As I’m approaching the end of my contract, my recruiters are checking in more frequently and sending potential assignments. To date the most annoying aspect of my travel nursing experience is my limited specialty, which is nobody’s fault it’s just the way it is. When I visit company sites I see 15 – 40 options available for Endoscopy Nurses, compared to the 100 plus destinations for more demanding positions like OR or PACU. The assignments are usually close to a big city or in towns in with less diversity.
With this being said, I am extremely adamant on my next assignment being in NYC (preferably Manhattan or even Brooklyn) or Washington DC. After my experience in Worcester, I am sticking to my guns traveling to big cities. I don’t want to be near the big city, I want to be in the big city. I want cities where there is diversity in the workplace. My Dad was actually the first to express concerns of racism in New England, but I still gave it a try.
On my current unit, there aren’t any nurses of color on staff. Not a one out of twenty five nurses. From what I’ve seen, none of them are prejudice and were supportive and disappointed when I had an encounter with a racist patient. This patient was obviously not used to seeing a melanated health care professional in charge of his care. This is exactly why representation matters and isn’t just specific to our younger generation.
All of my recruiters mean well, but I am so tired of repeating myself about what I want. As a result I have definitely been more blunt with my responses. One recruiter sent me a position in Massachusetts to my response being “I never want to visit New England again!” Which was harsh and required some cleaning up considering he was from the area. I even explained to another recruiter my reservations of traveling to cities with low African American population because racism still exists. I find once I connect my no to a harsh reality I am usually not bothered with assignments for that area again.
I was open to starting in Massachusetts strictly to gain travel experience; it was a sacrifice. Now I don’t have to deal with the extra pressure from recruiters suggesting smaller towns as a first assignment. When I say no, I can once again draw on my experiences to emphasize why. The only thing more irritating than explaining myself is repeating myself.
I am hoping to start my next assignment around mid June, but if my destination becomes available at hospital with a great reputation for travelers I will definitely leave early. With any thing you have to be flexible, while I’m not going to anymore “small towns” I am flexible with my start date. I still have a per diem job at home and I will be working regardless. I just don’t want that stagnant feeling to resurface while waiting for one of my dream assignments.