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October Nurse Spotlight: Julie!
KPG Healthcare's October Nurse Spotlight

Julie is KPG Healthcare's Nurse Spotlight for the month of October! What inspired you to pursue nursing?

May I have your attention, please? Let’s give a warm hello to KPG Healthcare’s Nurse Spotlight for October, Julie! Let’s learn more about her nursing career!

Introducing, Julie!

Julie’s nursing career spans more than a decade specializing as an Emergency Room Nurse with four years as a Travel Nurse. However, her nursing journey started when she was a child. Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, she witnessed and experienced her father’s love for nursing. 

“My father was a nurse for 30 years,” Julie explains, “he was also a paramedic before then too.” Julie continued to explain witnessing the passion her father had for the nursing field and how he is the sole reason why she pursued nursing as a career. She jokingly said they are a family of nurses.

Being a nurse for more than a decade, Julie has faced her fair share of challenges. She mentioned how healthcare was changing with examples like universal healthcare and medicine innovation, as well as the emergency rooms becoming overcrowded. 

Julie, center, takes a quick selfie with some fellow nurses while on assignment.

It doesn’t help there is a shortage of nurses in the United States, and many states like Louisiana are experiencing that shortage first-hand. This poses an enormous challenge for the nurses on staff. “We’ve also had experienced a shortage in supplies,” said Julie, but luckily she was able to find supplies in other departments within the hospital. 

The challenges Julie face are not easy, but as she progressed through her nursing journey she learned and refined her personal and professional skillset. One of the skills Julie has refined is the ability to put herself into the patient or the patient’s family into perspective. 

“[I] meet so many types of people…there’s always a patient in the worst condition,” Julie mentioned, “it puts you into perspective.” Her ability to read people and understand the other person’s perspective through body language is just one of the skills she has refined during her career. 

When Julie isn’t refining her skillset, you can usually catch her researching her next big trip while soaking in the tub. As an avid road tripper, Julie has hit some of the United States’ major national parks like Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Zion, to name a few. Although, her all-time favorite national park is between Yellowstone and the Badlands. 

Julie takes a quick snapshot while hiking through Yellowstone National Park.

With Portland being her favorite travel destination, San Diego a close second, it’s no wonder Julie has fallen in love with the West Coast. Besides the lack of humidity then she’s used to back in Louisiana, she says the West Coast offers a beach, desert and a mountain all within proximity. She called the West Coast “magical.”

The West Coast wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for her awesome recruiter, James! James was always accessible whenever Julie had questions and provided a helping hand when he could. Fun fact: James and Julie both started with KPG Healthcare around the same time! #cutesies

When Julie started her travel nursing career, she set out a goal to go from coast-to-coast. She has been able to travel the West Coast via road trip, but she still has a couple of places left in mind. The two destinations she is dying to reach for an assignment is either Boston or Alaska during the summer. A good friend and fellow travel nurse have been in Alaska for two summers now! 

Julie, from all of us here at KPG Healthcare, we want to thank you for your continued dedication to our Travel Nursing team. We wish you nothing but the best in all your future endeavors, wherever life may take you. Keep up the great work! 

Julie’s Advice for New Travel Nurses:

  1. Learn to roll with the punches 
  2. Have no expectations
  3. Enjoy the experience!
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What to do in Modesto, California?
What to do in Modesto, California?

Modesto is located in Central California and is known for its agriculture. Central California produces almost all non-tropical agriculture for the Untied States.

For some Californians, Modesto is just another town you pass-through on your way to Los Angeles or San Francisco. To Modestans, it’s a place of opportunity, growth and good produce.

KPG Healthcare wants to dispel the rumor that Modesto, and the rest of Central California, is more than just a pass-through town. There is more to offer than meets the eye and KPG Healthcare is here to guide you through a handful of wonderful things Modesto has to offer.

First, just a quick history lesson about Modesto.

History

Modesto was originally founded as a railroad town in the San Joaquin Valley, but the track didn’t reach the town until October 11, 1870. Once the track reached Modesto, the town became the commercial and transportation center during California’s wheat boom. By 1891, electric lights illuminated the streets of Modesto.

By 1910, the population of Modesto nearly doubled after the boom in irrigation farming, which kickstarted the growth in agriculture within Central California. Between World War I to World War II, Modesto went through drastic changes due to the wars, the abolishment of Prohibition, The Great Depression, development of schools, social organizations, and more.

After WWII, Modesto’s population recovered from the losses during the wars and by 1970, Modesto was home to nearly 62,000 people. This was a period for investments in new facilities; however, the developments being made were spreading further away from downtown. This presented challenges for the community and with the Vintage Mall being built, local businesses began to relocate.

In 1978, Mayor Peggy Mensinger began to refocus on the development of downtown. Since then, Downtown Modesto recovered and has become a destination for nightlife. All the while, the Arts community was thriving and with the new Gallo Center for the Arts being completed in 2007 brought forth a new opportunity for the performing arts community.

What to do

Modesto Farmer’s Market celebrates over 30 years of supplying Modestans with the freshest produce California has to offer.

Farmer’s Market

Modesto, like many of the surrounding Central California towns, supplies majority of the country’s produce ranging from apricots to almonds, citrus fruits to melons. It only makes sense to head down to the Modesto Farmer’s Market to get some of the freshest produce California has to offer.

The Farmer’s Market in Modesto has been around for more than 30 years providing Modestans with the freshest produce. Depending on the season, you can also find a selection of jams/jellies, dried fruits, olive oils, and delicious food from local eateries using seasonal ingredients.

Come check out their Instagram to see what to expect! You won’t regret it.

Yosemite Valley is just one of California’s beautiful national parks and is only 2.5 hours away from Modesto.

