Meet Travel Nurse, Reva Lewis

We sat down with one of our favorite travel nurse influencers, Nurse Reva (@revamoments) to get some insight into what life is like as a successful travel nurse.

Nurse Reva Lewis has been an RN for over 11 years, where she spent eight of those years exploring the United States as a NICU travel nurse. She has completed more than 15 travel assignments, ranging from four weeks to one year.

Throughout her travel nursing career, she has experienced all the highs and lows of being in a traveling profession. As someone who has had great success with this career change, she knows first-hand the impact choosing travel nursing can have on your life.

All of Reva's experiences have equipped her with the expertise to guide nurses desiring better pay, safer patient ratios, and freedom from hospital politics.

What inspired you to pursue a career in travel nursing?
The adventure and the pay, of course! I desired more than the life working my staff position in Mississippi could offer. The moment I heard about travel nursing, I knew it would be the best fit for me. Travel nursing gave me the opportunity to live my life on my terms.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a travel nurse, and how do you overcome them?
Finding housing, the inconsistency of available assignments, and battling loneliness are my biggest headaches as a travel nurse.  With housing, I’ve learned to set a budget and know exactly what accommodations I desire. Once I have those, I filter out anything that doesn’t reach my criteria with any housing site (Airbnb, Nursesbnb, Furnished Finders, Hello Landing, Blueground, etc.).

Unfortunately, the travel nurse market has slow seasons just as often as "booked and busy" seasons. For that reason, I keep a PRN in my back pocket. This keeps me from feeling desperate if I find myself without a travel assignment because the NICU assignments are non-existent for a brief period.

To keep from getting homesick with each assignment, I keep myself busy and meet up with other travelers in the area. The MedVenture app has been a life saver, allowing me to attend the coolest events in my area with fellow travel nurses.

How do you maintain your professional development and continuing education while on the road?
Conferences like TravCon are an obvious go-to, but the real gem is utilizing CEU opportunities at my assignment facility. If my assignment location is offering discounted or free certification classes, I sign up immediately. Many hospitals also give travelers access to their CEU database. I make sure to complete as many as I can and keep a copy of the certificates for my files.

How do you stay organized and keep track of important information when working at different hospitals and healthcare facilities?
The Files app on my iPhone is a life saver and all I use to stay organized. I keep all copies of my necessary travel documents in a file title “Compliance Docs.” Carrying hard copies of everything, everywhere is too stressful and bulky. I simply scan the document with my iPhone and store it in my phone for quick and easy access. I’m never without my phone, so it’s the best place to keep it all.

What are some of the most rewarding experiences you've had as a travel nurse?
I’ve gotten to take in some amazing views as a travel nurse. The top of the list would be living in Hawaii for six months. I was able to cross off a bucket list item which was sky diving while I was there. Such a surreal moment and I doubt anything else will top it until I learn how to swim and can go scuba diving!

What are your favorite/go to snacks when traveling?
Don’t judge me, but I love milk duds. I see them in the store and cannot resist grabbing a box. I have a huge sweet tooth. I know I need a little balance in my diet, so raw walnuts with apple slices are my go-to snack to stop me from overindulging on pastries.

Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Reva. We appreciate all that you do to help others. If you don’t already, follow Reva on Instagram!

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