About the Author

My name is Nikki and I am the creator behind Nurse’s Nature! I am currently working as a travel nurse taking 13 week assignments to fill staffing needs in Emergency Departments across the United States. I have over 10 years of experience in the healthcare field ranging from long term care, Emergency Medical Services, the United States Army, and a variety of Emergency Departments. Throughout my time in the medical field, I have witnessed a continuous trend in the lack of acknowledgement and treatment for medical professionals faced with repeated exposure to violence, trauma, and death. I hope to bring light into that darkness and build a community of understanding and support along the way.

My Professional Background

I’ve worn many uniforms on my way to becoming a Registered Nurse and am grateful for the knowledge and understanding I’ve gained through each process.

Combat Medic

I spent eight years in the U.S. Army as a Combat Medic. I enlisted during my senior year of high school, fortunately introducing me into the field of Emergency Medicine.


I was an Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B) for an Advanced Life Support ambulance service for four years responding to 911 calls and transferring patients between hospitals.


I spent two years as an Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) working in long term care and hospital float pool at our local Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.


I was lucky enough to get hired directly into the Emergency Department as a new Registered Nurse (RN) in 2016 and have been working in the ER ever since.

About My Personal Story & Passion

I grew up in rural Michigan on a dairy farm in the Upper Peninsula. The skills of hard work and resilience were taught as soon as you could carry a bucket. We were often covered in mud (by choice) and spent dawn till dusk exploring the fields, forests, and rivers nearby. My family was considered blue collar and patriotic. My father taught me to shoot guns and my mother taught me the importance of a meaningful hug. We didn’t have everything, but it was enough. My parents divorced when I was eleven and I quickly took up photography as a creative outlet. My first artistic pieces consisted of disposable camera prints showcasing the many barn cats in their natural habitat. Since then I’ve advanced my art to a portfolio of seniors, brides, newborns, and families. When I started travel nursing, however, I lost my clientele and had to seek alternative subjects. I never considered myself much of a landscape photographer, I had always chosen human models. One long look in the mirror was all it took to convince myself that I could learn self-portrait photography, document my travels, and share my story along the way. I started my instagram account. This account has become an inspiration to myself and many other individuals who have chosen to follow my story. I use this space as a way to journal my thoughts… and provide future me with a sense of hope. The more people read my writings, the more I have been encouraged to write a book… or start a blog… So here we are today. 

I’m not going to pretend I know everything or give absolute advice. I am a human who makes mistakes, deals with depression, and tries her hardest to be a good friend. My blog’s focus is on encouragement and hope… and I hope you find that here. I talk about a variety of topics, but the one that inspired me to start this website was the need for more open conversations surrounding the mental health of healthcare professionals. During my time in emergency medicine, I have held painful conversations with coworkers about things they have witnessed and shed tears for patients we have lost. As a travel nurse, I see people who come to work knowing no one and heading home to deal with their emotions just the same. When you’re in one place for a few short months, when is there time to build a community to lean on?

These experiences have opened my eyes to the need for a tribe and a sense of belonging. If we don’t take it upon ourselves to start the conversation, who will?

About My Adventurous Spirit & Inspiration

I have been hiking in the Midwest backwoods since I was a child. Although I had a yearning to be outdoors, our family never took vacations past Wisconsin, and I had no idea the wonders our country had to offer until I reached college. 

My first hiking trip was spontaneously planned by my twin sister and I for our 24th birthday. We chose to go to Yosemite, completely unprepared. The only thing we knew to bring was a backpack, hiking shoes, a hat, and (of course) our cameras! We had no idea about elevation gain, how to time a day hike, what trails were accessible, or that we needed to bring a lunch. Needless to say, that trip opened our eyes to what the mountains were all about… and even though we were starving and exhausted while trying to find our GPS-less trail back to our car… we loved it. 

Since then, I have learned an extensive amount about survival in the backcountry. Between the Army, several veteran backpackers’ instructions, and plenty of personal experience, I have come to feel knowledgeable and safe in the mountains (when properly prepared). This blog will highlight some of the adventures I have taken, provide itineraries, and make recommendations on where to start for backpacking beginners-So your first hiking trip isn’t as disastrous as mine. 

Enjoy the outdoors, but please remember to follow leave no trace principles, care for Mother Earth’s vegetation, and be properly prepared. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been a nurse?

I graduated RN school in 2015 and started my nursing career in the Emergency Department in 2016. 

I began travel nursing in 2020. The first travel assignment I choose was a critical access hospital in the middle of nowhere North Dakota. I was in search of peace and happily found it there. 

I have taken travel assignments in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Oregon, and Washington. 

My heart is constantly drawn to the mountains, but growing up in Michigan also grew a love for waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. The Pacific Northwest (PNW) has been one of my favorite travel contracts, specifically the Seattle area of Washington State. 

Travel contracts are usually 13 weeks (around 3 months) in length. I tend to find 3 months too short to fully experience the location and prefer to extend for a second contract if I like the hospital.

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