This article was provided by Travel Nurse Across America®.
Becoming a travel nurse family
My wife and I got together when she was still in nursing school. When she decided that she could tolerate me for the long haul, one of our first decisions was to work towards becoming a travel nurse family. We talked endlessly about the adventures we would have, always caveating our excitement with the knowledge it wasn’t always going to be a day at the beach, but we knew the positive would outweigh the negative. We read all the information on travel nursing we could get our hands on (The Gypsy Nurse being one of the best sources we came across). She contacted several recruiters and worked on getting her license in a compact state. We did our homework on how to travel with our young son, and on how to keep him on track educationally. Finally, with equals parts of excitement and trepidation, we were ready to hit the road.
It has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
All the adventures we’ve had, all the people we’ve met, and all the opportunities to get to know each other better, have meant more to us than can be expressed with mere words. But today we had an experience that explains it as well as I’ll ever be able to. A travel nurse family always has a lot of stories to share, but this will go down as a particularly special one for us.
My wife is just about at the end of her current assignment.
My wife is just about at the end of her current assignment. As of this writing, we’re three days from heading out of town. She was off today, so for lunch, we went to a local hangout for some home-style cooking. When we walked in the place was full. There was a gentleman sitting by himself, that when he saw my wife, waved us over and offered to share his booth. He was the widower of a patient that my wife had taken care of when we first arrived. While at home, she had suffered a stroke and hadn’t survived it. The man recognized my wife and was happy to share our company. It was a bittersweet encounter, but one I will never forget. We laughed as he told stories about all the stuff he did to make his wife mad, and all the things she did to make him happy. It was hard to hold back tears as he talked about the hard times they had, and how it drew them closer and made them an invincible team. You could tell he was very impressed with my wife and the care she provided the woman he loved.
As we sat talking, a lady sitting across from us overheard our conversation. She was a retired nurse who had worked at the hospital my wife was assigned to. She joined our conversation. She said she was happy to finally be getting some rest, but missed the craziness sometimes. She and my wife talked shop, while our young son entertained her husband and the man we were sitting with.
The restaurant was only opened for lunch, we all sat around talking for so long some of the cook staff came out to the dining area. One of the cooks, a kid who would be graduating high school this year (the first boy in his family to receive such an honor), started talking to my wife and her new friend about nursing. He was especially interested in the prospect of getting paid to travel. He said he hadn’t thought about it before, but it sounded like something he wanted to consider.
When it was time for everyone to leave, it was hugs and social media information shared all around. Our son had managed to steal everyone’s heart, and everyone had a hard time letting him go. The gentleman whose wife my wife hadn’t taken care of, thanked us for making his day. He said good ones were harder to come by lately. The young man that was about ready to make his family so proud, said it was the best day he had ever had at work. The retired nurse said she was looking forward to following our exploits online and would love to see us next time we were in town. If we ever go back there, we have a lot of visiting to do.
Days like this make me remember why we do this thing we do. It also makes me remember just how special my wife is, how special nurses are. This day was made possible by my wife, and the opportunities afforded to her as a traveler. It’s a good life, and we’re grateful for it.