I started traveling in October 2018; I began my blog and website in April 2019. I started my podcast on a solo trip to Hawaii, running my first marathon in December 2019.
The cool part about documenting your journey is looking back and seeing how far you have come. I started my podcast to share different things I’ve learned as I continue to travel in general but primarily while working as a travel nurse. It was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about the nursing profession and myself.
I did some soul-searching.
I didn’t have anyone with me, so this time alone was much-needed. It allowed me to do some soul-searching and figure life out. I was at a point in my life where I just needed a change. I talked about this often, and the reason why I talked about health care in mental health so often is that before I started traveling, I was at a very low point and didn’t know what to do. So, first, I left the bedside temporarily, not because I hated it, but because I knew I just needed some time away from it. What I felt was not entirely related to work, but I knew I had reached a level of burnout. I wanted some time, so I took some time away. I am very grateful and blessed to have taken that time away. Once I did, it showed me that I wasn’t ready to quit the bedside; I just needed a different environment.
I started travel nursing in October of 2018, and that is when the podcast came to be. All I was doing allowed me to dig deep and do some soul-searching; it got me at least out of the little rut I was in. I am incredibly thankful for that season, I have no regrets, and I don’t know where I would be had I not decided to at least take that time away from the bedside. In addition to all the good stuff, I began confronting the debt I had created and broke down some of my spending habits. I slowly began learning to leverage my income as a travel nurse, which could help me eliminate some of that debt and save.
Life as an entrepreneur
I also began to consider what life as an entrepreneur would look like. As a travel nurse, there are a lot of aspects to work that you handle independently. What do I mean by that? I am talking about the steps you go through to become a contracted employee through an agency and reviewing the agency’s contracts. Looking over the contract and understanding that you signed is a contract between yourself and the facility. Also, negotiating your rate while beginning to see yourself and understanding how much you’re worth and bringing to the table. When I started as a nurse and got my first nursing job, I didn’t think about what I was worth; I was just happy that I got a job.
The skill of negotiating
I was able to get into the field right away. As I progressed in my career and had the opportunity to negotiate my rates, I began to see what it was like to ask for more. I knew I was bringing more experience to the table and travel nursing gave me that opportunity. I wasn’t just given my two, three, or four percent raise. Or potentially no raise, depending on the economy. The conversation was more like, “okay, this is what we can give you,” and then being able to come back and say, “no, I want more,” and then going back and forth. And going through that process, you’re negotiating, and travel nursing allowed me to do that. It also allowed me to negotiate scheduling time off before signing the contract to ensure that I could still be involved in activities outside of work. Planning to take extended time off or take breaks when you need to while also thinking about how you will be able to sustain yourself still and pay your bills while taking that time off.
Learning entrepreneurship skills while travel nursing
These are things that I thought about on the travel nurse administrator side of things. Making sure you submit your time card to payroll, so you get paid on time. I was not paid for one week because I forgot to submit my time card. Submitting reimbursements, negotiating additional stipends, and so many things that I didn’t have to think about. It opened me up to the idea of pursuing entrepreneurship. I watched Monette of the traveling child and communicated with her on my podcast. I saw how a blog could be used as an outlet and turned into a profitable business. Some people blog for a living. Like many other things in this life, many things can seem abstract; Google can only take you so far. It’s helpful when you have someone willing to discuss how entrepreneurship works.
I was doing my blog, and then a few months after that, I launched the podcast. Now, even with podcasting, people are making a living. Honestly, I am learning that there are a lot of ways we may think that are unorthodox but can be used as ways that people can make a living. Whether through blogging, podcasting, consulting, writing a book, or the influencer world of social media and YouTube. I mean, you name it, and potential business opportunities are awaiting you. I believe creating different ways to bring an income has always been important.
What I am saying here isn’t necessarily revelatory. As nurses, many of us have the unique opportunity to dive into entrepreneurship because of our unit’s schedule, working three twelve-hour shifts each week or other flexible jobs, such as a telehealth position, where you can work remotely.
I think watching how our world is changing every day and our new normal is being established; if you weren’t experimenting with entrepreneurship or a home-based business, it’s a thought now.
All of us have different whys that push us in this direction. For some, it’s becoming a parent and wanting to spend more time at home with the children. For others, it’s wanting to pay down debt and save. And for others, it could be the freedom that creating your own business can allow you to have, so you can do more of what you love.
If you speak to many entrepreneurs, they will tell you to keep your job and allow your main hustle to fuel your side hustle until it can become your main hustle. I’m sure you can agree that life is about growth, and what traveling has taught me professionally and personally is always to remain flexible and pivot when life calls you to.
We hope you found this article on travel nursing to entrepreneur helpful. Have you taken a role as an entrepreneur with or after a career as a travel nurse? Comment your entrepreneurial experience or advice for fellow entrepreneurs below.