The Atlas Life

The Atlas Life #32 - Charlie Kuhn, Traveling ICU Nurse

On this week's episode of The Atlas Life, we meet with Charlie Kuhn, an ICU RN currently in Reno, Nevada.

Erin Bluml: Me and Charlie started working together back in 2016. She was a referral from another longtime nurse of mine, Michael Rodriguez. She was going to be new to traveling, and so had a lot of questions but was excited and has since been traveling since 2016 and has loved it. Charlie is from Indiana. She's quintessential all-American girl, and I really love working with her.

Erin Bluml: She just wanted to get out and explore what nursing had to offer in other roles. I mean, she was working at IU Health in a transplant ICU, so had a great basis there within that health system and just kind of wanted to get out and experience life outside of nursing and in new areas, but then also see what other new things she could learn in the medical field too.

Charlie Kuhn: Ever since I went to nursing school, I had heard about travel nursing, and I thought it was a really neat thing. I always wanted to do it. I was just always too scared. I finally mustered up the courage four years later, working as a nurse, to go ahead and make that plunge. So here I am.

Charlie Kuhn: First contract was September of 2016. I went to Amarillo, Texas. It was interesting. I didn't really know what to expect. I was scared. I heard it was a really good hospital, though, to have your first contract, that they were really traveler friendly. It was really good. It was a really good experience. I learned a lot.

Charlie Kuhn: Reno's been awesome. I've been here since April 23rd, and I had never been out to the West Coast before, but I absolutely love it. I'm in love with Lake Tahoe. I've been there at least four or five times now. There's mountains every time you drive out of your house. I have this mountain view every time I go to work, and I just love it. And the sunshine's nice. We'll see how winter is, but I'm here until February. But I absolutely love the West Coast. I'm in love, I think.

Charlie Kuhn: I'd have to say the best part of travel nursing is obviously the travel part of it. I get to experience things that most people probably don't get to in their lifetime. I get to experience different culture and just that whole travel experience. Probably the worst thing about travel nursing is being the new kid everywhere you go. That's kind of rough sometimes. Some people aren't always traveler friendly. You kind of adapt. You learn to make the best out of a situation.

Charlie Kuhn: I feel like I've had so many good experiences. It's hard to pick just one. I'm finding that where I'm at now is probably one of my best experiences, working for Renown in Reno. It's a super travel-friendly hospital. I've never been to a hospital yet, in my two years that I've been traveling, that are that supportive, especially with their travel nurses. So that's really great. So that's probably been my best hospital thus far.

Charlie Kuhn: I'm a big foodie, so everywhere I go I have to try ... I don't want to go to McDonald's. I have to try the local stuff. When I was in San Diego, I had some of their seafood out there, and it was really good. A lot of my favorite places are still in the New England area.

Charlie Kuhn: I think I'm going to try to get my California license and go out and do some contracts out in California. I think it will be my next step, but I kind of just go where the wind blows. Usually I feel like if I have a plan, it never happens. I'll be like, "Oh, I want to go here, Erin." And she'll submit me, and nothing will happen. Then she'll pitch a few things, like Reno. And it'll just come up, and I'm like, "Okay, let's go for it." So I kind of just go where the wind blows anymore, but I try to have a plan. But I'm thinking California. I'd like to stay on the West Coast a little longer.