August 11, 2017, I left for my first assignment as a travel nurse. I have now been in West Virginia for about one month and I just wanted to share a bit about how my experience has been so far.
One of the most common questions I have received is, “why West Virginia?” Well let me just take a minute to explain how this whole travel nurse thing works. You are hired through an agency and have a recruiter who helps get you your assignments. They help you find positions that fit your credentials and experience and submit you to those jobs. You are usually submitted to around five different jobs. Then it is the waiting game where you wait and see which hospital is going to contact you for an interview and then you accept the position. So with that being said, I was submitted to several different hospitals and I heard back from the one out in West Virginia first so I accepted the position and that is how I ended up out here.
I was so excited to come out east since I have never been out east (beside Florida) and wanted to head in a direction I have not been in before. But I was warned so many times before coming here that there was nothing to do in West Virginia, that it was all hillbillies who do not have any teeth, and that their hospitals were probably not very advanced. Honestly, people were both right and wrong about this state. There is a lot more to do in this state than people thought, but there are also hillbillies without teeth (so I guess they were right about that). I had never thought much about West Virginia before to be honest, but I have been amazed since being out here. Not only is it a beautiful state, but everyone here is also so nice and welcoming. You can be in the grocery story, or the elevator, or wherever and someone starts talking to you. West Virginia definitely has some great hospitality.
West Virginia is such a beautiful state! It is called the Mountain State for a specific reason…there is a lot of mountains. The Appalachian Mountains go straight through the state. Charleston is located in the southern part of the state and is a city in the valley surrounded by mountains; this is how most of the cities are designed/located in West Virginia – in a valley. I live in a community, Eagle View Apartments, that is located up on the hills and overlooks Charleston. You can see both the capitol from one end and across the Kanawha River on the other end (pictured above). My rent might be a little more expensive than I was planning on spending, but honestly after seeing the rest of Charleston I am glad that I am living where I am – it is both safe and has a gorgeous view. Charleston is a neat town, the people are friendly, it is located right on the river and once again there is more to do than I thought; however, just like any city there are some rundown areas and places that are not as safe to be, so it feels good to be living in such safe community.
My recruiter asked me if I would like to have a roommate as there was another girl from my agency looking for a roommate. I agreed to live with her and honestly I am so glad that I did. She is super outgoing and has been fun to run around and explore West Virginia with. We both admitted that we were nervous that the other was going to be weird, but thankfully we both get along great (or maybe we are just both weird and that is why we get along). Our first three days of work were orientation days where we were with other travel nurses. West Virginia is a place where they send first time travelers or newer nurses in general. Due to that reason, there were a lot of younger nurses in our orientation group. Through our days of orientation we became friends with the other travelers. It seemed every day after orientation Hannah (my roommate) and I would be like “we just made more friends!”
So all-in-all it has been a fabulous experience so far and that is how I got to West Virginia and where I am right now. I will be sharing in later posts some of the activities I have done and some of the places I have been. But right now, it’s off to work I go!