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BVHS encourages traveling nurses to take permanent roles

Blanchard Valley Health System is successfully encouraging traveling nurses to sign on as associates for the long term.

The ranks of traveling nurses nationwide increased after the COVID-19 pandemic, with more nurses wanting to take these temporary roles for financial and scheduling reasons.

One of those was Christina Frymyer, RN, a registered nurse on the sixth floor of Blanchard Valley Hospital in the medical/surgical unit. She said she had originally become a traveler because at the time, logistical issues like childcare were easier that way.

But Frymyer decided to stay at BVH as an associate in March 2023, after about a year and a half of working there as a traveler. A primary reason was the bonds she formed with colleagues. Most of the other nurses on the floor are younger than Frymyer.

“I quickly became sort of a ‘mom’ to the younger nurses,” Frymyer said. “They are close in age to my oldest child, who is 24. We bonded quickly, and I made a point of being there for them. They, for their part, were so gracious about helping me learn my way around the hospital and answering all my questions.”

Staying at BVHS also offers her benefits such as sick time and retirement. It also means she knows she won’t be moving every so often to a new hospital to work, where she must learn new processes and procedures – and will have to wonder how she will be treated.

Jessica Moore, BSN, RN, director of inpatient nursing, said nursing leadership consciously works to treat travelers like any other associates. They attend staff meetings and participate in all the same activities, including celebrations.

Moore said traveling nurses are valued and appreciated, and they provide excellent care. But she’s pleased when they choose to stay, and she has seen associates staying with the organization become more invested.