Locums Digest 10: Honoring Nurse Practitioners, Staffing Industry Awards, Revenue Trends & More

Locums Digest is Locumpedia’s roundup of hot topics, top stories, and social media posts of interest to the locum tenens and medical communities. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive Locums Digest before it’s published here. Nurse practitioners (NPs) have provided primary, acute and specialty healthcare for nearly half a century, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The organization credits Loretta C. Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, FAAN, FAANP, for co-founding the nurse practitioner role in 1965. NPs cover more than a billion patient visits annually, according to AANP, which boasts some 115,000 members.

Since national “Nurse Practitioner Week” occurred last month during the week of November 8, we decided to feature locum tenens nurse practitioners in this issue. Our thanks to StaffCare for sharing these stories.

2 Jobs, 2 States: Traveling NNP Optimizes Locum Tenens

(Edited from StaffCare’s blog post by Jennifer Larson, November 7, 2020)

Feel like you are managing a lot of things at once? Just consider this real-life locum’s story.

Michelle Chadbourne, MSN, NNP-BC, is the mother of five children between the ages of 3 and 17. She is also a neonatal nurse practitioner who is currently working two — that’s right, two — locum tenens jobs in two different states. She regularly flies back and forth between New York City and her current home in Colorado.

It’s not the first time she’s juggled two different locum assignments at once. In the past, she worked two different locum tenens jobs in New York.

But how on earth, you might ask, does she work locum tenens in two different places? For one thing, she has a very supportive husband at home who keeps the family running when she’s away. Chadbourne is also extremely passionate about the work she does.

“It comes down to loving what you do,” Chadbourne says. “I really love being a neonatal nurse practitioner. It’s very cool to get to go to different facilities and meet other people who love neonatology.”

Her Back-Story

She worked full-time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for many years before taking the plunge into locum tenens work. Her hours got reduced, so she contemplated part-time work as a stop-gap, as her family was planning to move across the country from Florida to Colorado.

Then she learned she could become a locum tenens provider. At first, she saw locums work as a temporary solution. She figured she could do it until she got another full-time position. “Then I fell in love with it, and I haven’t stopped,” she says.

Getting and staying organized is key to making it work for Chadbourne.

Every three months, she puts together a master calendar including the shifts she plans to work in both states. At Children’s Hospital Colorado, she typically takes on 16 shifts in the neonatal intensive care unit every six weeks. At New York Presbyterian, she typically works nine to 12 shifts during a six-week period. “It’s actually not that hard,” she says.

“It’s a lot of moving puzzle pieces, but I group my shifts together.” That means she might fly into New York, check into her hotel room, work six straight shifts, then fly home to Colorado. Then she might have a break before working three to five straight shifts in Colorado.

Those breaks are critical, and they always get a designated place in Chadbourne’s calendar. “When I’m home, we can hang out and play,” she says. “I get to be a mom, and we go hiking and go on little trips and just do life with the kids.”

Plus, she gets to show her kids that a mom can get a master’s degree and have an amazing career and save lives, which is very important to her. “Not every locum placement wants a full-time person,” she says. “I think this is good information to get out there. You can do locums and still have a full-time job, if you want.”

NP Balances Locum Tenens Work with Personal Enrichment

(Edited from StaffCare’s blog post by Jennifer Larson, November 7, 2020)

Some people come home from work and watch television. Others scroll through Facebook and Instagram on their smartphones.

Lisa Austin, ACNP, studies English literature and brushes up on Dutch grammar.

When Austin, an acute care nurse practitioner, isn’t working, she’s taking classes toward a bachelor’s degree in English and teaching herself how to speak Dutch. “My goal would be to do locums for about half the year, and then go abroad and teach English the other half,” she says. “Should we ever get through the pandemic, I will do that.”

This type of work flexibility is just one of the perks of working locum tenens. Locum tenens nurse practitioners, physicians and other providers can determine how often they take assignments, and carve out time for their own pursuits in between jobs.

Getting There

Austin worked as a registered nurse for six years before going the nurse practitioner route. She spent four of those years in the intensive care unit, which spurred her to become an acute care nurse practitioner. “I have leaned on my nursing experience heavily,” she says.

While investigating travel opportunities a few years ago, Austin talked with StaffCare recruiter Nicholas Worley about trying a locum tenens assignment. After deciding to go with a full-time job instead and trying it for a year, however, she felt it was finally time to give locums work a try. So she called Nick.

Austin’s first locum tenens job, in October 2018, at Ohio State University was a four-month assignment that turned into a six-month assignment…that turned into an eight-month assignment. After a planned summer break, she took another position in Ohio.

By then it was March 2020, which brought a ‘shut-down’ to fend off the coronavirus pandemic. At first, Austin thought about taking a break from work, staying near her family and trying to just stay safe in an uncertain situation. However, as the pandemic unfolded she changed her mind.

“I knew I had a skillset that’s needed, and it wouldn’t be right for me to stay home,” she says. “I thought, ‘I have something to offer, and I feel like I should offer it.’”

