The COVID-19 crisis has sent the world into an upheaval. While the virus has continued to sicken people unimpeded by a vaccine or preventive medication, the healthcare industry grapples with an overwhelming amount of patients even as many healthcare workers become ill themselves.
The intersection of caring for so many while losing workers to quarantine or illness is also creating an urgent need for more nurses. To help facilitate an efficient and accurate hiring process for healthcare organizations, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) recently released a free online tool to help match nurses with the specific competencies that are most needed in hospitals and organizations.
The self-assessment tool helps employers save time and effort when both are in short supply while providing a more direct process for identifying and placing nurses with the best skills match into relevant and appropriate roles. The self-assessment helps nurses assess where their strengths are—a long-term career advantage for them and a long-term advantage to the hiring employer.
“AMSN believes that competencies are the best way to assess performance and identify needed professional development opportunities for medical-surgical nurses,” says Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, CAE, and AMSN CEO. “Nurses are stepping up and entering the workforce to assist during this crisis. We want to provide them with a tool that will help them critically evaluate their competence so they are able to contribute to the best of their professional ability.”
Hinkley says the self-assessment tool, which will be followed by a full competency model in the fall, helps employers in a couple of ways. “It provides an out-of-the-box tool for employers to be able to best place new employees and contingent workers at a time where things are very disrupted and they may find themselves in urgent need for staff,” she says.
The available tool helps nurses perform a self assessment on domains of practice including patient and practice management and professional concepts, with sub-domains including the nursing process, patient safety, infection prevention, medication management, education of patients and families, leadership, and critical thinking. “It allows nurses to reflect on their individual skills specifically related to their practice setting, which means it’s tailored to the work they will be doing and is not a general competency evaluation,” says Hinkley.
And when the full competency model launches, it will it evaluate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individual nurses, and it will include a soft-skill assessment and will be measurable to organizational outcomes, she says.
As employers use the self-assessment tool results, which focus on knowledge, skills, and abilities, they will be able to analyze specifics for each nurse and match those with the hiring needs in their organization. With such specific details, employers will also be able to consider the long-range fit of hiring a nurse as a potential-long-term employee. If the skills, abilities, and competencies in particular practice settings are a good match, the nurse’s career path and the healthcare organization’s nursing needs might provide opportunities for both.
As many nursing students are being called to help patients now, Hinkley says this kind of assessment is especially valuable. “AMSN also believes the self-assessment has great utility for nursing students who now find themselves displaced from their final semester of school and looking for employment,” she says. “It allows these individuals to assess their abilities to enter into nursing practice as graduate nurses, pending licensure, with a solid understanding of their level of competence in medical-surgical care settings.”
According to AMSN, healthcare employers who want to try this tool to help them navigate this urgent hiring need while making the best placements and assignments in a short time frame, should start by looking at www.AMSNStaffingToolkit.org, where they can follow additional instructions. Nurses who are asked to complete the 20-minute online self-assessment survey, can then print or email and submit to the appropriate manager.
A Nurse’s Guide to Understanding Digital Recruitment Trends
More and more health care organizations are using big data, predictive analysis, and data metrics to streamline the process of recruiting nursing talent. Over one-third of human resources departments rely on analytics to manage staffing, according to the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report. That trend has exploded over the last few years, as organizations lean on technology in earnest. For example, approximately 95% of hospitals use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is like a gigantic digital filing cabinet full of resumes, according to industry experts.
Big data (or people data) may sound intimidating to nurses who aren’t tech savvy, but the information that they refer to is often quite simple. “Facebook, Google, the U.S. government—even my own tiny website has its own big data,” says Brittney Wilson, BSN, RN, an informatics expert based in Nashville, Tennessee who owns the popular blog The Nerdy Nurse.
Big data usually means extremely large data sets, which help reveal patterns and associations, especially relating to human behavior or that look at trends and systems and help make a determination, explains Wilson.
“Data is everywhere and almost all of it is discoverable. I always tell nurses to not post anything online that they wouldn’t put in front of a recruiter when they’re applying for a job. You have to assume that someone is scraping that data and applying it to an algorithm,” she adds.
How Organizations Collect People Data—and What That May Mean for You
In a recruiting context, a nurse’s personal information can be culled from social media profiles, consumer data, and public records, in addition to a hospital’s personnel data or those of a third-party recruiting program vendor. That nurse’s individual data points can then be merged into bigger data sets, so analysts can create algorithms or statistical models that aim to predict which candidates are equipped to succeed in a given role.
