TNAA's Mercy Ships Volunteer Nurses

Ashley Jones, Tele Nurse

Beginning January 2016, Travel Nurse Across America is sponsoring another nurse working in a Mercy Ships mission hospital. Ashley Jones, a Tele nurse, will arrive in Madagascar January 3 and work aboard the Africa Mercy in Toamasina as a General Ward/Post Op nurse through the end of February.

Ashley has been traveling with TNAA for 2.5 years and says she jumped into travel nursing as soon as she could after getting her license and the necessary experience. “I thought it was a dream to travel and try new places,” Ashley said. “But it’s been perfect for me.”

With her outgoing personality, Ashley finds it easy to learn something new everywhere she goes. Ashley says she enjoys learning from her surroundings and different equipment, and has been surprised at how much she’s picked up even staying within the same specialty.

Ashley has been involved in volunteer work at the community level since an early age, helping her mother with Mothers Against Drunk Driving events in her hometown. In 2013 and 2015, Ashley was able to take medical mission trips to Costa Rica, helping with health assessments and home visits in some of the poorest areas outside the capital city of San Jose.

Ashley feels almost as though her Mercy Ships assignment was predestined. When she turned in her resignation at her position as a staff nurse in order to pursue travel nursing, her manager suggested she look into Mercy Ships. Not being familiar with it at that point, she did some research and was definitely interested, but found the financial component too great to consider on her own. Once employed with TNAA, she received an email announcing that we would be sponsoring nurses and even though she knew it wasn’t a guarantee, just the possibility that the opportunity could be hers was overwhelming.

“I’m willing to do the smallest job – even clean the toilets – and will be so excited just to be there. I can’t put into words how excited I am just to be a part of it,” Ashley said. “I can’t even fathom how amazing and rewarding it’s going to be.”

Ashley will be providing us with weekly updates, so click here to follow her blog to learn more about her adventures

Hannah Mraz, OB Nurse

This month, Travel Nurse Across America is excited to sponsor our second nurse working at a Mercy Ships mission hospital. Hannah Mraz, an OB nurse, will arrive in Madagascar on November 29. She will be working at Mercy Ships' new Women's Health Clinic located on shore in Toamasina, right beside where the Africa Mercy is docked.

The Women's Clinic is also known as the OBF Clinic, as this facility focuses on Obstetric Fistula repair. A debilitating condition, Obstetric Fistula has become an epidemic among women in developing countries who do not have access to proper obstetric care. Surgeries to repair fistulas are performed on the ship and patients are transferred to the clinic on post-op day three for continued care.

Hannah will stay in the Women's Health Team House, an apartment complex near the clinic. Unlike Lee Clouse's crowded quarters on the ship, each apartment has regular beds and bathrooms, plus its own washer and dryer. The Team House and the Clinic are guarded by security 24 hours a day, and vehicles are provided to transport crew members between facilities. Those living in the Team House are expected to participate in all community life activities on board the ship and are expected to follow the same curfew rules as crew members living on board.

Hannah has been traveling with TNAA for almost a year and half, and has been on assignments all over the country. She says she made the decision to start travel nursing because she felt she needed to do more with her life and wanted to push herself outside of her comfort zone. She's excited to do just that on her assignment with Mercy Ships.

"Travel nursing has really ignited my love of learning, and I'm excited to enhance my skills on this assignment," said Hannah. "I also can't wait to immerse myself in the Malagasy culture. The way they approach healing adds another dimension to nursing. It's going to be very eye-opening."

Hannah will be providing us with weekly updates, so follow this blog to learn about everything she's experiencing. Hannah will be providing us with weekly updates.

Lee Clouse, PICU RN

Lee Clouse, a Pediatric ICU nurse, has worked with Travel Nurse Across America since 2006, beginning her relationship with the company at the encouragement of a friend and fellow travel nurse. Her love of travel nursing isn't just about the adventure of visiting different cities; she's working, living and becoming part of a community, if only for 13 weeks at a time. When friends ask Lee when she'll stop traveling, her answer is "when I find home.".

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Lee's interest in travel started early. She has had the opportunity to backpack through South America, explore Mexico, and visit the Netherlands and France. She is extremely passionate about volunteering and views it as a chance to contribute to her community on local, national and global levels. For the last 10 years, Lee has worked as a charge nurse along the AIDS Lifecycle Organization's 550-mile ride for awareness in California. She will serve aboard Mercy Ships in Madagascar from November 23, 2014 - January 30, 2015.