June 3, 2010

June 2010: Annemarie Murray, RN

Adventurous, that’s how people describe me. I’ve been a registered nurse for 31 years with over 13 of those dedicated to travel nursing. I temporarily interrupted my travel nurse career for five years while I worked as a dive instructor in Mexico followed by a job as a Life Flight nurse for a Mexican Life Flight company. I guess people are right, I truly am adventurous!

I guess you can say I have the ideal life. After years as a Nurse Manager of a busy ICU, I decided I needed to place a different focus on my career and balance work with my personal life. I wanted more enjoyment from my job and my life outside of work. After considering my options, I decided life as a travel nurse was the most flexible and the best fit for me. It didn’t take long to convince my husband; he jumped at the opportunity to travel with me and see the United States.

My first travel nurse job was in Miami in a Cuban Hospital, that’s where I learned to speak Spanish! Chicago was also one of my early travel jobs. We were there in the winter, and my husband had never seen snow. He was so excited! After that, when my Mom fell terminally ill I was blessed to get an assignment in my home state of Connecticut. It was so wonderful to be there with her at the end of her life. Then, when I wanted a travel nurse job in South Carolina where my nephew was enrolled in The Citadel, I got it! He played football and we truly enjoyed those Bulldog football games. Family is so important to me.

I think the most interesting place I’ve visited is New Orleans, but I have to say my favorite place to work is Bakersfield, CA. I love my co-workers and the pace is never dull. I am honored to work with them. I’ve made many new friends over the years by staying upbeat and helpful. I also think I’m a good listener and have a good sense of humor. Humor always helps you connect with other people. I stay in touch with family and friends through frequent email messages, photos and updates on Facebook and telephone calls. Of course, everyone wants to visit us in Mexico!

In my time off from work I like to explore the area. My husband and I go sightseeing, shopping, and to meet friends for dinner or drinks. We also take long drives and shoot photos to capture the memories of each place we visit. I always make new friends when I travel and I stay in touch with the many friends I’ve made over the years. My husband and dogs travel with me so there is no way I could get lonely.

The best thing about travel nursing is the adventure, meeting new people and the opportunity to learn different ways of doing things. You never get “stuck in a rut”. There is always something you can learn from each travel nurse job.

Driving back and forth to Mexico has allowed us to see more of the Mexican countryside as well as much of the United States. We’ve worked out a system for splitting our time between the two countries and it is effortless for us. When I return from six (6) months of family, friends, sun and fun in Mexico, I am rested and eager to go to work with a smile on my face.

Travel Nurse Across America has never raised a concern about working with me in a foreign country. They make my phone interview, paper work and all of the preparation for an assignment so easy. I travel with Travel Nurse Across America because the people really are great! I have traveled in the distant past with the “Biggies” but TNAA is so personal and the people are like family to me. They are my good buddies and make everything so easy. You really have to consider these qualities when choosing a travel nurse staffing company; they make a big difference in your assignment.

If you asked for my advice, I would say, “Enjoy your life and your career. When you can’t walk into work smiling, it’s time to reevaluate your life!”