Donna calls me just to “check on me.” Secondly, I love the experiences of travel nursing. I have gained much more knowledge and confidence in myself as a nurse. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. I enjoy going to work each day!