Travel Nurse Spotlight: Chris Hegglund
Med/surg nurse Chris Hegglund credits his friend Lola (whom he calls “Slowla”) with introducing him to travel nursing three years ago.
“During a code blue call, Lola wasn’t quick enough and I clipped her heel with the crash cart. Down went Lola all by herself, and we all rushed off to the code and left her, knowing she was ‘probably’ OK,” Chris recalls. “When a disheveled Lola limped up as we filed out of the patient’s room, I said, ‘We got it, Slowla!’ and the nickname stuck ever since.”
Fortunately, Chris and Lola remained friends after that, and she put him in contact with his recruiter, Rachel, at RNnetwork.
“Rachel has become a friend who just happens to also be my recruiter. We have nicknames only friends can give one another, and we chat about work and life every week,” Chris says. “Rachel and RNnetwork have been very good to me.”
Exploring the country before planting roots
A Wyoming native, Chris looks forward to seeing new parts of the country, especially when he can escape the frigid winters of the West.
“Since becoming a travel nurse, I’ve been to so many more places than I ever could have before. Golfing in December in Arizona was definitely a treat for this ‘ole Wyoming boy,” Chris says. “I was able to golf, paddleboard, golf, learn to salsa dance, golf, hike, golf, eat great food and ride in a hot air balloon.”
Chris says he isn’t sure where he’d ultimately like to live, but he says travel nursing is helping him discover what he likes.
“These experiences have allowed me to care for people and to see the U.S. in a very different way,” he says. “It’s easy to vacation or visit, but you can truly get to know a place when you live there for a few months. I’ve learned that I need palm trees and water in my life.”
Providing nurses access to affordable travel housing
Since becoming a traveler, Chris realized it was challenging to find a safe and affordable place to stay while taking travel nursing jobs away from home. He formed Travel Housing Pro to help traveling professionals find great short-term housing while on assignment throughout the United States.
“Being able to find trusted, affordable housing can make or break even the best assignment,” Chris says. “My travel nursing experience inspired me to create an awesome business and resource, including a Facebook housing group travelers and recruiters can join.”
Growing through service to others
Chris recommends being flexible enough to adapt to different hospital systems and protocols quickly and keeping in contact with friends you make at different facilities, which will help when you’re away from your family at home. He says helping others through travel nursing assignments leads to more reflection about his own life.
“It genuinely feels good to step outside of yourself for little while and focus solely on the needs of others. There is no better way to really care for somebody than to give yourself to them. That kind of compassion needs to be more contagious!” Chris says. “Becoming a travel nurse has allowed me to share my passion for helping communities that really need it most. It has made me learn to take care of myself and appreciate even the small things in life every day.”