We hope everyone is well! Today marks an exciting milestone for Night Nurse: It’s our 21st anniversary! We began providing triage services on this very day in 1999. So much has changed since we started delivering triage services on September 30, 1999, and YOU all have been an important part of our story.
When we talk about our growth, we often use the term “brick by brick.” It’s a strategy that has served us well. One by one, we add new practices, we help more patients, and we add great new people just like YOU!
Thank you EVERYONE for sharing your talents, expertise, and thoughtful patient care to Night Nurse. You are our success story and we are immensely grateful!
We’re happy to announce several promotions here at Night Nurse. We take pride in recognizing hard work, experience, and great people skills. Our recent growth has created new opportunities for three of our talented team members.
We recently announced that RN TammyleeLeBouef has been promoted to Nurse Manager of our Adult Triage Service Team. Tammylee has enjoyed the challenging work of Nurse Management before now, and has more than three years of full-time direct Adult and Pediatric triage experience with Night Nurse. She is also a triage clinical preceptor, and she trains our Nurses to deliver outstanding care. We trust she will support and lead RNs to triage success and good patient outcomes.
As a member of our Nursing Management team, Tammylee has been assigned On-Call Scheduling Manager rotation along with HeatherWalsh, KarenHolland, and MicheleMarani. Nurses: Please reply to her emails, answer texts and calls in the event of a sick call out and when a nursing-related consult is needed.
When our longtime Dispatch Manager LanieMartell left Night Nurse this summer to be a stay-at-home mom, she left pretty big shoes to fill. Lucky for us, we have JillMcDonald on our team. Jill has been promoted from her previous role of Dispatch Supervisor to Dispatch Manager.
In her three and a half years with Night Nurse, Jill has set a high bar for excellence. Her extensive experience supporting the healthcare industry and deep dedication to helping families and children made her a natural fit for the role of Dispatch Manager.
We’re also happy to promote Monica to Dispatch Supervisor. In her four years with Night Nurse, Monica has proven to be smart, dependable, and great on the phone with our nurses, answering services, and physicians.
Monica has also gone above and beyond to help with many technical improvements that increase efficiencies for our dispatch unit. Her IT skills and can-do attitude helped us quickly move dispatchers off-site when COVID-19 struck, and she often handles IT questions that would have otherwise gone to our tech support team.
Please congratulate Tammylee, Jill, and Monica on their well-deserved promotions!
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: KAREN HOLLAND
Unlike many of our RNs, Karen didn’t initially plan to become a nurse. “I went to college to become a physical therapist. I fell in love with the school, but not my major.” After exploring other career options, Karen quickly changed her focus to nursing, allowing her to stay at the same school and still pursue a career helping others. After college, Karen took an RN job at a pediatric practice in Tennessee and never looked back. Her love for children and nursing all came together to build her 23-year career as a pediatric RN.
Then in December 2008, Karen joined our team. “Night Nurse was a natural fit for me because triage is my favorite aspect of nursing. I love talking with parents and helping them care for their children.” In just a few short months, her great work earned her a promotion to Compact State Manager. Her experience at the practice in Tennessee - one of the early Compact states – provided her with a background to understand how healthcare providers can seamlessly work across other regions.
Nearly 12 years have passed, and Karen continues to help Night Nurse grow. When she started, Night Nurse offered service in less than five Compact states. Now we represent practices in dozens of Compact states, bringing new responsibilities to Karen, who now also serves as our Licensing Coordinator.
She noted, “Each compact state has slightly different licensing guidelines, so it’s a complicated and time-consuming process. I look forward to the day when nurses can practice across all 50 states and licensing becomes more standardized.”
Through her work with Night Nurse, Karen has become an influential voice in the effort for compact state expansion. She has been quoted in industry articles and was recently featured in this video profile published by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
What Karen loves most about Night Nurse is how well it fits her lifestyle. “I really appreciate the opportunity that Tami and Stu have given me to grow my career and while working at home. Night Nurse provides incredible flexibility to balance my work, kids, and husband. It’s a dream job for me.”
Walt Disney once said, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” No one knows this better than Karen who reads approximately 100 books per year. She leans toward historical fiction novels, but committed to reading at least one non-fiction book each month this year.
She loves hearing about great books and is always open to exploring recommendations from friends and colleagues. Please reach out to Karen if you read a great book recently, she’ll appreciate it!
Books and beaches go together like cookies and milk, so it’s no surprise that Karen also loves the ocean. She and her family get to Isle of Palms beach in South Carolina as often as they can.
Karen and her family are also avid sports fans; particularly college football and basketball. Karen grew up in Georgia, so she’s a big Georgia Bulldogs supporter. Her son goes to Clemson, so the Tigers also get a lot of love from the Hollands, and Karen’s husband is from Chapel Hill, so they also cheer for the Tarheels.
