If you’re a nurse practitioner thinking about taking on locum tenens work, there’s no better source of advice than the practitioners who have already been through it. Locum tenens NPs bring unique perspectives and insights to the job: from choosing assignments that broaden experience to maintaining effective relationships with employers, co-workers and patients.
As an NP residing in West Virginia, Jenna Bain has vast experience with short-term assignments. She is currently juggling two concurrent locum contracts – one within her home state and another beyond its boundaries in Pennsylvania. We sat down with Ms. Bain to get her take on how to succeed as a locum tenens NP.
Locums Work Wasn’t Her First Choice
While locum tenens has plenty to offer nurse practitioners, for Ms. Bain it wasn’t her first choice. She lost her job in the middle of the pandemic and started traveling and picking up contracts at that point. “I got into traveling and picking up contracts after suddenly being without work in the middle of the pandemic.”
She discovered VISTA Staffing Solutions, a healthcare staffing agency that specializes in connecting NPs with locum tenens assignments. With VISTA’s help, she was able to find contracts swiftly and get her first “big contract.”
VISTA is known for taking exceptional care of the nurse practitioners it works with. Its proprietary system, VISTA Select, helps make sure that NPs are matched with contracts that suit their unique interests and availability. Ms. Bain says “I got on board with VISTA who has taken very good care of me and I’ve been traveling ever since.”
The Thought of Not Traveling Was Too Much
When COVID began to settle down, Ms. Bain faced another decision point. Does she keep traveling? Or settle down once again. The thought of ‘not traveling’ was too much for her to bear.
“After COVID settled down I actually considered not traveling, but I missed the flexibility and the freedom. Traveling leaves me feeling in control of my own career, and the experiences and opportunities that it offers to be exposed to so much more than I would be if I just worked on staff somewhere. I kept traveling and it’s been a great fit for me.”
Traveling truly is one of the greatest benefits of locum tenens work. As a traveling nurse practitioner, Ms. Bain has had the opportunity to gain experience at many different organizations and in diverse environments. She is able to take her skillset on the road while still having control over her career path.
Falling in Love With The Big Apple
As a locum tenens clinician, you get firsthand experience working in unique medical communities while simultaneously enjoying all that comes with temporarily settling down in some of the most beautiful parts of the world. For some this means going to smaller towns, and others it means visiting exotic foreign locations. For Ms. Bain, this meant the opportunity to take her talents to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
“My all time favorite location has been Brooklyn, New York. I worked as an NP there. The experience, the contacts, the friends, and the culture that I was exposed to was really life changing not only personally, but professionally. That is by far my favorite experience. It’s actually hard to put into words because it really changed me and made a huge impact on me, and it’s been the standard to which I hold everything else with traveling.”
She has been to Brooklyn twice with VISTA Staffing. She notes how great it was to be able to experience the city from two different perspectives in two separate contracts. Beyond work, she enjoyed all the cultural and recreational activities that Brooklyn has to offer.
Her Staffing Choice Made The Difference
Though she met with many staffing companies, it was VISTA that really connected with her. “Vista was really the one of the first companies I started traveling with and they just made me feel at ease.”
Though it might seem like a small choice, the staffing company you choose for locum tenens work can actually make or break the engagement. For VISTA, it’s what happens after the placement process that really matters. “I have felt very well taken care of. I don’t feel like I’m ever on my own. They go above and beyond to make traveling as smooth as possible and to help me in any way that they can. They are available 24/7 for me and my recruiters have become like friends and family. They know me, I can talk to them openly and honestly with them. They’ve taken the time to get to know my personality and my skill level to match me with assignments where I’m always successful and that’s very important to me.”
A common dream for traveling clinicians is the ability to put their skills and knowledge to use in a location that they would never usually see otherwise. And a place they might not want to stay forever, but it would be awesome just to see. Ms. Bain dreams of an assignment in Alaska. “I really want to go to Alaska. I want to do a remote contract. I want to be able to do it when it fits for my family, that’s why I haven’t done it yet. It’s a bucket list contract for me that, when I’m ready, I definitely would like to do. I’ve heard the experience is amazing.”
Living It Up After Work
For locum tenens workers, the dream of being paid to travel and experience a new city is within reach. Those who are passionate about the work often revel in this newfound freedom, taking advantage of their mobile lifestyle while earning great pay along the way. You can hit the museums, see some amazing sights, and check out the local cuisine. “The first thing I do is I ask the locals where are the best local places to eat, the hidden gems in your city, your mom and pop restaurants. That is the first thing I ask. I want to eat where the locals eat.”
Ready to Learn More?
This story is just one example of what it’s like to be a traveling nurse practitioner. If you’re interested in learning more about the locums life, contact VISTA Staffing Solutions today to see how we can help make your travel dreams come true.
We believe that every NP deserves the chance to experience the world and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. So don’t wait, get started on your locum tenens journey today. VISTA Staffing Solutions is here to help you make your travel dreams a reality. Contact us now and let’s get started.