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A Nurse’s Voice: Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN

This week on, A Nurse's Voice interview, Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN talks about her journey as a CST to a now traveling nurse. She wanted to expand her scope outside of the operating room. She has traveled closer to home and recently decided with her husband to go nationwide. Kaci explores on her off days with her husband and dog! They have visited Arches National Park and learned how to ski on her assignment in Grand Junction. Along with, spending time with new friends and checking things off her bucket list. Get to know what travel nursing really looks like!

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Okay. Good morning, Kaci. How are you?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Good morning. I'm good. Thank you. How are you?

Travel Nurses, Inc.: I'm good. I'm good. So, we're just going to get started on some questions that we have. I'm glad that you're doing this interview with us. We've been kind of doing a few nurse interviews, trying to just show everybody, you know, what it's like to be a travel nurse. So how did you find travel nurses and what made you choose our agency?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Well, I actually found you guys through some of the other nurses from the hospital it seems like you are the majority of the nurses in the area always use you

guys. So that's kind of how I learned about you. I got a lot of feedback back from them. All the nurses that have used your agency, they all had great things to say about you guys. So, I it's the research on you. You have great ratings. So that's why I chose to use your agency.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That's awesome. That's good to hear. That's good to hear. So, what made you switch from your local contracts to travel? Like What was that turning point for you?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: So, I've always wanted to travel nurse and, you know, nationwide. But I just, I needed to kind of, you know, test out the water to make sure that I was the right fit for me. So, I did a travel, but like a couple of local ones. And then we, my husband and I had discussed it and we're ready that we're ready to take this on and kind of go see some places. So that's kind of what, you know, after we realized that it was going to work for us, then we wanted to go more places.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That's I mean, why not? I mean, you know….so I went, I was like, just looking at your history and stuff like that, I saw that you were a CST. So, what was your experience working as a surgical tech and what made you decide to like push to get your RN and BSN.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: So I started off as a surgical tech and I loved it. I absolutely had a great experience in the O.R. and it's fantastic. But your scope of practice as a surgical tech is very limited. You can only you can only work in the O.R. And the longer I did it, the more I learned it just really and made me want to learn how to do more. And I always thought I didn't want to do nursing when I started that.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: And the more exposure I got to it, I just loved it. I wanted to learn more. So that's why I decided to go back to get my RN.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: I mean, yeah, it broadens your scope. That's great.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: It does. I mean, there's so much versatility, you know, you can do you can work in so many different places. That's a nurse that really opens up more doors for you. So that's why I kind of I decided to do that, and I wanted that. Even though I love the O.R., I wanted to go get experience in other areas.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Okay. Okay. That's great. So your first contract was at Grand Junction, right? With us. Your first travel one?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: That was my first. Yeah, my first one, yes.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Okay. Okay. So how was that? And like, have you traveled that was anywhere else, like, far or anything like that?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: No, that was the farthest. When I started out close, I did one close to Nashville and then I did one of the Memphis area. And then Grand Junction was my first nationwide contract, and it was a fantastic experience. I had never been to Colorado before, so it was it was really great.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: And you traveled, just explore it around there, like you went to Utah right? And stuff like that.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Yeah, I'm on the western side, which is on the border of Utah.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Oh, I didn't know that. That's great. I saw your pictures at Utah and I was like, Oh, I have to go there. Like,the red, red rocks.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Like, it's been on my bucket list my whole life. So, when I didn't know at first that it was right there. So we were kind of looking at places around the area to explore. And I was like, Arches National Park. It was only an hour and a half from here. So it was really exciting to be able to go there.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah, that's great. Okay, so what drives you to go to certain locations? Like what made you choose grand Junction?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: You know, well, my husband and I always look at the locations together, and it was in the wintertime I had never snow ski, so I'd say it's a combination. So we always look for places that we might want to go visit. I would say that the well paid contracts are definitely an incentive, so it's definitely a combination of places that we might want to go. We want to go check out something on the bucket list or I wanted to learn to ski. And just the, we always look at the area and check on, you know, like what, what, what is there to do in that area.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: And did you learn to ski?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: I did. It was a lot of fun.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Okay. So what are your future plans like? Are you planning on a new location? Are you planning to extend? Like what? What are you doing after this contract.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: I do plan on signing another contract. I'm still searching, just kind of waiting for and waiting for the right one. So I always check the the weekly emails. So we're looking for a next one. We just haven't found one yet.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Okay. Um, so what's your favorite thing so far about being a travel nurse?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: So, it's hard to pinpoint one thing. I would say just the whole travel nurse experience from it doesn't matter if you're, you know, you're doing the same specialty over and over, you're going to learn something new everywhere you go, you learn different skill sets and you meet new people and you build new relationships and you get to explore new areas or somewhere that you've been. You know, it's you're constantly learning and having new experiences. And that's really my favorite thing about travel nursing.

