Why I Became a Travel Nurse and How Covid Changed Everything

Travel + Leisure's first-ever podcast, Let's Go Together, is back and we're excited to keep rolling out our second season of the show, which was nominated last year for an iHeartRadio Podcast Award. Last week we introduced you to Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston, Texas, and the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. In the first episode, Mayor Parker explained how Houston became one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. and why it should be on every traveler's must-visit list. 

This week, on the second episode of season 2, host and adventurer Kellee Edwards takes a look at the world of travel nursing, a job where registered nurses are stationed throughout the country over various contracts based on a variety of factors, including hospital demand and personal preference. For many travel nurses, 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic completely changed everything. From moving from hotspot to hotspot to dealing with lack of PPE, they saw it all.

To share what it's really like being a travel nurse, Deanna Wallace, an ICU nurse for over nine years, joins Edwards. Based in Atlanta and working as a travel nurse for the past five years, Wallace has spent time all over the country, including New York City and Los Angeles during the height of the pandemic. For Wallace, an avid traveler, travel nursing was a great way to explore the country while getting paid to do it. "You pack your bags and you head out and it's always an adventure wherever you go," she told Edwards. 

Over the course of the episode, Wallace shares the highs and lows of working as a traveling nurse, from exploring new cities and making new friends to dealing with the physical distance from family and difficulties of constantly learning new hospital systems with new doctors, coworkers, and structures. And of course, how, when the world found itself in the middle of a global pandemic, Wallace walked straight into the eye of the storm. "I just set out with a goal of 'I'm going to go here [and]  I'm going to do the best job that I can do to save who I can," she said. 

But of course, the best way to hear Wallace's experience is to listen to episode 2 of Let's Go Together on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Player.FM, and everywhere podcasts are available.

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