Happy employee, happy business?

So it looks like you’ll get two posts this week! Lucky you, right?

Conference offically starts in a couple of hours so I thought, with the start of a conference for people who travel for a living, why not discuss a topic I’ve beat to death  talked about on this blog many times.

Why people leave.

(On a side note: I’ve been trying to ease back into Facebook of late. I’d stepped away for a host of reasons, the least of which was the feeling of a non reality. Facebook tends to cultivate hard feelings and an unrealness. People say what they want on there with little regard to how that makes others feel. Political and social issues that are important to me become things those I have respected in the past feel they can say whatever they want, reposting ugly memes a person would otherwise think twice about posting. No one wants to be in that environment.)

Getting to it, LinkedIn emailed a post out this morning that I felt was incredibly timely. The Real Cost of Poor Leadership talked about many of the things I go on about fairly regularly, which is people leaving jobs they aren’t satisfied doing.  A few highlights that caught my eye:


I recently had a conversation at work… okay let’s just call it a rant… on why nurses job hop or leave the profession all together. It’s the old attrition and retention talk that plagues every field. We make decent money no matter where we live compared to the average American, we offer a service of caring that can be uplifting, we go into our profession with the aim of helping. So why do nurses keep leaving?

I reject the idea that this is generational or the result of the attitude that “if this doesn’t work, I’ll do something else.” Why? Because most nurses start with a desire to be all they can be.

The article mentions bad bosses or management. It’s no back up when you need it. It’s infighting when we should support each other (nurses eating their young/new). It’s that feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and that general feeling that no one cares if you make it.

No praise for slaving away on a night when things are crazy and you barely made it. No considerations when decisions that directly effect productivity are made. More about money and bottom lines.

When the CEO making more than every person working on the floor combined, gets a bonus every year and the nurses risking their lives have gone two years plus without a raise, we’ve got a problem.

I travel because I can seek out better. Yes, every hospital has its problems, but there’s nothing that says I have to stay and endure crap. And some places are definitely crappier than others. I can move around and explore and save myself headache. Maybe I’ll find that perfect place, maybe I won’t, but I only have to suffer 3-6 months at a time instead of my entire career.

Been there. Done that. Life is too short to suffer a terrible manager (middle or upper), or a terrible doctor(s).

We deserve better as a profession and until we get there the travel industry will get bigger while the nursing shortage also increases.

The number of nurses here is insane and seems to be reveled only by the number of companies here trying to gather business. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that this is a business and we are a commodity. It’s difficult to navigate it well so a conference that discusses all the information you need to know is important.

Now if I could just do away with the necessary, but annoying schmoozing, I’d do even better.

Anyway, it’s time to get this conference underway. Maybe I’ll surprise us all by doing a post tomorrow!

Confernce on, road warrior? ☺️😊


The End

Sorry for the radio silence over the last few months. As time has ticked by from week one to week 17 of this last stint, I think I have a great idea for something to say, but then life would get away from me. In the end, what started out as something I wasn’t so sure about ended up being an assignment that I found enjoyable. Having not worked with the demographic common to my home state in a long time, it was good to be closer to home and get reacquainted with the issues of Appalachia.

But being done, the approaching end of the year, and life in general has had me thinking of ending.

Things always end. Always. The recent death of someone I knew drove home how sudden the end can come. Life is finite in ways I forget until confronted with death. How we don’t consider meeting our maker until we are step out of this life into the next. It makes me take account of how I’ve led my life so far. 32 years is long enough to make mistakes, have regrets, have great accomplishments, and joys. What can I say about myself in the end?

On a less morbid note…

I talk often about leaving a legacy. Even if I never return to a place I’ve worked at, I hope I leave behind the impression of a person who works hard. More than that, I hope I leave the idea of kindness in some form. I admit I gripe at work, but I hope my attitude with my patients and coworkers overall is one of helpfulness and giving.

There’s joy and sorrow in endings, but life continues on even in the midst of both emotions. 2016 (a not so fun year) will end. It’ll usher in a new beginning with its ending. It’ll have left its mark, for good and bad.

Remember me fondly even when my mistakes are unearthed. Remember my care, my compassion, my concern, my humor, and my smile. When I’m gone, remember those things because that’ll be all I can leave behind.

