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Nurse Spotlight: James Scallan, RN

Advantage Medical Professionals Travel Nurse Spotlight: James Scallan, RN

Nurses Week is a yearly celebration beginning on May 6th and ending on May 12th that honors the nursing profession. Advantage Medical Professionals celebrates each day of Nurses Week by turning the spotlight on one of our very own healthcare heroes! Read on to learn more about James Scallan, RN.


What is the best perk of being a travel nurse?

Flexibility. I will be candid and say that I have only worked local nursing contracts with familiar facilities that are not too far from where I live. This has been the best option for me and my family’s needs, but everyone has different preferences/needs for their situations. That flexibility has allowed me to get exactly what I want out of nursing over the past three years- emotionally and financially. The flexibility has made it all so much more fulfilling.


How has the nursing profession changed since the beginning of your career?

What can I say except that everything has changed – expectations, wages, costs, and longevity of work. The healthcare system places increasing strain on less prepared, new graduate nurses with the expectation that they perform at a higher level – for the same pay as when I started nursing six years ago. I sympathize deeply – not only for the nurses that were short-changed out of firsthand education/experience during the pandemic, but also for the new nurses who are now starting out on the other side of the pandemic with fewer resources readily available to them. There are now fewer combined years of experience on units that have significantly more acute patients. Nurses should be mindful and prepared for the situations they will likely face in this new age of nursing.


What do you think is a common misconception about nurses, or nursing in general?

I think that nursing, like so many professions in the era of consumer-first business models, suffers from the strain of misdirected criticism and process improvement. The nurse at the bedside is expected to balance so many forms of care for the patients they are charged with, which means they are also at fault when any little thing goes wrong. Even after living through a few years of hearing and seeing “healthcare heroes” repeatedly, I think nurses are largely underpaid and underappreciated where it really counts – at the bedside. Healthcare administration has a long way to go in making nurses feel protected and well-compensated for the weight of the work we carry daily. This is not a glamorous job to jump into for the sake of a paycheck, but one that can be extremely rewarding with the right attitude and purpose.


What are three words that would describe you?

I couldn’t come up with an answer for this one, so I asked a few of my coworkers. The three most common words I heard from them were: compassionate, dependable, and adaptable.


What advice would you give to someone who is considering travel nursing?

My advice is to listen to your own instincts. There is a huge push to start traveling ASAP and I feel that a lot of newer nurses get pushed into something they aren’t ready for. People grow at different rates, and it’s important to feel that you are ready for a big change. I resisted the urge to start travel nursing for quite a while before I finally did, but I have no regrets about waiting. I feel like I was a more developed nurse from the experiences I had before going into this.



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