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Travel nursing or horsing around? Why not both? Sunny Rae brings all kinds of animals on assignment

January 24, 2020 | Nurse Stories

We’ve talked about traveling with furry friends, but travel nursing assignments with two horses and a pup? That’s a whole other rodeo! Literally. Sunny Rae is an Aya traveling nurse who takes her horses and dog with her on each assignment. And when she’s not working, she competes in barrel races — a rodeo event where riders try to complete a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. Talk about a modern cowgirl!

Travel nursing adventure time — saddle up!

“I love traveling with my horses, Tarreto and Silk, and my puppy, Ripper,” explains Sunny Rae. “It’s sometimes a bit challenging to find a place to park my trailer and house my horses, but it’s so worth it.” Sunny Rae and her pets have been all over central California on different travel nursing assignments and they love every minute of it. “My dog is super easy to travel with and so are my horses. They’ve been all over the U.S. with me rodeoing, so they’re used to it!”

In fact, Sunny Rae and her travel companions take full advantage of their days off. “Well … my days off are a little different than most,” Sunny Rae laughs. “I ride most days and practice for barrel racing and my puppy goes with us! He loves to run and play while I long trot my horses.” And all that practice is paying off. One of Sunny Rae’s dreams was to win a “saddle” in barrel racing, and she did it! All while on the road as a traveling nurse. “This year I qualified for barrel racing finals in two associations and in one of them I won my first saddle! Winning my first saddle was just amazing! I was on cloud 9 for a week.”

Don’t let fear steer the steed

Sunny Rae was scared to death when she first started travel nursing. She had never traveled alone before and was worried about starting at new and different hospitals. Looking back, she’s so glad she made the jump. “I’m not sure why I was so nervous,” she reflects. “I was excited to start a new life and go on new adventures and that’s exactly what I’ve done!”

With her trusty steeds and pup by her side, Sunny Rae is wrangling the travel nursing life like a pro.

Ready to start your own adventure? Check out our travel nursing assignments!

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