Ask a Traveler: Rachel Owens

Travel Nurse, Travel Nursing, PPR Travel Nursing


Yesterday a doctor sat down and questioned my reasons for being a Travel Nurse. He was genuinely curious as to why hospitals need them and my reasons for going where I am needed. The questions were ones I’ve answered over the years, yet as I’ve gotten further into it, they have become stronger & more evidence based.

Things I know about my job and why I do it:

First and foremost, I get to see this lovely country we live in! Three months is such a great amount of time to explore the area on days off, experience the culture there, the food, see if I like the hospital enough to want to stay, and my friends/family can come visit there if they’d like.

Second, it challenges me to be secure in me. I move at times/most times by myself to a new city where I know no one. I learn the area, meet people, adapt to a new hospital, and explore. I get to be comfortable handling situations myself. Yes, I still need help opening some jars and wish I had someone there, (girly fails) but I figure it out! It is hard at times but I’ve never felt more complete in me & it has helped me learn what that means I’d need in a counterpart. Also, those drives are really good for reflecting, praying, and lots of loud singing.

Third, I get to explore all while getting paid to do a job I love! I say that acknowledging that some days are harder than others, but it comes with the job. However, I can go home at the end of the day knowing I helped.

Fourth,  speaking of helping others, I get to do this in different states! That involves me growing to show grace and empathy to many different ethnicities, religions, and who knows what other crazy curveballs I’ve been thrown. It makes me grow as a person to learn about them & their traditions while trying to incorporate them.

Fifth, I learn new medical techniques, equipment, and get to see how other nurses handle situations. I may keep some ways I do things, but I am always growing and am not ashamed to use techniques I prefer better when I see them. I get to see new genetic issues, diseases, and learn new ways to treat my patients. I’ve grown as a nurse in my knowledge and hope to continue always.

Sixth, I have met people whom I adore. We share an amazing experience of helping save lives together and then they are kind enough to show me their home in their free time. I cherish every single one of them and wish so badly that I could drag them all together to make one AMAZING unit to work in.

And lastly…some of you may not grasp this but it’s something I’ve come to appreciate…God. I do it because I am being patient waiting on his plan for me. Heck, it may be right where I am! I love that no matter where I apply to for work that not every one of them needs me right then. Everything is in his hands and timing. I had to wait over a year to get to work in Charleston, & while there I got to help parents during a hurricane, I helped save lives, and could educate a few newer people on errors I’d noticed.

My assignment in Hawaii. I had wanted to be in Alaska for that assignment, but I got to grow closer to an amazing friend of mine and share the journey. In Phoenix, I met some of my favorite people, saved a toddler who had run away, and aided an elderly man who had cancer that everyone else passed by. In San Diego, I found another lost child who everyone walked by (apparently stranger danger doesn’t count with me) and reassessed an infant they’d advised the family to withdraw support on and now she is thriving at home with her family. I could keep going with little things that have impacted me, but all in all, I do this to see where I am needed & put my best into being there for those I can.

It’s hard leaving family and friends behind. I try my darnedest to make sure they all know I’m there if needed even if not in person. However, I have got to live this life to my fullest. I am trying to make the most out of all these amazing chapters I’ve been given. As for now…. being a travel nurse has impacted my life in amazing ways and I love it.