Multi-talented LPN Manages Her Own Nursing and Phlebotomy Shifts
By Joseph Duffy, contributor
Ohio-based Ashala Smith, LPN, recently booked her 500th shift with Nursefinders using AMN Hub. This proprietary mobile app lets nurses, nursing assistants and allied health professionals search hundreds of per diem jobs, book multiple shifts, and receive instantaneous shift confirmation.
Ashala also celebrated her eighth year working for Nursefinders, a leading per diem agency that is part of AMN Healthcare. It has been a fulfilling chapter in her healthcare career, which began in 1996 while she was still attending high school.
"In high school, I volunteered in nursing homes," she said. "After that, I became a state tested nursing assistant and did patient care work. I worked at many different facilities through multiple agencies."
She then became a medical assistant, a massage therapist and then a phlebotomist.
"I started as a medical assistant and phlebotomist with Nursefinders eight years ago," Ashala recalled. "And then I became a nurse two years ago, and now I do both nursing and phlebotomy work."
Per diem shifts with uncommon support
Several years ago Ashala heard about per diem opportunities with Nursefinders, so she did some research and applied. She started working with senior staffing manager Leeann Rayburn.
"Leeann walked me through everything," said Ashala. "She's amazing. She's been a whole lot of help with everything. I can always pick up the phone and contact her. And when it's time for my continuing education classes, she emails me reminders. And if I'm behind on something, she'll let me know. I've been here so long even the payroll department helps me. If my time card is not in by a certain time, they let me know."
Ashala uses AMN Hub to find her own per diem shifts and short-term contracts. She will typically check it toward the end of a contract to see what’s available. The easy-to-use search function helps her keep her shifts local to avoid long commutes, and then she can book and receive immediate confirmation. During her years with Nursefinders, she has worked in assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities and hospitals.
The ultimate in flexibility
This multi-talented LPN also loves to take vacations, and the ability to control her own schedule affords her flexibility.
"I like to travel," Ashala said. "Working at Nursefinders lets me make an excellent income and my own schedule. It gives me the flexibility to work with my children and travel. We've been to so many different places, including Jamaica, Mexico, and the Bahamas. We go somewhere every year now. And that used to be a whole lot harder.”
Her flexible work schedule was also what allowed her to get through nursing school and massage therapy school. And she makes more money now than in any facility she worked in before signing with Nursefinders.
"Wherever I work, the company tries to recruit me to go full-time," she said. "Why would I take a pay cut? And I already have insurance through Nursefinders."
Of all the jobs that Ashala has worked, the two she has enjoyed the most are what she's doing currently: a phlebotomy shift and a nursing shift.
She has been doing the phlebotomy shift for eight years and says her coworkers at the facility make her feel a part of the team. She recently cut down her shift frequency to take a COVID contract at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Ashala said she is proud of her 500th-shift milestone, and her long history working per diem with Nursefinders.
"It feels good being there for that long,” she said. “And then seeing all the things I've accomplished while in this position. I've been able to save up enough money, and I close on my house next week."
Ashala said that she might take a different nursing route when she gets older, but for now, she is happy with her situation.
"I prefer agency nursing over working in one spot," she said. "I don't want to go back to scheduling issues, meeting day off requirements, or limiting when and how many days I can take. At this point, I love the way everything has been set up for me. I love the pay, and I don't see myself switching from it for a while."
READY to take control of your own work schedule like Ashala has?