Dynamic Husband And Wife Travel Nursing DuoBringing Along Family/Friends/Partners, Outdoors Across the U.S., Taking (Lots of) Time Off Maine
While watching a chipmunk scamper across the wide expanse of her lawn, Anne describes how she came to be in Bangor, Maine in a quaint apartment on a grand estate built in 1908, a place vastly different from her home in Texas. She and her husband (and fellow travel nurse!) Wayne have only been on the East Coast a few weeks, but have managed to fit in their first taste of real Maine lobster, strenuous and icy yet starkly beautiful hikes, plenty of gardening for Anne and lots of hockey for Wayne. They live near the mountains but are less than an hour from the seashore and plan to go whale watching next week. It was snowing when they arrived, which was a big change from muggy Houston, and yet already they have found new spring flowers popping up. The locals have been so friendly and full of helpful suggestions that uber-organized Anne had to put together a spreadsheet of all the things they need to experience in the area.
This industrious couple has not only found plenty of time to explore their new home on their days off but they make the most of their time at work as well. They are both floating to various units and agree that their job as travel nurses is to do as much as they can to make a difference. As Wayne explains “I think what Anne and I do that makes us successful is to go in with the attitude that we are really trying to help out.” They both came to nursing from previous careers, and approach the profession with the passion of converts. Anne illustrates her nursing philosophy with a beautifully told story about an elderly woman suffering from dementia that everyone thought was a complete nuisance. Anne likes to remind her patients that life exists outside of the hospital and so she “ignored her craziness and started talking about the amazing things I’d seen that week.” The transformation in the woman’s demeanor was palpable as she listened attentively then lucidly told Anne about her hometown- a magical place called Lubec which is the first place in the United States the sunlight touches each morning.
Before they found their calling as nurses, Wayne worked as an engineer and Anne ran a Pier 1 Imports franchise, worked in corporate settings, as a substitute teacher and even drove a school bus in rural Texas. When her oldest was ready to drive Anne was determined to make a change and began to attend nursing school – a decision that set her on a path to see the country and meet her future husband. After a sojourn exploring funky Columbia, Missouri and another in Little Rock, Arkansas to be near her daughter, Anne went home to Texas. In her first few days back in Longview Anne met Wayne. Sparks flew immediately as Anne thought “I think this man is flirting with me!” Then really shocked herself by discovering “I think I’m flirting back!” They were married a year and a half later and are now traveling together on what their kids call “The Honeymoon Tour.”
Aya recruiter Cheryl has been instrumental in making the Honeymoon Tour a reality. She checks in every week and has a close relationship with Anne especially, whom she has worked with for four years now. As Anne explains “One of the strengths of Aya is that it is a large and well run organization that has a huge availability of assignments. This allows us to pick and choose the assignments that we take.” When they leave Bangor Wayne says he is leaving it up to Anne to pick the next spot. They have taken a map of the U.S. and targeted regions where they have clusters of family and friends and will apply for openings in those areas. No matter where they end up, Wayne laughs “if we don’t like it we can always go someplace else…”