Travel Nurses, Inc.:Yeah. You get to meet new people and see new things and explore. I mean, why not? So, yeah, yeah, it's it's great. I wish I was a nurse so I could do it, but I'm also on this side, so I love it on this side seeing you guys.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: So you got married two years ago, right? Or around two years ago?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Yeah, almost two years ago.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That's great. Congratulations! So has he gone with you on all of your travel nurse jobs?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: He actually has not. The one in Colorado was the first one that he was able to go on. He kind of started working remotely part of the time. So he still had to commute back and forth.But he was able to be out there for the majority of my contract. So that was really great.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: So what does he do? He works remotely in Memphis area or?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Yes. Yes, he does. He works for a property management group. And he actually just switched positions and now he has a completely remote position. He was a renovation manager and now he's a bid reviewer so he is completely remote.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: So that that's great.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: That happened as soon as I got back home. So he accepted that position and now he will 100% be able to go with me on all my next contracts.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yay! That's great. I mean, I'm glad it worked out. Now he can definitely pick somewhere without him having to commute and stuff like that every now and then.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That's good. Okay, so you have a dog, right?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Yes, I do it.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: So does he travel with you or does he stay back or.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: He does. He does travel with us. And Colorado was the first one that he went on as well. And so my husband, you know, made the drive out, which was about 19 hours. And then he had to commute back and forth for work. So I, Rex got to stay with me and he really enjoyed Colorado.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That's great. And I was looking and I saw that you had a dog and I was like, oh, my gosh, I have to find out because it's a what is it, a golden retriever?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: He’s a German shepherd mix.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Oh, okay. Well he's got, he’s cute.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Well he’s got that golden look.
Travel Nurses, Inc.:But yeah, he does, he does. That’s why I assumed that he was a golden retriever, but yeah, he's so cute and so with him traveling with you, how do you find, like, housing, like, how does that work for you guys? Like, with the animal?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: So I always start by searching on furnish finders, and that's actually even before we, before I accept a contract, we kind of fill out what is there housing availability. Because in smaller places there really isn't a lot of housing. So I always start on furnish finders and you know, they have like a pet friendly search that you can do. And if I can't find anything on furnish finders, then I will check Airbnb. And honestly, a lot of time people will have housing. Like the same housing will be on Airbnb as furnish finders.So, I definitely always start with that because price wise that's always a better option, especially for know long term.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. And Airbnb adds on like those extra fees and stuff, don't they?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Fees. The fees can be pretty steep. So I furnish finders is definitely my go to.

Travel Nurses, Inc.:That's great. So when are on your off days? What do you do to take care of yourself? Like after a difficult shift or just what, what do you do on your days off to make you feel good.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Yeah, I, I always love to explore. Obviously the longer you spend in an area the more friendships you, you make. So I definitely like to go out with other coworkers, check out the local coffee shops and obviously do some shopping. And, you know, there's always a great food places to check out and then depending on what there is to do in the area in Colorado, I definitely, you know, took advantage of skiing. I just kind of see what there is to do in that area. Definitely like to be outdoors and even if it's snowing. So hiking or I wanted to try snowshoeing, I didn't get in and didn't get a chance to do that.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: You wanted to try what?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: To snowshoe

Travel Nurses, Inc.:What is that?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: So, if you think about setting up a tennis racket on the bottom of your shoe and then walking around in the snow.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. Okay. I didn't know that it was called.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Yes. Yeah, it's really popular. So that's one thing I didn't get to try, but I will in the future. I'm definitely making my way back out there. But I just I do like to relax as well, but I, you know, I like to get out and do stuff on the contract. Especially since you only have a limited time. So I'd say exploring probably that my favorite thing to do.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah. And does your dog get to go with you on a lot of those, like explorations that you do?

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Some that some of them. They are pretty strict about national parks and that they can only be in like the camping areas. But if we're just doing…a we went to Colorado National Monument and he was able to go with us on that. So that was that was really fun. And Colorado is very dog friendly so, you know, he went with me to the coffee shops. Most restaurants are pet friendly. So he did get to do quite a bit while we were out there.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: That's cool. That is really cool.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: It was really nice.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Yeah, that's nice. Well, that's all I have. I'm so glad that you could get on and talk to me about this. Like it's very helpful for other people to see just the things that a normal travel nurse deals with on a day to day but I'm super glad that you were able to hop on and I appreciate you and we'll talk soon.

Kaci Douglass, BSN, RN: Okay, great. Thank you so much.

Travel Nurses, Inc.: Alright.

Thanks you for reading the stories of real experieneced nurses. We hope you enjoy seeing the different perspective of our travel nurses. Stay tuned for more nurses voices!

About the Author

Travel Nurses, Inc. is a leading travel nurse staffing agency that provides nurses with opportunities to find work across the country. Established by nurses for nurses, TNI has been in business since 1988 and has over 30 years of experience.

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