Nurses Helping Nurses: Get a Personalized Badge by Faith
For Faith Harvey, a Las Vegas-based LPN, Nursa was a chance for a breather after two years of exhausting work schedules during the heat of the Covid pandemic. The freedom to pick and choose her shifts not only gave her some breathing room when it came to childcare, it also allowed her time to explore her creative side and start a side hustle.
Harvey began making jewelry and selling it online. But the more she worked Nursa shifts, she began to realize how difficult it was sometimes to feel a sense of community when she worked in a different facility every shift. That led her to the creation of personalized badges for Nursa and other contract workers.
Now, her side hustle is not only letting Harvey share her creations with fellow nurses, it’s also helping create a sense of community among Nursa members.
A Calling that Runs in the Blood
Harvey comes from a family of nurses. Her grandmother was one of eight children, and the only one to graduate college. She moved from the south to California when her children were 3, 2, and 1 year old to make a new life for herself. One day, Harveys’ grandmother saw a television commercial for a nursing school, and decided that was the path for her.
“She tried it out and she made it,” Harvey said. “Everything was original with her. She was able to afford a life for herself, and take care of us.”
Harveys’ mother followed in her footsteps, becoming a nurse, as did an aunt. Another aunt is in healthcare, also.
“It just kind of trickled down,” Harvey said. “On both sides of the family, my mom’s and my dad’s sides, there are nurses, a lot LPNs, some RNs and CNA’s as well.”
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to be at 19-20 years old,” she said. “I grew up wanting to be an artist at first, but you have people tell you ‘You can’t make any money doing that. You’ve got to do something stable.’”
Harvey started her own path toward that stability came when she became a CNA. While working as a CNA, Harvey went to nursing school. She took the exam, didn’t pass the first time, “and just kind of forgot about it,” she said.
Harvey spent nine years as a CNA before deciding to try again — this time passing the exam. That meant Harvey had a steady, fulfilling career helping other people in a long-term care facility.
Then Covid hit.
When the World Turned Upside Down
Like most people, Harvey didn’t give much mind to the very first reports of Covid.
“I didn’t really watch the news. I knew it was there,” she said. “But once I started seeing people get sick at work, I was like ‘OK. I’ve got to come up with a plan. I’m out here, and I don’t want to take it home to the kids.’”
And then the childcare center that watched Harveys’ children shut down. Harvey found herself needing to take an emergency leave of absence to watch her boys, now 8 and 2.
“I stayed home with them for about a month and a half until things got a little better, and we had a better understanding of what was happening,” she said. When her children were able to go back to daycare, Harvey went back to work.
“By the time I got back to work, that first wave of people were already sick,” she said. “My facility was all sectioned off. I ended up being the only nurse for 32 patients…. You’d start at 6:30 and not sit down until 2 a.m. It was total chaos.”
In the middle of this, Harvey took on a contract with her local school district to staff a Covid resource center. In order for schools to open back up, she said, the government required a Covid center to answer parents’ questions, track cases, and handle quarantines.
Harvey worked both jobs simultaneously, working nights at her healthcare facility, driving to the school district, waiting in the parking lot, napping or drinking coffee in her car until 8 a.m., and then working until 4 p.m. Then she would go home, rest, and go back to work nights.
She said it was good to be able to work so much, but it was also exhausting.
“I think we all, in nursing and health care, need a mental health break so we don’t crash,” she said.
Taking a Break to Create
In the spring of 2022, Harvey used the flexibility of Nursa to allow time to take a break to focus on her artwork.
Harvey uses the app to pick up PRN shifts to stay sharp and keep her skills up. An observation she made when working PRN at a facility lead to one of her most in-demand creations: Personalized badges.
For someone working PRN, it can be tough to tell who works where. The badge are a chance for some personality to show through, while also serving as proper identification.
The process took some figuring out. Harvey spent time experimenting on the measurements and manufacturing process. “Once I was satisfied, I put it out there,” she said.
Orders came in fast and furious — proving Harveys’ hunch that PRN staffers would enjoy some custom flair to wear at their job.
Customers can submit a photo and some information and Harvey designs the badge around that. Themes customers request range from cartoon characters like Peppa the Pig for nurses who work in pediatrics, to colorful animal print backgrounds, and more. She does all her design work on her phone (she almost never cracks open a laptop, she said.)
The badges help nurses feel like they have an identity and display some of their personality when in an unfamiliar setting. There’s also another benefit: the badges can help spark conversation with patients.
Harvey said it’s important for nurses to make a connection with their patients. But it can be difficult. Showing off a fun design or a bit of personality on the badge can be a conversation starter and help patients feel more at ease.
For Harvey, the combination of the Nursa app and design and ecommerce software lets her create the life she wants while raising her sons from the comfort of her home, and finally get a break after two exhausting years of care.
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