Written by: Brandy Pinkerton
Do you remember what sparked your passion for nursing? To some extent we probably all have similar responses. We have a desire to help people, maybe a fascination with the human body or a love for learning new skills. Some of you may have been inspired by your own personal experiences with healthcare by being a patient yourself or caring for a family member. Some would even say it’s a calling, it’s what you were born to do and can’t imagine being anything else. For me, I have always wanted to make a positive impactful difference in other’s lives, even if it’s a small one. However, after being a nurse for nearly 15 years (at the time) I had completely lost sight of my why and had lost my spark for caring for others. To be honest, I had been downright in survival mode and questioned if I wanted to be a nurse at all. I am not sure about you, but that is something that breaks my heart to admit and even to some extent makes me feel like I have failed when in all reality it has been the healthcare system who has failed us. I have been in the industry long enough to completely see the shift of feeling valued and needed to feeling as small and insignificant as humanly possible. I went from being on top of the world and truly excited to go to work to literally dreading it. Compassion fatigue and emotional exhaustion set in so bad that it made me physically ill and I would try to find any reason to miss work. I finally came to the realization that I had to make a change quickly but also felt very stuck and not sure what the best next move was for me. I finally decided to take the leap into Travel Nursing, went to Colorado Springs for my first assignment, and never looked back! It was one of the BEST decisions of my life! My only regret is not starting sooner…
How Travel Nursing Has Changed My Life
Friend, I wish I could look you in the eye and talk to you about this. I would likely tear up with happiness. Like many others I turned to travel nursing as a way to recover from the burnout of the last couple years.
Travel nursing changed my life and possibly even saved my life! It allowed me to better balance my professional and personal life, while making a positive impact in my patients’ lives! I got to Travel with a Purpose!! It helped me get back to the person I had completely lost sight of, the person I knew that was still in there but had just gotten so depressed and dissociated that I lost her for a bit!
Here are a few things travel nursing has given me:
- A better compensation package with benefits for my hard work. Because of this, I could pay off most of my debt, and I no longer had to work extra or two jobs.
- More time off and flexibility with my schedule. You can imagine all the wonderful things that can happen when you have more time back.
- Experiences that I would never usually get to have. Through these experiences, I discovered what I like and some new hobbies.
- Less burnout – this is HUGE! If you don’t like it, the assignment is temporary! Once your 12-14 week assignment is up, you have no obligation to continue.
- New relationships and friendships all over the U.S. You get to touch more people and they end up leaving a mark on your heart too!
- More confidence. I have grown both professionally & personally.
- The ability to build my resume. I’ve been able to try out so many hospitals and have great takeaways from them. Who knows? There are some I may go back to one day.
- You constantly have something new and exciting to look forward to. That momentum constantly keeps you going.
Life is too short to be burnt out, underpaid, and stagnant. Travel nursing can allow you the flexibility and freedom to pursue your passion for nursing and get that spark back while traveling, gaining knowledge, and having epic adventures. You get to explore with a purpose! So, don’t settle for less than what you deserve.
Brandy is a NICU/PICU, Flight and Travel Nurse Educator with over 20 years of nursing experience. After pursuing a career as a travel nurse, she had adventures in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Montana. She is an avid traveler, hiker, and outdoor enthusiast. She was recently named “Most Inspirational Nurse of the Year” from Nurse.Org. She has built a platform dedicated to educating and mentoring new travel nurses called Travel Nurse 101, has had several speaking sessions motivating new student nurses at several conferences, has been a main speaker at The Travelers Conference (TravCon) and has written several articles for The Gypsy Nurse and others.
You can find her at TravelNurse101.com
IG & FB @TravNurse101 and @TheTravelNurseMentor