The Atlas Life

The Atlas Life #37 - Kayla White, Traveling CTICU Nurse

This week on The Atlas Life, we meet with CTICU RN, Kayla White. She's currently working in Connecticut at Yale New Haven, but is taking some time off to spend with family and her new fiancé. Learn more about her in this week's video.

Jake Brower: When I first met Kayla, she was a referral from another nurse that she was working, she was a staff nurse at the hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. She got my number, she texted me one day, we jumped on the phone and, yeah, we just had a blast from the very beginning. Kayla is a very natural and just personal nurse and so it's been a lot of fun just to connect with her and laugh and joke and she'll send me random texts throughout the day. It's really a lot of fun. She's a really, really hard worker. Goes to work. She doesn't ever complain. She's one of those travelers that just kind of goes with the flow and it allows her to, her experience is so much better because of it.

Jake Brower: A little story about what it's like to work with Kayla. The first text conversation we had, she took a picture of her desk and showed it to me because she wanted me to know how, what's a nice way of putting it? Everything was in its place. It was perfectly laid out. Everything so over organized. She's like, "You need to know this about me. It's who I am." And it's true. She's relatively over the top in her organization, but she gets everything done, so that's really nice. Yeah, she's a lot of fun.

Jake Brower: Kayla has asked me for three jobs ever and it was always a specific hospital in a specific location and all three times she got exactly what she asked for. I always joke with her it's not supposed to be this easy, but then every time we go to a new placement it's always easy. It seems like, I don't know, she just gets lucky every time or maybe I'm just that good. One of the two maybe both.

Kayla White: I am Kayla White. I am a CTICU nurse, but right now I'm in a MICU. I've been traveling since about middle of April and right now I'm in new Haven, Connecticut at Yale Medical Center. I first connected with Jake at my staff job. We had a ton of travelers come in and I was kind of getting ideas on what recruiters there were. I ended up meeting one of his former nurses that he worked with and got his name and number and kind of connected with him that way. We hit it off right away. I immediately started the process of getting ready to go with it.

Kayla White: I started traveling because I was basically getting complacent at my staff job. I wasn't really liking how they were moving things along. I didn't see any progression in that. I had thought about being a travel nurse probably right when I graduated, but I was kind of nervous. I didn't want to jump off the ledge and be by myself. Once I got unhappy with my staff job and I started dating who is now my fiance long distance and he was going to be right outside DC, I figured now is the perfect time to do it. Let me just go ahead and get started with it.

Kayla White: He's in the military. I met him in Louisville, Kentucky while I was in Norfolk, Virginia. Then we just kept doing long distance dating and then he got into a school right outside DC and that's why my first position was right outside DC. Worst part about travel nursing is probably right now it's going to be planning a wedding long distance because I'm up here in Connecticut and he's not here at all.

Kayla White: It's also the, you don't get to have the comradery that builds. Obviously, it takes a while to build that with your staff unit and so you're only in for 13 weeks and you're out the next. But with being that said, the positives of traveler nursing is you're only there for the 13 weeks. You kind of get in, you do what you need to do, you can experience what you need to experience and then you can move on from there. There's vast opportunities. Being in Vegas for Travcon was fantastic. I don't think I could go to Vegas again and be as happy as I was the weekend we went for the travel conference with Atlas.

Kayla White: I guess the absolute hardest would probably be getting used to not taking care of the patient population you would take as a senior on a staff nurse job. Obviously, I left my staff job at three years and I was pretty much seniority at that point and so I was heavily relied upon. I was the first person they would ask to take the sickest patient. Then you start traveling and they don't know what kind of nurse you are because you are not there enough. I can still learn and enjoy all of the patients that I have. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm not learning from what I'm getting assigned day to day.

Kayla White: I finished this assignment in New Haven right before the holidays. I actually, that was another perk that I was able to work out that Jake was like, "I don't know how you're doing this." I literally finished right before Christmas with enough time that I can go back to my fiance's hometown and do a couple of days and then my family's hometown for a couple of days. Then we actually fly out to Hawaii on Christmas and we'll spend about a week there. We'll spend New Year's there, and then we fly out late on New Year's Day. Then I actually already resigned with Yale. I will start back again the second week of January, and I'll be here until middle of April. Through the deepest cold of Connecticut is when I'll be here. I'm going to bring my snowboard and snowshoes and everything else to get to work.

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