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Spotlight on our people: Jill Hruska, GoHealth BC travel nurse


Jill Hruska, GoHealth BC travel nurse
Jill Hruska, GoHealth BC travel nurse

Jill Hruska is a registered nurse from Brandon, Manitoba who has been nursing for over 34 years. She recently became semi-retired and was working as an agency travel nurse in

Fishing boats in Daajing Giids harbour
Fishing boats in Daajing Giids harbour 

 Port McNeill when she heard about GoHealth BC. Jill was drawn to the idea of exploring BC’s diverse landscape and was interested in doing travel nursing in more areas of the province.

“I went with Northern Health because I wanted to work in Haida Gwaii, but not all the agencies go there. I really liked some of the communities that GoHealth BC supports,” she explains. “To experience parts of BC with the ocean and forests is something that’s been almost spiritual, really. It’s a beautiful place that I really feel connected to.”

Overcoming new challenges through community

Jill’s recent nursing practice had been in health promotion, community nursing, and education, so she knew that rural and remote nursing would be a new experience. The first community she worked in was Daajing Giids, formerly known as Queen Charlotte City, on Haida Gwaii. After her flight from Winnipeg to Vancouver was delayed, she ended up arriving in Haida Gwaii after dark, but luckily she had the next day off to get her bearings, which she was thankful for. 

“That morning, I walked down to the wharf and saw some otters and seals and I just felt like, ‘OK, 

Sandy, snow dusted beach front littered with driftwood
Sandy, snow dusted beach front on Haida Gwaii

this is an adventure, it’s going to be fine,’” she says. Coincidentally, she ended up meeting another GoHealth BC nurse who was working there at the same time, and they were able to connect over their shared experiences. They talked about some of the challenges of arriving in a new community and how to get accustomed to the travel nurse lifestyle.

During their overlapping time in Daajing Giids, they were able to explore the community together, go beachcombing, and go for walks in the forest and along the beach.

“We’re trying to become part of the community while we’re there, so that has been an antidote to the stress,” says Jill. “Often the locals are very welcoming. They're glad you're there because you're supporting their health care centre. They went above and beyond to make us feel welcome in their centre and in their community.”

Jill is looking forward to heading back to Haida Gwaii to work in Masset in April, and will be returning to Port McNeill in May, but this time as a GoHealth BC travel nurse.

The GoHealth BC difference

Boardwalk pathway through a forest
Toe Hill Boardwalk pathway 

Jill has appreciated the support offered by GoHealth BC compared to travel nursing agencies, and describes working with GoHealth BC as feeling like being under an umbrella. 

“GoHealth BC is trying to create a community, and I think humans do better in communities; they work better collaboratively,” she says. “If I run into problems, there’s often someone on call and there’s a team to help support me. I can also reach out to other colleagues, even though we don’t live in the same province. You still need to be a person that likes to learn and who is OK with trying to figure things out, but at least the support is there.”

Having access to a rental vehicle is another bonus that helps Jill feel safer while travelling.

“During one of the agency contracts I did, I was walking to work in the dark in a community I didn’t know anything about, so after a while that was getting to me,” she says.

Jill recommends that agency nurses who are curious about the program should reach out and ask questions about GoHealth BC.

“I would say talk to other people working for GoHealth BC to make sure it’s something you would like,” she says. “If travel nursing is for you, I think this is a very solid option. Another nice thing is there are mentoring opportunities, so you’re able to talk to the other nurses. You really need to be curious and adaptable – someone who likes to experience new things. It’s a really good opportunity to learn and grow.”

If you or someone you know are interested in GoHealth BC, visit our website for more information or contact us. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates about the program, photos, and stories like this one!