From Travel Nurse to Therapeutic Entrepreneur with Bankers Healthcare Group
Bankers Healthcare Group
I became a CRNA because I wanted to help people and I wanted the freedom to travel. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed about working as a nurse, but I didn't know about all the opportunities available to me.
When I was at nursing school in Chattanooga, Tenn., I made a friend who was a CRNA. She saw the world and lived the life I wanted, so I decided to follow her career path. That was 33 years ago. I've been making my own schedule and traveling ever since.
My Nomadic Career
Today, CRNAs are in high demand. If I wanted to, I could work non-stop and make a lot more money, but that's not how I'm wired. Instead, I like to alternate work and travel. For example, I just finished a three-month contract in Coudersport, Pa. This was the first time I had worked for this hospital, and they offered me a permanent job. But I’d feel too limited taking that job.
I'm not the kind of person who can work in the same place for a year, take two weeks off, and vacation at a resort in the tropics. In August and September of this year, I'll be travelling to Kenya where I'll be doing wound care at a mission. It's my way of giving back, and the opportunity is truly a blessing. Helping others is far more rewarding than lying in the sun.
I'll be returning to Coudersport when I return from Kenya, but I'm already thinking about my next trip after that.
My volunteering has taken me around the world. My day job as a CRNA has allowed me to work in dozens of places over the years. My shortest stint has been four days, my longest was 13 months. Working and volunteering this way has enabled me to learn more about our country and the world. I move into an area for a short time, get a feel for the people, discover the local landmarks, and then move on.
It can be a little heartbreaking at times, especially when you leave people behind. Over the years, I've made all kinds of friends. Even though we are no longer working together or living in the same town, we stay in touch through email and messaging. It doesn't cost a lot of money to maintain long-distance friendships anymore.
From Nomad to Entrepreneur
It could be more financially lucrative if I'd stayed in one place and accumulated seniority, but I wouldn't have been very happy. Don't get me wrong; I'm earning a very good living as a CRNA, but my need to wander means banks may often be hesitant to offer me a loan. As I looked to expand my practice, that became an issue. When some banks look at me, they don't see a successful medical professional who likes to travel. They just see somebody who has moved around a lot.
Despite decades in this profession, and consistent high earnings, banks see me as a risk. They place no value on what I've achieved, but focus instead on the fact that I'm a bit of a nomad. That's why I was so happy to finance my new business venture through .
Like so many other medical professionals, I discovered BHG through their mail campaign. My husband and I had received mail from the company for years, but had never paid attention to it. But all that changed when we decided to build a business on top of my practice as a CRNA.
We needed money to purchase three BEMER machines. These therapeutic devices use electromagnetic pulses and red light to promote microcirculation and accelerate wound healing. We wanted to sell and rent these machines. One for demonstrations, the other to rent, and the third for my personal and professional use.
A Financial Institution That Understands My Lifestyle
Investing in therapeutic devices requires a significant outlay. I didn't want to dip into my own retirement savings, and I didn't want to take out a loan that would impact my credit record. BHG came up with a perfect solution. The company offered an extended 10-year loan that won't even appear on my personal credit report. This was the kind of flexibility I needed.
No matter how well you're doing, the last thing you want is anything appearing on your credit report. The banks ding you if there is anything outstanding. This is why I want to have a spotless record.
Dealing with BHG was a pleasure. When my husband and I started to look at this business venture, he was in Florida while I was working in Pennsylvania. Trying to get a bank loan is enough of a challenge, but with the two of us living in different states, it was even tougher.
On top of this, Coudersport is a small town in the hills of Northern Pennsylvania. It doesn't even have a Walmart and the only financial institution was a small regional bank. But BHG made everything simple. The whole process took a week. I applied for the loan on a Monday, and the whole amount was deposited into my bank account the following Monday. And it wasn't just the speed, but also the convenience. I was interviewed over the phone, and then a BHG rep came to Coudersport to verify my identity.
I couldn't believe they'd sent someone out to meet me. I asked how they did it, and their rep replied that they lend money to lots of rural medical professionals. "You wouldn't believe the places we've gone to," he explained.
And talk about a prompt and efficient approach. They scheduled a visit on two days' notice and the verification process took about five minutes. I showed ID to prove who I was and signed some papers. That was it.
I didn't have time to deal with the interviews, paperwork, and bureaucracy of a traditional financial institution who wasn’t interested in me. Thanks to BHG, I didn’t have to.
My Kenyan Adventure and Beyond
This all happened a month ago. Since then, I've already purchased two BEMER machines and I'll be taking one to Kenya with me. I'll be using it on myself during the 26-hour flight from Orlando to Nairobi. Its sleep mode will help me fight jet lag.
Once I get to Kenya, I'll be putting it to good use at the orphanage where I volunteer. A lady who works there injured her foot with a garden hoe—it left a gaping wound that is taking time to heal. I hope to use light therapy to help accelerate her recovery.
At the same time, this is a business venture. As I reach the later stages of my career, our BEMER business is a potential source of additional future income. It can only grow from here.
BHG made this all possible with utmost courtesy and professionalism. As a busy healthcare practitioner, I appreciate their promptness and expertise. They took care of the money and the paperwork, leaving me free to travel, expand my business, and take care of people around the world. Talk about freedom.