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Meet Irina, a Vero Cardio/ICU Travel Nurse with 8 years of experience. Originally from South Carolina, but currently exploring Washington State while on assignment.

Irina was inspired to start a nursing career after mission work in Africa. She says nursing is her passion and she’s always been interested in critical care and serving others.

Travel nursing became a reality recently, as she joined her fiancé while he worked in Washington. When she’s not saving lives in the ICU, you can find her hiking, biking, and enjoying the beach as much as possible. Keep reading to learn more about Irina.

Nursing in today’s climate

I love everything about it. Patients are the same everywhere you go. But during an assignment, it’s an opportunity to meet new people and connect with your co-workers. That’s the difference that will vary from hospital to hospital.

During this pandemic, it has been very encouraging to see the patients recover and get better compared to the beginning of it all. Working in the ICU, I’ve seen a lot of hard things, some patients don’t make it. Nursing is challenging. We do have feelings. But we must put our feelings to the side, especially when death happens. We can’t cry with them. Nursing has taught me to be stronger for my patients & their families especially during the moments they need me the most. We’re human, so shedding a tear isn’t bad either, but it’s important to have some balance with your feelings. As a nurse, you have to be compassionate but also strong. I do everything I can to provide great care and save lives. When you see a patient make a full recovery from a life-threatening situation, like COVID, it makes the job worthwhile. That’s what keeps me going. I love serving others.

Words of encouragement for fellow nurses

Keep doing what you’re doing. We see you. We support you. We thank you. Some days will be harder than others, but this will get better. I work at a COVID hospital, and when the pandemic first started there were a lot of patients every single day, but over time it has got better.

Advice for a new travel nurse 

You need to figure out what’s motivating you so that you can get what you want. For some, they are driven by location, others it’s money.

For me, picking a hospital wasn’t difficult, that part didn’t matter as much, as long as it was in the location that I wanted. I found an assignment that was in my desired location and paid well.

Of course, you have to also be flexible. You have to go into the assignment with the mindset that you will do the best you can, and you are there to help them out. They have their own rules & guidelines. You’re not there to change the policies. You are there to respect their home and not get cocky. By following those tips you’ll be fine.

Why Vero?

My recruiter Phillip Stovall is great. He’s very nice, calm, collected, and he has worked hard for me. He’s very patient and understanding. Phillip stayed in contact with me for quite a while and now I was finally ready to take the leap and go traveling.

What’s one thing you absolutely cannot travel without? 


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Kristina Thomas

Author Kristina Thomas

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