I would advocate for the nurse and stand behind her contract. If this was not agreed upon within the contract or interview, I would make sure that this was corrected. If in fact the facility was expecting this now moving forward, I would work with Nurse Floating Flo to make sure she was compensated correctly for the further travels, as well as make sure that she agreed to the new terms of her contract. I would also counsel Nurse Floating Flo that in the future it is best to stay within the terms of the contract from the beginning, and try not to set a precedence that you will not be willing to start.
When I receive the call I would immediately call our Chief Executive Nurse to have them call Nurse Betty to evaluate her skill set in the NICU, and to find out if she is equipped to take an assignment in the NICU. After, escalating and if in fact she is not competent in the NICU or prefers not to float, we would contact the facility letting them know that due to Nurse Betty being covered under HPC's liability insurance, and not having the appropriate skill set necessary she would not be able to float to the unit. Generally, the areas that are ok for HPC's nurses to float to will be on their contracts. That assures HPC that competency evaluation is complete for those units.
As soon as I received the text, I would immediately work on getting Nurse Roach into a hotel or other suitable housing for her to rest after her travels. I would contact the assignment housing and come up with a plan to either correct the problem or refund the monies that were paid for the housing. I would then find suitable housing for Nurse Roach. Our nurses comfort and safety is a top priority. A well rested nurse provides better care to their patients.
I would get out HPC's short term disability paperwork out to Nurse Asthmatic so she has some sort of income coming in while she is out on medical leave. I would contact the hospital and address the situation letting them know that she is currently on medical leave, and would provide proper documentation to the facility letting them know when she should be able to return.
Before sending a nurse anywhere I make sure all things are lined up for her start. Communication is constant during the process and this would be very clear during our conversations. Typically there is at least a week to two week period between the signed contract and assignment start so we should know ahead of time if there are any possible issues that may arise. If this did in fact happen we would definitely work to rectify the situation, by either coming up with a plan with the facility to get her started as soon as possible or work with the vendor to find another assignment in close proximity. I would do everything I could to turn this bad situation into a win for all parties involved. HPC definitely understands how important the candidates experience is. We would pull out all the stops to make this a good experience for the traveler.
Travel nursing can be a fun and rewarding career. I find if travel nurses have an open mind to learning new ways to do things their experience is better. You will be exposed to all new sorts of environments and ways to do things that you may have not experienced at other facilities. My word of advice is to go to work and share your knowledge while not being opposed to doing things the way the facility is asking you to do them. Stay away from the politics of the hospital. A good rule of thumb is act like you are a visitor in someone else's house, if they ask you to take off your shoes even though you are used to keeping them on, take them off and enjoy the experience.