RNI Founder and Blog Author Gabrielle Bartusiak
I was born 50% wanderlust and 50% caretaker. My desire to visit the places I read about in my parents’ National Geographic magazines was matched equally to my desire to feed the children in the photos and teach them how to build shelter and read books.
At age 9, my older brother was diagnosed with type one diabetes and I used to pay him to allow me to give him his shots. That same year, I took my first solo flight from New Jersey to Ohio to visit a friend. Filled with passion and stubbornness, I was certain I could have it all.
The perfect “career” came to me when I was just 19. I proudly announced to my parents that I was going to become a flight attendant. My dreams were crushed when my revelation was met with significant resistance. My mother told me, “You should be a doctor”. My father didn’t say anything until I came to my “senses”. A short 4 years later I graduated from nursing school. I had found my niche, or at least 50% of it.
Years later, I had the chance to live as an expatriate outside of the United States. In a desperate attempt to keep my mind engaged and my feet in the country I had worked so hard to learn the language of, I was invited to be a “flight nurse” for a local medical transport company. My nearly 20 years of combined hospital based Emergency Room and Operating Room nursing provided me a solid knowledge base. I had the ability to handle crisis situations, the critical thinking skills to be resourceful, and the flexibility to modify plans as unexpected discoveries are revealed. What it did not provide me was with medical flight experience. I spent hours educating , motivating and field training myself into the best “flight nurse” I could be. Each time the phone rang, I eagerly anticipated another world wide adventure.
My vision became today’s reality. Starting Rescue Nurse International is my dream come true. One to one patient care, in a worldwide setting. This setting provides the perfect balance of travel, caretaking and adventure for me and the incredible members of my flight team. It really doesn’t get any better than this.