Lisa wound up taking three different COVID surge assignments as a locum tenens provider. The first took her to New York Presbyterian in Washington Heights in New York City. After that, she headed across the country to California for two more placements.

When those assignments concluded, she found her short-term assignment in Salem, which had already been extended. She is currently scheduled to work there through the end of the year.

All News Is Locums

All Star Recruiting Announces Rebrand

(Edited from All Star Blog, November 2, 2020)

All Star Recruiting , ranked seventh-largest among US locum tenens staffing agencies, has rebranded itself as “All Star Healthcare Solutions.” CEO Keith Shattuck said the company rebranded (including redesigning its corporate logo and website) “to more accurately show who we are and what we do.”

Based in Deerfield Beach, Fla., and founded in 2003, All Star Healthcare Solutions also appeared on SIA’s 2019 “Best Staffing Firms to Work For.”

SIA Names “Global Power 150 Women in Staffing”

(Edited from SIA Global Power 150 Women in Staffing, November 17, 2020)

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) has released its “Global Power 150 Women in Staffing” list. In its sixth year, “the list highlights 100 women from the Americas and 50 globally who have made significant contributions to the success of their companies and the ecosystem.”

“COVID-19 and social unrest in 2020 have forced executives to consider what type of leaders they want to be,” SIA Media Products Editor and Publisher Subadhra Sriram said. “Companies quickly had to accommodate remote workforces. Leaders had to make quick decisions. There was no playbook. Throughout the staffing industry, leaders had to balance the best interests of their teams and their communities.”

Sriram thanked Bullhorn for sponsoring this year’s list. “McKinsey research found that, following the fallout of the pandemic, more than one in four women are contemplating downsizing their careers or leaving the workforce completely,” Bullhorn Founder and CEO Art Papas said. “It’s important to us that we help highlight, celebrate and promote women in our industry, and create role models for others.”

In congratulating this year’s honorees, Sriram added, “These professionals do what it takes to boost their businesses’ bottom lines while ensuring employees’ health and safety. Many of them worked their way up the ranks while leading with compassion. The ‘Global Power 150 Women in Staffing’ honorees have helped shape a $498B global industry.”

This year’s honorees included:

From CompHealth: Lisa Grabl is president of CompHealth’s locum tenens division. As COVID-19 has challenged healthcare staffing, Grabl had to balance client and healthcare-provider needs while adapting to a 100-percent, work-from-home workforce. With her leadership, CompHealth has innovated to support client and community healthcare needs across the country. After joining CompHealth in 2001, she served in several corporate roles before becoming president in 2017.

From Floyd Lee Locums: CEO Natasha Lee co-founded Floyd Lee Locums with now-Chairman Matt Floyd in 2017. Despite COVID-19’s challenges, the company continued to grow, adding functional leaders and doubling revenue over the past two years. Lee and her team quickly pivoted in March, expanding specialties staffed and developing a crisis response team to support the hardest-hit clients and communities. In 2020 Floyd Lee Locums joined the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and supported employee volunteerism with the company’s “WeServe” program.

Floyd Lee Locums Adds Client Development Manager

(Edited from Kelly Starkey’s November 12 news release)

Floyd Lee Locums has added Lauren Weatherbee as business development manager, focused primarily on the Northeast market. Before joining Floyd Lee Locums, Weatherbee worked for more than 15 years in sales and client development across several industries.

The Healthcare Staffing Story

AMN Q3 Revenue Dips 3% as Travel Nurse Revenue Rises

(Edited from SIA Daily News , November 6, 2020)

Third-quarter revenue at AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AMN) fell 2.8%, but the healthcare staffing firm reported travel nurse revenue rose amid increasing demand.

CEO Susan Salka stated the company sees growing demand, especially for nurse staffing. Salka also said cost controls helped bolster AMN’s results.

AMN reported travel nurse revenue rose 12% year over year, but allied revenue fell 28% because of continued weakness in therapy demand. Total revenue of the two business lines are reported together.

Cross Country Q3 Revenue Falls 7%, but Demand Rebounds

(Edited from SIA Daily News , November 5, 2020)

Third-quarter revenue at Cross Country Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ: CCRN) fell 7.3%, while gross margin improved at the Boca Raton, Fla.-based healthcare staffing provider.

Cross Country Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Clark said he’s encouraged by the resurgence in demand. “Cross Country’s digital transformation remains on track with the successful deployment of our new applicant tracking system for our largest business.”

Cross Country’s nurse and allied staffing businesses posted the lowest year-over-year declines in revenue among the company’s segments. The company also posted $2.3 million in restructuring costs in the third quarter.

Global Power 150 Women in Staffing

(Edited from SIA Global Power 150 Women in Staffing)

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) has released its “Global Power 150 Women in Staffing” list. In its sixth year, “the list highlights 100 women from the Americas and 50 globally who have made significant contributions to the success of their companies and the ecosystem.”

SIA Media Products Editor and Publisher Subadhra Sriram thanked Bullhorn for sponsoring this year’s list. “It’s important to us that we help highlight, celebrate and promote women in our industry, and create role models for others,” Bullhorn Founder and CEO Art Papas said.