For example, automated systems can spit out resumes from applicants in a certain zip code, based on an algorithm set to predict turnover. Perhaps previous employees with that zip code may have been short-timers, due to a grueling driving commute or unreliable mass transit.
Then even if nurses knew why they were getting the cold shoulder from a piece of software, there’s not much they can do about it. Their home address data is out there and available to hospitals, even if they attempted to hide it by using another street address, through a UPS or other office forwarding service, say.
But what if that undesirable zip code is for an area with a large minority population? Recruiters and IT folks are starting to realize how digital “gates,” based on zip code and such, may adversely impact underrepresented populations. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission frowns on practices which essentially “profile” applicants and employees.
“We need to attract more racial and ethnic minorities to nursing,” says David Wilkins, chief strategy officer of Woburn, Massachusetts-based HealthcareSource, a provider of talent management systems for hospitals. “We’re thin in labor supply and there’s a high labor demand.” The unemployment rate in health care is so low—RNs at 1.4%, and NPs at 1.1%, according to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. “With such an acute shortage, it’s hard to believe that people are consciously turning away any candidates.” Wilkins wonders if unconscious bias, such as when an applicant has an ethnic sounding name, may be at play.
Crowdsourcing, One Surprising Cyber Trend in Recruiting
Relode is an innovative crowdsource referral platform for health care recruiting. “In 2014, we saw there were lots of inefficiencies in the hiring process and wanted to use software to solve this problem,” says Joe Christopher, chief technology officer at the Brentwood, Tennessee-based firm. “The platform allows our small team to work on thousands of jobs. Health care is profession-centric, so staffing agencies are ultimately working with the company. We’re trying to help you, as a nurse, to take your next step.”
A nurse can sign up on the Relode portal, then work with a talent adviser who will set up a profile and then make a match with an appropriate job opportunity based on the nurse’s experience, skill set, goals, and other desires. “As a new grad, you may have to take what’s available, but if we know you ultimately want to go back to California, we can help. What if we can connect you to this great employer [in another state] who can train you? And then after a year or two, you can go back home to California or wherever. Or you might like it and want to stay longer.”
Relode offers nurses a way to earn side income through its crowdsourcing platform. “Nurses are used to thinking, ‘if I need extra money, I need to work an extra shift.’ But we believe the best nurse knows another best nurse. So as a travel nurse, for instance, you may know nurses in Dallas and Phoenix, and if you connect us and that person gets hired, we pay $3,500 directly into your account,” says Christopher. In fact, one nurse signed up with Relode and referred seven other nurses, earning money for connecting people she already knew to new opportunities, he adds.
Make Sure Your Online Application is Optimized for Search Engines
Human resource experts claim that very little recruiting happens without technology anymore. “Your first point of entry is very likely going to be a piece of software, an applicant tracking system. It has to determine the degree of fit between you and the job. So, make sure your resume is well-structured, clean, and easy to parse for an applicant tracking system,” says Wilkins. “Focus less on making it look pretty, and instead, make it very scannable and readable. The average time someone is going to look at it is six seconds.”
A big part of what applicant tracking systems search for is keywords and phrases. Recruiters may be carrying 100 plus openings at one time so they can’t look at all the resumes for each position. “In order to be seen, yours must be in the top 10 or top 20 ranking,” he says. “You should have multiple resumes to make sure the keywords match. Most of the time organizations tailor job titles and descriptions to a particular opening.”
A Travel Nurse Weighs in on High-Tech, Low-Touch Recruiting
Jake Schubert, RN, BSN, travel nurse and owner of Nursity.com, an online NCLEX prep course, is no stranger to the recruiting process and shares a few key insights.
1. The nurse-recruiter relationship is becoming less and less personal.
I get hundreds of emails from travel nurse recruiters all saying basically the same thing: “would love to work with you… would love to work with you… would love to work with you…” Don’t spam nurses with phone calls and emails. You don’t like it when people do that to you, so why would you do it to them? But if you really want to be effective, stop with the spam and make your message personal. For example, you can go to my Instagram and you’ll see that I love to scuba dive. Then reach out to me there with something personal like, “Hey I noticed you like to dive. We have contracts with three hospitals in Florida that are close to some great dive sites.” But no, they don’t do that. Instead they fall back on the same line: “Let me know when you you’re ready to start traveling with the best recruiting company!” I feel like responding: “Let me know when I’m relevant to you.”
