The Atlas Life

The Atlas Life #35 - Courtney Swisher, Traveling PICU Nurse

On this week's episode of The Atlas Life, we meet with PICU travel nurse, Courtney Swisher. Courtney is the true definition of a traveler. She just finished an assignment in California and will be heading all over the world for the remainder of the year! Learn more about her in today's video.

Braden Boex: I met Courtney in a different way than most of the travelers that I work with. Courtney was working with another recruiter of ours at Atlas that took another opportunity that wasn't with Atlas. And so Courtney still needed somebody from Atlas to take care of her. And so I was given her name and her number and go for it. Right off the bat she was super friendly. She was super accommodating to the transition. And we really started to kind of hit it off right from the start. Like it was a great start to this relationship. So the best thing about Courtney that I have seen is that she's a traveling nurse with Atlas, you know, so she goes to these different assignments all over the country. Which is, I think, a really cool thing. And it's one of my favorite things about working with traveling nurses.

Braden Boex: But over and above that, Courtney is like a traveling travel nurse. In our first phone call, she told me, "Hey, I'm going to take a couple months off at the end of this assignment," because she's going to like four different countries to do studying for leisure and then to volunteer in two different countries, third world countries, as like a volunteer nurse. And so she's going like all over the world as a nurse and giving back and helping and like she's really living that travel lifestyle that I think is super cool.

Braden Boex: Today, I don't know when this is going to air, but today is Courtney's birthday. And so Courtney, happy birthday!

Courtney S.: My name is Courtney Swisher, I'm a PICU traveler. And I was introduced to Atlas by a friend who had a really, really awesome experience with her recruiter. And then I started with that recruiter, but then I recently got to meet Braden and we've really, really hit it off and I love, love working with them.

Courtney S.: So I first heard about travel nursing in nursing school, like I think a lot of travelers did. And I enjoyed the learning environment of my first staff job, but I knew for sure that when I got into nursing I wanted to travel and see the country. Because I have such a nontraditional schedule, it allows me to take six months of time off to do a surgical trip and go on vacation and see my family and I have absolutely loved that.

Courtney S.: So my absolute favorite part of travel nursing is getting to meet other travelers. I have done some awesome trips with other travelers. I went to South America and did Bolivia with a friend. I went to Southeast Asia with another Atlas traveler. Those friendships, I really hope will last me a lifetime, because I've met some incredible people that I truly, truly love.

Courtney S.: I would say the hardest part of traveling for me has been when I'm starting to negotiate a contract and I'm not sure, am I really getting the best deal? Am I having the wool pulled over my eyes? But I absolutely can not thank Braden enough. I found out that winter rates had gone into effect for my contract and it wasn't in my contract personally. And he in 24 hours ... not even 24, I think it was 12 hours. Got me the last two weeks of my contract at that rate. And I was like, "Oh, my gosh! I can't believe he did that." That was just so exciting to me. And I'll probably be a Braden fan for the rest of my travel career now.

Courtney S.: So the next thing up for me, since I just finished my contract yesterday morning is tonight I'm leaving for a weekend trip to New York City to see my boyfriend and celebrate my 30th birthday! Woohoo! And after New York, I am flying to Guatemala to a medical trip for about 10 days. As soon as I come back from that, my mom and I are taking a cross country road trip back from California all the way to Michigan. Because my mom just retired and she's the perfect travel partner. And then once we get back from that road trip, I'm going to the United Kingdom for a class on tropical nursing for three weeks, which I am been dying to do for like five years. So it was finally the perfect time, and I have the perfect job for it. And then after that, I'm going on a family vacation to Spain. And then hopefully, fingers crossed, going with some friends to Morocco for a couple of weeks. It should be a pretty fun filled September and through ... or October through January.