Loving His Nurses and Finding Love Through Pasta

In building relationships with our nurses and premier healthcare institutions throughout the Midwest we know it’s important to put a human face to who we are, how we work, what inspires us, and more! We’re pleased to we’d like to introduce you to John Nolan, Managing Partner and President of Next Move.

John, who was born in Joplin, right here in the beautiful state of Missouri, is the former Vice President of Heartland Healthcare Providers and has been in the travel nursing business for over 5 years.

Career Highlights Boil Down to the Nurses Themselves

When asked about any “career highlights” he’d like to share, John said it really just boils down to the nurses themselves.

“Those moments that I find the most rewarding are the ones where I take several months getting to know a new traveler, helping them to understand and get comfortable with the idea of travel nursing and placing them in their first assignment. It’s a big team cheer when that nurse gets their first paycheck (usually double whatever rate they’d earned before) and sends me a text that simply says: THANK YOU. I love all caps.”

Pay Off School Loans, Get Rid of Debt, Work Close to Home

John continued with “Success for them, is success for all of us here at Next Move. We have travelers that come to us wanting to pay off their nursing school student loans in less than a year and messaging us a year later saying, “Mission Accomplished.” We have travelers coming to us looking for assignments close to home so they can spend time with their family and messaging us a week into their first assignment with a picture of their family and the words “No place like home.” We have travelers still in nursing school – looking to find an assignment to complete their clinicals and messaging us a few months later a screenshot of their nursing degree.”

Past a-la John and How it Found Him Love

Known as “Pasta a-la John” amongst his friends, John is an amazing cook and can whip up a batch of deliciousness with whatever’s laying around the fridge, including throwing frozen pizza in the pasta. It sounds weird, but trust us, you just have to try it. John also added: “I credit closing the biggest deal of my life (convincing my wife to marry me) to a huge batch of pasta I made for the Heart Health Gala Fundraiser.” John had just met his future wife at the Gala, but it was the love he put into that pasta dish that made her fall “in-love” with him.

More About John

Favorite Movie If I had to pick, probably Anchor Man – but really, I’m into documentaries. I usually watch at least one per night, before I fall asleep and have been doing that for 6 or 7 years now. At this point, it’s safe to say I’ve probably seen almost every single documentary on space, nature, science and futurism that YouTube has to offer. What’s cool about YouTube are there’s and endless number of channels to browse for new and interesting content.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My day’s usually start at 5:30am, with my one cup of coffee for the day and a light breakfast, after which I head to my home office to catch up on the morning news (The Hustle, Morning Brew, The Skim and the New York Times.

I then start texting our nurses that are either about to start their shift or just coming off a shift and try to get a jump start on emails. Once 8am hits, all the hospitals we’re working with start emailing us looking for new travelers and the majority of my day is spent submitting these new assignments to our nurses.

Each afternoon, I catch up with my team by phone, and then spend the rest of the day talking to nurses (via Facebook, texting, or by phone) and coordinating new assignments with our hospitals.

There are days that end at 5, and days that end a lot later when hospitals send new assignments late in the day. When that happens, we make sure we’ve reached out to all our travelers to let them know of the new assignments.

My day ends with me cooking dinner for my wife while she tells me about her day at the hospital. She’s an anesthetist. And then I turn in for the evening with that night’s selected documentary. Weekends when I’m not fishing, I’ll still get up early to catch up on some work and set the next week in motion.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

Most people know this, but I LOVE fly-fishing. My wife and I moved out of the city to be closer to trout waters in the Missouri Ozarks. If I’m not working, I’m usually tying flies and going fishing!

How do you think your colleagues would describe you?

Optimist, High energy, very passionate, goal oriented, over communicative, dependable. My love languages are Acts of Service and Physical Touch (I’m a hugger).

What do you want to make sure you do before you die?

Build a company that everyone loves coming to work to every day.

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?

