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The Life of a Travel Nurse – Jeremy & Alina

Behind The Benefits of Being A Travel Nurse: Jeremy & Alina

Imagine if you could go around the country, exploring different destinations and meeting new people, while getting paid and making a real impact. Welcome to the world of being a travel nurse! It’s safe to say that travel nurses get to live the dream – and they’re in high demand. With great pay and bonuses, accommodated housing, and more freedom, this career has been giving nurses the opportunity to experience top facilities for the past four decades!

We had the chance to sit down and chat with two KPG nurses on what brought them down the path of becoming travel nurses and how they fell in love with the work, and each other! Read Jeremy and Alina’s beautiful story below!

What initially drew you to travel nursing?

Alina: We knew that we wanted to move to the West Coast, but wanted to explore different areas. Since we are both nurses, travel nursing was an optimal choice for us. We could still travel, investigate various areas of California, have fun, and still have a great income.

Jeremy: Working as a traveler allows for a good introduction to both a city/area and the potential hospital/unit. If it isn’t a right fit, one can simply finish the contract and relocate.    

How did the two of you meet?

Jeremy: We met while working as staff nurses in the Emergency Dept at INOVA Fairfax Medical Campus. She worked in the Pediatric ED and I worked in the Adult ED. It took me a while to ask her out, but thanks to free movie tickets courtesy of Nurse’s Week, I took the chance and did it.

What was your biggest stressor throughout the travel assignment process? How did you overcome it?

Alina: As a female, I love having my ducks in a row. I always plan way ahead of time. Thus, travel assignments were stressful for me, when it came to arranging them, as everything is done last minute. This doesn’t happen because our amazing recruiter wasn’t doing her job properly – it happens because of the hospital. They don’t know if they’re gonna need nurses in three months, they only know if they are in need now. It was definitely challenging finding lodging promptly and in a desirable area. It was hard moving states on such short notice. Finding kitty cat daycare isn’t easy either! Fortunately, our recruiter Janice (and the rest of KPG team) did everything possible to help us out. They took great care of us and made the process as smooth as possible! All in all, I learned that things eventually work out. This experience made me change my attitude towards planning our lives and travel assignments.

Jeremy:  I would say learning the culture of the unit, coworker’s names/personalities and remembering all the new passwords. All this with two days of “training.”

How many more assignments did you complete?

Alina: Our first assignment was in Los Angeles. I was at CHLA and Jeremy was at Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City. We both liked our hospitals and medical teams that we started working with. We both fell in love with the area where we were living (Silver Lake) and we decided to extend one month into our first assignment. We ended up staying in LA for six months total. After LA, we left for Russia to visit my motherland and to see my little sister get married.

Upon returning, we decided to go down to San Diego – the land of perpetually great weather, Mexican food, picturesque hiking, and a cornucopia of artisan breweries! I started at Rady Children’s Hospital, while Jeremy ended up at Rancho Springs Medical Center. We both liked it and extended. We did six months total. Again!

What were some of your favorite assignments?

Alina: We both, surprisingly, loved LA. Besides working with friendly nurses in good hospitals, we got to explore so much! We lived in Silver Lake, a little bubbly pocket of life in LA. Even Jeremy’s beard started growing faster to blend in better with other hipsters’ beards. We hiked the Hollywood sign on New Year’s Eve, visited Griffith observatory and even scored free tickets to Jimmy Kimmel’s show! My hospital, CHLA, was only five minutes away from our cute basement apartment. Jeremy and I decided to invest into bikes to cruise around the neighborhood, while I also decided to ride my bicycle to work.

My favorite musician, Moby, had just opened a restaurant in Silver Lake – I was so excited to go. I ran around Silver Lake reservoir all the time. I’m sure I might have several appearances in upcoming movies or series, as there were movies filming everyday! Luckily, I never had to experience real LA traffic on an everyday basis and was excruciatingly happy in Silver Lake.

What’s your favorite part of working in the healthcare industry?

Alina: I like that the healthcare industry offers secure jobs. There will always be hospitals that need nurses to take care of patients. I like that healthcare is not uniform. When we moved from the east coast to the west, I realized that not only did we change our geographical location, but also the way we practice as nurses. Medicine is so different across the country. Different hospitals have different rules, regulations, and protocols. I’m happy that KPG allowed me to see and experience it with my own eyes. It made me a better nurse.

