Wanderlust Ahead: California Edition

I am elated to share with you a new page in a new chapter of this great unknown we call life. In just forty-two short days I am leaving for the trip of a lifetime up the Pacific Coast Highway as I head up to take my first travel nursing assignment in Northern California. On a daily basis since making this decision I have felt so many emotions. Leaving behind my home in Sioux Falls, SD and my wonderful community involved in Connection Church and all my co-workers at Sanford on 6000. I know because of my familial ties and friendships that SoDak will always have a place in my heart. I’m also feeling really nostalgic as I look towards new beginnings. I’m gonna miss my two  energetic and determined nephews and my two adorable and sweet nieces. Not to mention the countless other family members who have forever had an impact on my life. I can say with confidence that I’m not running from anything, but rather running to something hopefully greater than I can fathom.

A few questions you may have if you are not familiar with healthcare shenanigans….What is a traveling nurse? Many hospitals are understaffed for a short amount of time due to many staff on maternity leave, high turn-over rate, or several other reasons that need the hospital needing more nurses. What does a traveling nurse do? Traveling nurses have a “home” unit on the hospital but are required to float to all related specialties, which can be stressful and hectic. How long does a traveling nurse travel? Most assignments are 13 weeks, but length can vary contract to contract. As far as after the initial assignment some nurses travel for years, others take just one assignment. Where can a travel nurse work? Anywhere! I’m planning on staying only in the United States, but can work in any state as long as I have the proper RN license.

So why am I traveling?

This is a life-long dream that has embedded itself deep into my heart. I was born in California, and shortly after moved to Iowa when I was three years old. I have been on several vacations since that time and loved every minute. I have tons of family there as well to show me the ropes and take me on some adventures. Side note: I think I was meant to be a mermaid. I have this insane enchantment with the ocean and cannot wait to spend weeks adoring the views while devouring a phantasmagorical book. I’m young, unattached, and free. Why not?

But seriously. As a traveling nurse I will be challenged by a new, stressful, and different environment. My experience is that in those situations you tend to grow in character, skill, and perspective. The hospitals also have some great compensation. I mean to really chase after the things I desire in life I need to have the financial freedom to live without debt and be responsible with what God has blessed me with. As mentioned in my post https://thejoyfulnurse.com/2016/05/13/my-next-adventure/ I talk about how passionate I am in attaining a master’s degree in Nursing Education. In light of this, I think my future students deserve to have someone passionate about their career, with too many stories to count, and enough experience to show them all they need to know in the nursing world. Also, I want to continue to grow my blog and continue showing people what it means to be a joyful nurse. So get ready for some serious wanderlust my friends. Many of my posts in the upcoming months will include crazy road trip stories, lots of exploration and adventure, and a whole lotta nursing.

I also truly believe that no matter where I go the Lord will use me to influence the lives of my patients and those within my circle of influence. So I cannot wait to see His hand and work in my life as well. I have always had a huge heart for the broken people in our world (basically, everyone) and in huge metropolitan areas there is no shortage of people needing Jesus. I love inner city ministry and hope to get involved even if in some small way. Would you pray wth me that I find a gospel-centered to be a part of with a supportive community?

**Today I’m celebrating over 200 followers with The Joyful Nurse–thanks for joining in the journey through life, faith, and nursing!

With much excitement and anticipation,


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