2. Many nurses are naïve about a recruiter’s role and motives.
New graduates and some other nurses may think: “This recruiter is really on my side.” But they’re not—they’re being paid by their company so that’s where their loyalty lies. They know when you’re not asking for enough money, for instance, but they won’t tell you where you’re leaving money on the table. It’s not like other industries where people are required to disclose a conflict of interest—when real estate brokers represent both sides in a transaction, they’re legally required to disclose their dual agency.
3. Nurses have the power to create better relationships with recruiters.
I’m one of the thousands of nurses working with Kaiser Permanente right now. You go online and create a profile on their portal, and they email you when an appropriate job pops up. But that’s not how all jobs get filled in a hospital. It’s all about relationships. Managers are always asking me “Jake, do you know anyone who’s looking for a job?” Every hospital is looking for good nurses, and nurses who have good communication skills are hard to find. If I had one piece of advice for new graduates, it’s “Don’t text a recruiter, and don’t think of email as a long text. Email is an online version of a letter, so don’t leave out the niceties.” When you communicate fully, you show that you’re different and that you have professional communication skills.
So, for instance, if you were applying for a job as a dialysis nurse, Wilkins would advise the use of a preponderance of keywords related to that specialty. “Of course, use the word ‘dialysis,’ but also all the words alongside it and related terms and synonyms.
Dialysis in an elder-care, or long-term care setting, is different than working with general patients at an outpatient dialysis care clinic. Use senior care words, long-term care versus outpatient care words. The care job is probably the same but the stuff on the edges is different.”
Wilkins offers a final caveat regarding online application systems, which sounds basic, but could torpedo your candidacy if ignored. “The average completion for an online application is around 15%, which means 85% of online applications are never completed. While in some cases, this is because a candidate changes their mind mid-process, most of the time it’s just because the process is long and complex,” he explains. “But the really scary data is that 15% of people think they’ve actually fully submitted their application when they really haven’t. Sometimes they just miss the ‘submit’ button at the end. Go back and make sure you completed all the steps.”
Nurses shouldn’t forget to update their own employer’s human resource portal—it makes it easier for the department (or a hiring manager) to identify internal candidates. When there’s a job requisition for an assistant nurse manager with a master’s degree and a set of relevant experience, for instance, a recruiter can look through the hospital’s internal database of qualified nurses before posting the job publicly.
How to Protect Your Online Privacy When Job Searching
“We need to educate nurses that when you put your resume out there on any career site—upload it to CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed—you’re selling access to that resume,” warns Christopher. An applicant may upload a resume and forget about it, but when they get an email or call from a recruiter, wonder: “How did they get my number?!” When you trace it back, almost always it was that uploaded resume and the terms of service that allow recruiters to contact you.
There are workarounds though, that will protect your privacy without hampering your job search. “Lots of people are able to set up an email address specifically for this use—you’d check it once a day if you’re in the job market, or once a week if you’re not,” says Christopher. “Sometimes the systems also require a phone number. You may be able to set up a Google voice number or use another solution like that.”
When using online job engines and portals, be aware that there are games that some unscrupulous recruiters play, says Christopher. For instance, “a staffing agency that does lots of work with nurses may put up a job listing for an opening that doesn’t exist” at the moment. That gives them a running start for handling hard-to-fill roles, “so that when an employer asks for an ICU nurse, say, they already have 10 nurses that have applied for that. Indeed will no longer host agency jobs, the listing has to be from the employer,” because of recruiter abuses. “Even now Indeed offers applicants a way to filter jobs—there’s an employer of record option.”
Present Your Best Cyber Self to Snag a Job
Nurses and talent recruiters are both figuring out the new communications etiquette, with some stumbles along the way. “I get text messages from recruiters pretty frequently. I was shocked the first time because they contacted me on a very non-professional manner, in my opinion,” says Regina Callion, RN, MSN, travel nurse and owner of ReMar Review, an NCLEX review program.
“Greetings will be skipped, and it will pretty much say ‘Make 10,000 dollars in a month! Sign up today for xyz.’ The lack of formality and information provided is a turnoff.”
That anti-text sentiment is common, even among some Millennial, digital native nurses. “My cell number is the last bastion of privacy for me,” Wilson says. “I don’t want to get a text from a recruiter without my consent. It feels like you entered my living room and sat on the couch and don’t even know who I am.”
