Sophia Khawly is a seasoned locum and an incredibly accomplished nurse practitioner who uses her skills, experience and knowledge to care for a wide variety of patients across the United States. She is a prime example of how a career as a locum can be rewarding professionally and financially.
LeaderStat Locums stole a few minutes of Sophia’s time to find out why she loves her career as a locum tenens NP.
Tell me a little bit about your experience prior to becoming a locum?
“I was in a perm position for 3 years prior to starting as a locum in a family practice setting.”
Why do you love being an NP?
“I love how being a Nurse Practitioner gives me a sense of empowerment. I love that I can provide care for my patients with a "caring" background and holistic approach.”
Why did you want to switch and pursue life as a travel NP?
“I was getting a little bored and started to think, what can I do to enrich and fulfill myself more fully. Travel as an NP seemed like the answer.”
What do you think are the advantages of being a locum?
“There are three main things. First, flexibility. You don’t have to rotate holidays and you can take as much time as you want. The second advantage is travel. You can see new things, places and cultures. I enjoy seeing how communities across the country differ. Finally, in locum tenens, I am constantly learning. One day I can do community health and the next I’m doing occupational health or peds. It keeps things fresh and gives me more confidence in my clinical skills.”
What has been your favorite assignment?
“I have two I think. My first assignment outside of my home area was in Washington state. It was a well-run organization and I had a very comfortable, positive experience. This was refreshing since it was my first away from home position.”
“Probably my second favorite would be the only assignment that I extended. It was a geriatric clinic in Virginia and was a Medicare advantage program, so as providers, we were very accountable for our patients and I enjoyed that. I ended up staying for an entire year and got to know my patients really well.”
What assignment are you doing next?
“I’m actually heading back to the geriatric clinic in Virginia that I enjoyed so much in the past. After that, I think I’d like to head back to California. It’s always a good travel option.”
What do you look for in an agency?
“I think a very important thing is to have a recruiter who is accountable. I think that follow up is really key. Once I’ve started my assignment, I want to know that my needs are valued as much as the site’s needs.”
What advice would you give to someone considering working as a Locum Tenens NP?
“Why are you waiting? Go for it!”
“I would recommend that they be open minded and to not close yourself off to jobs you think you won’t like. Sometimes people get too focused on wanting a particular type of setting or location but if you’re open to other options, you’re more likely to find a good position.”
“The other thing to keep in mind is that the first 1-2 weeks can be tough to adapt to a new clinic and EMR. I know especially if I only have a day of orientation, the first couple weeks will be a transition, but now that I’ve been doing this for a while I don’t get as worried. I know it will be ok eventually, I just have to give it time.”
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, Sophia! Be sure to check out Sophia's website here.