Seeing the United States as a Traveling Nurse


By Jennifer Larson, contributor

Traveling nurse Megan Roberts met the Budweiser Clydesdales while on assignment in St. Louis.

Megan Roberts, RN, has a running list of cities and states that she keeps in her head.

New York City.

These are all places she’d like to visit on a future assignment as a travel nurse.

“I decided to travel so I could see the U.S.,” she said.

And, as a self-professed fan of the beach, she’d love another excuse to return to Florida and soak up some sun on her days off, too. She might just get that chance.

Working on her RN jobs wish list

Roberts, an emergency room nurse, began her travel nursing adventures in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She had worked as a nurse for five years and felt ready for an exciting new journey. She requested a hospital in Myrtle Beach for her first assignment because it was a familiar location, and she enjoyed the chance to visit with friends during her down time.

That’s one of the advantages of travel RN jobs: nurses have the opportunity to pick places they want to work--to be near friends or family, to work for a prestigious facility, or to simply cross some dream destinations off their bucket list. Traveling nurses can also take advantage of free housing, travel reimbursements, health insurance and a host of other benefits.

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Roberts also had friends in St. Louis, where she took a subsequent assignment. While there, she enjoyed her work and the chance to visit local attractions, including a local winery and the Anheuser-Busch brewery, where she got to meet the famous Clydesdale horses.

She is currently on assignment in Delaware with Onward Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company, and she’s already thinking ahead and keeping in touch with her recruiter about her next assignment.  After all, there are nearly endless possibilities in her quest to see more of the United States.

Starting anew every few months

Traveling to new places is fun and exciting, and yet it can also be challenging to start a new nursing job in a new place every few months, Roberts noted.

“You are walking into a new hospital, with new people, new policies and procedures, and it can be overwhelming,” she said.

She advises nurses who are contemplating the travel nursing experience to consider requesting a first assignment in a place that really appeals to them. That will help with the adjustment period and the transition to the traveling lifestyle. Roberts has learned that it can take a little patience while she gets acclimated to each new location and her travel RN jobs.

“I have also learned that you have to be flexible and a quick learner,” she noted. “You have to be independent and not scared to step out of your comfort zone.”

Making connections

Traveling nurses don’t always know what to expect when they start a new job, but Roberts has found that the staff members at each new hospital have been really interested in hearing about her experiences. Travelers are in a unique position to share best practices and experiences from other facilities, and she has been asked for her opinion on triage processes and patient care flow in many situations.

Roberts hopes to connect with a travel partner soon--a fellow nurse who would be willing to coordinate their assignments so they could travel together, share living quarters and even do some exploring on their days off.

In the meantime, while she’s working in Delaware, she’s planning to venture into New York City to sightsee and perhaps catch a Broadway play. Then she hopes to fit in one more travel nursing job before Christmas, which she plans to spend in her hometown of Greensboro, N.C.

After that, Roberts plans to hit the road again. So much to do, so much to see for this traveling ER nurse!

FIND travel nursing jobs in your specialty, or APPLY to get started with one of our staffing partners.

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