By Kerry Kelly-Cochrane, staff writer
Donna Nash, RN, decided to return to working as a traveling nurse after more than 20 years as a staff nurse.
If you want to know what travel nursing was like in the 1980s, ask Donna Nash, RN. Nash, a current medical-surgical and telemetry nurse with travel nurse staffing company, American Mobile Healthcare, took her first assignment in 1987. “I had been a nurse in Kentucky for about a year and I wanted something different. I looked at traveling as an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Being that traveling was new on the nursing scene, Nash did not know what to expect. “I called every agency.” After speaking with one of the original recruiters of American Mobile Healthcare, Nash felt that she had found her agency. “My recruiter made me feel taken care of, like I was part of the family.” She highlighted this by describing how her recruiter met her at the airport for her first assignment in Las Vegas, Nevada, and personally took her to the apartment that she would call home for the next 13 weeks.
Donna Nash, RN, now travels from one assignment to the next with her husband in their RV.
After traveling for three years to places like Hawaii, Colorado and Alaska, Nash fell in love and decided to take a break from traveling. Nearly 20 years passed before she packed her bags for another assignment. “My husband retired in December 2008 and I couldn’t wait to get back out there.” With her husband in tow and the RV packed, Nash called American Mobile Healthcare to get her on the road again.
Although the company had grown and her recruiter had changed, Nash still felt like she received the personal attention that drew her to American Mobile in the first place. “While driving out to San Jose, California, my assignment was cancelled. My recruiter, Heather Murray, had already found me another assignment and a list of RV parks in the area before I even had time to worry,” she recalled.
Nash hopes to take her next assignment in Washington state and encourages all nurses to consider traveling. “As a travel nurse, you get to experience the excitement of exploring the country. You also get to learn—learn new skills and learn about people.”
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