Tanisha Terry is a Houston native travel nurse currently working in New York City. Last summer, she worked in the Virgin Islands were she rendered aide to thousands of women and children before, during, and after the devastation of Hurricane Irma. In addition to nursing, Tanisha has a passion for empowering young women to live the life they’ve always imagined. In 2017, her passion led to the birth of her blog, “Black Girls White Coats.” Black Girls White Coats is a nursing and lifestyle blog for the everyday #girlboss!
What was your first experience with nursing? What influence did this have on your decision to become a nurse? Why Mother/baby?
My first experience with nursing was taking care of my grandfather in his dying days. At the tender age of fourteen, I wanted me to become a nurse because I knew I had the desire to help people. I chose to work mother/baby because I am a happy person, and I love helping people during one of the happiest times of their lives!
What advice would you give someone considering nursing as a profession? Would you do nursing school all over again?
The best advice I would give someone who is considering nursing as a profession is to always remember why you started. The late nights, early mornings, and missed events can get overwhelming, but remembering why you started gives you the extra push to finish. If I had to do nursing school all over again, I would…and only because I now see that the work was worth it!
We’ve recently talked a lot about building a personal and professional brand as a nurse, what’s your take on this? How do you do this yourself? Do you think the need to do this as a nurse is changing?
Working three days a week gives nurses the flexibility to build our professional and personal brand. I love that I can continue to grow in my profession three days a week and work on my “magic” the other four. In 2017 I launched my blog, “Black Girls White Coats”. BGWC is my baby, my personal brand, and one of my biggest accomplishments! I think the need for nurses to have a personal brand is becoming more crucial because we are wearing so many hats beyond the bedside; we are mothers, wives, travelers, students, entrepreneurs and many more!
I think the need for nurses to have a personal brand is becoming more crucial because we are wearing so many hats beyond the bedside; we are mothers, wives, travelers, students, entrepreneurs and many more!
Tell us a bit about your nursing experience to date. What made you want to start traveling? What kept you traveling?
As a new grad, I started working on a gynecology unit; that helped build a foundation for my career. A year later, I transitioned to the newborn nursery where I gained experience in newborn admissions, mother/baby, and NICU.
I became very complacent at my job in Houston and my desire to see the world sparked my interest to start traveling. My bucket list of assignments keep me going, I have no plans on stopping until I complete them all!
What has been some of the most insightful aspects of working in relatively similar units across entirely different hospitals throughout the country?
I get to learn the various trades of nursing and gain an appreciation for the different cultures.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? What gives you energy?
My desire to learn and explore gives me the energy to get out of bed every morning. When I’m waking up for work, I’m excited for another day of learning at a new facility and when I’m not working, I’m always eager to explore my new city!
What has been your favorite location you have traveled to? Would you go back?
My absolute favorite assignment has been in The Virgin Islands. I’ve had some pretty awesome assignments but I think it’s going to be very hard to ever beat that! And yes, even with all the devastation we endured during Hurricane Irma, I would still go back.
Do you think it’s important to identify with other aspects of life in addition to “nurse” or “nursing?
I think it is very important to identify with other aspects of life in addition to nursing because the combination of all of our roles makes us who we are. I am a nurse, a Christian, a sister, a friend, a blogger, and many more!
I am a nurse, a Christian, a sister, a friend, a blogger, and many more!
What do you love most about your identity as a nurse?
That we are the #1 most trusted profession!
What do you wish the world knew about nursing?
I wish others would understand that we work HARD, and just because we work three days a week, doesn’t mean we work any less than other professionals!
What do you think is in store for the future of nursing? What about for your nursing career?
While I enjoy working at the bedside, I know my time here is limited and I think millennials will stay at the bedside for a shorter period of time. I’m still finding my niche in nursing beyond the bedside, but since I’ve started travel nursing, I have found a genuine love for it! My next goal is to learn how I can work in the travel nurse industry, away from the bedside, while continually enjoying my financial freedom. Whatever path I take, I’m sure it will be great!
Healthiest habit for work days: Getting some sunshine during my break
My work mornings usually start with: Coffee and a John Legend playlist
Go-to meal that I pack for work: I’m usually first in line at Chick-Fil-A
Favorite thing to do on a day-off: Be outside and on the water
Favorite app: Instagram
Clogs or sneakers: Clogs while working at home and sneakers while traveling (because they’re more versatile and I like to pack light)
If I wasn’t a nurse, I would probably be…an interior designer
Compression stockings, compression socks, or neither? Neither, but my older self probably already hates me for not wearing them
Puke, poop, sputum, IV starts in babies, we’ve all got our aversion, what’s yours? Sputum, I HATE sputum!
Go-to choice of caffeine? Grande White Chocolate Mocha!