Updated: Sep 18
This week we spoke with Lorayne Durham, one of our newer travel RNs, who recently started an assignment with us in Alaska. Here she tells her story of nursing, traveling, and what the heck happens when the hospital you're about to start a travel assignment with slaps you with an unpaid, 14-day quarantine?
Here is her story:
How'd you Find Next Move?
I found a great assignment with Next Move through Wanderly. It was the pay package that Next Move was offering that first sparked my interest so I took the “Quick Apply” route for this position and CC (Cecilia D’Agostino) a Recruiter at Next Move contacted me within a few hours. The last time I connected with a travel agency on Wanderly, I didn’t hear from them for over a week.
Shortly after speaking with CC, the manager of the hospital I was interested in contacted me as well. I was super interested in this position not just because of the high paying pay package, but also because I wanted to be home for Thanksgiving. Because I’ve been traveling so much, I haven’t had the chance to spend quality time with my mom in awhile, my kids were coming home for the holidays and it has just been too long since I’ve been home for the holidays.
After speaking with CC and the hospital manager and making the request that the contract start a bit earlier to accommodate my time off – we all came to an agreement that I’d start in a week or two! It was very fast moving!
However there was a hiccup….
What Happens When You're Hit with a Required, Unpaid: 14-Day Quarantine?
After I had accepted the assignment the hospital contacted me to let me know that because the state I was coming from (Mississippi) was considered a “hot spot” for COVID-19, I’d be required to quarantine myself once I arrived at my new assignment in Alaska, for 2-weeks (a full 14 days). And the hospital wasn't going to pay me for that quarantine.
Insert heart drop.
I immediately contacted CC and after she got confirmation from her manager, John Nolan, they agreed that Next Move would pay me my full rate for those 2-weeks I had to be in quarantine, even though it meant that Next Move wouldn’t make any money off the transaction.
“Lorayne's recruiter told me her story and I knew this was one of those cases where the nurse was just dealt a rough hand. Through no fault of Lorayne's or Next Move's we were in a situation that didn't seem fair, so I was excited we were in a position to make it right. For us it’s all about building long term relationships with our nurses, not just doing one-off assignments here and there. I knew if we had Lorayne’s back on this assignment, she’d definitely want to do more assignments with us. So, it was totally worth the investment to cover her pay during the 14-day quarantine period.”
~John Nolan, Managing Partner, Next Move.
What was really cool about this whole experience, is that, yeah, I’m sure if I had those uncomfortable conversations and pushed for quarantine pay, other agencies would have, maybe, agreed. But with Next Move it was like I just told them about the problem and they were immediately like: of course we’ll pay you quarantine pay.
Next Move not only paid me for my quarantine pay, they also paid for my flight from Mississippi to Alaska! I can only say: I’m sticking with Next Move for a long time. Who wouldn’t?!
Travel Nursing or Staff Nursing?
Both have it’s advantages as long as you’re being paid what you deserve and you have a home. You don’t have a travel, you can just stay where you’re at.
If however, you’re feeling like you’re not being paid what your worth: travel nursing is a great option. I’ve been both in my nursing career. To be honest, the only reason I left my staff nursing job position in Ketchikan, Alaska, was because my mom became ill and I needed to go home to Mississippi and take care of her. Travel nursing provided me with the flexibility and the schedule to allow me to do that. But now that she’s stable, I’m still traveling.
As a travel nurse I get the ability to travel all around the United States and see different places. I go to one destination, help them out for 13-weeks and then I get to go back home. Then I’ll usually stay home for a few weeks and go travel again. What a life! Who else gets to pick and choose where they want to work?!
Why Should a Travel Nurse Choose Next Move?
I’ve worked with a few agencies, I won’t name names – but probably around 6 travel nurse agencies. The companies I’ve worked for in the past didn’t really make me feel like I was their one and only client or their one and only travel nurse. While there was the once in awhile recruiter that would every so often do something “extra”, Next Move has been the only agency I’ve worked for that went above and beyond in every aspect of my new assignment.
The Bottom Line?: "Next Move Made Me Feel Like I was Cared For."
The Bottom Line? Next Move made me feel like I was being cared for and I haven’t felt that way in a long time with a nurse travel agency. CC was just on top of everything. From the time I applied to the time all the negotiations and paperwork where done, it only took 3 days. I’m just really excited to have found Next Move.
Why did you become a nurse?
My dad became a registered nurse after her retired from the Coast Guard. He was in the Coast Guard for 21 years and wanted to become a Nurse Anesthetist, but because of his age it wasn’t feasible for him to purse that line of nursing, so he became a registered nurse instead. And he is my inspiration for my nursing career.
What type of Nurse are you?
Right now I’m a Labor and Delivery nurse, however I have worked in every area of the hospital you could think of including surgery, cardiac cath lab, ER, outpatient, infusion and outpatient radiation oncology. So I’ve basically done every area of nursing except ICU. Labor & Delivery is my most favorite line of nursing because I help women bring their babies into the world and quite honestly, delivering a baby is a miracle in itself, just like being pregnant is a miracle in itself, so I asked myself: where else could I work that I could see the miracle of life happen every single day?
Advice for Nurses Considering Traveling for the First Time?
My best advice is to reach out to other travel nurses and just have those 1:1 conversations. That way you can talk about your fears, trepidations, and really get a first-hand experience of what it’s like be a travel nurse. You can also ask them things like what you should be looking for in a contract: guaranteed hours, overtime rates, etc. There are honestly so many things that can go wrong if you don’t know what to watch out for, and so many different travel nurse agencies offer completely different packages – so it’s better to speak to some seasoned travel nurses before you get started.
What a lot of nurses don’t realize is if you have a good amount of skills, experience, good references and a solid work ethic you can use all those things to negotiate a premium package on a travel nurse assignment. You don’t have to just take “whatever you can get.”
Like with CC I did negotiate a few things (like starting a couple weeks earlier) but for the most part I was super happy with what the contract had to offer.
Watch Lorayne's YouTube Testimonial Here!