SpiritualitySpirituality. Right off the bat the term can be quite polarizing. Some folks might hear the word and automatically think ‘religion’…


while other people could see the term and wonder what it actually means.  Then there is a group who is open to spirituality, practicing in their daily lives.  The following is Elizabeth Scala’s thoughts on how to use spirituality to help in the tough time as a traveling nurse.

As a travel nurse, I can only imagine (being that I have never been one myself) that your lifestyle is interesting. You move from place to place, meeting new people and learning different healthcare systems. I wonder at times, does the travel nurse ever struggle with feeling grounded?

Inviting a spiritual practice into one’s life can allow for more connection. Spirituality is a personal transformation, an invitation to meaningful activity or true harmony. To me, it would seem that engaging in a spiritual practice may just be the very thing a busy travel nurse could incorporate to enhance feelings of support.

So if you’re new to spiritual practice you may be wondering, ‘OK, this sounds like something I may be interested in, but what do I actually do? Is there a spiritual tool that you recommend?’ Great question. And before I give you a few tangible examples, I do want to share this: spiritual practice truly is within.

An Authentic Tool

Being a busy nurse who wears many hats and visits lots of new places, you may struggle to maintain that sense of ‘self’. Think about it: we are parents, siblings, partners, children, friends, community members, and co-workers. The list goes on and on. Add to all of the roles we play in our personal and professional lives- the very fact that we are a nurse.

The nursing profession is profound. There are millions of us worldwide. We work at large organizations; travel in packs to conferences and events; study in groups; and concentrate in specialties. This ‘group’ feel can introduce both pros and cons.

Of course, one of the benefits to being a nurse in this wonderfully large group of us is that we are always surrounded with support. Even when it may not feel that way, there is a nurse out there who ‘gets’ what you are going through. On the other hand, this large collection of people having similar experiences can cause us to lose touch with that nurse within.

This is why engaging in something such as a spiritual practice, which has the capacity to ground us back to who we truly are, can be so beneficial for us as nurses.

So here are three practical ways to engage in spiritual practice as a busy travel nurse:

Reading:  Nurses love to read. I am constantly reading, quite often several books at a time. I had a call with a colleague the other day who told me when she is not working- she is reading. I’m in a nurse book lover’s group on LinkedIn. There are nursing journals, magazines, books and online blogs. The list could go on and on.

While reading material that is healthcare related is certainly a way to stay updated on the profession, reading non-nursing texts can be a great way to engage in spiritual practice. There are self-reflective books, self-help guides and daily affirmation writings. As part of my morning spiritual practice, I read a passage from the book ‘Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul’ by Melody Beattie. This is a great way to start my day and give me something to reflect on throughout the downtime I may encounter.

Writing:  This is a great technique for spiritual practice. Why? Because the whole heart of spirituality is reconnecting with the sense of self. We are faced with a busy, fast-paced world. These days information is everywhere. At the touch of our fingertips, in a matter of seconds we can know who, what, why and when.

This vast amount of resources is a great thing; don’t get me wrong. However it can always become overwhelming. It can rob us from the quiet that lets us tap into our true nature of ‘self’. So taking out a journal and writing in long hand, about anything at all, is a great spiritual practice that can reconnect you with… well, you.

Reflection:  One final way to spiritual practice really is the way of your own. What is it you enjoy? Would you rather take a Yoga class and allow the breath and Prana to support you in a spiritual sense? Does nature provide you with inspiration and awestruck type moments? Sitting in quiet and simply watching the breath can be a wonderful tool to tap into the spiritual self.

This final practical tip is left open- on purpose. I can’t tell you what spiritual practice will work for you, just as you can’t tell me or another person you know. Spirituality really is about listening to what’s inside and connecting to your highest self. Allowing you to find the ways that work best.

Now let’s hear from you. What does the term ‘spirituality’ mean to you? How do you invite spiritual practice into your life? What is missing in the list above and what would you suggest we add? Leave a comment below and thanks for reading.

About the Author: Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN is an author, keynote speaker and Reiki Master Teacher. In her most recent bestselling book, ‘Nursing from Within’, Elizabeth shares insights on how nurses can allow for inner shifts that will help them more greatly enjoy their external environments.