If you’ve ever wondered what would be harder to put on: a beekeeper’s suit or nursing PPE, Brooke Moore, BSN, RN, knows the answer firsthand. “PPE by far!” she laughs.
But Moore’s struggle with donning PPE is limited these days, as the 34-year-old nurse and mother of three from North Branch, MI has traded in her scrubs (mostly) for life on the farm and she couldn’t be happier. Read on for Nurse.org’s conversation with how she made the switch — and what she advises other nurses who are dreaming of more beyond the bedside.
With a background in ER, OR, and post-op nursing, Moore tells Nurse.org that she was perfectly content working her jobs as an OR nurse and an IV infusion nurse at the IV Lounge, Inc. However, thanks to a change in her husband’s job, she had the opportunity to make a career change and decided to embrace going from direct patient care to directly caring for a different patient population.
With three young daughters—ages 7, 5, and 2—Moore decided she wanted to spend more time with them while they were little and reduced her hours at work. Although she stayed casual and PRN at her jobs, she officially moved her title to stay-at-home mom…and farmer.
“I decided that I would stay home with the girls, but at the same time, I felt like I still needed something to channel my energy into,” Moore explains. She had already been raising chickens and enjoyed it so much, while also involving her daughters in the process, that she decided to go full-steam ahead into a new venture.
So her farm, @three.daughters.farm, was officially born.
The newly-minted farmer kicked off her new venture by selling eggs from chickens she hatched, expanding her pumpkin patch, planning to raise meat chickens as well as flowers, and of course, raising honey bees. Because Moore’s father is also a crop farmer, she also offered to help him out in the fields.
“This year I was able to help work up the fields and the best part was I could have my kids with me,” she notes.
Going from working as a busy mom of three and nurse to planning her days according to her own schedule has been a bit of a shift, Moore admits. “It was weird at first, I just felt like I was on a long vacation at first. But now it’s amazing, I can plan my day however I want,” she explains.
While her days as a working nurse used to look like this: get up, put kids on the bus, drive to daycare, rush to work, hope she got a chance to take a break and use the bathroom, and maybe make it home for the dinner and bath time rush, now she says no day is ever the same.
Now, instead of rushing to get kids out the door and clock in on time, she is spending her mornings doing chicken chores, having breakfast with her youngest, fitting in time to work out, and heading to the fields or checking on the animals. “Every day is different,” Moore comments.
And of course, even as a farmer, she’s still putting her professional skills to use. For instance, she explains that the ability to triage and prioritize her most important tasks first is a skill that’s important for both nurses and farmers. Plus: “I did have a couple of sick chickens I had to tend to!”
While Moore is focusing more on nursing her dreams on the farm right now, she’s still passionate about being a nurse. She is still working casually and PRN as an OR and IV infusion nurse and recently completed her certification as an aesthetics nurse as well, a field she hopes to pursue someday in the future.
“Honestly, becoming a nurse was the best decision I ever made,” she says. “ I love nursing, I love helping people and I love the challenges it brings.”
Moore plans to keep her nursing license active — a tip she recommends for any nurse who explores other non-bedside options! — and she loves that being a nurse allows for so many different opportunities to pursue passions, all while being flexible along the way.
“There are so many career options as a RN and I feel that you can really find what you like doing as a nurse and then focus on that,” she points out. “It’s such a great field to be in and there is definitely something for everyone.”
For now, she is content with the mix of nursing care and caring for her family and farm that she is currently enjoying. “My biggest reason for making the switch was my girls,” Moore explains. “You can always get a job as a nurse, but you can never get time back with your kids. So being able to stay home with my girls and start my farm is a huge blessing, I am very fortunate to be able to do this.”
As she enjoys life on the farm for now, Moore is clear that her future will always include some form of being a nurse:
“I don’t think my nursing days are over,” she says, adding that she has plans to go back to nursing once her kids are all in school.
“I love nursing,” she continues. “It’s such a great career to be in, but right now in this crazy world, I think it’s so important to be home with my girls and teaching them farm life skills like planting, harvesting, and taking care of and raising animals.”
“That is so much more important to me, even if our farm doesn’t sell a thing!” she says.
Images courtesy of Brooke Moore