For the first time, I will be extending my current locum tenens assignment. As a big fan of short-term assignments (3 months or less), it is surprising to most that I have agreed to be in Virginia for another 3 months.
In the past, working in locums I mostly covered vacation leaves and maternity leaves. I have been asked previously to extend my assignment or to stay permanently. There have been times where I did want to stay longer, but thought it would be best for me to move on.
My current locum tenens job is a bit different. I was contracted for 3 months after one of their physicians had to retire due to medical reasons. However, the site made it clear that if everything worked out, they had other plans for me. For instance, they are permanently recruiting for my position but there will not be a physician available until July, as residency ends in June.
In addition, they are hoping I can become an internal locum for them. They have clinics in several states including Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Illinois. They would like me to become licensed in all of these states, and provide coverage when needed (such as maternity leave, FMLA, etc.).
In the mean time, they asked me to stay at my current assignment until July 2017. This would be an additional 6 months after my original contracted 3 months. As I mentioned before, I usually just want to move on. So it took me several weeks to ponder my decision.
In this case I was torn. I did want to move on and continue my versatile journey. On the other hand, I really really really enjoy working with this facility. Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly. I am constantly learning and being challenged. I also realized that I miss the “follow-up” aspect of primary care. Our patients at this clinic see us every month, so I have already established relationships with hundreds of patients.
I knew that if I did not extend, these patients would have no one to care for them. Thus, I decided to extend for another 3 months. Everyone is thrilled, and I believe they are all secretly hoping I will extend for another 3 months to meet their needs until July. I recently found out that one of the Physicians at my clinic is pregnant, and she will be due in July. Looks like they will try to keep me to cover her patients until October as well! Will I ever get out of here?
Honestly, I have been happy here. I truly enjoy my job and the location is convenient, where I can easily travel to nearby states or go home for the weekend. Although I love working as a locum tenens nurse practitioner, I want to keep a good relationship with this facility, as an option to work with if I ever decide to go back to a permanent position.