The emotional and financial ups and downs of a previous staff nurse.
Around November 2021, I decided to leave my hospital nursing job.
I was one of the people who got burned out and didn't wanna become a nurse anymore. So I left.
But instead of closing the doors on the nursing profession, I decided to create a year of experiment. I'd experiment with new mindset habits, physical habits and accept every opportunity that came my way.
Right now, I'm in a balanced place and happy with the work and pursuits I'm doing, but it took awhile to get here.
Here's what happened in the year that I left the hospital.
In November, I decided to leave my job. It was also my birthday month, so I saw quitting my job as a gift to myself.
During this big leap, I also decided to take YouTube seriously. I published about three videos while I learned how to edit on YouTube by taking Ali Abdaal's Final Cut Pro editing class on SkillShare.
I also decided to track my income to practice having an abundance mindset (meaning believing there are plenty of things to go around)
Around this time, my only source of income was freelancing, Medium and my last paycheque from nursing. I made about $7,300 (combo of USD or CAD, couldn't be bothered to change the currency, sorry).
A month later, my husband and I went to Mexico for a week to escape the harsh winter in Canada. It was a much-needed break that I needed from nursing.
I was starting to regret leaving nursing, but luckily I had YouTube, and being a freelance writer distracted me. I was still in a good place mentally.
Around this time, I made $2,900 from my last paycheque from nursing and freelancing.
I was getting a bit more depressed by not having a "typical" job.
As a freelance writer, I worked with Gumroad and Slow Growth Academy and helped them with their blogs.
I was living my "work from home" dreams, although it wasn't what I expected. I craved going outside and setting boundaries between work and home. I started to miss my 12-hour shifts and never think of work again after I stepped outside of the hospital.
I still had tons of doubts about my decision about leaving nursing.
I made about $1,400 from freelance writing and writing on Medium.
Around this month, I decided to go to Punta Cana to visit my childhood friends. I went with my husband, my sister, and her fiancé and spent about five weeks there.
This place healed my soul. I picked up new habits like running, learning to live in the moment, and being more grateful for my surroundings.
I learned that other people have it worse than us.
Unsure where life was going to take me, I decided to take the PTYA course by Ali Abdaal because I wanted to take YouTube even more seriously.
At this point, I consistently put out videos for 3 months. Taking Ali Abdaal's PTYA course helped me learn the ins and outs of YouTube.
I made about $4,000 from freelancing and affiliate income.
Around this time, I decided to quit my freelance work because it wasn't aligning with me anymore.
I decided to use this time to continue healing myself through journalling, mindfulness and just being around with people I loved.
Although while I was on my soul-searching vacation, a new job opportunity came.
I'd left my resume on Indeed, and a recruiter asked if I was interested in doing travel nursing, about 3 hours from Toronto. They offered me about $40/hr which is already a lot more than my previous hospital job, but I negotiated for $50/hr with accommodations included.
Around this time, I made $500 from freelancing.
I came back home to Canada.
But a week later, it was time to head to a new city called Kingston to try my first travel nursing assignment.
During this time, I loved the work, the fact that I got paid more, and that I got to travel and visit the towns on my days off.
I did this for a month and this job made like nursing again.
But I didn't want to jinx this feeling, so I just went with the flow.
I made $3,400 from travel nursing and affiliate incomes.
Around May, my husband and I decided to visit our family in Montreal and spent about three weeks there.
Before coming back to Toronto, I decided to do another week of travel nursing before heading back to Toronto because, as I've said, I loved the work and the pay.
I earned about $5400 from travel nursing and writing on Medium.
I also produced about 3 YouTube videos at this time.
Around June, I decided to go somewhere new for travel nursing. I went up north in the reserves to work a two-and-a-half week contract.
I also ended up loving the experience.
Around this time, I was learning how to enjoy being a millennial. I even made a video called "it's ok if you don't know where you're going."
Because I genuinely don't know where I'm going, and at this point, I'm just going with the flow. But so far, it's been working.
With travel nursing along with my online income, I made about $2400.
Around July, my husband and I decided to fly out to Spain.
So after my travel nursing contract, we flew to Spain and Portugal.
We visited Barcelona, Seville, Granada, Madrid, Lisbon and Porto. It was always my dream to come to Spain and this experience was truly a magical experience. That was the time I realized that you can slowly make your dreams come true.
I had gained so much insight about myself that it made me truly believe that I was on the right path.
I made about $13,000 from travel nursing and online affiliate income.
We experienced the worst heat wave in Europe around August, but we don't regret going.
It was still worth it. Although, at one point in Seville, my husband and I didn't leave our home the whole day until 11 pm when it was a tiny bit cooler.
Around this time, I found another nursing gig where I get to work at private dental practices. I didn't know this industry existed. But essentially, if a patient in a dental office needs conscious or moderate sedation, the nurse would be the one to give their IV drugs and also monitor their vital signs. That was my job ;).
It was such a different from the hospital, and the pay was also so much better.
My YT journey was suffering around this time because I barely published anything. But I was happy.
I earned about $3200 from dental nursing, Airbnb, and online income streams.
Around September, my husband and I got invited to go to Los Angeles and San Diego by his family.
It was also our first year anniversary as husband and wife. So spending a week in a new city was always fun.
I also got into kickboxing around this time because I wanted a more fun hobby, and going to the gym isn't as fun.
My creative endeavours suffered after traveling to so many cities, but I can't really complain, can I?
I made about $1,300 from dental nursing and online income streams.
Around October, I flew up north again to a different community than the last and took a one-month nursing contract.
It was one of the best experiences I've had because I got to meet new people. I ate so much Filipino food, and I got to experience nursing in a different but really good way.
This place made my experience that I don't have to give up nursing just yet. Because of this assignment, I decided to pursue travel nursing more seriously.
I also made $19,250 from travel nursing and dental nursing this month. That number is quite scary to look at.
But it also validates the fact I can make a lot of money no matter where I am in life.
After coming back home to Toronto, my hubby and I drove to Buffalo (New York) about 2 hours from Toronto, where I'd get my Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification.
I took the US certification because doing that allows me to practice travel nursing in the USA and Canada.
These days, I'm revisiting the idea of doing travel nursing in the USA next year.
I also got a new writing gig with a creator start-up called Passionfroot 🎉. Their founding creator, Akta, reached out to me, and I couldn't be more happier about this opportunity.
I'm so excited to divide my time between travel nursing and a writing job so that I can keep improving both my skills as a nurse and my craft as a writer.
I'm writing this one day after my 27th birthday, which marks the day after I left my stable nursing job.
And even though I had moments of regret then, I wouldn't have traded this whole year's experience for anything.
I realized that I'm in a very balanced place right now in terms of my career and the creative endeavours I want to do.
If you're feeling behind in life, I encourage you to create an annual review and see how far you've come.
Because I can bet you, you've come far even though it doesn't feel like it.
This review validated that I don't need one stable job to make over $60,000 in one year, but it also made me realize the true power of diversifying your income streams.
In the upcoming year, I want to experiment more with selling my services and products, and going to work on that courage in the upcoming months.
This post was inspired by Alice Lemée when she created her own annual review about her freelancing journey.