Is Travel Nursing for You? Victoria Cook, Class of 2020 says, YES!
Children sometimes follow in the career paths of parents, but for Victoria Cook, a single mom in her late 40s, her inspiration came from her daughter, Alyssa, a 2017 (ADN)/2018 (RN-BSN) graduate of The Christ College. Watching her daughter flourish as a nurse hired directly out of our program at The Christ Hospital, Victoria saw the potential to pursue a similar career in serving others; but, while mom and daughter both found their calling as nurses, Victoria’s career would take a turn… quite literally across the country.
Victoria enrolled in our BSN program as non-traditional, adult learner, jumping head-first into her studies, and loving her classes. She soon found herself “Mom” of the “Mom Squad” after her Anatomy and Physiology professor, Dr. Zivkovic (affectionately called Dr. Z), invited students to “Find your people.” Victoria credits “her people” as the elixir to not only getting through school but preparing her for the road ahead. “Having people who supported each other through the challenges of nursing school with a healthy dose of competition made all the difference. A huge part of my nursing student journey was memorable because of them.”
Little did Victoria know how much her college experience, adaptability, and grit would prepare her for deeper challenges– a global pandemic no one could have predicted. Graduating May 2020 in an unprecedented drive-up commencement, Victoria would soon embrace nursing opportunities as staffing shortages escalated and travel nursing would become more commonplace. After working locally in med-surg for a year, Victoria took her career on the road, first to St. Louis, then to Indiana, Seattle, and most recently to Mesa. With each assignment, she stretched her knowledge base, expanded her professional circle, and deepened her understanding for differences… and explored the world!
Victoria tells us she was terrified at first, but soon learned how to navigate a variety of specialized units. From caring for patients with challenging transplants at St. Louis Barnes Jewish Hospital’s transplant floor, treating strokes and seizures on the Neurology floor in Indy, and working in Orthopedics in Seattle, she has valued the broad-spectrum experience. She admits, “There were tearful moments and a huge learning curve, but once I made my mind to go, I wasn’t going to quit.”
Often seen on social media smiling with her newfound friends, fellow nurses, or hiking in many of our beautiful national parks, Victoria boasts, “Travel nursing has allowed me to see so much more of the country, learning how to adapt to new places, personalities, moves, work environments, healthcare systems and their protocols. It’s not for everyone, but if you are considering it, it will grow your adaptability and understanding on every level, and because of this, I am more aware and observant. It has positively changed me as a person.”
While Victoria had a few weeks “home” in Cincinnati before her next adventure, she reconnected with some of her college friends and professors, and of course, her RN daughter. Moving on to her next chapter in Arizona, we wish Victoria the best as she continues to grow in her profession Summo Commisso Missi, or as we say, “On Highest Mission Sent.”