IntelyPro Spotlight Series: Beth Fornier, RN

IntelyPro Spotlight Series: Beth Fornier, RN

“I’m a nurse because taking care of people is what I do,” says Beth Fornier, RN from Massachusetts. 

“I became a nurse in 1996 and worked for the same facility for 25 years and did agency and home care on the side. I ran a sub-acute unit for a while and got pulled into the more bureaucratic side of nursing. We would get caught up in the managerial details and cutting costs, so I always had to remind my coworkers that, at the end of the day, we still have to take care of our patients.”

In 2019 her facility lost everything in a fire, so she had to start from scratch. “Just a few months later, my boyfriend got diagnosed with cancer. So I decided not to work my life away. In management, you tend to do that.” After working with the same facility for over two decades, Beth made a life-changing switch and worked for Boston Medical Center in employee health.

“I also started to go for my RN, so I took classes on the side as well. So when my mother developed dementia, I switched over to IntelyCare because I needed to take care of her full time. I didn’t have to sacrifice my education or my family and loved ones to maintain an income.”

Beth made new connections and has helped new people during this transitional period for her. Solving new problems in new places has helped her keep a fresh perspective on nursing.

“In the past few weeks, I worked at a new facility where I was told there was a particularly tough patient. She was difficult to work with and particularly hard on agency staff. But when I was taking care of her, she said, ‘you’re not too bad at all.’ My coworkers kept saying, ‘if she likes you, you’re in.’”

In her many years of experience in nursing, Beth has learned a lot about what it means to be a caregiver.

“There are so many memories I have of helping people, but one that sticks with me was from when I was doing home care. I was caring for two brothers who were six and two when they passed away. Being a part of their lives was really special to me that I’ll never forget to this day. Taking care of the elderly, you get them better and get them home. But these little boys, no matter what, they’d smile and appreciate you and the world around them, no matter how many surgeries they had or how many difficult things they went through. They passed away eleven and twelve years ago at Christmas. Their mom and I still talk. Those were her only kids, and I’m just so thankful to have been part of her life and of her two boys’ lives. It actually taught my kids how precious life was. I’ve helped so many people but helping them through the toughest times of their lives, it’s something beyond words, I guess. I always believe there’s a better place they’re in now.”

With burnout rates amongst nurses at a high level, it’s evident that not everyone can pick themselves back up and keep giving care under those circumstances. But Beth has peace of mind in knowing that she gave the two young boys the best care she could have, going beyond just medical care.

“Before they passed away, I made a music video for them and their mother with their favorite songs,” says Beth, explaining that it was a token of their happiness to remember them by. She notes that after they passed, two birds would always sit by the front lawn so she and the boys’ mother believe it symbolizes them moving on to a better place.

Beth cherishes the time she has with her family. She has a daughter she talks to every day and eight grandchildren that she regularly video-chats with. “They grew up in the medical field watching mom,” she says, “they’re all very caring, and we have four people in the family in nursing.”

For compassionate people like Beth and her family members, giving care is the air they breathe. But it’s a job that is just as challenging as it is rewarding. Throughout her years as a nurse, Beth notices that upper management isn’t always attuned to the needs of the nursing professionals that work the floors. “When you’re asked to take care of 20 patients, it’s hard to remember that each one has individual needs and should receive the time, care, and respect that a human deserves. And on top of that, nurses have to grapple with the loss of their patients like I did. So it can be tough when those experiences go unnoticed.”

Beth shares some life advice for nurses who are feeling burned out due to the highly emotionally stressful job of nursing: “No matter how rough life is, there’s always something good out there to pull out of it. That’s the only way to survive in this world, with all this tragic stuff that happens.” She adds that it’s important to remember the rewarding moments you’re proud of too.

“I cared for a retired police officer who was a double amputee. He never thought he was going to recover and walk out of the rehab facility on his own but we believed in him. When he did walk out on his own prosthetic legs I was so proud of him. The whole staff lined up in the front lobby to congratulate him. He came back every once in a while too. It’s always nice to see people when they are healthy after caring for them when they aren’t at their best.”

When Beth isn’t helping give her patients miraculous recoveries, she’s sledding with her four-year-old grandkids, taking them to ballet and tap dance classes, and going hiking. Going hiking with them is “always an adventure,” she says, “I never know what we’re going to find. With everyone stuck inside during the pandemic, it’s important to remember that feeling of wonder and exploration.”

Beth leaves with one final piece of advice she wishes she had when she just started her nursing career in ‘96: “Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and for your patients! I was always so nervous but over time I realized that it’s important to be confident in yourself so you can advocate for others. Always remember that that person in that bed could be your loved one. So do everything you’d do for them that you’d do for your family.”