But recruiters say that reaching out to nurses in the traditional way isn’t efficient, so they have to employ new channels. “Our team has found that texting is a really great way to communicate for nurses. They’re busy and so instead of leaving a message and waiting for a call back, a text is a brief but direct conversation,” says Christopher. “Obviously, you have to know who the person is and agree to it, but texting is a really efficient way for us to say: ‘Here’s a great opportunity that meets three out of four of your criteria. Do you want to talk about it?’ Or if there’s a simple question from an employer, we can get a quick answer: ‘Are you licensed in California? I know you graduated from school there but …’”
The nurse-recruiter dance requires sensitivity and cooperation from each partner. Recruiters do a service for nurses, exposing them to opportunities they might not otherwise discover and fast-tracking their applications through the hiring process. Nurses can help recruiters by making themselves easier to find and by being open to approach. “It takes a lot of energy to look for a job, and it’s a lot like dating—when you’re not looking, that’s when you’re most desirable,” explains Wilson. “My job before this one was with a startup who found me because I’d SEO’d [search engine optimization, or the process of affecting the visibility of a web page] my profile online so well… I always tell people—take a phone call. You never know.”
In 2017, the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) was
founded with the mission “to improve health in communities across the nation
through the service of nurses on all types of boards.
Laurie Benson, BSN, Executive Director of NOBC says that “The
vision of NOBC was created in direct response to The Institute of Medicine’s
2011 landmark report, ‘The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,’
which called for nurses to play a more pivotal decision-making role on boards
and commissions. NOBC represents national nursing and other organizations
working to build healthier communities in America by increasing the presence of
nurses on corporate, health-related, and other boards, panels, and commissions.”
Benson answered some questions about NOBC.
Why is it important for nurses to
be a part of boards? What do they bring to the table that other health care workers
All boards can benefit from the nursing perspective. Nurses possess a wide
range of skills including strategic planning, critical thinking, quality and
process improvement, communications, human resources, finance, and complex
problem solving. Accustomed to working
in teams, nurses fit naturally into the boardroom environment. Always connected
to the mission, they understand the challenges, opportunities, and implications
of decisions on many levels. Other
health care workers certainly make important contributions to the boardroom as
well. Nurses welcome the opportunity to serve alongside colleagues and other
leaders to make a collective impact.
With 3.6 million nurses in
our country, nurses represent the largest segment of our health care
workforce. It simply makes good business sense to have the nursing
perspective representedin all
places where decisions and policies affecting health are
made including corporate, governmental, nonprofit, advisory,
governance boards, commissions, and panels or task forces that have fiduciary
or strategic responsibility.
Is this just to encourage
NPs to be on boards or nurses of any rank and experience level? Why?
There is a place in the boardroom for nurses across the continuum. While certain boards require specific rank and experience, many seek candidates at a variety of levels of experience and practice, especially with the increased emphasis on bringing diverse perspectives into the boardroom. Boards are most interested in how a candidate will contribute and bring value to discussions in the boardroom. With each board opportunity, NOBC makes sure we understand the profile of the ideal candidate and then match the opportunity with the skills, experience, qualifications, and interests of those registered in the NOBC database as interested in serving.
A few recent examples include a doctoral graduate who was invited
to serve on a nonprofit board for an organization that provides respite care for parents and families of children with
daily medical needs; another nurse (BSN,
less than 5 years of experience was invited to serve on an advisory board for a
national company who was seeking wider generational representation; and a
faculty member (DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC), who will soon
be retiring, was selected to serve on the board of a national health care start
up organization focused on care of the aging. There are unprecedented opportunities for
nurses to serve on boards in every community across our nation!
Has this been started
more because nurses weren’t seeking board positions, boards weren’t seeking
nurses as members, or both? Please explain.
NOBC wasn’t started for nursing, it was started by nursing. National nursing association leaders came together with one purpose in mind—to work together to improve health for all. However, not all boards are necessarily aware of the growing interest, demand, and impact of nurses serving on boards. NOBC members, partners, sponsors, state contacts, and others are doing a great job in increasing the awareness and visibility of the expansive and exceptional nurse candidate pool that is available to all boards.
What are nurses’
roles on boards?
