Traveler of the Month: Nicholas Kupko

Meet Nicholas Kupko, our Traveler of the Month for December wrapping up 2023! Each month, we take time to recognize one of our Axis Rock Stars that has exceeded expectations in care and compassion for patients, coworkers and the families they work with. Nicholas is currently working as a PCU Nurse in Tacoma, WA and has been enjoying his time in Washington State!

How did you get into travel nursing?

February 2024 will officially mark one year of travel nursing for me. I have always felt that travel healthcare is where I wanted to be. I was eager to experience new places and meet new people. I wouldn’t have become a traveler without Sam Lay, Jennifer Slatten and Karissa Ormond.

When I started, I didn’t know what to expect, so I kept my options open rather than feeling tied to one location. It was both exciting and a little nerve-wracking, but worth it applying all across the country and taking whatever position came at me first.

This landed me in Rapid City, SD, working in a cardiovascular unit. I ended up choosing to stay at the facility longer and take a new assignment working in oncology.

I enjoyed working in Rapid City and found the facility to be unlike anything I have ever experienced. The hospital is old but has a newer addition, so you find a unique mix of architecture. The patients were what I loved most during my travel nurse adventure in Rapid City. It was so rewarding to get to know them; they were kind and genuine individuals.

What do you enjoy most about your current location?

Currently, I am in Tacoma, WA. Tacoma and Seattle, WA are fascinating places. It is a bit different than I expected prior to moving here, but I do enjoy it. In my free time, you can find me visiting smaller communities and towns nearby and finding new lakes and parks to visit. My favorite town so far in Washington State has been Gig Harbor.

I also love all the local eats that you can find. Some of my favorite restaurants so far have been Zen Ramen, El Gaucho Tacoma, Cuerno Bravo

Share a rewarding experience with us!

It’s the small things as a traveler. The best experience is simply getting hugs from my patients. Often, they will say, “Thank you for saving my life. It means the world to me.” These words make up for the more demanding days of the job and motivate me to work hard, continue learning and be a great nurse.

What advice do you have for travelers?

My most significant piece of advice is just do it.

You might feel reluctant at first, but it will be the best experience of your life. It has been a lot of fun, and I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting new places even more than I could have imagined.

It opens your eyes to experience the country differently and see how lifestyles can change from place to place. You have to consider yourself a jack-of-all-trades and be willing to jump in and help as needed. You will succeed as a travel nurse when you are flexible and don’t limit yourself to specific boundaries.

What do you do in your free time?

Fishing is my biggest hobby by far. You can find me at nearby lakes or streams when I have a day off and am not doing anything. I enjoy surfing, golfing, and even trying out new sports. I also enjoy hiking and exploring nature when I can.

How did you discover Axis?

When I decided to jump into travel nursing, I found Axis Medical by googling “Best Travel Nurse Companies.” Axis was the first company to pop up in my search! I entered my information through their website, and Sam immediately contacted me. The rest has been history. With how helpful the team has been, I never want to leave Axis.

Let’s start your journey as a travel nurse with Axis today! Search our available jobs here!




Mackenzie Bolte
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