Nurse trades scrubs for an 18-wheeler

When LPN couldn’t advance in her career, she got her trucker license and hit the road

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Lots of nurses are leaving their hospital jobs. But there aren’t a lot of them becoming truck drivers.

That didn’t matter to Leah Gorham, who left her job as a licensed practical nurse at Saint John Regional Hospital in New Brunswick, Canada, to hit the road in an 18-wheeler.

“A lot of the nurses are getting burned out,” Gorham told CBC News while en route to Indiana and then South Carolina. “They’re crying every day; they’re crying in the bathroom. The people I know who are tough as nails, they just can’t take it anymore.”

Gorham said she couldn’t take it anymore after being assaulted by a male patient who apparently hit her in the face with his catheter bag, then pinned her up against the wall and tried to strangle her. She told CBC she later learned he had been confused and aggressive overnight, but nobody had a chance to tell her.

She also had been thrice rejected for the University of New Brunswick’s bridging program so she could become a registered nurse.

“I wanted to be a nurse for the rest of my life,” Gorham said. “I applied at least three times and was flat-out rejected and honestly, I had no idea why.”

That’s when she started looking at her boyfriend’s career choice — trucking. Gorham paid $10,000 for a 12-week driving course and earned her Class 1 transport truck license.

“I really miss working with the girls,” she said. “We really formed a strong relationship and a huge trust and I loved looking after people. But I was so frustrated with not getting ahead in nursing, I feel like this is a better fit for me right now.”

What kind of salary could you expect as a long haul driver based in Georgia?

While ZipRecruiter said it is seeing salaries as high as $86,496 and as low as $27,338, the majority of long haul truck driver salaries currently range between $47,057 (25th percentile) to $68,569 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $77,533 annually. lists the average base salary at $71,815 a year.

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