Board governance is an extension of leadership. As leaders, nurses can serve effectively in all types of governance roles based on the structure and specific needs of each board. Nurses serve as Board Chairs, Board Committee Chairs, Committee members or at-large members—wherever the need matches with their skills, interests, and their ability to contribute value. The varied roles for nurses on boards are the same as for others serving on the boards. Boards contribute collectively, not based on the individual board members. Nurses especially thrive when serving on high performance boards, serving as a contributor toward the good of the whole.
Suppose a nurse
would like to join a particular board. What should he or she do to pursue it?
Nurses who are interested in serving on a board should
start with your passion! Next, conduct a self-assessment and prepare a one-page
board biography. Build your skills through nursing leadership resources and
talk to other nurse leaders to learn from their experience. Let others know of
your interest in serving on a board and contact an organization whose mission aligns
with your interests. Register on the NOBC website at www.nursesonboardscoalition.org
to be included in the database for consideration for future board opportunities
and to access many resources to support you on your board journey.
Be bold! You don’t need to wait until you have all the
answers to pursue a board opportunity. Remember, there will be others on the
board who have complementary skills and experience to round out the board composition.
While you will be providing a valuable contribution through your board service,
nurses always tell us they get so much more from the experience than they could
ever hope to give. Create an action plan
today to raise your voice in a boardroom that is right for you!
What else is important
about the Coalition and its mission that is important for our readers to know?
We are experiencing great momentum and success! The NOBC
current thermometer count is at 5,724 board seats toward our key strategy of
10,000 by 2020. I invite you to join us in this important work. Please contact me at [email protected]
to explore how we can collaborate to make a significant impact, together, where
you live and work.
Lastly, if you serve on a board, please consider a nurse as
a candidate for your next board seat!
Are you an accomplished Family or Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioner? It’s time for you to be in the spotlight! Springer Publishing is looking for a select group of rock star nurses to inspire and educate the next generation in your area of expertise. Apply now to be featured in our Day-In-The-Life profiles on our upcoming website, NursesGetCertified.com. Eligible candidates are:
- Actively certified as an Adult Gerontology Primary Care or Family Nurse Practitioner
- Working clinically in this area of certification
- Interested in helping future nurses understand what life is like after the exam
Fill out our form by Tuesday, November 27th for your chance at this opportunity. Selected candidates will participate in a 30-minute interview which will be featured along with a photo on our new website. You’ll also receive a $25 Amazon gift card for participating. Join us in our mission to make nursing certification simple!
In this fast-paced era, the demand of nursing is emerging in every nook and corner of the world due to the amazing facilities and developments. Whether it is about treatment or regular health check-ups, the health care industry is playing a significant role in every individual’s life. Can you imagine your days without a health care organization? Of course not!
You probably don’t know about tomorrow, and the only savior in the present scenario is the health care industry. When it comes to health care, the importance of nurses cannot be overstated or overlooked. The popularity and necessity of nursing are known to everyone, as the nurses are the most important part of many organizations. Their quality of service, facilities, and skills are helping patients improve their daily lives.
Hiring a reliable nurse is not an easy task; rather, there are several things to consider before delving deep into the process. Staffing or recruitment agencies help connect nurses with potential jobs in the health care industry while also providing the best facilities to medical organizations.
Many entrepreneurs are observing these facts minutely and have decided to start a business, which can help the health care industry while also taking advantage of ongoing trends. Amidst these scenarios, it is necessary to understand the nuances of how exactly a nursing staff organization or agency is operating, and what types of requirements are needed to resolve the complication of medical institutes. Here is a guide, which can help you in understanding the procedure of how a nursing recruitment agency starts.
Make an Impressive Plan
Before building your castle, you will always need stones, bricks, and cement, and moreover, a strong foundation and base. Isn’t it true? Similarly, while deciding to run an agency for nursing, you need to make a plan, which should be impressive and beneficial too. You will need to decide the following:
- which part of the company you are going to handle;
- what sort of things should be there in your business;
- who will be your target market;
- what level of growth you will accept;
- how to employ the staff, and much more.
If you are thinking that opening a new business is an easy job to accomplish, then you are sadly mistaken. You can easily observe the above points and can analyze how critical the things are.Moreover, when the situation comes to operate a nursing agency, then the very thing is to get the license, and you need to communicate with the insurance providers as well. Moreover, if you have a strong plan, then the chances of getting new clients will increase. Furthermore, the plan should involve the details regarding the product and services, company description, marketing strategy, tactics, management plan, financial rules, and much more.
