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December 2010, Volume 40 Number 12 , p 44 - 47


  • R. Bryan Simon BS, BSN, RN, FAWM
  • Debbie A. Simon BSN, RN, CCRN, FAWM


OUR LIVES COMBINE our passions with our profession. As a married couple, we've taken a long, fulfilling road to become travel nurses. This article tells about our unusual lifestyle and some practical pointers for success in our profession. We'll start by telling you how we met...on Kilimanjaro.Our direction, our passion, and our life together started on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Neither of us expected to find our soul mate on this distant mountain, but that's what happened, and we've never looked back. At the time, Bryan, a West Point graduate, was an infantry officer on a short break from his company command. He and his father were in Africa for the sole purpose of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I was finishing up a 6-week camping safari with a friend and wanted to complete the trip by climbing this amazing mountain.While climbing, we realized that we had a common passion for two things: helping others and living a life full of adventure.Once we married, Deb, who's originally from Canada, moved to the United States and was quickly introduced to the traveling life of a soldier's spouse. By our first anniversary, we'd lived in three different states. Wherever we ventured, Deb was able to obtain employment through travel nursing agencies. She found she enjoyed being challenged by new environments and caring for diverse patient populations.My army career then took an unexpected turn due to an injury and medical discharge in 2003, making us evaluate my future career options. When I was injured, I saw firsthand how nurses impact their patients' lives. Learning more about the profession from Deb, I decided to explore the field by shadowing nurses in various specialties.The men and women I encountered while considering the field of nursing were very positive about the profession, and I discovered many had backgrounds similar to mine.1 I enrolled in nursing school, while Deb became a clinical team leader in the cardiac surgery ICU at a local hospital.After we'd each gained

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