Traveler Stories

...A Stop Along the Way

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Author: Jacquelyn Zielinski

Jacquelyn is on her first assignment as a travel nurse. The experience led her to write the following message to her recruiter, Kristina. Her account is creative, authentic, and important to share with other travelers, so we decided to publish it in its entirety - without editing or formatting modifications - and  the author graciously gave us permission.

The views expressed here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of FlexCare Medical Staffing.


i have been awake since 1400, yesterday. i tried taking a nap. but it didnt work. (i was eagerly anticipating my new hiking shoes to arrive!!!)


i have thought long and hard, all night, to try to think about what my favorite part of this journey has been.

rejected by every other place that was available?

the quick production of this whole endeavor?

leaving everything i know to jump into trusting myself, above all?


i have no idea what has been the most terrifying.



i will say, i started a facebook page for my truck. (yes, it is photos of the tacoma in various places... #bitchintacoma [sang in a dead milkmen tone, bitchin camaro]).


i have mostly traded in my mamiya rz for my iphone 7. (can't trust upgrades, so i still have the mamiya)


what has been my favorite part of this journey?

seeing my fear and laughing at it.


we drove hard and fast to get past st louis. (but we stopped at the city museum along the way-i went down one, five-story slide).

i passed a weird pediatric class; one that terrifies me and i hope i never have to use.

kansas sucks.

i saw more stars than i ever thought imaginable when we hit colorado.

utah. utah has some of the most breath-taking views. ones that i will never trust with any politician.

we were almost hijacked as we crossed into nevada. we drove through a winter storm to avoid some weird collision. (yes, we have a gun for protection... and we almost needed it)

ethan and i watched fireworks from out hotel room window as the city of Fallon celebrated their christmas tree lighting.


i was just sitting outside, absorbing as much sunlight as i can before i go to sleep.

staring at the tires on the tacoma. (her name is six... because she had six miles on her when i brought her home)


its funny how you never really know your destination until it slaps you in the face.


rural medicine is strange. and by strange.... wtf strange!


this isnt my destination.

its a stop along the way.

just like kansas city or arches.

just like columbus.


i am so incredibly grateful that i became a nurse.

(usually i hate my job)

but to have the opportunity to cry with people ive never met. to help them heal. to see them off (in a helicopter) for better turnouts...

my brain cant comprehend how I MADE IT THIS FAR.

I did this.


kristina... im some dumb former punk rock girl from cleveland... and here i am. i made a stroke patient laugh last night. i gave blood products to a patient who was bleeding out. (yes, last night sucked).

i regret leaving photography almost daily.


but here i am.


thank you.

thank you for helping me