Jeremy: I like taking care of people. Being a patient is a very vulnerable and scary situation. It feels good to make people feel better about the situation and less afraid.  

Is it difficult that you both work in the healthcare industry? Why or why not?

Alina: I like that we share the same industry. Jeremy doesn’t have to explain to me that he needs sleep after a night shift. We can juggle our weird schedules easily and still find plenty of time to spend with each other. I feel like I learn so much from Jeremy, from his nursing practice to his medical knowledge. I’ve never worked with adults; I’m a pediatric emergency room nurse. I know nothing else, and Jeremy is definitely expanding my horizons of adult medicine. At times, nursing and medicine takes over our lives, so we decided to institute certain rules. For example, we’re not allowed to talk about work during dinner time.

Jeremy:  It can be challenging to be in a relationship with someone who works in the same field, but it also has its benefits. We both have a passion for learning and enjoy the dynamic field of medicine, however it’s very easy to take work home with us. This can result in a steady stream of nurse talk, but we are happy – I wouldn’t change a thing.

What makes working with KPG different?

Alina: I’ve never worked with another travel company, so I don’t have much to compare it to. However, nurses talk and I’ve heard lots of horror stories from fellow travelers. My housing is awful… I didn’t get the shift that I was promised… my scheduled start date has changed… my paycheck is missing… I never got paid that bonus shift that I worked.  We’ve never experienced these things. We were always taken care of. Janice, our recruiter, always made me feel that we were enveloped in the softest and warmest safety blanket. She always responded to my emails promptly and returned my texts on time. She and the rest of the KPG team were always able to arrange for necessary health screenings in a timely fashion. We also are proud to say that Janice not only became the best recruiter in our area – she’s our friend. We can’t thank this company enough. To all the nurses eager to travel and have fun, we recommend KPG!

Travel nursing makes a difference in countless lives, including the nurse doing all the traveling! A great way to explore with friends, colleagues – or even significant others like Jeremy and Alina – go on the perfect adventure with help from KPG!

 

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Explore San Diego on Assignment with KPG Healthcare

On assignment in San Diego? Check Out These 8 Exciting Places To Explore!

Are you a healthcare professional considering your next move? The perks of travel nursing, locum tenens and per diem are plenty – competitive wages, exploring new settings, and sometimes even paid housing. It’s a great way to save money, focus on important work, and enjoy discovering new cities. Setting off to San Diego? This sunny location wins out in great food, grand views, and beautiful beaches! The perfect location to reside as a traveling professional, this SoCal town is ranked one of the happiest cities in the nation.

If you’re searching for some fun activities and places to explore on the weekends, check out this list of the coolest spots in sunny San Diego!

San Diego Zoo

Whether you’re a fan of giraffes or elephants, discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters and interactive experiences at the infamous San Diego Zoo. Founded in 1916, this gigantic zoo has been around for more than 100 years and has been a leader in animal care and conservation since. This remarkable zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience and an absolute must see for both locals and tourists.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

Located right by the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park is a must see. Noted as one of the most popular urban parks in the United States, this beautiful sanctuary is packed with an array of attractions throughout, including a carousel, miniature train, Cabrillo bridge, Sefton plaza, the Spanish Village art center, and much more.

La Jolla Cove

The coves are an exquisite combination of a fun beach atmosphere and a relaxing, calm ecological preserve. It is one of San Diego’s most desirable spots for swimming, diving and snorkeling. Explore its sea caves and sea life, such as the coral, sea lions, stingrays and seals or have fun on the beach and soak up the sun while you tan and enjoy the day!

Torrey Pines Natural Reserve

San Diego has a few natural preserves. One of the most widely toured parks is the Torrey Pines natural reserve. It consists of 2,000 acres of coastal state park located in the community of La Jolla off North Torrey Pines Road. Whether you decide to take a hike through it, enjoy a nice stroll, or a steady bike ride, there will be miles of beautiful beaches, elegant trees, and many different birds and park life.

Boat Tours on the Harbor

Enjoy the fantastic view of San Diego’s skyline and sea life by taking a boat tour from right in its harbor! This will give you the perfect outing and overall experience of all the major sites of the cities.

Pacific Beach

Walk the beach, check out Belmont park filled with fair-like activities and rides, and cruise on the boardwalk! Pacific Beach is always packed with a lively crowd, night or day. During the day, this stylish surf town is filled with fun water activities and when the lights go down, the nightlife turns up. Walk down Garnet Avenue and discover the different bars that make up Pacific Beach!

