Rhaven McIver has built a successful career as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), but the road to get her there was not easy. Rhaven originally enrolled in college to become a broadcast journalist but quickly realized it was not the field she wanted to pursue. Her college roommate, however, was enrolled in their university’s nursing program, which led Rhaven to realize her passion for the profession as she genuinely enjoyed helping her roommate study for tests and finals.
“After realizing I enjoyed the subjects my roommate was studying a lot more than my own, I decided to take a few basic science courses and I really enjoyed them,” Rhaven says. “I got a job working as a nursing assistant at a hospital to see how I’d feel, and I ended up really enjoying the environment. I saw myself being able to do what the nurses were doing, so I knew that would be my journey from then on.”
Committing to that decision required Rhaven to make a few sacrifices. At the time, she was part of a band. Music has always been one of Rhaven’s biggest passions, but sadly she was faced with the task of having to choose whether to prioritize nursing school or music, and she chose nursing.
“I took my time committing to nursing because while it was all happening, I was also in a band,” Rhaven says. “I had to travel a lot with my band and the schedule was crazy, so it was a wild transition continuing to pursue music while also finishing the prerequisites required to apply to different nursing programs.”
Upon being accepted into nursing schools, she knew she had to decide.
“When I got into nursing school, I was still with the band and it was doing really well, but I knew I eventually had to leave in order to finish my nursing program,” Rhaven says. “I just felt like it was time to move on at that point.”
Her journey to get her into nursing might have required difficult decisions, but since being in the field, Rhaven has experienced steady growth. She started her career as a registered bedside nurse and shortly after, she transitioned into critical care nursing, tending to patients in the ICU. Her end goal however, has always been to become a CRNA, so she headed back to school after five years to study nursing anesthesia.
Currently, Rhaven works at a hospital as a CRNA and labor and delivery nurse.
“I’m a CRNA and I love what I do,” Rhaven says. “Putting patients to sleep and waking them up safely for surgery is actually a really fun job. I also work in labor and delivery so I help women get comfortable for labor by administering epidurals or assisting in C-sections. I feel like my job is really cool because I get to do a lot of different things at work. It’s never the same thing everyday.”
Even with her busy schedule, Rhaven has made her passion for travel one of her biggest priorities. She has amassed over 40,000 followers on Instagram by sharing content from her luxurious travels.
“My biggest goal is to visit every country in the world,” Rhaven says. “I’ve been to 39 now, but there’s 196, so there’s still a lot more to see.”
Rhaven’s travel content is undoubtedly popular among her followers, so she decided to maximize this experience by creating opportunities for anyone who might be interested in joining her in her travels. This year, Rhaven founded Away With Rhay, a luxury travel company committed to making itineraries and scheduling trips in which Rhaven’s followers can join her in her travels, allowing them to experience the lifestyle she promotes through her content.
“Ever since I started traveling, people don’t think it’s something attainable for them, which it really is,” Rhaven says. “I enjoy putting together travel itineraries. I do a lot of research on which places to go. I look up the best picture-taking spots, the best spots to immerse yourself into that particular culture, etc.”
Even though Away With Rhay launched recently, Rhaven has big things in store for the company within the next year, including a group trip to Morocco, with the ultimate goal of preparing at least four international trips next year.
Away With Rhay’s first international trip being set in Morocco is not a coincidence. Rhaven shares that she has gone there before and absolutely fell in love with the country, and since the company’s main goal is to provide a very “Rhaven” travel experience, she knew Morocco was the place to go.
“Riding a camel through the Sahara Desert was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I want to give people once-in-a-lifetime experiences through my company,” Rhaven says. “I want people to experience exactly what they think I experience on my trips.”
Over the years, Rhaven has experienced an array of notable travel memories. Her favorite country she has traveled to was Thailand and she hopes to revisit it.
“The first time I went [to Thailand] was in 2015, when people just started traveling there, so it was a big culture shock at first for both the locals and I,” Rhaven says. “People kept trying to take pictures with me. I asked a local why this kept happening and they said it’s because they don’t really see people who look like me outside of TV. I’m from New York, so I had seen people of all races, shapes and sizes, but they never see people who look like me over there, which I thought was super interesting.”
Rhaven has achieved great success in the multiple roles she occupies. She does, however, want to occupy one more role, as she hopes to pursue music again now that she has solidified her career and education. She would love to record an EP and perhaps start performing live shows.
Rhaven knows this will not be an easy feat, but she is also hopeful.
“Back in the day, when people wanted to pursue music it was much harder to get noticed,” Rhaven says. “Now you can record something on your own and promote it through your own outlets. I’m not necessarily trying to be the next Beyonce; I just want to make music that hopefully some people will enjoy and resonate with, and maybe do some shows. That would be amazing.”
To Rhaven, “she can be both” means having the ability to do many things.
“A lot of people wonder how I’m a nurse anesthetist and simultaneously doing a lot of other things that are so different,” Rhaven says. “Once I grew up and became more mature and more confident in who I was, I realized I could do a lot more than I thought.
“I’ve had a lot of people reach out, thanking me for showing them that they can pursue many passions and goals all at once.”