Karen is also committed to helping her community. Years ago, she discovered an unmet need and took action. The high school in her city is the largest in South Carolina. Many students and families count on the school not only to provide an education, but also for nourishment. When school is not in session – particularly in the last week of December and throughout the summer – underprivileged students often go hungry.
Karen joined with a group of parents to make sure these children have food even when schools are closed. They began a program with City Life Charleston, encouraging people to donate grocery store gift cards. In the first year alone, the program raised $3,000. Now, with greater momentum, they raised $11,000 in their 2019 campaign, putting food on the table for 1,000 families. Please visit this website if you’d like to help out and make a donation to their 2020 campaign.
We applaud Karen for her outstanding efforts to help others in need. Her caring nature is just another reason why we’re so lucky to have her at Night Nurse!
DID YOU KNOW?
It’s Going to Get Busy!
Fall is here and that means more calls in to Night Nurse. We’re also happy to report that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the world’s most prestigious universities, decided to expand coverage with us. We will now care for their entire student and faculty population! This long-time subscriber will soon send us more calls each month.
We’re also growing our reach into several states. We just initiated coverage in Georgia in the past 60 days, and we significantly expanded the number of practices we serve in California.
Thank you everyone for the outstanding work you do to ensure that patients receive phenomenal care on every call! It’s because of you that Night Nurse continues to grow and succeed!
With call volumes increasing and practices expanding their coverage, we’re hiring more nurses! Please help us grow the Night Nurse family by telling your RN, APRN, and NP friends about Night Nurse. Thank you to Terri Morse, Kelly Landwehr, Colleen Mcleod, Sarah Colapietro, and many other Night Nurse RNs who have recently referred their colleagues.
Who do you know that would love the opportunity to work from the comfort and safety of their homes? You could earn cash incentives for referring new hires. We love welcoming new team members, so please introduce us and invite them to visit our online Careers Center here.
We are also actively advertising, interviewing, and hiring new nurses so we can stay ahead of demand. Please welcome the new nurses we’ve already hired Julie McKinney, Sarah Walford, Lissa West, and Susan White to our team! Many more RNs are slated to begin in October, so stay tuned for more hiring announcements soon!
Training Adult RNs
In addition to our growth in multiple states, we’ve also seen a significant increase in our adult call volume. Several of our pediatric RNs also meet the criteria of 10 years of adult nursing experience, and we look forward to training them as dual nurses ASAP. If you have the requisite adult nursing experience, please reach out to us to get started.
Nationwide Nurse Licensing Legislation
Night Nurse has been an ongoing advocate of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows nurses to have one multi-state license and practice in the other 35 compact states. The COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the need for all 50 U.S. states to participate in the NLC, particularly for telehealth purposes.
When COVID-19 cases first escalated, the hardest-hit Compact states were able to mobilize healthcare professionals from other Compact states to meet immediate patient needs. Non-Compact states, such as New York, did not have this ability at that time.
In March, the White House’s emergency orders enabled nationwide license portability, but only on a temporary basis. Now, two bills in congress and a proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) aim to improve interstate telehealth and allow providers to practice anywhere in the country with one state license.
Congress is considering the Equal Access to Care Act (S. 3993) bill, which aspires to enable healthcare providers to deliver telehealth services nationwide in emergency scenarios with just one license. This proposed law is also a temporary measure. National license portability would expire 180 days after the standing President ends a federal emergency.
A second bill, known as the Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act (S. 4421)is also designed to temporarily enable license portability. TREAT would provide authority for healthcare providers to practice in-person or via telehealth anywhere in only one jurisdiction when a Public Health Emergency has been declared by the HHS and the president declares a national emergency. This capability would also expire 180 days after the emergency periods have ended.
An additional proposed measure comes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS, a federal agency, is working to permanently extend the President’s recent executive order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access and further allow services to be delivered by telehealth.
We’re excited to see that the U.S. Congress and the CMS are aware of the critical need for interstate healthcare licensing. While each proposal has many complexities, we are hopeful that this ongoing conversation will lead to a permanent solution for nurses and other healthcare providers to seamlessly and permanently work across all 50 states at any time, not just during emergency circumstances.
THREE CHEERS FOR OUR NEW PHONE SYSTEM!
Thank you everyone for your support as we upgraded to our new phone system, Avaya Equinox. In addition to the multiple technology and business benefits, the new system is making life easier for our nurses, dispatchers, tech support team, and everyone that works from home!
No more VPN Access Manager software or Softphone. Beginning your shift and making calls is easier than ever. One less program to run, much less frustrations, and improved sound quality as well.
Here are a couple of comments from our co-workers:
“Just wanted to let you know that the new phone system is great. Very easy to use.”
“Wow, what a difference! It dials so quickly without any pauses like the old system had. I think it will increase efficiency and response time!”
