Friends Helping Friends: Nurse Referrals and Local Assignments
Two nurse friends share about working travel nursing assignments close to home with Onward Healthcare
By Joan Fox Rose, MA, RN, contributor
Jennifer Clay, LPN, and Connie Romero, LPN, are friends who work in the pediatric clinic at the Phoenix-based Indian Medical Center, a 127-bed, Joint-Commission accredited medical facility. Employed by Onward Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company, they enjoy the chance to work together on travel nursing assignments close to home.
“I’ve been employed by Onward Healthcare for two years and am interested in nurse recruitment because I think this company is a good one,” Clay said. “When I was first employed I spoke to my recruiter, Patrick, on several occasions suggesting Onward Healthcare should initiate an incentive or referral bonus program. Patrick [and Onward] came through, and I’ve referred three nurses to my employer. Once they complete their initial 13- week assignments, I’m paid a referral bonus.” In fact, her friends-helping-friends efforts have turned out well for all parties.
“I referred my friend, Connie Romero, because she’s always been a reliable nurse and partner to work with, and Onward Healthcare provided her with more benefits than her previous employer did,” Clay added.
“I am pleased to be working for Onward Healthcare because I’ve gotten a lot of support from recruiters who keep in touch with me on a regular basis,” Romero reported. “They listen to my concerns and assist me with the problem-solving process.”
Travel nursing can mean local jobs and good friendships
Both Clay and Romero opted to work for Onward locally in Arizona, their home state. They’ve acquired marketable skills by working in a variety of nursing specialties. In addition, Clay has worked in a Phoenix maximum security prison caring for patients ranging from “DWIs to murderers.” Currently she’s working full-time at the Indian Medical Center while completing her RN degree. A busy mom, Clay has five children, ages 5 months to 16 years.
“Although I’m older than Jennifer and she has a young family to care for, we get along well as we think alike, especially when it comes to nursing care,” Romero said. “It’s nice to have a friend to talk things over with. We don’t get to enjoy recreating and traveling together due to family commitments, but we keep in touch at work and call and text each other when we’re off duty. I’m so glad we met and became good friends and are a part of each other’s lives.”
Travel offers exposure to diverse patient populations
Romero, a 37-year nursing veteran, shared her insights about caring for a diverse American Indian population.
“As nurses we must show respect when caring for people of different cultures and be aware that they have patient rights,” she explained. “People of different cultures respond to caring practices in different ways, and by showing them respect they respect us. It’s important to care for all patients in a calm and consistent manner.”
“When caring for Indian children, we must include the whole family because they’re all involved,” she advised. “It’s important to be aware of children’s changing needs, as a child may be smiling one minute and crying and screaming the next minute. As nurses we need to know when to take charge and when to back off and allow parents to handle their children. Some parents aren’t always understanding in situations when I must take charge. I explain to them that each child is an individual who responds differently to illness, and I focus my care with that difference in mind.”
Perks from a travel nurse career
“A travel nursing career provides nurses with many learning opportunities about different cultures and people’s different backgrounds,” Romero said. “There’s a lot of diversity within our country and travel gives both young and older nurses new experiences and opportunities to broaden their personal and professional life experiences.”
“I would eventually like to travel when my children get older,” Clay added. “I think it’s a great opportunity to experience other places.”
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