Interview with Amy from The Nurse Sabbatical
Amy took a nurse’s sabbatical, and she made it an intentional part of her career!
Sabbaticals come in all shapes and sizes! This is why we love interviewing other professionals who have decided to take a career break to focus on what is most important to them.
Our goal is to empower YOU to follow your own sabbatical dream!
Whether you decide to take a 2-month or 2-year sabbatical, go alone or with your kids, travel to the other side of the world, or stay close to your community… Get ready to embark on your own unique journey!
>> If leaving a successful career that you love scares you, keep on reading. Amy’s story will inspire you to do what is right for you.
Amy is a successful nurse who worked for almost 20 years at a large hospital. Before taking her sabbatical, she was in a leadership role, managing close to 40 nurse practitioners and leading hospital initiatives. She was climbing the career ladder and was being considered for a promotion. She loved being a nurse and yet… something wasn’t right. She was exhausted. Her work was draining her more than usual. She had daily migraines, increased acne, and was not able to sleep through the night. Even on her days off, she felt depleted.
“I was devastated because I loved my profession
but I could not continue in my current state. I needed a change.” – Amy
Amy shares her inspiring nurse’s sabbatical story:
Q: What inspired you to take a sabbatical?
I had heard about sabbaticals throughout my career. I knew it meant to take a break from work, but I did not understand its role in someone’s career. A few years prior to taking my sabbatical, I spoke with a physician who had just completed her sabbatical. She explained to me what she did and how refreshed she felt. I thought it was great that her role allowed her to take time off to refresh her spirit and come back to do the work she loved.
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Q: How did you decide on the date to actually start your sabbatical?
It took some time before I convinced myself that I could indeed take an unpaid sabbatical. I did some budget planning and anticipated when I would have enough income to take 3 months off. Once I determined that date, I wrote it on my board and committed to it.
Q: What did you think your sabbatical was going to look like and what did it end up being like?
My sabbatical was actually supposed to be 3 months long. I had planned to spend the first two months doing nothing. Then I would look for another nursing leadership role to start right after my 3 months off.
That entire plan went out the window. My sabbatical ended up being 9 months!
I didn’t plan anything for the first 3 months but I ended up going to St. Maarten with friends, I spent time with family, reading, trying new hobbies, and living life without an alarm or schedule. It was amazing.
During the last 6 months of my sabbatical, I did some simple contract work.
I learned so much about myself during my sabbatical that I pivoted in my career.
Q: What were your biggest fears regarding your sabbatical? And did they end up turning out to be true or not?
I quit my job to take my sabbatical and I was really scared to walk away from it. It was the first time leaving a role and not having a plan for what was next.
>> Is it time to quit your job and travel the world? Learn more now!
Q: Tell us about the biggest challenges you encountered during the planning phase of your sabbatical.
The biggest challenge was understanding my finances and how much time I could afford to take off.
>> Need help setting up your sabbatical budget planning? Download below our free workbook and template.
Q: What kind of budgeting or overall financial planning did you do before, during, and after your sabbatical?
I reviewed my finances monthly, stuck with my budget, and made sure I had a buffer in the event of an emergency.
Q: What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your sabbatical?
I learned that with proper planning, a sabbatical is possible. I believe everyone should take a career break during their life.
My lifestyle and how I show up in the world is different. I no longer define myself by my career. I enjoy moments in life instead of rushing to do the next thing. The pace is slower but I am still enjoying life to the fullest.
Q: What do you wish you had known before planning your sabbatical? Any advice for future sabbatical takers?
I wish I had planned more trips during my sabbatical. I love to travel and do so frequently, so it was not a priority. However, in hindsight, I would have explored living in another country for a few months.
What’s in for you, sabbatical dreamer?
Are you considering taking a sabbatical yourself? Get inspired by Amy’s story!
- Get inspired by other people’s stories and understand how to make your sabbatical an intentional part of your career.
- 3 months go by fast. Consider taking a longer sabbatical to really make the most out of your time off.
- Ask yourself the type of sabbatical you need. Are you going to want to travel or stay home
- Spend time understanding your current financial situation.
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