Thank you, Beth, for your wonderful words of advice and for sharing your story of nursing with us. We’re here to care for our nursing professionals the way they care for our patients.

IntelyCare gives nursing professionals like Beth the ability to transform the way they work. Are you ready to take control of your life? Apply today to get started.

Tips to Succeed in Nursing School

Tips to Succeed in Nursing School

Completing nursing school is a crucial milestone in advancing nursing professional’s careers. You’ve probably put a lot into saving up for nursing school as well as planning how to fit work around your schoolwork in order to maintain an income while you get your much-needed degree. Getting to that first day of nursing school is a huge first step! But now, it’s time to make the best of nursing school and thrive all the way to your graduation day.

Follow these tips to help you succeed in your nursing education!  

1. Get Organized

Nursing school isn’t a walk in the park. You’re expected to learn and retain a lot of information for many different classes at once. So it’s crucial to have a plan for how you take notes, manage your time, and manage your course materials for each class. And keep in mind that the sooner the better! It’s important to have an organizational plan before it’s crunch time for exams. It takes a lot of valuable time to go back and reorganize once you’re already weeks into your classes.

2. Make Friends

It might seem silly to put a lot of effort into making friends in nursing school because your ultimate goal is to get your degree so you can move up in your nursing career. But making friends can be a key part of performing well in your classes! Making connections with your peers can lead to study groups where you can compare notes and have in-depth conversations that can help you better understand the topics covered in class. Not to mention that the connections you make can give you a support network after graduating. You never know what opportunities arise from the relationships you make! Plus, it’s more enjoyable to do the hard work of earning an education alongside friends that support each other.

3. Ask Questions

It’s common for students to feel uncomfortable asking questions. But if you’re confused about topics covered in class or if the lecture is going too fast, so are other students in the room! And nothing shows your professor that you’re an engaged learner more than asking questions. If you find yourself unable to raise your hand in the classroom, going to office hours is a great way to ask detailed questions to your professor. Doing so can help you develop a relationship with them that may come in handy throughout nursing school and beyond.

4. Practice Self-Care

If you find yourself stressed out with your studies, always know that it’s okay to take a break to give yourself a positive work/life balance. Breaks are crucial to your ability to focus and retain the information you’ll need on your exams! So take a break by practicing meditation, doing a hobby you enjoy, or taking a nap. There are many ways to practice self-care, and there is no one right way to do it. So find ways to decompress that work well for you so that you can come back to your studies with a positive approach.

Practicing self-care strategies doesn’t just help with your success in nursing school. Self-care habits help you stay motivated, focused, and fulfilled in your career as a nursing professional and in live in general. One of the best ways to practice self-care and decrease stress is to give yourself time and flexibility to develop those positive habits. 

Not only do we offer scholarship opportunities for nursing school, but we also offer freedom, flexibility, job security, competitive pay, and a suite of benefits for our IntelyPros when it’s time to work as a nursing professional.

So get the work/life balance you deserve and become an IntelyPro today!

Financial Wellness for Nursing Professionals

Financial Wellness for Nursing Professionals

Achieving financial wellness can seem like a daunting task. But you don’t need to be an economist to make a handful of impactful changes to your spending and saving habits. There are a few simple and doable practices you can use to maximize your income and set you up for a comfortable future and help you move away from living paycheck to paycheck.

Why is saving important?

When working in long-term care facilities and caring for the elderly, it’s apparent that there will be a time in life when you’ll need to stop working and retire. So saving up is the most impactful way to give yourself a comfortable retirement. And saving up is also an important part of providing a comfortable life for yourself and your family. A healthy amount of savings can also provide an emergency fund or later expenses such as nursing school or higher education for family members. A healthy amount of savings can also reduce stress around your finances.

What are the best ways to start saving?  

The best way to start saving is to take a piece of your paycheck, no matter how small, and put it into your bank account or savings account. There are plenty of free budgeting apps, low-cost saving accounts that you can sign up for online, and online articles and best practices in personal finance, all available for free. So if you’re unsure where to start, it only takes a few minutes to look these options up online.  

What are other ways nursing professionals can increase their income?

1. Side gigs

You may have hobbies like knitting, crafting, or writing that you do in your leisure time to decompress from a busy workday. If you’re looking for an extra source of income, then turning those hobbies into extra income might be a great option for you! Follow the steps in our side gigs for nursing professionals blog to get some ideas on making a little extra money that you can save. One of our very own IntelyPros, Shakira Hodge, LPN from Ohio, runs an online custom knitting and crocheting business from her home, turning her hobby into a productive pastime that is helping her save up for a Ph.D. So it’s not impossible to hit your savings goals while doing what you love!

