Working Tourist: Welcome to Alaska

Marianne TeBeau decided to take the plunge into travel nursing in November 2015. She had reached a point in her life where her kids had grown, and the timing seemed right for a change. Marianne specializes in Home Health Care and feels that each of her five assignments have all contributed to making her a better nurse.

“Travel nursing has expanded my career in ways I never expected,” she explains. “Each new place I work, I’ve learned something new, like learning new cardiac skills and doing EKG’s in the home.”

Marianne jumped into travel nursing with both feet as evidenced by her first travel assignment which brought her to Homer, Alaska. A very remote town with little more than 5,000 people.

“Stepping off that plane in Alaska was terrifying,” she laughs. “Here I was so far away from my home in Michigan and not knowing a soul in the entire state!”

She describes her time in Homer as the most impactful of her career and a life-changing experience. Working Hospice and Home Care during her time there, she felt like a valued member of the community, so much so that she extended her first assignment and returns there in between assignments to continue helping out.

“Homer is a super interesting place to work, I like to call it off-the-grid nursing. Traveling into the mountains to see my patients who live in the middle of nowhere was amazing. Performing hospice care, it was like I became part of the family. I was even invited to participate in a very special burial at sea ceremony. It is something I will never forget!”

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Marianne likes to choose her travel assignments based on areas that have the best places to experience the outdoors. She is an avid hiker and runner and always searches out the best trails. She is also a big fan of finding cool local restaurants and craft breweries. When Marianne first arrives in a new community, she immerses herself in the area. One of her first stops in a new town is the Chamber of Commerce to find out what is happening in the area, what local running and biking clubs might exist, and anything else she can learn about her new home for the next 13-weeks.

While on assignment, Marianne has a special travel partner, her Jack Russell/Beagle Coco. Plus, she usually has a lot of visitors. She laughs about how her friends always ask her where the next travel assignment is going to be so they can plan their little mini-vacations!

Marianne loves being a travel nurse and recommends that others not be afraid to try it out. She says the key is being adaptable, and open to learning new ways of doing things. Another important factor, she says, is to have a great relationship with your recruiter. Marianne sings the praises of her recruiter Caitlin, who she has been with from the beginning.

“Having a great recruiter, like Caitlin is everything,” she says. “She knows exactly what I need and always finds me an assignment where I will be successful.”

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