Meet Natalia, Travel Nurse Adventurer Extraordinaire
A Tale of Travel, Nursing, and the Ultimate Climb
After five years exploring the western region of the United States through travel nurse assignments, emergency department registered nurse Natalia Z. returned to her roots and is currently working an assignment in Raleigh, North Carolina, close to her family. She is originally from Colombia, South America, and has been in the United States for 20 years.
Natalia went into nursing after a traumatic car accident. The experience caused her to reflect and develop a new appreciation for life. She started to see life through “different eyes,” and began to explore different career paths in healthcare. She shares, “Nursing, in my personal opinion, is one of the best opportunities to create an impact in the community…As soon as I became a nurse, I knew I wanted to travel and serve different areas of the country.”
She found the perfect solution working as a travel nurse with AMN Healthcare.
Travel Nurse Conquers Everest Base Camp
One of the major benefits of travel nursing is the flexibility, which allows nurses to choose when and where they work. This flexibility enabled Natalia to travel to the Himalayan Mountain range between assignments.
“Last year, while I was working in the Havasupai Indian Reservation, which is located eight miles below the rim of the Grand Canyon. I met a physician who told me about the hike to Everest Base Camp. I have hiked a lot and for many years but never really thought I was in the physical condition to achieve this goal,” she recalled.
“I started my research and actually learned about a wilderness medicine class that I could take as I trek to Base Camp. I told my husband about it and we both signed up for the trek!”
“Hiking in the Himalayas was a dream! The beauty of these mountains can't be described with words, and pictures don't do it justice. The 14-day trek was physically and mentally challenging in so many ways but getting to Base Camp was very rewarding. We also went to the ER tent set up at Base Camp to assist the professional climbers.”
“Getting to Base Camp was awesome but the actual journey of the climb was FANTASTIC!” she continued. “I learned that a driven mind is more powerful than a tired body and that nothing is impossible if you prepare and work with discipline towards your goals.”
Natalia loved experiencing the local culture, including the Sherpas. These Tibetan people live on the high southern slopes of the Himalayas in eastern Nepal and are known for providing support for foreign trekkers and mountain climbers. “Learning about the Sherpa culture was fascinating: eating their food, talking to the people, and appreciating their beliefs was a life-changing experience. Sometimes, when I reflect on the experience, I can't help but wonder which future adventure will take my breath away [like the Mt. Everest climb did]”.
“There were so many times I felt like I couldn't keep going, but it was so incredible to see how the body can adjust and function at such a higher altitude. This trip changed my life. I didn't just learn about wilderness medicine, but also about the power of determination and resilience!”
The Kindness Difference
Natalia gave us her perspective on kindness, which has become a key focus at AMN Healthcare: “Kindness is not just being friendly, it is being generous and considerate. My job allows me to offer love to so many people and I hope that at least some of my patients remember me in some way. In the ER, we see people experiencing the worst moments of their lives and it is important to remember that a smile or a kind word can really make a difference!”
Naturally, Natalia has many stories of patients and kindness after five years of nursing. What stands out to her the most are patients’ simple gestures of appreciation. “I just love when patients look at me with eyes of gratitude and simply say, ‘Thank you.’ That makes the crazy shifts so worth it.”
“AMN Healthcare has shown me love by providing spiritual care options, such as counseling if needed. Also, the sweet gifts show their appreciation.” Natalia chose AMN Healthcare because it is a large company that offers numerous travel nurse assignments across the country. “The benefits are great, and I have been blessed with a recruiter who understands my goals and my needs. I have made a lot of money thanks to this company!”
For more about travel nursing benefits, visit AMN Healthcare’s benefits page.
Natalia’s Advice for Travel Nurses
Natalia provides encouragement for travel nurses and those who are “travel nursing-curious.”
“Be clear about your goal, set your priorities, work hard, have a positive attitude, and be open to learning. Never ever do anything you are uncomfortable with, communicate with your agency, and work together...you are a team!”
Natalia’s passion for traveling, adventure, and nursing made travel nursing the perfect career fit. She hopes to continue nursing and traveling the country for years to come.
If you’re interested in an adventurous career in travel nursing, APPLY TODAY to talk to one of AMN Healthcare’s recruiters.
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