How Locums Has Improved My Life As An NP

September 8th, 2016 4 Min read How Locums Has Improved My Life As An NP Blog
[caption id="attachment_12692" align="alignright" width="240"] Diana Armstrong visits the Marshall Farmers Market[/caption] Nurse practitioners are key healthcare providers in today’s world. They work in virtually every setting and take care of patients suffering from a wide range of ills. Working locum tenens as an NP can be a great way to expand your skills and learnAlre new ways to do your job. With more than 50 combined years of nursing experience between them and nearly 30 years of NP experience, Diana Armstrong and Michelle Freiberger have seen it all. Both worked permanent jobs for most of their careers but now work full time as locum tenens NPs. Armstrong is currently on her first locum tenens assignment. What started as a three-month stint in Minnesota has turned into nearly a year long assignment and for the first time in her career she got Thanksgiving and Christmas off. “The first three months I just worked hard but you would do that anywhere. As I extended I told them, ‘Ok, I can extend but I need this time off,’” says Armstrong. “This was the first time ever that I’ve had the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas off. I have never ever in my career had that. I was able to take all of Thanksgiving and I took off two weeks through the holidays at New Years and Christmas. Nurses typically don't get to do that.” [caption id="attachment_12691" align="alignleft" width="215"] Diana Armstrong at Lake Shetek[/caption] Armstrong comes from St. Louis, Missouri, and was used to life in the city. Coming to rural Minnesota opened her eyes to a whole new world of medicine. “The last doctor I worked with we did foot and ankle and knee. Well, I’m doing everything now. I’m doing joints and wrist fractures and all of that. As a small town, the orthopedic surgeon that I’m working with has to take what’s coming. They don’t have five surgeons to specialize so that’s helped,” says Armstrong. “That’s just a small town difference. I’ve had resources in my hospitals everywhere I’ve been. It’s different, takes a little bit to get used to, but that’s also helped me increase my knowledge base a lot, not even just with the medical side but just in general on the hospital side. I’m able to share my knowledge from a bigger town with them and they can share how they do things when they don’t have those resources. It’s good to share knowledge.” [caption id="attachment_12672" align="alignright" width="176"] Michelle Freiberger getting in over her head while on assignment.[/caption] Michelle Freiberger has had similar experiences getting used to new places. “I get to see how things are done in different parts of the United States. It has really challenged me. I’ve had four assignments so far, so I’ve been able to see just how flexible I really am. I’m finding if you’re going to want to do locums you have got to be flexible and you have to meet people where they are,” says Freiberger. “When you’re working for a company or if you’ve been working for a company for quite a while, there’s certain rules that you have to follow and when you get out of that and start going to different companies you have to be able to adjust to what each particular company is doing and the culture. It’s a little bit different wherever you go.” The travel itself is another thing about locums that both Armstrong and Freiberger enjoy. [caption id="attachment_9470" align="alignleft" width="300"]Freiberger 1 Freiberger hiking.[/caption] “I’ve always wanted to travel. I love traveling and when you’re working a regular nine to five job you get two weeks off a year, and I’ve gotten to the point in my career that that just isn’t enough time. I need more time to be able to explore the world,” says Freiberger. “I don’t want to die and all I have to look back on is all the time I spent at work. I want to be able to see things, so this has been a great opportunity to do two things I love because I love being a Nurse Practitioner and I love travel, so I get two things in one.”  


Chad Saley

Chad Saley

Chad Saley is a public relations manager at CHG Healthcare, the parent company of CompHealth.

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