Crowded hospitals, wave after wave of patients, and an ever-constant COVID-19 and its variants may have left you feeling burned out. You may even be conflicted by the need to care for patients and take care of yourself. Fortunately, as a travel nurse you can do both. Here are five locations where you can have a change of scenery while still going where you’re needed the most. It’s the perfect way to recover from nurse burnout and heal your soul.
1. Florida: Listen to the waves at Captiva Island
Of course, Florida has lots of beaches, but many of them can get too crowded to allow you to truly relax, especially with COVID on the rise. Captiva Island is an exception. It’s an island off of Fort Myers, which features white fine-grained sand beaches. It’s a calmer beach town with more of a laid-back culture that truly lives on ocean time. Nurses can spend a weekend biking through town or sailing in the ocean. Or, they can sit back in a beach chair, listen to the waves and feel the ocean breeze. Regardless, the ocean can help anyone unwind for a weekend.
2. California: Explore the Redwoods or Joshua Tree
Many national parks are great for grueling hikes or wild whitewater rafting. But that’s not always what burnt-out nurses need. Nurses working in Northern California can slow down the pace and try the Japanese practice of forest bathing in the Redwoods National and State Parks. Instead of mindless exercise, nurses can just wander through the towering trees and bathe in the beauty. Smell the sap, feel the bark under your fingertips and the soil beneath your feet, and listen to the trees’ branches gently sway in the breeze.
For a Southern California alternative, Joshua Tree National Park is a great way to recover from nurse burnout. Joshua Tree boasts clean desert air, incredible stargazing, and, of course, the unique Joshua trees.
3. Pennsylvania: Smell the flowers
Whoever said, “Stop and smell the roses,” had a point. Sometimes what best helps you recover from nurse burnout is taking a moment to pause and enjoy the world around you. But after COVID-19, nurses could benefit from literally stopping to smell the roses. Travel nurses in Pennsylvania can wander through Longwood Gardens or Phipps Conservancy and Botanical Gardens. Both gardens have acres of flowers, waterfalls, and benches where nurses can take it all in.
4. Arizona: Wander the Painted Desert
Arizona has lots of great options for healing desert escapes. One of the most incredible destinations, though, is the Painted Desert. Layers of clay and stone create hills with every hue, from dark purple to bright orange. It feels like walking through a painting. The Painted Desert is within the Petrified National Forest, which is also an exciting yet relaxing place to visit. There, trees have turned into stone, quite literally frozen in time.
5. Colorado: Soak in the hot springs
There’s only one thing better than relaxing in a hot tub, and that’s relaxing in nature’s hot tub. Colorado is full of natural hot springs that have clean spring water, perfectly hot temperatures, and unbeatable scenery. Plus, research has found that there are cardiovascular benefits from sitting in hot water. For starters, try Glenwood Springs. These springs have been comforting humans for thousands of years; the Ute Native American tribe visited them frequently. Today, it’s the world’s largest mineral pool, and it’s built up into a resort with a lodge and a full spa.
In addition, the town of Glenwood has lots of relaxing alternatives to the hot springs like caves, canyon swings, and hiking. So there are fun activities when you are ready dry off too.
Where do you go to heal your soul? Share your favorite travel nursing destination in the comments below.