Even before graduating from nursing school in 2009, Sharon Victoria-Cain, RN, knew she wanted to be a travel nurse.
The vivacious pediatric nurse went to work for a local children’s hospital in Louisiana immediately upon graduating in order to get the clinical experience needed to embark on a travel career.
As fate would have it, the hospital she was working at shut down in 2013, and it pushed her to take the next step and sign up with leading travel nurse staffing agency, NursesRx, an AMN Healthcare company.
After connecting with recruiter Stacy Johnson, Victoria-Cain secured her first travel nursing contract in Torrance, Calif.
It has been a great start to the career she had dreamed of, thanks in part to Johnson’s support.
“I love my recruiter. Stacy is real. She is genuine. She’s always straightforward and she always answers my questions. She cares about me and not just me, but she cares about my family and my husband.”
In fact, the chance to travel and share this experience with her husband, whom she refers to as her best friend, has made her travel nursing adventure especially rewarding.
“We wanted to come out to California because my husband had lived in San Diego a number of years ago and had a child who was born and raised here in California,” she said.
“Every other year we would come out to visit her and it had been several years since we had been here. This is a place we have always loved and we thought it would be a great place for my first assignment.”
Her assignment started this past November and will soon come to a close, but Victoria-Cain already has another contract lined up beginning in March in San Antonio, Texas.
“The hospital was not what I was used to but it was a great starter for a nurse getting into travel nursing,” she said. “As far as patient care, this was light, because I was used to taking on seven to eight patients while being charge nurse. And here the laws are a little bit different and you don’t take on more than four [patients].”
“I got a whole new perspective on nursing and what it should really be like. I learned a lot of tricks of the trade for traveling, the dos and the don’ts, and I got to see a lot of great cases. I also became more familiar with technology such as reading telemetry monitors and cardiac monitors. That’s a skill that I was very weak in before this assignment.”
Along with expanding her professional nursing scope and strengthening her skill set, Victoria-Cain’s first travel assignment has also allowed her to spend quality time with her husband. The duo spent the Christmas holiday together on a sunny beach and they frequently travel throughout the state on her days off. Some of their travel highlights have been the Mexican food and the world-famous zoo in San Diego, the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and beach picnics in Santa Barbara.
“Being able to travel with my best friend and bring my best friend with me is a definite plus,” she said. “Travel nursing can be a working vacation!”
In addition to working full time and enjoying the California culture with her husband, Victoria-Cain is finishing up her master’s degree in nurse education. “I have one class left and then I will be done,” she said proudly.
She is also looking forward to more adventures traveling with NursesRx.
“Traveling has made me more hungry for my profession,” she said. “It’s made me want to learn and grow even more and go and experience new places. I want to experience every aspect of pediatric nursing that I possibly can.”
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