Register Your Company’s Name
According to the present scenario and government policies, every organization is bound to register their company name under the laws and should get a license to operate the business. If any hospital recruitment agency is found without a valid license, then they will be arrested and should be taken into the jail. You might be wondering that why the license is important for the business.
When you are talking about the health care industry, then nobody would like to take the risk when they find an organization or agency running without reliable license and papers. Thus, the agencies are required to register their name, so that they can easily operate without any hassle, and moreover, people will trust them and will seek for help. A medical recruitment agency will thus register their name before joining the marketplace.
The process of the registration depends on several aspects such as location, state, and other factors, which are studied before giving the final commitment. Once you are done with the registration process, you will get a tax identification number, which is mostly used while paying the taxes as well as employee withholding. There are several ways you can get the business license like from the online sites.
Insurance and Drug Screening Services Are a Must
There are many things to complete before starting a new nursing recruitment business, but, getting insurance and permission from drug screening services are a must. Having valid insurance will protect your business in every field, and will cover some funds when you face any losses.
Moreover, before you appoint nurses in your organization, you need to conduct a background test and should do a drug screening test, which will further make sure that the nurses whom you have referred are genuine and experienced.
Build Your Website
In this digital marketing era, you cannot ignore the importance of a website. When you are operating any business, having an online presence is a must. So, for this reason, you need to develop a website where you can mention about your services and can easily interact with the customers. For better understanding, you can do the promotion of the business in social media platforms and can reach more potential customers.
Never Get Discouraged
When you are entering into the business world, many things will happen, which will sometime demotivate you, and will decrease your willpower. But, make sure that you withstand all the pains, and work professionally. A medical recruitment agency is known for their power and ethics, not for the discouragement and losses.
When young children and young adults don’t hear about nursing as a viable career choice or learn about how to pursue a nursing career, the world loses an untold number of excellent potential nurses.
Mona Clayton, MSN, RN and CEO of Nurses 2 Roc Pub, knows all too well how some dreams need a little nudge. She is making sure that will happen with a goal to reach out to 100,000 people worldwide to tell them that a nursing career might just be the best career for them.
As a kid growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Clayton didn’t have the encouragement she needed to even think of nursing as a career. “You could say nursing chose me, I didn’t choose nursing,” says Clayton. “I didn’t think about nursing as a career at all. I didn’t like blood, and I didn’t like math. And I never had anyone tell me I could do this.”
She didn’t have professional role models telling her that her fascination with health care and the medical dramas she watched on television might mean she had a passion worth pursuing. They could have told her she could overcome her queasiness about blood and that improving her math just meant she had to practice.
Clayton aims to be the inspiration and mentor for those who might want to follow the same path. With seminars in person and online, casual discussions, a blog, and a pure determination to have good people become good nurse, Clayton spreads her message.
Clayton’s path changed when her cousin became a nurse and when Clayton herself worked in a trauma unit while attending college. After forays into journalism, pharmacy, computer science, and business, Clayton went back to school for her nursing degree in her mid 30s. As an older single mom who was also a minority and didn’t consider herself great in math, Clayton says the unknown was scary. “I think the main barrier for many people is the mindset that they think nursing is an impossible venture,” she says.
In fact, Clayton says when she is running a seminar, the young adults she is speaking with invariably ask her the nuts and bolts of how she achieved her goals. They want to know how she applied to a nursing school and how she even knew which one to apply to. They ask how she was able to pay for classes and did she work and go to school simultaneously. They want the details on how she managed while being a single mom and how hard her classes were. They are all hungry for information on how to make their dream become reality.
Clayton admits the road for her wasn’t always smooth. Her daughter was active in lots of school activities, and Clayton relied on extended family to help fill in the gaps as she continued to work and go to school while raising her daughter. When the going got tough, Clayton says she just looked at her daughter. “She kept me going,” she says. “I wanted her to see the importance of education. I wanted her to see how I did it and then they think, ‘If she did it, I can do it, too.’”
And while Clayton’s message connects her with people worldwide, you’ll also find her talking to people in Target or at the gym. She talks to kids who are curious about nursing and older people who are thinking about going back to school for nursing. And she recruits men and women believing a balance of genders is necessary in the workplace.
“I could go and work as a nurse and not do this,” says Clayton, “but this is a passion and drive I have. It feels great when I see someone succeed.”