Meet Miranda: A Travel Nurse Who Brings Along Her Family
Name: Miranda Kay Booher RN
“Travel nursing is an absolute blast. I recommend any nurse who is considering the field to go for it. Possibilities are endless. Your license is valuable and you deserve to be compensated very well for the work that you do.”
Background: Miranda is a travel nurse who specializes in pediatrics, progressive care, telemetry, step-down, and cardiac care. As a 12-year nurse, Miranda spent the first four years of her career working in the hospital setting providing bedside care. For the next two years, she worked a variety of 13-week travel contracts (locally and out-of-state) and per diem nursing shifts.
All her experience on various software platforms at the different hospitals where she worked local contracts gave her an edge within the healthcare informatics field, and so she spent one year providing go-live support for hospital software implementation and training. For the past five years, she has worked remotely on the technical side of the nursing scene, specializing in healthcare marketing, copywriting, and she is currently the marketing director at Elite Specialty Staffing.
Why She Became a Nurse: Ever since she was a little girl, Miranda took deep satisfaction in helping others. When her grandmother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, came to live with her in her home at the age of 10, Miranda learned how fulfilling it can be to serve others. After helping her grandma out in the house for a few years, she started to consider trading in her aspirations to become a lawyer for a career in healthcare. As a teenager, Miranda had a close friend who worked as nursing assistant and, incidentally, helped inspire her to become a registered nurse.
“Around 16 or 17 years old, I began to consider becoming a nurse, but at that time, I still thought I would later pursue a career as a lawyer. My best friend worked at a nursing home, and I was always so intrigued by the stories she told me about her interactions with the residents there. One story always stuck with me. There was a resident at the nursing home with severe dementia who just adored my friend Charity, and thought she was her niece. Charity was always so sweet to the lady, so in her mind, she pictured her as a dear loved one she had, her niece, whose name was Angie. One day as Charity was walking into work, the elderly lady was trying to escape from the building! The staff was wrangling with her to keep her indoors. When she saw Charity down the hall she started shouting “Angie! Help me!” Charity ran to the rescue and came onto the scene telling them to get their hands off her and to stop harassing her. The woman instantly calmed down with her presence and she gracefully walked her back to her room. To me, that was powerful. I wanted that. I wanted to take care of people so well that they looked to me for their protection. To be an advocate for others. That story inspired me to become a nursing assistant first then later a registered nurse.”
As a presidential honors student, Miranda was given a full-ride scholarship at her local community college. She completed her registered nursing education in 2007 at the age of 21.
Professional Experience: Upon the successful completion of the NCLEX (which shut off at 75 questions BTW?), she applied for a position at the hospital adjacent to the nursing home where she worked. Initially, she planned to work only two years in the hospital setting to gain experience before picking up travel nursing contracts. “Ever since I decided I would become a nurse; traveling was always a part of the equation. Going into nursing I never would have guessed that I would have spent four years as a full-time Pediatric/Med-Surg nurse at a community hospital before I dove into the world of travel nursing.”
Travel Nursing Style: For a couple of years, Miranda worked at an agency picking up travel nursing contracts close to home. When it was time for an out of state contract, there was only one way to go for her. Living in her RV with her husband and son in Florida during the winter months was the perfect way to experience travel nursing. “I could never leave my family to go on an assignment. For us, nursing is a way that we can all spend more time together and experience new things as a family. Taking a couple of travel nursing assignments in Florida gave us the perfect opportunity to break in our RV and get a feel for life living on the road.”
Advice that Miranda Would Give Someone Considering Nursing:
“If you want to be a nurse, I highly recommend working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) first (if at all possible). In fact, some nursing schools now require this certification for acceptance into a nursing program. Classes are typically two to four weeks in length and many nursing homes provide paid-for training and testing. Those three years I worked as a nurses’s aide truly gave me a greater understanding of the basics and the skills that it takes to provide total care to patients to complete activities of daily living. After I became a nurse and started working in the hospital setting, I was surprised how often things we did as CNAs (i.e. brushing teeth before bed, repositioning Q2H, etc.) were skipped over by many of my nursing colleagues. No matter what type of medication you are giving the patient, or treatment you’re administering, if you’re not tending to their basic needs first, they won’t get better or feel better. Sometimes even something as simple as straightening out a wrinkle in a sheet for a patient can make all the difference in the world when it comes to their comfort level. Bottom line? Give bed baths. Rub lotion on feet. Perform oral care. Just don’t be so focused on the medical needs of your patients that you overlook their basic needs. If you’re too busy to get to these things, make sure you delegate accordingly. Likewise, when you have extra time, help out your nurse’s aides by answering call lights, taking patients to the restroom, filling ice pitchers, etc. CNAs provide the very foundation of care for patients and it’s important to be able to put yourself in their shoes. There’s no better way of doing this than by working as an aide yourself while you pursue your degree in nursing.”