How I Became a Travel Nurse

By Sibyl Vinas Meza
@sibsrn

I’ve been asked a million and one questions about travel nursing, but this is the first time asked to tell the story of how it all started.

I was in my fifth year of my nursing, with two years of Med Surg experience and three of Labor & Delivery. I moved up the ranks at my staff job and took on new roles like triage nurse, CUSP leader and “covid triage”. Covid triage meant being in charge of the new bio-contained areas of my unit. On paper it all looked impressive, but I was struggling.

Outside of work, I was the only healthcare worker in my family. The separation from my boyfriend, who lives in Canada, left me feeling incredibly isolated. If a long distance relationship wasn’t hard enough, I got to add a pandemic for good measure. I needed my support circle more than ever, but I felt incredibly guilty exposing them when we had more questions than answers about covid.

Navigating COVID

At work things weren’t much better. Staff morale was low. We rationed PPE, learned to rapid test, and navigated (the ever-changing) visitor policies. We worked hard to lift the spirits of birthing parents that were terrified to be in the hospital (often alone).

I grew angrier by the day due to the lack of prompt response from our higher-ups, lack of hazard pay and disregard for us so called “heroes”. The expectations of my role reached an all time high. I began thinking: if I’m going to get treated like this, I might as well get paid more. A thought that many nurses have before taking the step to travel.

Finding a Travel Nurse Inspiration

It was around this time that I started making Tiktok content. It was the only shred of fun I had in the middle of the mess I called life. I started sharing jokes and thoughts on nursing issues. Amazed to see how many of us were going through the same problems. It was there that I came across Anna aka @reesesrn and watched her travel nurse content. It filled me with inspirations of the possibilities, the pay, and time off!

I didn’t know it yet, but I had made up my mind before she even DM’d me. She figured out that we both trained at the same Baltimore hospital. We immediately hit it off. We talked about EVERYTHING we had gone through. She also gave me a few agency recommendations that kickstarted my travel nurse journey. Anna is a kindred spirit, and one of my biggest supporters when I switch from staff to a travel position.

A Year Later…

I’m happy to now call her a friend, and I’ll never forget her help during that time. Through my research and endless conversations with Anna, I decided that Travel Nursing wouldn’t eliminate my issues with nursing. What it would do, is give me control of my time and open the door to more opportunities. That was enough for me!

I finished my staff career working overnight into New Year’s day and on January 3, 2021 I started my first travel assignment. As I write this a year later, I can honestly say, no regrets.

 

Follow my journey through Tiktok @sibsrn and Instagram @sibylestefania. You can also find Anna @reesesrn

 

 

Edits by Claire Lang

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3 thoughts on “How I Became a Travel Nurse”

  1. Whats travel nurse? Thinking about change careers and been looking more and more into nursing – pls lmk

    1. A travel nurse is someone with nursing experience who get’s paid to do short term contracts in different hospitals around the country!

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