2. Work Per Diem

Usually, per diem nursing gives you freedom and flexibility to set your work hours but comes at the cost of job security. However, working full time at a facility can often contribute to burnout, working overtime with little flexibility, and often sub-par benefits. But as a per diem nurse with IntelyCare, you’ll be able to choose the shifts you want to work and can fit your work schedule around your side gigs, hobbies, education, and other priorities, all while getting competitive pay and quality benefits as a W2 employee. With the new technology and data science that IntelyCare offers, you’ll have shifts at your fingertips – and have the freedom you need to fit your new money-saving and money-earning habits into your life.

Become an IntelyPro today!

IntelyPro Spotlight Series: Dana Hess, RN

IntelyPro Spotlight Series: Dana Hess, RN

 “There’s always a new challenge each day,” says Dana Hess, mother of three kids and RN of 11 years from Ohio. To her, nursing is not just about having medical expertise, it’s about fostering positive relationships with coworkers and patients. She says that the first step in making the right medical decisions is establishing trust and honesty with your patients and residents so they feel comfortable sharing their symptoms.

“My family came from the old country where you have a dozen great aunts. So when I was little, I’d always visit my grandparents and great aunts and uncles in nursing homes. I saw how the demeanors of different nurses can affect the residents’ comfortability and grew up around different qualities of patient care.”

Dana explains how she saw nurses ignore and disregard patient’s symptoms, noticing that residents would sit silently in pain because a “mean nurse” was on call, but when a “nice nurse” was on call they would open up honestly about how they’re feeling. So she thought, “If you’re sitting in pain and afraid to tell the woman that’s going to help you, that’s not good at all. So I decided I was going to be the nice nurse. Even if they’re not my patient, maybe they’ll say, ‘oh it’s Dana, maybe I can tell her what’s wrong, and she can help.’”

Dana always checks her mood at the front door and comes to work as “the nice nurse.” She asks her residents how they’re feeling; if they’re hungry, thirsty, or need anything, it lifts their mood, and they’re more comfortable expressing what’s going wrong. And during the pandemic, they’ve felt lonely and isolated and are even less likely to come forth with a possible symptom. “Sometimes even small pains can be a sign of something worse, especially if they’ve just had surgery or if they are at risk for stroke.”

Dana remarks on how much the nursing industry has changed since she started. “I remember working alongside people who became nurses because they wanted to help people and make a difference in people’s lives. Over the years, my coworkers have been increasingly burned out and are not able to provide their best care because of it.”

When a fellow nursing professional shows signs of burnout, Dana takes it upon herself to listen to them, see what their point of stress is, offer to help them with their tasks, and lend them a friendly ear and words of advice.

“I always say that I get stressed out too, so I understand the way they’re feeling. For me, physical fitness is a huge part of decompressing after work. I start my day with some cardio and weights so that I feel good, ready to give back. So, I’m always looking for ways to get my fellow nurses to pick up new hobbies that help them maintain that giving mindset. When I was younger, I was a typical nurse – always putting others before myself. But over time, I learned that I need to take care of myself so that I can take care of others. That’s what I say to nurses who are going through what I went through.”

Before switching to IntelyCare, Dana’s work/life balance was less than ideal. She was doing field nursing, working 16-hour shifts on weekends when she started to feel symptoms of burnout. “I felt like I was the last nurse that cared,” regularly following through on other’s responsibilities on top of her own. “It got to the point where people would bring me their tasks when I was available, just because they knew I was the one who could do it.” Dana was overworked. 

“Once I switched to IntelyCare, it gave me my love for nursing back.” 

The ability to go to different facilities, work with new people, and solve new problems without others relying on her to do their work was exactly what Dana needed to reignite her passion for nursing.

Now that she is busy with her 2-year-old daughter, 7-year-old daughter, and son with autism, she doesn’t have a lot of time for different hobbies. But she used to be an avid love poet! We were lucky enough to hear one of those poems and are encouraging her to keep doing what she loves. And we’re honored to provide the platform for her to share her piece…

Do you love me or do u not?

You told me once but I forgot.

I do believe that god above

Created you for me to love.

If I die and go to heaven I’ll wait for you by golden stair.

If on judgment day you’re not there

I’d give the angels back their wings

There golden harps and other things

Just because my love is true 

I’d go to hell just to be with you.

Thank you, Dana, for sharing your beautiful poem and providing quality care with determination and an open heart. We’re here to care for nursing professionals the way they care for their patients. See our Nurses Week initiatives here

IntelyCare gives nursing professionals like Dana the ability to transform the way they work. Are you ready to take control of your life? Apply today to get started.