October 2008: Ruth Ann Runyon, RN
For Ruth Ann Runyon, RN, travel nursing is all about the people you meet along the way. When asked why she traveled, she answered, “I find it interesting, I get to meet new people, see different things,” and proceeded to rattle off a list of nearly ten different places she’d seen during her assignment in Fredericksburg, VA. “The fall here is spectacular; the most beautiful I have ever seen. Or at least as best I can remember, I haven’t seen one for fifteen years!”
Ruth Ann has been traveling for two years with her retired husband, whom she affectionately refers to as her manager, and their shih tzu. “He makes life easy for me. I don’t have to worry about cooking or things like that, so we can enjoy our time when I’m off.” Between her friendly husband and the dog, Ruth Ann says they have met some wonderful people at their apartment complexes. “We just take the dog for a walk, stop and talk to strangers, and before you know it, we’re friends.”
Developing those friendships has become the most rewarding part of traveling for Ruth Ann. “I still have a couple of female travel nurses that I call and Email regularly,” she recalls. “I would recommend that a new traveler get to know the people he or she works with, and if there are other travelers around, hook up with them. My husband and I used to meet for breakfast with other travelers for ‘meetings’. It’s a great way to keep from feeling like you’re the only one out there.”
Of course, making friends can mean losing friends when one lives a traveler’s life. “Leaving is the hardest part about traveling.” Fortunately, Ruth Ann has always made good friends wherever she went. Having worked at Sarasota Memorial on two separate assignments (not extensions) her coworkers threw her a going away party both times she left. “It makes you feel good that people appreciate you coming, and going, both times. They were very supportive.”
When asked about how Ruth Ann came to Travel Nurse Across America, she indicated that this is the only company she has ever traveled with. “My manager picked it. He thought it was the best, and I’m still hearing from other people that it is. You’ve always been good to me and treated me fairly.” She also said that thanks to her husband, she never gets lost—he’s her chauffer, too. Sounds like we could all use a good MANager like Mr. Runyon in our lives!