In congratulating this year’s honorees, Sriram added, “The ‘Global Power 150 Women in Staffing’ honorees have helped shape a $498B global industry.”

This year’s honorees included:

From AMN Healthcare: Julie Fletcher, chief talent officer for AMN Healthcare, has a passion for engaging and retaining an innovative, diverse workforce to support the company’s mission as a total talent solutions leader for the healthcare industry. Fletcher has partnered with her executive team to drive the company’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion through emerging leader development, inclusive leadership/sensitivity training and metrics transparency. Fletcher joined AMN Healthcare in 2008 and previously worked at The Walt Disney Co., The Los Angeles Times, and H&R Block.

From Jackson Healthcare: Leslie Kurtz is the CFO of Jackson Healthcare, the third-largest healthcare staffing firm in the US. As the COVID-19 crisis disrupted life throughout the country, the staff of Jackson Healthcare worked tirelessly to supply national hotspots with essential healthcare professionals. Kurtz was instrumental in these efforts, providing critical financial expertise and scenario planning to ensure the health of the company as it assisted clients through the crisis.

Kurtz is active in a number of nonprofit organizations focusing on foster children and vulnerable youth. She sits on the boards of Voices for Georgia’s Children, University of Dayton Business Advisory Council and the Atlanta CFO Forum.

News You Can Use

From CompHealth:

Dr. Sonya Sloan is sitting down with Dr. Rip Patel and our friends at @LocumStory for a candid discussion about finding balance. Register here and bring any questions.

Dec 3, 2020 10:00 AM in Mountain Time (US and Canada)

During this webinar Dr. Rip Patel will chat with locum tenens physician Sonya Sloan. Dr. Sloan is an orthopedic surgeon, wife and mother and will discuss how she has balanced a 14-year locum career with a family running multiple non-profits, and living an outstanding life.

How ’bout This?

Robert Half: 68% Of Remote Employees Work Weekends

(Edited from SIA Daily News, November 23, 2020)

A poll by Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI) found that 68% of employees who transitioned to working remotely because of COVID-19 reported working over weekends. In addition, 45% of remote employees say they regularly work more than eight hours a day.

Tampa, Fla., was the city with the highest percentage of remote workers spending more than eight hours a day on the job, with 71% saying they did so. Miami ranked next with 60%.

“While remote work affords employees greater flexibility, it also makes disconnecting extremely difficult,” Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald said. “Many people feel pressure to keep up with rising workloads and are putting in long hours to support the business and customer needs. But everyone needs time to rest and recharge in order to give their best.”

With responses from 2,800 workers, the survey results also indicated that working parents are more likely to work weekends than those without children: 77% versus 59%. They were also more likely to work more than eight hours per day: 55% versus 36%.

5 Life Lessons COVID-19 Has Taught Me

(Edited from a KevinMD post by Christine Lau, MD, October 27, 2020)

During this past year, COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down and changed not just the way we live and work, but also how we think and behave. Our everyday routines were brought to a stop, and any sense of normalcy was lost. When I look at the world around me, I cannot help but realize what I used to take for granted. If anything, perhaps there are some life lessons to take away from this pandemic.

1. This world is interconnected.
We often think of each country as a separate entity, each very different from another. Within a few months of its first being identified, the virus spread to nearly every country, and a global pandemic was declared. Despite the differences and distance between places, we are battling the same virus and having the same struggles. It’s a reminder of just how our world economy and society are interconnected on many levels, including supply chains, communications, technology and travel.

2. Humans are social creatures, and we need social interaction and human contact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of social interaction and human connection in almost every aspect of our lives, including education, employment, entertainment and recreation. Efforts to reduce the spread of the virus have prompted and exacerbated social isolation and loneliness.

Along with 35 million other individuals (accounting for 28% of the population) in the United States, I live alone, and this has meant little to no social interaction for months. While I consider myself an independent person, this pandemic has reminded me how much I miss things as simple as a hug or coffee with a friend at the café.

3. Humans are adaptive, and life is more flexible than we think.
The pandemic has been a time of extraordinary change, and we have had to rapidly shift and adapt. Many individuals have lost jobs and have been forced to find creative ways to pay the bills. Many others began working from home. Schools turned online with virtual learning. Many physicians started offering telemedicine. This pandemic has been a testament to just how resilient we are as humans, and how flexible and creative we can be in the face of uncertainty.

4. There is goodness and humanity, even in the darkness.
At the start of the pandemic, there was a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) among hospitals and health care facilities, and many healthcare workers had to reuse the same disposable mask for days or weeks at a time. Immediately, community members came together to procure masks, 3D-print face shields, and sew masks and scrub caps for us. Restaurants donated food to hospital workers and first responders. People volunteered to bring groceries to the elderly. Acts of kindness and appreciation from the community have helped keep me, and many of my fellow healthcare workers, going during this pandemic.

5. Life is precious. Be grateful for what we have.
With more than 250,000 lives lost to the pandemic in the United States to date (and 1.1 million+ worldwide), this pandemic has made me rethink my priorities and remember how precious life is. It has been a reminder to appreciate the smaller things in life––the things I often take for granted.