After a short visit to San Diego in 2009, calling Virginia home sounded less desirable than the sunny weather in California. With the confidence to finally take the leap of faith into traveling 3 years later, Shirley Allen had no idea she would begin the next 7 years of her career.
Shirley had her first interaction with LRS Healthcare in late September of 2012. After a conversation with then recruiter Jeff Lutt, she was set to leave Richmond Virginia and set out to San Diego. Shirley explains, “I was a part of a military family, so I’ve always loved to travel. Why not get paid to do it?” So that’s exactly what she did; in the beginning of November 2012, Shirley packed up her car and started the trek to Downey, California for her first assignment at Kaiser Permanente.
“True story, her first assignment was pushed back a month, so she had no job for 1 month. I fronted her $2000 to get through the month”, Jeff made it very clear that Shirley was the first person he had ever fronted money for and that $2000 was by far the most he ever had to loan a traveler. “We had only talked on the phone, so it was a risk, but I trusted her and obviously it helped build a great relationship between us”.
Finally, at the beginning of December 2012, Shirley started working just an hour north of San Diego in Panorama City, CA right outside of Los Angeles. While keeping her goal of living in sunny San Diego, Shirley continued with two more assignments working her way up the coast. Significantly, on her three-year anniversary traveling with LRS Healthcare, she started her first travel assignment in San Diego at UC San Diego Medical Center.
Remember when Shirley only wanted to do one travel assignment to get out to San Diego?
Shirley states simply, “If you’re thinking about travel, you should just do it.” Being able to travel and pay the bills while living in a more desirable location was the realization she needed when first jumping into travel. One other major plus was that tennis, her favorite hobby, could be played year-round there. After making friends with a fellow tennis player in her apartment building, this activity became her outlet when she needed a breather from work. “I didn’t need to be playing competitively. I just enjoyed the exercise of playing tennis and having fun” but Shirley did mention when they kept score, she could hold her own on the court.
Shirley’s advice to those thinking about travel nursing, just do it. After doing her research to do it, it was a no brainier. Over the course of her travel experience, she only worked with LRS Healthcare. “A large part of me traveling with LRS Healthcare is Jeff Lutt. He was SO good to me while I was traveling that I never considered another company.”
She’s bubbly and outgoing but she also was (and still is) and incredibly hard worker. “With Shirley it was easy to work with her. She rarely missed work and when I needed something it was done. She’s one of the best to be working with and her new [permanent] facility just gained a great asset.” Jeff and all of us here at LRS Healthcare will miss Shirley’s dedicated work ethic and commitment to be an incredible nurse and wish her the best on her next adventure.