According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States is predicted to be 300,000 nurses short of hospital demand in the next several years. However, the Travel Nursing industry has been instrumental in making sure hospitals are still working well, supporting healthcare across the USA.
We reached out to Ashley Hazen, an experienced Travel Nurse Recruiter, to tell us how she came into the industry, things people don’t know about travel nursing, and how DoorJammer is making a difference to countless Travel Nurses.
Tell us a bit about you.
I have been recruiting Travel Nurses since 2014. After almost a decade in the industry, I have grown to find this more than just a job… it’s my livelihood, my everything.
When I turned 20, my mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer. For those of you who don’t hear about cervical cancer too often, just know it’s a beast of a sickness that can leave the body absolutely wrecked. I spent a large part of my adult life in and out of hospitals next to my mom, watching nurses do everything they can to save her. From the Code Browns to the Fall Risks to the Oxygen Monitor that won’t stop beeping, I have an abundant respect and understanding for what nurses do day in and day out on a personal level.
What led you to work as the Travel Nurse Recruiter?
It’s funny how and why things tend to work out. I started my career working for Jack Daniels – I was lucky enough to plan events for Zac Brown Band and Sturgis – but after I got married and wanted to start a family, I wanted a desk job that offered a better work/life balance. It was through a random LinkedIn post that I found myself in the Travel Nurse industry. Some might say I went from one form of medication to another!
Can you tell us what Travel Nursing is?
Sure! Travel Nursing has been around for the last 40 years. When hospitals experience an influx of patients and not enough trained staff to provide adequate care, the hospital would put out a call for help and temporarily recruit a nurse to join their staff for a brief period.
Who can be a Travel Nurse?
A Travel Nurse is a nurse. They have to be licensed and certified up to hospital standards but also need at least two years of recent bedside experience to be considered. From walking into the hospital and not knowing where anything is, to getting the toughest patient assignment and the hardest schedule; Travel Nurses are there to fill a void and paid an increased rate to be flexible and adaptable.
Travel Nurses do not have much time to get orientated compared to permanent employees. These nurses are some of the most dedicated, caring and courageous people I have ever known.
Where do Travel Nurses typically travel to?
Anywhere they would like to go! But travelers need to be prepared to up and move wherever there is a need for them. Taking long cross-country road trips, hotel stays and choosing a place to stay all based on limited information.
I try to help my travelers navigate the unknown, and travel nurses don’t often have a lot of time to make plans. When their assignment ends, they’re booked for the next one to start with just a few short weeks in-between.
So you have to be flexible with where you are staying?
This is one of the tougher parts of traveling. Those few short weeks before an assignment, the nurse must find adequate housing that will allow them to stay for just 13 weeks (and sometimes halfway into their contract, if cancelled).
In today’s market, it can be difficult to find good housing, and most nurses have to utilize extended-stay hotels or short-term rentals, and many will choose a shared-home option and live with other people.
Is DoorJammer useful for newly qualified or seasoned Travel Nurses?
When I found DoorJammer, I knew it was the perfect tool for Travel Nurses! Travel Nurses go into a new city, often on their own, and have to trust they have found safe and secure housing.
DoorJammer is added security in an unknown, unfamiliar world for these nurses. It’s portable and small, making it easy to pick up and pack up in a suitcase for the next move.
It gives peace of mind after a long day. The idea that a nurse can close their door and with a few turns of the wrist can close their eyes and know that the door isn’t going to bust open is truly a lifesaver.
In a world that continues to grow crazier and crazier, you can never be too safe.
What value do Recruiters have for Travel Nurses?
Nurses who choose to head into unfamiliar places to help others need a support system full of people who have their best interests at heart. They need recruiters and agencies who proactively research and talk about personal safety, and find out about the latest technology like DoorJammer which all helps to improve their next trip.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! How can a future or current Travel Nurse find out more about you?