Kudos to our tech team of Dan Holladay and Todd DeBonis for troubleshooting unique issues. Thanks are also due to RN Allison Smith who provided extensive cooperation to help our tech team diagnose a few pesky issues.
We’re so glad this new innovation is working out so well for everyone!
HONORING OUR PIONEERS: SUSIE KING TAYLOR, AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK ARMY NURSE
We continue to profile nursing pioneers in this Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This month we honor nursing legend Susie King Taylor, born in 1848 as Susan Baker. Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton may be more widely known for their heroic wartime achievements, but Ms. King also made memorable contributions to help our military and society at large.
Susie was born into slavery, but was fortunate enough to attend a secret school and gain an education at an early age. Later, when living on a military base protected by the Union Army, Susie gained the respect of its commanding officer for her reading and writing skills. This earned her a role running a school for children and adults on St. Simons Island, Georgia in the early days of the Civil War.
In her position, Susie became the first black teacher for freed African-American children and "a number of adults who came to me nights, all of them so eager to learn to read,” as she once said.
Through her education, Susie learned nursing skills and became the first-ever Black Army nurse. She cared for soldiers in the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, later known as the 33rd United States Colored Infantry Regiment for four years during the Civil War. Like many African-American nurses at her time, her service was unpaid.
She collected many of her experiences in an autobiography titled “Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33D United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers.” She is the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime nursing experiences. The book can be found on Amazon.com here.
After the Civil War, Susie moved to Boston, where she met and married Russell Taylor. Throughout her life, she achieved many firsts in nursing, education, and civil rights. She is a true role model in overcoming adversity. We remember and honor Susie King Taylor for her historic accomplishments.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: NICOLE BALKISSOON
We love hearing about Night Nurse team members devoted to helping others and improving society. Part-time dispatcher NicoleBalkissoon exemplifies this dedication to the greater good.
One example of Nicole’s passion is through her day job at MIT. For the past 14 years, Nicole has played an important role in raising funds that enable MIT’s global innovations., including vaccines and cures for diseases. She said, “It is very rewarding to see how the organization has grown and conquered unprecedented world challenges. I have great respect for the organization.” As Finance and Operations Coordinator, Nicole helps make sure that critical projects receive the funding they need.
Nicole is also a steadfast family supporter. She has custody of an older relative that she cares for, further underscoring her kindness and deep devotion to others.
This strong commitment to helping people made Nicole a great fit for Night Nurse. For Nicole, caring for others is natural. She said, “I don’t consider my role at Night Nurse as work. It’s about giving back.”
Another reason why she finds Night Nurse so enjoyable is the close relationships she’s built. “I fell in love with Stu on my first interview, and I’ve since developed strong bonds with Heather, my fellow dispatchers, and our nurses.” She continued, “To me, Night Nurse s a bunch of wonderful people and a great place to work. We’re one big team that works well together.”
Nicole also loves her role with Night Nurse because she can now work from home. Prior to moving most of our dispatch team offsite, Nicole drove up to an hour each way to come to our call center. The new technology innovations give her a zero-commute experience.
Nicole’s passion for improving humankind extends beyond her work at MIT and Night Nurse. She’s also currently going to school to become a life coach. “It all started with my personal road to self-enlightenment. Then I realized that I might be able to help others as well.”
Her timing couldn’t be better. She noted, “Because of COVID-19, many people are re-examining what’s important in their lives and where to go next.” She wants to assist others on their life journey, following role models such as the well-known motivational speaker and life coach Iyanla Vanzant.
But Nicole is not all work and no play. In her free time, she loves to travel. Nicole often likes to go on cruises, noting “it’s a great way to see a lot of different places.” Other times, she prefers to just fly directly to one location and enjoy it on her own schedule. Some of her favorite tropical destinations include Belize, Trinidad, Mexico, and the Bahamas. Next on her vacation bucket list is Spain.
Nicole and her fiancé like to travel several times per year, but always on one particular day: Nicole’s birthday. You see, Nicole was born on Christmas Eve. Every year, they escape the cold of New England for sandy beaches and relaxation. “It’s just umbrella drinks and books on my birthday.” For many, beachside books might include romance novels or whodunnit mysteries. But remember, Nicole spends her days at MIT. Her vacation reading list includes scientific journals on cognitive brain therapy and biographies of world leaders, such as Nelson Mandela.
When she can’t get to the tropics to soak in the sun and make progress on her advanced reading list, Nicole enjoys being a “scrapper” (a scrapbook enthusiast), winding down with Netflix, or watching her favorite real estate shows.
Thank you, Nicole, for your solid dedication to Night Nurse, the practices we serve, and the patients that appreciate the speedy care. We’re so lucky to have you!
TAKE A MOMENT TO SAY HELLO!
Please remember, we’re always here to chat and to listen. Reach out to us at any time. We’d love to hear your perspectives and we welcome your calls.