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May Nurse of Excellence – Nehemias Navalo, RN

We are eager to meet you, Nehemias. Can you tell us more about yourself?

First, you can call me Nem, short for Nehemias. I have been in healthcare for my entire adult life, from 1994 slowly building it up from being a Medical Assistant, EMT, Phlebotomist then by 2004, I was an RN. By the time I wore my nursing shoes I was somewhat familiar with the medical background. But there is nothing quite like being in it, caring for patients who are hidden behind numerous tubes.

There were more family members in my family in nursing than fingers I can count. Despite that, it was still a decision for me, no kidding, the greatest thumbs down being my fear of blood. Once I went for it, it was like I discovered a new part of Me – ness. Now, I am a travel nurse adventurist, plus a doctor in herbal medicine. The most amazing thing is that it’s my job that meets the things I love to do most – like travel and helping more people.

When did you develop an interest in holistic medicine and how do you balance it out with your Travel Nursing Career?

You can say that 2014 was the year of my life. I officially embarked on my first travel nurse adventure without officially planning it. Here is the story. I was mildly injured in a car accident more than ten years ago. After several weeks of rehab, I was formally said to have recovered. Human bodies, though, do not always take so well to this announcement. I was severely in pain. Soon, I was going from doctor to doctor, but the situation remained stagnant, like chronic pain was a friend to stay. After weeks of visiting many doctor’s offices, someone recommended me to try Chinese medicine. The herbs seemed to hold the magical touch that completed my heeling, to imbue the mind, body, and soul.

Seeing what it did to my life, I wanted to give back by practicing holistic medicine to help others. By then, I knew I owned the caregiving skills, giving me the confidence to go after it. On 2014, I sat in my driver’s seat, hand on the wheel to go shopping for a school of Holistic Medicine. My drive took me to Austin, where I enrolled in Texas Health and Science University, where I worked for my Master of Science in Acupuncture. Simultaneously, I applied for my very first travel assignment in the State of Texas. We immediately clicked, the Travel Nurse Lifestyle and me.

I have since travelled to California, New Mexico, New Jersey and Delaware, gaining more than a thousand new contacts throughout those travels. There is no way to get burnt out, because really, every day is another day. In addition to the breathtaking sceneries you get to visit, you adapt to new settings, protocols, software and other slight differences which helps you expand your nursing skillsets. Travel nursing also gives me a great excuse to make road trips, something I absolutely love doing. My car made the way cross country several times from New York to California and the other way too, then to other states as well. More than a 500 contacts I have are from doctors, colleagues, and friends I made on my many travels!

With my parents aging in New York, I try to spend more time with them, working contracts in the Big Red Apple. Notwithstanding, I do not want my nursing to get stagnant, so I try to tap into more specialties, facilities, and locations. No Monotony for nurses!

To maintain a work plus work plus homelife balance, I keep my strong interest to expand on Holistic Medicine at Bay. Currently, I would only schedule two – three house calls a week, placing a priority on my travel nursing.

What are your future career goals?

Holistic Medicine is intriguing to me, to see the difference not only in physical health, but mental health as well. I would like to further my practice to help more clients with anxiety, to help them early on, before it takes over their life.

In terms of nursing, it is the pediatrics pulling my heart strings; seeing the kids feel better is uplifting. It is nice to deal with families who are open to working with you as a team to bring the utmost improvement for their children. 90% of pediatric patients will have very attentive and caring parents at their side. On the contrary, more than 50% of adult patients, I find, are brought to the hospital all by themselves. They are so lonely. The decision making is on us, kind strangers, which is sad. Especially in the ICU when patients are intubated and sedated, no one advocating for them other than us – nurses.

What do you love about White Glove Placement?

Within days after first applying to White Glove back in 2018, I was placed in a very prestigious facility I never dreamed I will get into! I tried getting into that facility with other agencies several times before, but somehow it always fizzled out before the offer was real. I am spellbound at the countless opportunities White Glove Placement offers. Cheers to an amazing team!

Any message you would like to impart to more White Glove Nurses?

Get out of your comfort zone. There is a world to see, to learn. I am fifty years old, but I feel young and sharp as ever because as long as I keep moving, to try something new it keeps my mind working. It makes you grow; it enhances your brain. In the beginning it can stress you out, but it is uplifting once you are in it.

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