On to new beginnings. San Jose after the New Years! Too soon to be worried about anything except vacation.  I’ll try blogging a little more often now. Until then, thinking on your legacy.

Somebody’s Baby

If you see my mother over the next couple of weeks, give her a hug for me. Thanks

Leaving is a double edged sword in this business. Sometimes you’re excited to leave a place, hospital, assignment for a variety of reasons. You’re counting down your 13 weeks and chomping at the bit to get away.

I’m learning that there are times where leaving is hard…

Traveling means saying “see you soon” to your family. I started my cross country trip today (a first for me to travel to my assignment via car so that has its own anxiety tied in).

My mother always gets sad when I leave. Every time.

I never claim to understand because I say I’m a big girl and we should be used to it by now. I mean, I’m a little sad, but I’m also nervous and excited about something new.

Mom tells me that no matter how old I get, I’m still her baby. I realized how difficult it was for her to send me off this morning and it hit home. She kept referring to the Subaru commercial with the dad talking to the little girl driving the car. You know the one, she’s in the driver’s seat, looks like she’s 5, and he’s giving her cautions about driving. At the end, she changes to a 16 year old girl. Mom said that’s how she felt about me leaving.

I don’t have kids, but I imagine no matter how old they get they’re still your baby.

Baby C on the go

Travel on, road warrior

Oh won’t you stay just a little bit longer

Knowing when to go. It’s probably similar to knowing when’s the right time to start traveling full-time. It’s like the sweet spot, you only know it if you’re looking for it.

I’ve had a couple long contracts. One for 6 months and another for 7. When you’re at a place for a certain amount of time, it starts to feel like home. My gauge is the point where I get pretty good at navigating streets and getting to places with ease.

Your reasons for staying seem to trump your reasons for leaving so you simply extend. One of the big reasons I left those longer contracts is I hate the cold.

Love the east coast, but warmth in January beats cold every day. Make no mistake.

Sometimes leaving an assignment happens because it’s unsafe. In my experience, it’s best to keep your recruiter updated on the situation so that if you do leave they’ll have your back. If you have to bail, make sure your reasons are good as some companies/hospitals can penalize you for breaking contract.

Remember, in unsafe situations, it’s your license at stake so cover your own butt! I haven’t had to terminate a contract yet, but there have been moments where sheer determination is all that was keeping me from quitting. Looking for new assignments is a tedious process!

How do you know when it’s truly time to go though? I think that answer is an individual thing.

Getting too comfortable is something I avoid so when the itch to flee kicks in, I try heeding it and go. For some people they don’t feel like they have really gotten to know a place unless they’ve stayed for almost a year. Staying in one place for a year makes me antsy just thinking about it!

The hope is I make enough of an impression at the places I love that they’ll ask for me to come back. Oh, I’ll come back if you’ll have me.

Travelers gotta travel so…

Travel on, road warrior.

Nurse C on the go

I just finished my assignment in Nantucket. The leaving was bittersweet in many ways. Each assignment has its own good and bad components and this one definitely had its good and bad parts in spades.

That’s the funny thing about traveling. Even if the assignment wasn’t everything you thought it would be, leaving doesn’t get any easier.

Okay, I take that back.

There are some assignments that you can’t wait to leave. They’re so bad that you kick the dust off your shoes when you get on the plane and never look back!

But leaving Nantucket has me in mixed feelings.

It was a place that had some of the best patients I’ve ever taken care of in my career. For all my complaints about unappreciative patients, every person I’ve taken care of there was thankful (effusively so), glad to see you when you were out, and always sent gifts to the floor in thanks. A small hospital with amazing patients and patient load.

I also had coworkers I really enjoyed working with. Coworkers I liked hang out with after work also.

It had its bad moments, make no mistake, but for all the issues Nantucket turned into my longest assignment so far. 7 months! It beat out Brigham and Women’s, which I loved.

I teared up a bit on leaving!!

Will I go back? That’s a question I ask myself every assignment. I asked myself that as i boarded the ferry out of town yesterday and I don’t have the answers.

Traveling is so exciting in the opportunities it gives. Seeing new places, meeting new people, and gaining new experiences.

Off to warmer climes, but maybe I’ll see you again soon, Nantucket. Until then…

Travel on, road warrior