Why Us?

All of us need more time in our lives, but pesky things like working can get in the way. NursesPTO was started to give nurses as well as any other interested people a chance to explore new avenues for income to give you back time for family, hobbies and even mindless TV and thoughts on how to maximize your time off. We can be silly and irreverent, but have all experienced new career paths which have lead to financial and personal freedom. Join us on this journey and give us your input! We’d love to hear from you through comments or through guest blog entries.
We all hope to share with you interesting information that you can find helpful in your pursuit of healthcare careers as well as our musings about life.

And for the non-medical folks out there, “PTO” means “paid time off” like paid vacation or sick leave or making money in your sleep.
three-nurses-illustration

Wendy Kelton


I am a 31 year old mother of four unruly children ages 12, 10, 9 and 7. I have been a registered nurse for 4 years in a surgical intensive care unit. I love my job but find it quite challenging and frustrating at times. There seems to be a disproportionate number of bad outcomes as opposed to the good in ICU. Though I am glad I can be there for these patients and their families at their most difficult times, I would really like to be in a setting where happiness prevails. I am currently in a Master’s Program to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. I want to care for and assist women in their journey to motherhood…it’s what I know.

A little history on me…

I grew up in a very small town of less than a thousand people, and I still live there. I graduated high school with many of the same kids I started kindergarten with. I was involved in school functions, cheerleader, student council president, valedictoria but remained a rather shy and private person. I was married shortly after high school graduation and had a tumultuous 6 year relationship with my husband and father to my children. I was finally able to remove myself from what was an abusive situation and try to make a life for myself and my children. The abuse continued after my divorce and it took a long time for me to be strong enough to get help and finally put an end to it. I am a different person today for having gone through all of that. It is what encouraged me to become what I am today. I am the most determined person now because I know that I can do whatever I decide to do after what I have been through. I say all of this to give you a little insight on why I am the way I am: rough around the edges due to necessity but if you get to the inside it is all mush…;)

Jennifer Gonzalez Smith


A 33 year old mother, nurse, girlfriend and blessed enough to be a friend to many. I was raised in Ft. Worth, TX. Educated in mostly private schools or magnet schools in my younger years I went onto the University of Texas at Arlington where biology was my major. Two years there then onto nursing school in Texarkana TX where my original plan was to return to UTA and finish my bachelors degree, but…..Met a boy, got married, had babies, got divorced, still live in Texarkana and I love it!

I graduated nursing school in 1997 and have been a vocational nurse ever since. My first job out of school was a prison nurse, talk about interesting! I found out the operating room is where my heart lies. I have now been a scrub nurse since 1998. I went to work for a neurosurgeon as a private scrub and office nurse, then onto the world OB/GYN. Then onto….. Medical sales. I recently decided to stop working in the operating room and took myself off the operating room call schedule after doing that for almost 11 years. I have to admit it’s going to be a little weird not carrying a pager but it was just too time consuming with all these crazy kids in football, baseball, cheer and band. Now that I think about it I guess I am really a taxi driver (trust me, not complaining! It’s a blast!).

I live to laugh, love, dance and oh yeah, party! My favorite place to be is home surrounded by the people I love the most. I guess summed up in short I’m a vodka drinking, lap-band having (lost 130 pounds!!), goofy dancing nerd that is blessed in too many ways to list.

Rachael Keilin


Rachael is a person who has strayed from her training and upbringing to become something altogether different. When her parents finished high school, they put Texas in the rear-view mirror and vowed never to return. After settling in Manhattan, they had one child – a healthy baby girl. She was raised on sushi and museums, chinatown, little Italy, the Village; all the cultural delights NYC can offer.

So what did this child do? First, she went to college at the all-time rival ivy league school. Then Rachael promptly decamped back for Texas, making her parents shake their heads yet again. “Medical school?!?” was the response when she declared her future plans thus defying her family’s predilection for the law. After finishing school, she chose a career in general surgery, followed by additional training in trauma and critical care.

A traditional route for a woman to take? Ummmm….. not exactly. Less than 20% of all general surgeons are women. Why? For a lot of reasons including the length of training, a macho stigma especially attached to trauma and working 110 hours/week during the common years of fertility. But putting off family and fecundity, Rachael went into surgery anyway. She has now veered away from tradition again to follow yet another muse, this time bariatric (weight loss) surgery and body sculpting through liposuction. She lives and works in a small town with fewer people than the neighborhood she grew up in.

While not traditionally feminine (she does work with colons, after all), Rachael prides herself on having worn lipstick through a significant part of her residency and she admits to a profound weakness when it comes to sparkly things in small packages. She is now married to the man of her dreams, has two beautiful girls and a practice that brings with it a lot of emotional satisfaction. Oh yeah, and a lot of little sparkly things, too :)

Share
  • January 25th, 2009
  • 2 Comments...Your thoughts?