Our featured nurse for April, Gretchen G.,  grew up in Memphis, Missouri – a very small town located in the upper northeast section of the state.  It is here that Gretchen’s nursing journey began. Because the town was so small, she says that there were not many opportunities for employment, and she was fortunate enough to get a job in a local nursing home.  At that time, Gretchen did not think she would like her new job; but after 36 years of practice as an LPN she laughingly says: “I guess I liked it after all!” (Her sense of humor is only ONE of her characteristics that makes Gretchen so special.)

Gretchen is currently on assignment a mere 950 miles away from her home town working in Long Term Care.  While she has had some terrific jobs over her career, she always gravitates back to Long Term Care. She states that “travel nursing was made for me because I like to have choices. When you travel you can work one contract if the facility is not ‘your cup of tea’ or you can extend another 13 weeks if you really like it.  It all boils down to having control and getting to make choices with both good and not-so-good assignments.”

She continues: “My recruiter, Christie, and I discuss available assignments and I select the ones I am interested in working. Christie does the the work and I get to decide which assignment I want.  Christie never pressures me (like recruiters at other companies have) and allows me to make my own decisions. Christie may be my recruiter, but we have become friends for life.  You can’t buy that.”

Her advise to fellow travelers? “Ask and Ask again.  You will be surprised how much others want to help you.”  Gretchen makes it a practice to ask questions about housing, openings in other facilities, and contract specifics.  “Although this has not personally happened to me, I have seen other travelers expecting one thing and getting something very different.”

We asked Gretchen to tell us something specific that had recently occurred with her while on her travel assignment; perhaps something that told her she was at the right place and the right time.  Her response,”It’s impossible not to get attached to patients. Last week, I held a patient’s hand when she saw God’s face…it was an honor.”

Gretchen G. “That Special? You’ll See Why.”  Now you know. Gretchen, it’s our honor to have you with us at Convergence.  There could be thousands of others out there just like you, but no one as awesome as you are!