May 5, 2010

May 2010: Cynthia Downing, RN

I’ve been a Registered Nurse for four years. Then recently I had a life-changing event when my daughter decided to move back to Massachusetts, giving me a case of the ‘empty nest syndrome’. When my closest friend accepted a travel nurse assignment in San Diego, I became interested in travel nursing and decided to find out more about it. I submitted an application on Travel Nurse Across America’s website in March and in April I started my first assignment as a travel nurse in Denver.

I have to admit, at first I was a little scared when it came time to get ready for my first travel nursing job. But, Carlyn, my recruiter, Carla, in benefits, and Ashley, in housing, all made it very easy for me. I have an incredible support system with the staff at TNAA. In fact, I haven’t stopped smiling since I crossed the state line into Colorado. The apartment I live in is gorgeous. All I had to do when I arrived in Denver was unpack my car.

It’s amazing how everything is working out so beautifully. I love the hospital where I work; it is very well run and I find it interesting to discover how different hospitals function. The hospital is also located close to my apartment so getting to and from work is very convenient for me.

Initially, I had no desire to come to Denver, but Carlyn explained how this would be a good fit for me. So, I decided to try it, and I haven’t had any regrets. I’m making new friends here in Denver through work. Also, Ashley at TNAA introduced me to a former travel nurse, April, who lives in the same apartment complex I live in. I do miss my family and friends but I’ll see them all this summer. Meanwhile, I stay in touch with them by phone.

There are so many things to see and do in this area it’s hard to choose what I want to do first. In the short time I’ve been in Denver, I’ve been to the Garden of the Gods, the Denver Zoo, Manitou Springs (I love that place). This week I’m going to the Rocky Mountain National Park with a friend from work. If it ever gets warmer here, I plan to do some white water rafting and zip lining.

I brought my dogs, Ozzie and Chloe, with me to Denver. Ozzie had lived in Massachusetts for two years and was accustomed to playing in the snow. So when it snowed recently in Denver, he was so excited to see snow again and to play in it. We go walking three times a day and both Ozzie and Chloe enjoy it. I also took them hiking to the “Garden of the Gods”. They absolutely loved that trip and slept the whole ride home.

Traveling with Ozzie and Chloe is easy and pets are great company when you’re new to a city. The transition would have been more difficult, if I had not brought them with me. Also, I live in a pet friendly apartment complex with a dog path that goes all around the complex. So they get their exercise and so do I.

I found it easy to become a travel nurse with all the support and assistance I’ve received from the Travel Nurse Across America team. Carlyn, Ashley, Carla and others have been very supportive. Carla went above and beyond to answer my many questions. If she didn’t know, she would get an answer and get back to me within an hour. She’s awesome. I continue to keep up with what’s going on at TNAA through their Facebook Page.

This has been a dream, not one snag or glitch so far. I’m seeing places I probably never would have had the chance to see, and I look forward to future travel nurse assignments in lots of different places. I want to thank the TNAA team for holding my hand the first two weeks of my first travel nurse assignment. They made my transition easy and painless.