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Fastaff nurses are rewarded and recognized for the experience, skills, and dedication they bring to each travel nursing assignment. This nurse is someone who exemplifies the Fastaff values. Read below to learn more about the January Nurse of the Month, Nicole Gillison-Tharpe.
Name: Nicole Gillison-Tharpe Specialty: ICU Number of assignments: Many!
Number of years with Fastaff: Seven years
Why do you love working with Fastaff?
This is a very straightforward company with very nice recruiters and staff. Fastaff offers a variety of assignments with competitive rates. I like that Fastaff cares about their nurses and it shows in their efforts to keep us satisfied.
What do you love about nursing?
Nursing has been my passion since I was a child. I love the pleasure of helping people when they need it the most. From simple hand holding, kind words, or death with dignity. It is my little role in making this world better.
What makes travel nursing rewarding for you?
I initially started this aspect of my career for some peace of mind. Then, it quickly became a fun way to make a living. I really enjoy meeting new people, learning new cultures, and exploring the world outside of Louisiana. It has given me some of the best stay-cations. I cannot imagine what working a regular job looks like anymore.
Tell me about a time where you felt more valuable/respected because of the experience and knowledge you gained from your Fastaff assignment.
I recently finished a five year stay in the Bronx, where I became a part of their transplanted family. The people were so welcoming and appreciative of me being there. What made me feel the most valued was being treated just like one of the staff, with the same expectations. When it was time to leave, it was one of the hardest goodbyes. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
I really felt like it was leaving the people I love behind, so much so that while I slept, they found me a new job so I didn’t have to leave. That is a wonderful feeling as a travel nurse.
What has been your most challenging Fastaff assignment and how did you feel that impacted your worth as a nurse afterwards?
My most challenging assignment was my first one. I was so nervous being a southern girl in New York, with New Yorker’s being known for their rudeness. I wasn’t sure how I’d be received. As expected, there wasn’t a red carpet rolled out for me, but over the year I was there I think I wore them down. I learned to adapt and adjust to a challenging environment, and to maintain my focus no matter the challenge.
Describe the most miraculous or impressive thing you’ve witnessed or been a part of during your time as a nurse with Fastaff.
The most impressive thing I’ve seen was a nine-minute clot retrieval on a stroke patient. I was working in Interventional Radiology when we got the call that a stroke was coming. I was so nervous as it was my first solo call shift. To see the patient come in with deficits, then to see the resolution and return to function all within a matter of minutes was nothing short of a miracle – I feel blessed just having witnessed it.
How have you accomplished some of your personal and professional goals by traveling with Fastaff?
As a traveler with Fastaff, I have been able to be more present with family and friends. I was working so much as a staff nurse that I never had time to spare. Now, I enjoy more birthdays and holidays with family, which is priceless, as time is our most valuable possession.
Although I am still striving towards financial freedom, I have accomplished the comfort of being able to do things without the stress of check-to-check living, or sacrificing one thing for something else.