Working Tourist: Hiking into a New Home

Lizzie Murphy has been a travel Med Surg RN for three and half years now. She always knew she wanted to go into healthcare since both of her parents are physicians. Initially, nursing was something she could see as a career for herself because of the quality of life and schedule. Traveling for work was an added bonus.

When asked about her favorite experiences with travel nursing, she laughed, “Where do I begin?” Since checking off the major cities she’s been dying to visit, she has fallen in love on her most recent assignment in Denver. “Colorado has been my absolute favorite,” she says. “The mountains drew me in.” With beautiful hikes and snowboarding within driving distance, Lizzie found plenty to keep her busy on her days off.

If you’re visiting Colorado, most locals will tell you that hiking a “fourteener” should be top on your list. A fourteener is a peak above 14,000 feet elevation. and there are 58 throughout the state. Lizzie has already hiked six so far!


She credits her preceptor, and now best friend in Denver, for the advice early on to try a few easier hikes to get used to the elevation first. “It’s not easy for this Chicago girl,” she jokes about the adjustment. She recommends starting out with Grays Peak or Quandary Peak once you feel used to hiking at elevation.

She also loved the experiences she had on the job as well. “The facility is beautiful with a great patient population.” When asked what she loves most about nursing, Lizzie says, “bonding with patients is the coolest thing.” She also appreciates all the awesome nurses and CNAs she works with and the new friends she’s made on the job. Her biggest advice to new travelers is to have confidence walking into a new work situation. Even if you’re feeling anxious before an assignment or with only two orientation shifts, you will get there and feel comfortable going to work.


Although she’s loved her travel nursing experiences, Lizzie is ready to put some roots down in her new home. She feels content to stay in Denver for now and is grateful that travel nursing brought her here. She’s looking forward to this next chapter and hiking more fourtneers this spring!