Adventures in Nursing Blog
By Rich Smith, 07-19-2019
15 years ago today I started in this industry.
July 19, 2004.
Thinking back, I honestly had no business being a recruiter at that time. I could barely take care of myself. I was divorced, living in a small apartment. I survived paycheck to paycheck, sometimes paying my bills with a credit card. It was no way to live, and I wasn’t super happy with where I was in my life. But we’ve all been there in one form or another. As it turned out, it was the people that I met and the nurses I worked with that pulled me out of my funk.
Recruiting was so different back then. We’d hammer the phones for hours and hours each day, faxing profiles to hospitals for interviews. It was a much more labor-intensive time. No Facebook, no texting. Just matching candidates to jobs. I don’t want to call it the “old fashioned way” but I don’t know how else to explain it. It was more basic, more simple. All this waxing nostalgic might make you think I want to go back to that. The opposite is true. I love where we are now. I love how the industry has evolved and changed. It almost mirrors how I’ve grown and changed as a person and now a business owner. The stories of our nurses, therapists and techs that venture out and live their life to the fullest drive my days. It’s the oxygen I use to move Atlas forward.
So, in 15 years things have sure changed for me personally. I’d like to think I’ve grown up a lot. I don’t know if I’d recognize Rich from 2004, and that’s ok. 15 years ago, I walked into an industry and found a home. I learned that part of being a nurse is giving without expectation. It’s just in their DNA, that’s why they were called to their profession in the first place. As I grew in the industry, I learned that I could do that too. Good intent always wins in a transparent world. So, as I grew and learned, I kept those two things in mind. It wasn’t a sales tactic; it was just going back to the basics of life. Like my dad showing me to hold the door open for someone. Kindness, sincerity, empathy. Just being a good person and caring about your fellow man is how life should be. That’s the very core of the nursing profession, and over the years I learned that’s all they want in return. Simply put, both sides giving without expectation equals success and happiness all around.
A lot can happen in 15 years. Looking back today is a happy time for me, personally and professionally. I’ve met so many amazing people, from my first placement (a duo) in Greenville, MS all those years ago, to hundreds and hundreds of you that I interact with online each day. My life has changed so dramatically, and the future is amazingly bright. What will happen in the next 15 years? I can’t wait to find out!