Petco Park

A baseball park located in the downtown area of San Diego, Petco Park doesn’t just hold baseball games. There are year round concerts and events like beer fests, monster jam, and much more! The fun at Petco Park doesn’t just stop there! There are lots of conventions and activities like segway tours, mobile massages and city cruisers waiting for you just outside.

Sunset Cliffs

Whether you do a daytime or afternoon trip, Sunset Cliffs has a wonderful view of the San Diego bay, downtown, and Coronado bridge and to top it all off, there’s an endless amount of of tasty food. Just make sure that if you are planning to go in the afternoon, you stay to watch the sunset – you won’t regret it.

Whether you spend 8 days or 8 weeks in San Diego, experience all that this beachy town has to offer when you’re traveling to different locations!

KPG Healthcare is proud to be your go-to source for healthcare opportunities in the West, specializing in California. Whether you’re interested in travel nursing, per diem, allied, locum tenens or permanent placement, KPG Healthcare is your trusted partner for high quality, rewarding career opportunities. Contact us today!

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4 Best West Coast Road Trips

4 Best West Coast Road Trips for Your Weekend Getaway

 

One of the many things that you’ll love about being a traveling health professional is taking the time to explore new locations as you move to and from new assignments. You just can’t beat getting paid to work in the beautiful West Coast while you do some serious sightseeing. Whether you’re looking to make the most of traveling to and from an assignment or have an upcoming weekend free to explore, here’s a guide of the best road trips on the West Coast!

 

Pacific Coast Highway

Also known as Highway 1, is it one of America’s most beloved driving destinations, as there are very few routes like this one. Running for 550 miles, Highway 1 stretches along most of California’s coastline. Driving down the coastline means hours of overlooking the Pacific and its ocean views, beaches, attractions and discovering what The Golden State is all about. Give this road trip a minimum of three days.

Make your way from northern San Francisco to San Diego, or vice versa. Some popular places to stop along the way include Silicon Valley in San Jose, the popular beaches of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Santa Barbara, Bixby Bridge and Big Sur’s breathtaking views, explore wine country and much more! Make a stop in Hollywood and some natural parks along the way – you won’t regret it!

 

Highway 395

This is one of the west coast’s (and world’s) most traveled highways. It goes through a wide range of locations mainly in California, such as the dry Mojave desert to the high Sierra Nevada and White Mountains to the marvelous Sequoia in redwoods and the highest point in California, the famous Mt. Whitney to the widely explored Yosemite and majestic Lake Tahoe.

With such a varied landscape throughout its journey, you will have plenty to see and experience. Haunt your way through plenty of ghost towns and reminisce back to California’s Gold Rush era! With an abundance of natural landscape, and even some old artwork and development going on in the state, you won’t run out of beautiful things to discover. There is plenty to see of the western life and its recreation such as fishing, boating, hiking, skiing & snowboarding year round that you can even try if time allows!

Highway 101: Oregon to the California Border

This highway winds down the entire Oregon coast, from the Columbia River to the California border. Along the way it passes through the scenic Oswald West state Park, perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, bird watching and camping, to the popular city destinations such as Portland. Tillamook and Lincoln County will also be along the way. Do you love cheese more than most people? You’re in luck – Tillamook is the home of the popular tourist attraction Tillamook Cheese factory!

Highway 101: From Washington’s Capitol to Shores

A twisty and mostly two-lane road, this trip will take you everywhere from the honorable State Capitol to its beautiful western shores. Pass through tiny villages and don’t forget to pull over for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and a quick snack of oysters, clams and delicious seafood! You will also get the opportunity to visit the city of Forks and the Forks Timber Museum-and detour along Upper Hoh road to one of four temperate rain forests in the peninsula.

Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton is a prime place to make a pitstop and enjoy the region’s specialty, geoduck as well as some seafood. Pass through farms with llamas, yaks, bears and more. Visit Port Angeles nestled up in the Olympic Mountains, and if you have an extra day, explore the Olympic National Park, a World Heritage site and spectacular Hurricane ridge.

KPG Healthcare is proud to be your go-to source for healthcare opportunities in the West, specializing in California. Whether you’re interested in travel nursing, per diem, allied, locum tenens or permanent placement, KPG Healthcare is your trusted partner for high quality, rewarding career opportunities. Contact us today!

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