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July Nurse of the Month

July 26, 2023

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 Patrice Parris.

Name: Patrice Parris

Specialty: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Pediatrics

Number of assignments: Definitely greater than 20

Number of years with Fastaff: Greater than 7 years

Why do you love working with Fastaff? 

To be completely honest, Fastaff changed the game for me by offering true housing options that I can just literally walk into with my suitcase and then start work the next day. When I first started travel nursing, finding housing was one of the things that increased my anxiety level so having the option to just check into a Residence Inn by Marriott or a Candlewood without any upfront cost was huge for me. I also love that they get you to your assignment by plane, train or automobile or reimburse for mileage. I have always loved the transparency of Fastaff's rate and stipend throughout my career with them.

What do you love about nursing?

I must say that I didn't choose nursing, I always believed that nursing chose me. My first degree was geared toward heading to medical school but when presented with the options of medical school or an accelerated BSN, I chose nursing. I chose nursing because I wanted the nurse's patient interaction. I wanted to be able to spend time. I chose nursing because it allows me great flexibility. I can be in one field in one year and in another by the next year. I have tried many different areas in nursing from Adult Transplant to Pediatric PACU to Clinic and even Home Care. I am not sure I would be able to do this in many other fields. It is a field that is always in demand so worrying about where you will work is not so much of a stressor. 

What makes travel nursing rewarding for you? 

Travel nursing has satisfied a huge part of my personality that for a long time I thought was a flaw.  I do not like monotony. I like change. I like seeing new places and meeting new people. I like waking up in one place and ending up in another at the end of the day. I know that may drive other people absolutely crazy, but I live for it!! Nursing allows me fluidity and travel nursing is like fluidity on the deepest level. Travel Nursing has also allowed me greater financial freedom and flexibility with my personal life. With it, I was able to take time off in between assignments for the last 7 years and spend it with my grandmother before she passed away in 2020. That meant the world to me. I had no regrets.

Tell me about a time when you felt more valuable/respected because of the experience and knowledge you gained from your Fastaff assignment.

I will say that my learning and experience increased exponentially because of travel nursing. I think as a staff nurse there eventually becomes a bit of ceiling that you hit in terms of experience because you just have one professional lens through which you see. I remember going to an assignment and was able to make suggestions for a new product for a hospital that I had used at another hospital during an assignment. The hospital later adopted this product and was so grateful because it improved the way they were able to give care.

What has been your most challenging Fastaff assignment and how did you feel that impacted your worth as a nurse afterward?

My most challenging travel assignment is without question at a large hospital system in New York and it is exactly as they say about New York, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere!!! From dangerous nurse patient ratios to not being able to take lunch breaks in a very stressful PICU, this assignment tested every part of my nursing DNA. In retrospect, this assignment made me resourceful, tough under pressure and honed my assessment skills more than I realized in the moment. It also helped me to learn to advocate for myself and for my patients.

Describe the most miraculous or impressive thing you’ve witnessed or been a part of during your time as a nurse with Fastaff.

I think that as a Fastaff nurse I have filled some nursing roles at some hospitals where the patient population was made up of really sick kids. It never ceases to amaze me how resilient children are in their times of sickness. They will surprise you every time! I have been at rounds talking about children who were not expected to live or who were expected to have a poor neurological outcome only to have them come back later and tap me on my shoulder and tell me that I cared for them at one hospital or another. That has been the most awesome part of my travel nurse experience.

How have you accomplished some of your personal and professional goals by traveling with Fastaff?

Apart from the obvious financial gain of being a Fastaff travel nurse, I think what matters most to me was the time I was able to spend with my grandmother during her last decade of life. Being able to work for 3 months and then be off for a month and spend in the Caribbean with my Tanty was the best part of this journey. We had a very inappropriate blast, and I had no regrets when she passed away. Of course, making a dent in my student loan debt, purchasing my first car and being able to help my family financially has been but a few of the other things I have been able to accomplish during my time with Fastaff. Currently as I work with Fastaff I am working on a certification that will help to propel my nursing career in a completely different direction.

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