Madison is an Iowa native and pediatric operating room nurse. He graduated with his Master’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Health Advocacy from Mount Mercy University—Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2015. He is currently on assignment in San Francisco with Trusted Health. His favorite part of travel nursing is meeting other travelers and exploring the city together. In his spare time you’ll find him on a Delta jet exploring the world with his boyfriend, Matt.
It wasn’t long before Madison became not only a raving Trusted fan, but a raving Trusted nurse. We’ve had a lot of questions about what it’s like to be a Trusted nurse and how the experience is different, so we passed the ball off! Despite what Madison says, we think we’re the lucky ones!
What was your first experience with Trusted?
My first experience with Trusted Health was creating my online profile on the platform. One of the things I have always dreaded doing starting with a new agency. However, with Trusted Health this was a completely different experience. I was able to create my profile within minutes. Uploading my skills checklist was convenient, and filling out all of my previous work history couldn’t have been easier. The platform allows you to auto-populate hospital information by searching a hospital name.
People are skeptical of ‘new’ things – what convinced you of Trusted?
What really sealed the deal for me to join Trusted was my first conversation with one of the nurse advocates, Sarah. I had always been interested in starting my own travel nursing company. I felt as though the agencies I had worked with prior were taking advantage of my hard work as a nurse. A large portion of the hospital bill rate was being paid to the company, and not to me—the travel nurse. Like many travel nurses, I wanted to be paid a larger portion of the bill rate. My idea to start my own travel nursing company was to remove the middle-man, in this case the recruiter, and allow me—the nurse to make more money. That’s when I stumbled upon Trusted Health. I was so excited to hear from Sarah that all of the visions of me creating a perfect company had already been in place in the form of Trusted Health that I couldn’t wait to become a Trusted Health nurse.
What have been some of the biggest differences you’ve experienced so far?
Pay. Forward Thinking. Ease. Functionality.
Trusted Health really hits on all cylinders for me. Trusted Health has taken all of the elements that nurses have complained about with their current agencies and changed it. The obvious difference is the pay. One of the key features that makes Trusted Health standout from other agencies is their “Trusted Pay.” Any additional hours over your weekly contracted hours are paid out at a special rate ON TOP of the overtime rate that you’re already contracted to receive. I have always avoided picking up shifts, or staying late because working as a travel nurse, the hourly rate is typically low, to account for stipends. In addition to being taxed on any extra hours worked I didn’t see it as valuable to work more than my contracted hours. However, this really is in the nurses favor and makes a huge difference in your weekly paycheck.
Another big difference I’ve experienced with Trusted is the sheer transparency and functionality of the platform. Trusted Health posts positions with such great detail – it makes it super easy and convenient to understand and discover exactly what you’re looking for in your next assignment. In a single click, you literally know the hospital, the pay rate, and all the relevant position details. The user friendly functionality of the platform allows nurses to have more control. Additionally, it gives me a sense of empowerment. I can submit my interest in a position and request an interview instead of jumping through hoops trying to get a hold of a recruiter to do it for me.
If you could wave a magic wand over this whole industry, what would be your #1?
Turning travel nursing into a sustainable long term career. The one thing I feel like I’m missing from being a travel nursing is a matching 401k. If that could happen, I think I could be a travel nurse for a long time.
We’ve recently talked a lot about building a personal and professional brand as a nursing professional, what’s your take on this? How do you do this yourself?
I take such pride being a nurse. I’ve heard many people say, “I’m just a nurse.” One of the professors I had while getting my masters degree, really helped me to realize how important the nursing profession is. She would always correct classmates saying, “you’re not just a nurse.” I find this so true. I recently have used my social media platform to brand myself as a nursing professional because I think it’s important to show our profession in the light of a travel nurse.
Do you think it’s important to identify with other aspects of life in addition to “nurse” or “nursing?
Definitely. I came out as a gay man when I was 24 years old. Growing up in Iowa, I didn’t have any gay men in my life to look up to. I was ashamed and scared to be my true self. After coming out, I have never been happier, I’m finally living my life authentically. I really want to use my platform to maybe one day make some young kid living in fear of being out publicly be able to look up to me as being an out, proud, and successful gay man.
What do you wish the world knew about nursing?
I wish that more people knew what it actually means to be a nurse. I really want my friends to come to work with me to see what I do everyday. It reminds me of those memes “what my friends think I do vs. what I actually do” it would be fun to show people how much work we do every day as a nurse.
What do you think is in store for the future of nursing? What about for your nursing career?
There is going to be a huge demand for nurses. According to American Nurses Association, the country will need to produce more than one million new registered nurses by 2022. Nurses are retiring at a much faster rate than new nurses are coming into the field. Furthermore, a whopping 56,000 eligible nurses were denied admission into nursing schools across the country in 2017 states the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. This is due to a shortage of nurses going into nursing education. The future of nursing looks great for travel nursing. With many positions needing to be filled, we could see rates increase to attract nurses into taking contracts. As for my own nursing career, I would eventually like to be step away from the bedside and pursue a career in operating room nursing education emphasizing in horizontal violence in the work place.
Healthiest habit for work days: Sleep. Work is exhausting enough, I need my energy for the day.