Spotlight on Taylor Cunningham
How did you get started in the nursing profession?
My passion for nursing started when I got a job as a home health aide for a hospice program, and I fell in love with helping those in need. I went to nursing school at Monroe Community College thinking I would end up as a hospice nurse, but after a few clinical rotations in the ICU, I decided critical care was the path for me.
What do you love about your position? What has kept you passionate about your career?
I love being able to help others while also using my brain every day. The medical/scientific side of nursing keeps me on my toes and always learning. I love being able to learn new things, problem solve, and critical think, all while helping those in need. I love my position as a travel nurse specifically because it allows me to not remain in one place for too long. I enjoy being in new environments and learning from new co-workers as well as new patient populations.
How did you find HPC? How has HPC helped with your career?
I found HPC through a co-worker of mine who had previously completed a contract with them during the first COVID-19 wave. She spoke highly of her recruiter and referred me to the company. As the second wave of COVID cases began, I reached out to Marisa Panchenko, my recruiter, and was brought on board for a contract at a local facility. I extended that contract for a couple of months and ended up completing two other contracts after that. I have since resigned from my contingent position and am now a full-time traveler. HPC has allowed me the freedom and flexibility of travel nursing but with the benefit of stability and certainty that I can count on my recruiter to have my best interests in mind. Being able to float to different units and positions has allowed me to improve my skills and confidence as a nurse, which ultimately allows me to better care for my patients.
What advice would you give to other traveling healthcare providers?
To be confident in your knowledge and skills. There is always something new to learn when you are on a new unit or in a new hospital, and those new co-workers can learn a lot from you as well. Be open to new knowledge, and always remember why you fell in love with nursing, especially on those tough days that we all have now and then.
What do you think is the most important quality for a nurse to possess?
Compassion. I think it is so important to treat each patient as though they are one of your own family members and to care for them how you would want your loved ones cared for. I believe the compassion we feel for our patients is what separates nurses from other professions.
Do you have a memorable experience from your nursing career that has shaped you into the nurse you are today?
It’s hard to recognize one specific scenario. I think every single shift offers something new for me to take away and use in my practice going forward. I do think that taking the leap into travel nursing has forced me out of my comfort zone and boosted my confidence in my skills and as a nurse in general.
Anything else you’d like to add?
HPC has been a wonderful company to work with and be a part of. Travel nursing has been the perfect position for me in many ways, and I feel lucky to have found such a great company and recruiter to work with.