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Advice from a Jet-Setting Nurse

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.”

Think about it.

Undoubtedly, the nursing profession provides the world with examples each and every day of how stressful caring for critically ill individuals can sometimes be. But of course, when we don our scrubs and stethoscopes, we are essentially swearing an oath to provide quality patient care to those critically ill patients despite the abundances of personally and professional stresses that we may face. However rewarding a career, the key to reducing stress, nurse fatigue, and burnout is work-life balance.

Work-life balance is essential to a nurse’s health—both physically and mentally. Personally, my vice is travel. Being able to see the world and experience different cultures provides the richest of experiences for me, and allows me to appreciate the beauty of the various corners of the world.

Here are a few things that I have learned as a jet-setting nurse.

Travel pushes educational horizons.

Do you remember in history class learning about Guantonomo Bay and Fidel Castro? Yes? Well, have you actually stood inside of the Plaza de la Revolución, a square notable for political rallies in Cuba? No? Well, I have. Sometimes, just reading stories in books can be entirely too boring, but when you visit the Taj Mahal in India or Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, you are truly able to marvel at the architecture of and history behind those world wonders; and instantly in those moments, history comes alive. Those stories that you once read in textbooks become tangible memories that are far more valuable than what you had only once just learned about.

Traveling changes the way you relate to others.

Your life can truly become enriched when you develop friendships with others of different cultures. Traveling pushes you out of your comfort zone and teaches you the importance of embracing experiences and relationships that you may not otherwise have been comfortable with making.

Traveling humbles you.

Contrary to a world where selfies and social media have plagued the Internet, traveling allows us to realize that there is so much to life that we still do not know or understand. Traveling sometimes puts us in tough situations. You see that the world is so much bigger than we realize, and our perspective is shifted. It changes our worldly view in a way that opens our minds to learning from other people and situations instead of possessing an egocentric outlook on our own principles and mannerisms.

Traveling allows you to live in the now.

It goes without saying that each one of us is not promised a tomorrow. With so much tragedy in the world today, who is to say that we will get the chance to experience another precious moment living out our best lives? In my opinion, many young travelers put off traveling because they feel some sort of obligation to follow through with the stereotypical order of life: school, work, marriage, kids, etc. However, it is a mistake to put off traveling in exchange for such a belief. None of us are guaranteed old age. Experience the world to the best of your ability by taking every moment presented to you and see it for all of its beauty and wonder. Trust me, it is worth it.

About the author:

Kendall Green, BSN, RN is a registered nurse living in Augusta, Georgia, where she works in both a medical-surgical unit and transplant unit. Kendall is an insatiable learner of all things nursing and health, and she makes it a priority to become very involved in the facility at which she works. Follow Kendall on Instagram