Nature

If you haven’t been to Modesto, you’ll find Central California to be very dry with not much to look at. However, the wonderful thing about Modesto is that you are two hours from Yosemite, Monterey Bay, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Talk about being centrally located!

Yosemite is just one of California’s natural parks and it’s one of the most well-known. Yosemite attracts millions of visitors each year, whether you’re just passing through or camping for the weekend, Yosemite is a must-do. It is best to plan and prepare for Yosemite with some research because it can get a little crowded there.

If Yosemite is not an option, Modesto offers 75 city parks for you to choose from. If that isn’t enough, the city recently built the Virginia Corridor Trailway that stretches for 4.2 miles and provides the Modestans with picnic areas, barbecues, workout stations and more.

An ode to George Lucas’s movie, “American Graffiti,” Modestans participate in the Graffiti Route with their 50’s era muscle cars. Photo courtesy of @calamityjanemustang Instagram

History

I know we just covered Modesto history very briefly, but did you know George Lucas and Jeremy Renner are both from Modesto? George Lucas created a movie called “American Graffiti,” which he drew inspiration from his own experiences in Modesto. This movie left such a huge impact on the Modesto community there is the official “Graffiti Cruise Route” and a week-long celebration called “Graffiti Week.” It’s a great time if you’re into cars and 50’s themed nights.

For those who aren’t familiar with Jeremy Renner, you might know him Hawkeye from the superhero phenomenon, The Avengers. Renner has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Hurt Locker and has brought pride to the city of Modesto.

If 50’s music and muscle cars aren’t your taste, you can stop by the McHenry Mansion or the McHenry Museum to learn more about Modesto. The McHenry Mansion is a historical building in Modesto and is one of the last remaining Victorian-era homes within the city limits. Whereas, the McHenry Museum is in an old library building where you can see Modesto transform through the years.

Just three of many outdoor murals displayed throughout Modesto.

Art

If outdoor murals, art galleries or the performing arts sound more like your cup of tea, Modesto has a handful of options to choose from. Every third Thursday of the month, the city hosts a self-guided Art Walk tour taking you to multiple venues of your choosing. Check out this list of galleries in Modesto!

If you’re looking for the performing arts, the Gallo Center of the Arts and the Modesto Performing Arts have a variety of shows to choose from. Gallo is more upscale and typically hosts more well-known artists, companies or shows. The Modesto Performing Arts company has a more intimate feeling with the stage being only steps away. The catalog of performances is limited compared to Gallo, but here you will find more amateur stars looking for the break out roles.

Meanwhile, the outdoor murals in Modesto are absolutely incredible. Like many other great cities in California, Modesto is embracing their local artists and allowing them to design beautiful murals alongside buildings, parking structures, and businesses. The murals tell the story of Modesto and what it really means to be a Modestan.

Modesto is a hidden gem in California with an abundance of fresh produce, an up and coming art community and plenty of opportunity for growth. It’s not San Francisco or Los Angeles, but there is an opportunity to experience living another lifestyle, culture, and region of California.

Make sure to check out the Infographic we created for Modesto! We have plenty of Travel Nursing opportunities in Central California!

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Recruiter Spotlight: Omar!
Omar is the first in the reboot for KPG Healthcare's Recruiter Spotlights.

Omar is part of the Nursing Division at KPG Healthcare and is the first in the reboot of our Recruiter Spotlight series.

KPG Healthcare is bringing back the Recruiter Spotlights! The first in our reboot, we have Omar from the Nursing Department!

Here’s Omar!

Omar has been with KPG Healthcare for a year and a half working as a Travel Nurse Recruiter. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) with a degree in Biology, recruiting was never a career he planned for “but sometimes life takes you on different paths,” said Omar.

Omar interviewed at KPG Healthcare because one of his best friends, Tiko, referred him and told him to give it a chance. “It’s been one of my best decisions to date,” Omar mentioned. Nothing in life is ever planned out. Always expect the unexpected – and that’s what Omar did.

During his time at KPG Healthcare as a travel nurse recruiter, he found the most rewarding aspect of his job is being “able to help travel nurses reach their career and life goals.” Discovering their dreams at the beginning of the recruiting process and then helping them achieve it provides a feeling of accomplishment and bliss for Omar. 

However, like all successful careers, some difficulties arise in the role. For Omar, the biggest challenge is providing the most accurate information to all nurses. “There’s so much bad information out there,” Omar explained, “[…]You have to take the time to talk to your nurses and make sure they are informed in the best way possible.” 

With so much information on the internet, it’s difficult to navigate between facts and fake news. It takes time, perseverance and determination to follow through and deliver successfully. A skillset Omar has manifested toward his past and current travel nurses looking for new assignments. 

In his current role, Omar wishes to help as many travel nurses get the assignment they desire. Additionally, he hopes to grow intellectually and professionally to amplify his reach to other active travel nurses. Ultimately, he wants to assist more travel nurses to achieve their goals as he has for the past year and a half. 

When Omar is not in the office, he finds traveling is the best way to unwind or take a break from work. His dream destination would be to travel to Bali or Greece! He is also a big sports fan (Go Dodgers and Clippers!), a self-titled beach bum, and enjoys hanging out with friends and family. 

Omar, keep up all the great work that you continue to do for our travel nurses. We look forward to seeing where your growth will take you. 

“For all my nurses, I wish for them to have happiness and health. Success, money and job opportunities are all important too, but if you’re not happy then none of that matters! So, I wish all of my nurses happiness and good health!” ~ Omar

Omar’s Top 3 LA Recommendations:

  1. Catch a sports game – Go Dodgers and Clippers!
  2. Check out the beach cities
  3. HIT UP AN AUTHENTIC TACO TRUCK!!
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