Props to Veronica Neef-Cook – August’s Clinician of the Month!

Posted: & Filed Under: Clinician of the Month

Please join me in warmly congratulating Veronica Neef-Cook for being named August’s clinician of the month! Veronica joined the CMS team at the beginning of 2017 after completing a few travel assignments with a large, national agency. She heard about CMS from some positive review on the Gypsy Nurse facebook page and has been extending 3x at her current assignment. She is professional, independent, adventurous, and extremely well-regarded by the administrative and clinical teams alike!

Check out some feedback from her supervisors:

Excellent team player. Reliable Skillset. As a charge nurse I am confident Veronica is capable for caring for patients with high acuity and diverse (Neuro, Cardiac, Surigcal, Medical) diagnosis – Charge RN
Veronica is a seasoned ICU nurse with excellent clinical skills. She was considered a unit resource and charge nursing much of her time. She worked closely with the health care team to provide the best patient care and often advocated for her patients’ best interests. Veronica a strong leader and valuable asset – Charge RN
Her clinical skills and judgement made her a great in the charge nurse role (which we usually do not place agency RNs) – Manager
Veronica is an excellent RN with great critical thinking skills. She is a team player, provided excellent care to her patients, and great patient advocacy. She will be a welcome addition to any team. – Manager

WOAH – that is a lot of praise! The administrative team (Kate in particular) was very excited to honor you with this award – you are a joy to work with and we hope to continue this relationship well into the future. For more information on Veronicaes career journey and experiences with CMS – check out her story below:

-I grew up in Katy, TX, a suburb of Houston.

-I worked every summer in my teens and early 20’s as a lifeguard, and really loved the first aid aspect, which lead me to nursing. I made a great networking connection with a house supervisor while attending school at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. She’s the one who introduced me to the manager of the Surgical ICU at UTMB, and facilitated my interview for my first job.

-I worked 3 years at UTMB, a Level 1 Trauma and teaching hospital, in Galveston, TX in the Surgical ICU. I began my agency/travel career with some larger travel companies and worked 2 contracts in Seattle at The University of Washington’s Cardiac ICU and Harborview Medical Center’s Burn and Pediatric ICU. My third contract was at a small facility, Community Hospital, in Grand Junction, CO. I learned about CMS through the Gypsy Nurse Facebook page when a fellow traveler replied with her positive CMS experience to thread where I was inquiring about east coast jobs.

-My favorite part about all of my assignments would have to be how much I’ve learned. I feel like when you work in one place, if you’re not super proactive it’s easy to fall into a rut with your professional development. Working agency constantly challenges me to learn new things whether it’s a new technique, how to be more resourceful, or just a whole new skill set that was not previously available to me. It also provides an amazing opportunity to meet people all over the country and expand your professional network while making new friends.

-I love the freedom that working agency gives me. Staff nursing can get a little overwhelming with all of the extra expectations, so I like being able to focus on my actual job and doing it well. Plus as a traveller, I have the chance to move wherever in the country that interests me, which as an explorer at heart I love.

-I would recommend agency work for those who are already self motivated and autonomous. You have your agency for support, which CMS is great at, but ultimately it’s up to you to be a rockstar and own your practice and career.

-My success can definitely be attributed to my flexibility and “yes” attitude. Going with the flow and being open to new opportunities has opened so many doors for me, and it leaves a positive impression on those who work with me.

-In my free time I love to hike and backpack, explore new cities, cook new recipes, attend yoga class, seek out live music, and hang out with my dog Ruby.

-I’m traveling solo to the Dominican Republic next week for my summer vacation. I’m looking forward to hiking in Los Haitises National Park, riding horses and jumping into the El Limon waterfall, zip lining, and enjoying some serious R&R on the beach with a tropical drink!

-I’m a sucker for sappy moments, my most memorable agency/travel experiences all focus around leaving. In Seattle they sent me off with a long time ritual of “tubbing” (read:soaking your coworker in the burn tub room) usually reserved for staff. In Colorado I had a joint going away karaoke party with an RT, and almost every employee of that tiny hospital showed up to say goodbye. I haven’t been able to leave Baltimore yet! Leaving places that have a special place in your heart, and coworkers who you grow to trust, respect, and care about is one of the hardest things to do, but those last moments/days tend to be the most bittersweet and honest-which I kind of love. It’s a reminder that just because something isn’t permanent doesn’t mean it’s any less important.

-I was totally surprised to be named Agency Clinician of the Month! I feel like I’m so focused on my job and exploring my new surroundings that I tend to fly under the radar. Guess not!!

What an awesome, story! We hope you enjoy your trip to the DR as you really deserve some R&R. Thanks so much for sharing this with the whole CMS family – we can not thank you enough for all that you do. Here’s to many more assignments and endless exploring!

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