Adventures Of A

Traveling Nurse

By Cindy Hayes, RN

We have become addicted to travel! We have been to Asheville, NC; Camden, ME; Steamboat, Denver and Pueblo CO. Louisville, KY during derby time. I had a great hat! 


Also, Ali's funeral with the rose petals down the street. What a lovely thing. We were in Winston-Salem, NC for Maya Angelo’s funeral. Bismark, ND; Oklahoma City, OK; St. Louis, MO.


A high-rise in downtown St. Louis,11th floor, right by the Arch watching the barges go down the Mississippi River. Charlottesville, VA, University of Virginia during the riot! Albuquerque, NM. Rolla, MO was so fun because of rivers and canoe trips. Bend, Ore for a year; now in Monterey, CA near Mark's sister and family relatives.

What keeps you going?

I have a good outlook on life. Always have. Love my life. Big crush on horses and had my own since I was nine. Best memories are riding bareback and drinking homemade lemonade when we all got thirsty after riding all day.

Fast forward to having two sons and my favorite time is sledding in the deep snow. Hillsdale Dam and riding the Flexible Flyer. 

My boys said, "Mom, you caught Great Air." Greatest compliment from my boys! Plus, I've been married to

my best friend Mark for 37 years.

Your favorite place? 

Best place? Maine, Highway One, Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, Red Rocks Theater in Colorado, Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon Coast down to Big Sur. All astounding but so was driving through green fields of Nebraska and South Dakota. Mt. Rushmore and the mountains were incredible! Friendly people wherever

we went.

How long is a contract?

A typical contract is 13 weeks. Like to stay longer. Can't see everything in that short time. I try to extend my contracts, if like it there. I’ve been in most places for 6 months to a year.

Did you feel the recent CA earthquake?

Some people felt it in Salinas. I didn't but I was moving around a lot. They stopped surgeries for a bit cause the IV bags were swaying. Charm called Mark right away. They are earthquake buddies. I kinda want to feel a baby one!

How does Mark help?

Mark is my anchor. I wouldn't be doing this without him. Team effort. Many nurses do this by themselves and I applaud them! 

My husband does everything and he takes the load off of me. I just go to work and he does every bit of cleaning, shopping, cooking, laundry, changing our address, logistics of moving, physically moving, packing and unpacking. 

He also drives me to and from work every day. We have one car, as travelers, and it makes my life so easy. We enjoy our time to have coffee and talk on the way to work. 

Every morning, I wake up to my husband making coffee before I get up. I love my profession and enjoy going to work every day. Love knowing my kids are safe and happy and we are so lucky to have the family that we do. What's not to smile about?

How much longer do you plan to work as a traveling nurse? Back to Kansas or another place to live?

I think I'll probably work for five or six more years. Still not sure where we want to retire. There are too many places that we love!

Midwest is in our souls but we appreciate the coasts and mountains, too. I doubt that we return to Kansas unless one of our kids land there.

This was supposed to be a five year experiment to see where we might want to land. It's been eight years now and we're not finished!

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