Meet Commitment to Excellence Award Winner Kimberly Hedrick, RN
By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor
Compassionate, passionate and innovative are three words that can be used to describe Kimberly (Kim) Hedrick, RN. These are also the criteria that AMN Healthcare used to select the overall winner for the 2021 Commitment to Excellence Awards for Nurses Month -- an honor that Kim recently received.
“Honestly, I was kind of shocked, I’ve been a nurse for 16 years and I have never been nominated or won an award for anything,” Kim said about receiving this prestigious nurse recognition. “And it’s even more special because I am graduating with my bachelor’s degree on May 8th; this whole month is just going to be amazing for me!”
Kim works as a travel nurse with American Mobile, an AMN Healthcare company, and a colleague at her current assignment in a cancer care unit nominated her for AMN’s Commitment to Excellence Award. Her colleague shared a number of accolades, including:
“This nurse exhibits passion for nursing care daily. Regardless of what our patients are going through she shows them life is worth living by offering encouragement and lifting their spirits up. She builds relationships with the patient and treats them like they are family. Her compassion shines daily!”
“The patients talk about her and her love for the nursing profession as well as her endless ability to make them feel loved when the cancer makes them feel like they are at their worst… She also takes time to ensure all her patients know they can count on her to be there for them.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Kim…She is an amazing nurse who deserves to be recognized for her hard work and dedication to ensuring every patient receives quality care.”
The anatomy of a nursing career
Kim’s passion for the nursing profession was sparked by her father’s training as a paramedic—and an old movie she saw where a person got shot in a robbery and then received excellent nursing care, “I thought to myself, ‘I can do that. I am going to go to nursing school,” she recalls.
As she pursued her dream, Kim was awarded a full academic scholarship for her associate’s degree based on her academic achievements in high school. After receiving her nursing degree and passing the state board exams, she went on to work in an open heart recovery unit in Dayton, Ohio, for nine years. During the last two years of that job, she also participated in a job share program where she worked in a physician’s group.
Then some personal changes in her life allowed her to take her career on the road as a travel nurse. “2014 is when I started my travel nursing career. I got divorced and I was a single mom and it was easier to make better money and have a flexible schedule as a travel nurse than it was to be a staff nurse. I was able to manage my bills and I did a lot of local travel. Travel nursing made life so much easier as a single mom,” she said.
When Kim’s son got a little older, she was able to take assignments beyond local travel in Ohio and into other states. She has since traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Albany, Georgia; and Guam. And there is more to come for this dedicated travel nurse; her plans for the future include securing her next assignment in Charlotte, North Carolina, starting nurse practitioner school in the fall and possibly joining the Air Force or Navy as an RN.
Hedrick’s diverse background has helped her become the nurse she is today, including experience in CVICU, long-term care, progressive/acute care, neurology and oncology. Her experiences with travel nursing have also allowed her to enhance her clinical skill set and her personal relationships.
The benefits of travel nursing
“I’ve really had some wonderful life experiences from travel nursing. I’ve made some lifelong friends and had some life-changing memories and happenings,” she said. “I’m overjoyed and beyond grateful for the experiences I have had with my patients. I have formed some amazing bonds with my patients.”
“Travel nursing has been one of the best parts of my life,” she continued, noting that she often encourages others to give it a try. “If you think you want to do it, go and do it.”
Since joining American Mobile, Kim has worked exclusively with her recruiter Kevin Mink, and the two have built a strong, trust-based professional relationship.
“I have referred many people to travel nursing. Several nurses at the hospital I am working at currently have said ‘I want to travel, I want to do what you do,’” so I tell them to call my recruiter and I give them Kevin’s number. It’s been nice to have someone in my corner to figure this out for me.”
Kevin has appreciated the referrals and has enjoyed helping Kim find her ideal assignments. Her current job has been a particularly good fit. “I love to hear how much she enjoys working at this facility and for American Mobile,” he said.
“Kim always talks about how much she loves her patients and is passionate about taking care of them. I feel Kim won the Commitment to Excellence Award because she works hard and is consistent and efficient in all that she does,” he added.
AMN Healthcare’s annual Commitment to Excellence Awards are designed to recognize nurses who positively impact the lives of patients and their families every single day. Out of thousands of travelers, Kim is one of just four nurses receiving this honor in 2021 during Nurses Month.
“I want to thank whomever it was at my facility that nominated me. I am super honored to have won this. This assignment in cancer care has changed me from being a harsh CVICU nurse to being a soft-hearted and compassionate nurse who goes that extra mile to make their patients comfortable. It has been eye-opening and life changing and this is just a huge thing for me. I am very appreciative,” she concluded.
American Mobile would like to thank Kimberly and all of our dedicated travel nurses for the excellent care they provide. You make us proud! Happy Nurses Month! Follow us on social media for shout outs and giveaways throughout the month of May.
American Mobile is seeking talented and compassionate nurses for travel assignments across the U.S.