Today in the chart

Twins, Travel, and Transition - Our Entrepre-Nurse-Ship Story

From nursing in the OR to traveling the world, see how Anastasia and Sara discovered themselves outside of nursing and eventually found their passion as nurse coaches.

We never wanted to be nurses. Yep, you read that right! Sara thought she would go into fashion design, and I thought I would be a teacher. We started our work in healthcare in the operating room as surgical technologists and the second we started clinicals, we knew we wanted to be OR nurses. Long story short, we believed in ourselves and did the thing together.

We quickly became the good nurses everyone expected us to be. We climbed the clinical ladder, worked hard in informal leadership roles, and became known for fearlessly speaking up. We took on the extra projects, got a bunch of additional training and education, and received regular invites to meetings with senior leadership. We navigated intricate relationships above and below, gaining a level of respect and admiration that far exceeded our expectations.

We also had an obvious and unapologetic passion for travel, which prompted all kinds of confusing attention. Our colleagues across every discipline treated us like we were doing something they could never do, something crazy, which it was - living their unfulfilled dreams. Everyone thought we had it all figured out. And no one challenged us. Meanwhile, we were burned out. And this was pre pre-pandemic.

We didn’t recognize it then, but travel was our first foray into personal development. When we traveled, we had the awareness that things could be different, which we would later learn is how change begins. It took us a while to be honest enough to recognize it as a cry for help that no one ever heard. We traveled to international destinations the same way that some people lived for the weekends. We should have realized that never wanting to come home was an issue. But it took years to find the courage to interrupt that pattern.

Enter the solution to everyone’s problems - travel nursing! Or so we thought. We went to San Diego expecting palm trees and bliss, but instead, we experienced moral injury and values misalignment in a way we never saw coming. After a brief but traumatizing experience where we felt like every single person was questioning our sanity, we had reached a breaking point. We quit.

On the surface, what might appear a failure catapulted us into a series of life-changing experiences. We decided to heal ourselves in the only way that came to mind - travel. We took six months off and immersed ourselves in travel like never before. We spent a month in Australia and swam with whale sharks. We explored Europe with our parents for another month. We discovered Japan for the first time and continued filling our cups in Mexico and the Carolinas.

Taking this time helped us discover who we were. After this, we showed up differently. We set boundaries we never had before. Our brains had been awakened to feelings of possibility, and we were determined to make a change. Eventually, we began our search and attempted to pivot into a few different specialties. Then, one day, seemingly out of nowhere, we discovered nurse coaching thanks to a well-placed Facebook ad!

What was this specialty we had never heard of before? What even was coaching? We dove in, signed up for a program with the Nurse Coach Collective, and did the inner work on ourselves while we learned how to facilitate it with others. The program took seven months to complete and consisted of a mix of education and practicum. We were blown away that even as little newbie coaches in this foreign territory, our practice clients were making changes they had desperately wanted to make but confessed they never could on their own. We witnessed the immense power of coaching, helping transform lives, and quickly learned to trust this process.

Coaching improved us, and we were eager to share it with the world and the hospital! It made us better preceptors, teachers, communicators, and leaders. We worked up the courage to propose an innovative program designed to bring the benefits of coaching and its unparalleled support to nurses. We pitched it to our CNO, and we expected big things! We collaborated with many amazing people from leadership, education, and research. And eventually, like so many great ideas, it died because of HR and budgets.

So, we once again pivoted! This time into entrepre-nurse-ship! We decided to put everything into our private coaching practice, Well and Whole, and it’s the best decision we could have made. We did what high achievers do and found the best mentors to help us with what would have felt impossible on our own. But the thing is, we’ve learned over and over again we’re not meant to do this alone! We have met many amazing nurses and fellow entrepreneurs, and we genuinely believe that nurses can do anything.

Our journey has taken us from coaching nurses and nurse leaders around stress and burnout to rediscovering their joy and identity outside of nursing and all the transitions. Helping people reimagine what’s possible is the most rewarding work we could be doing!

As part of our business, we regularly give away two free hours of coaching to a select number of nurses every month (Aka, as many as we can fit on our schedules!) We do this to help support nurses in the best way we can form a deeper connection to our community and because we genuinely love coaching! If you’d love to try it out or have questions about nurse coaching as a specialty, we would love to hear from you!

To receive a free session with Anastasia, click here! For a free session with Sara, click here!

Connect with Anastasia and Sara on all of their social media platforms!


Instagram: @saraandstacyy (



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