Healthcare Traveler Buys House with Money Earned from Traveling
By Jennifer Larson, contributor
At age 53, Mary Brenner is a proud homeowner for the first time. She recently bought a house on a half-acre of land in Trenton, North Carolina. She’s also sending two kids to college. Her daughter is studying chemical engineering at North Carolina State University, while her son is studying fine arts in Asheville, NC.
How does she do it?
With the money she’s earned and saved in the past year as a traveling healthcare professional with American Mobile, one of several staffing brands owned by AMN Healthcare.
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Brenner is currently working in a travel assignment in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, but she’s taking three weeks off in December to get her new household all set up. One of the benefits of taking travel nursing assignments is the flexibility it affords to take weeks or even months off from full-time work.
She’s still in a state of amazement, because she never thought she’d be in a position to afford her own home. “I keep looking at my house and saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to own this house,’” said Brenner. “I’m pretty much giving myself a birthday present and Christmas present by buying this house. And I couldn’t have done this without AMN.”
How she did it
Brenner is a single mom who struggled with addiction earlier in her life. She got clean and went back to school and studied to become a sterile processor. Then she wanted to find a way to pay down some debt and pay to educate her two children.
The answer came in March 2016. A recruiter from AMN had been calling her every few months to talk to her about the possibility of taking on a travel assignment. And finally, Brenner realized that traveling made a lot of sense. She could pay off those college debts and put some money in savings.
Her first assignment took her to Rhode Island, where she extended her initial 13-week assignment to 26-weeks. Then she moved to another hospital in Rhode Island -- loving the entire nine months she wound up spending in the Ocean State.
After Rhode Island, Brenner’s recruiter, Lance Bowman, came to her with an opportunity at Fairview Hospital in the Berkshires of New England, which she has come to love. She loved the work and her surroundings—the lakes, the ponds, the farmers’ markets, and lots of hiking trails for her and her dog Addy to enjoy. Just like her previous travel assignments, she ended up extending beyond the initial 13-week assignment term (which is common and very easy to do).
Brenner also appreciated that her supervisors allowed her to take some time off to travel to Texas to help her sister, who was recovering from multiple strokes. And she’s grateful to Bowman for matching her with assignments that allowed her to help out her family during that trying time. She’ll always be loyal as a result, she said.
In turn, Bowman credits Brenner’s positive attitude and dedication for her success. “Mary had goals, and she dedicated herself to achieving them—and she did,” he said.
As for her new house, it’s going to be her home base in between travel assignments. Brenner still plans to travel for American Mobile. “I can’t see myself working for anybody but AMN,” she said.
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