I want Next Move to help 100 nurses find their dream assignment and have all of them be “Raving Fans” of our agency by the end of 2020. We’re about halfway there. I also want to spend more time outside and take my 88-year-old grandfather on a fly-fishing trip we went on when I was a kid – back to the San Juan River in New Mexico.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:

Trust equals consistency over time.

What advice would you give a nurse who wants to join Next Move?

A lot of people in the construction and project management industry use the adage, “You can only count on achieving 2 of the 3 desired requirements:

1. Have the project done right

2. Have the project done fast

3. Have the project done cheap

In travel nursing – the same applies. If you can be flexible on one of the 3 big placement factors: Location, Unit, and Shift, you’re much more likely to have several options for contracts.

Having a very specific location (one city) and only being open to working one type of unit and only entertaining positions for one shift, make it significantly more challenging to find a suitable assignment Adding in a little flexibility in what you’re looking for will increase the number of available assignments by 10 fold.

What is one of the most defining moments in your life?

On a wilderness canoe and camping trip a few years ago, a friend and I got caught in a black storm, got separated from our group, and were forced to settle in for the night in a soaking wet, freezing, and not ideal camping location. We had little food or supplies with us, no dry clothes or dry wood for a fire and it was getting to be a pretty rough situation.

We knew we only had 1 chance at starting a fire (not quite life and death but it sure seemed that way at the time when you’re soaking wet, hungry and exhausted) and we spent hours over preparing, gathering more tinder and wood than we thought we needed, preparing the base that would be fuel for the fire so that we were positive it would start and stay lit.

That over preparation proved vital to our success and we cooked fresh fish and dried laid out our clothes to dry. More importantly – we got back a sense of security.

I think my mind shifted that night towards a clearer picture of what is important and what types of moments really matter in life. Always over prepare, always be thinking about what could go wrong and how you would deal with it, and just enjoy this beautiful life we’re lucky to live.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

How can cancer be cured?

Why did you choose your profession?

It chose me. I fell into it through a friend who was a travel nurse. When I started working in this industry, working for both the hospital side and the nursing side, I found the true joy of the job. We get to help both sides in a really impactful way. I love meeting so many new people and solving complex problems.

At the end of the day – what makes you smile?

My family, my dog, and the river behind my house.

Cats or dogs?


My favorite word in the English language is:


If I were a superhero, my superpower would be:

X-ray vision so I could see where all the fish were hiding underwater!

About Next Move

Unlike the huge multi-million-dollar nurse travel staffing agencies we’re a local, tightly run agency that focuses on assignments the Midwest. Some of us are nurses ourselves, so we really “get it” when it comes to the realities of being a nurse. And there is a lot of satisfaction in being a part of an organization that really, honestly, truly cares about the happiness and well-being of our nurses.

Regardless of title, we all work together on every assignment to deliver the best results for our nurses. We take the time to not only get to know the needs of our travel nurses as individuals, but also to develop relationships with premier healthcare institutions throughout the Midwest. Often times these institutions will come to us first with exclusive contracts because of the incredible partnerships we’ve cultivated with them.

We operate under one guiding principle: give nurse travelers the best travel assignments with the highest pay and the most personalized recruitment experience possible. If that means we get a text from a nurse traveler at 4:32 am. We answer that text at 4:32 am. If that means a nurse traveler wants an assignment that’s only 32 hours a week, we find them that assignment. If that means a nurse is looking to make upwards of $3,000 a week – we bend over backwards to make that happen.

Our obligation to our travelers is quite simple:

  • Always give our travelers the best possible offer the first time, no low ball offers with full transparency and zero bullshit.

  • Be our travelers best advocate and make sure each assignment gives them exactly what they need. Specific days off? No problem. Block scheduling? No problem. Limited hours? No problem.

  • Make each of our individual travelers our top priority and be available to them any time of day or night.

Constantly growing and building, we also have relationships with healthcare institutions throughout the country. Interested? Contact us today!

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