Wanderlust has led Jennie Evans to many different parts of the world. At a young age, she would look through travel books and pick out spots she wanted to visit. “I was always thinking beyond my current geography,” she says.

She’s traveled to several continents, including Asia, South America, and Europe, and a few years ago fulfilled a life-long dream backpacking along the Salkantay Trail to the Incas in Peru.

That quest for new landscapes has also influenced her career. Fresh out of nursing school, she took a job as a travel nurse, where she received short-term contracts to work in a number of locations across the U.S.

The realization to work in healthcare design came later in life, and of course, it was during a trip—this time aboard a ferry boat back from Alaska—where she learned she could use her nursing background to influence the design and architecture of healthcare spaces.

Nineteen years ago, she packed her bags and moved to Dallas to work at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where she served as a clinical liaison on a major ICU expansion and bed tower renovation. She eventually made the leap to the architecture firm side, where she now works as associate principal and senior vice president at HKS.

This year, Evans, who is also a past president of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design, was named the HCD 10 association/foundation executive for her work.

In this HCD 10 podcast, she talks about how her career path has given her have a more empathetic viewpoint for healthcare design, the biggest concern she hears from nursing staff and physicians, and why she’d like to see the industry find a solution to improve clinical integration and communication within the healthcare team.

For more HCD 10 podcasts, read “Getting Up Close And Personal With The HCD 10.”