Locum Nurse Practitioner Joins Kaiser Vaccination Project to Fight COVID

To help fight against COVID-19, locum tenens nurse practitioner Katherine Wagner, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, joined the Kaiser Vaccination Project at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to vaccinate Californians against COVID-19.

The Kaiser Vaccination Project is a collaboration between Kaiser Permanente and AMN Healthcare to marshal personnel with varied healthcare backgrounds to work at California’s COVID-19 vaccination hubs.

When Katherine heard about the project, she felt it was her calling to help fight the deadly virus, which has caused nearly a half a million deaths in the United States as of the last week of February 2021.

"I wanted to help because I want this pandemic to end," Katherine said. "Life is on hold until we get over this pandemic, so I was looking at different vaccination sites, and then I got a call from my [locum tenens] recruiter Susan Bermudez. She asked if I'd be interested in doing vaccinations for Kaiser, and I said, 'I'd love to.' Someone needed to do the vaccinations, and I wanted to be a part of it."

Katherine, who is from Sacramento, California, started the Kaiser vaccination project assignment in February 2021. She worked in the ADA unit, which catered to patients with ambulatory difficulties. Most of her patients used walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobile support devices. Along with nurses and pharmacists, physical therapists were also on site to help people with disabilities.

Katherine said many patients complimented the organization of the project’s vaccination strategy. She, too, was impressed with the size and scope of the operation, which was organized with other healthcare organizations, as well.

The goal of the Moscone Center vaccination hub was to deliver 10,000 COVID vaccinations a day, and it was well on its way. The healthcare workers were giving approximately 4,500 doses per day when the Texas weather disaster hit, causing a significant delay in delivering doses to California.

Katherine expects to be called back to the Moscone Center when more vaccine doses are available. 

Locum tenens travel before the COVID vaccination project

Katherine has been a nurse practitioner for nine years, mostly concentrating on chronic disease management. As a full-time NP, she has worked in psychiatry, long-term care and family practice.

When she became interested in locum tenens travel assignments, she posted her resume and received a call. Her first assignment in October 2019 was with Locum Leaders, a partner to Staff Care and company of AMN Healthcare,  in a primary care practice. When that first travel assignment ended, she took a full-time job that eventually resulted in a layoff due to the pandemic.

Although she had many opportunities to work during the pandemic, Katherine took a break until receiving that call from her trusted locum recruiter about the Kaiser assignment.  She was excited to receive the call.

"Susan is an awesome recruiter," Katherine said. "She's very responsive to my phone calls, my emails and my texts. If she doesn't know something, she finds out for me."

The next chapter in her locum tenens adventure

Katherine said her adventurous spirit and relationship with her recruiter are why she and her husband are planning their next life chapter; they plan to buy an RV and use locum tenens assignments to see the country with their dogs and cats. Their goal is to hit all 50 states.

Along with enjoying the flexibility that the locum lifestyle provides, Katherine says that her locum assignments to date have taught her to be more adaptive to what comes her way.

"You have to go with the flow because things do change quickly," she said, using the vaccine disruption she experienced recently as an example.

She also said that locum tenens travel can be a good fit for people like her who are semi-retired.

"Traveling is excellent for older healthcare workers who don't want to give up healthcare completely," she said. "Plus, I meet people from all over the country. I've worked with nurses who are younger and were on the front lines of the pandemic. I love meeting new people, learning new things, and seeing new places."

Learn more about Travel Nurse Practitioner Jobs. 

Staff Care, an AMN Healthcare company, has hundreds of locum tenens opportunities for physicians and advanced practitioners across the U.S.  

Contact a Recruiter Now



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