Kathy Lucas is finishing up a 13-week contract working in labor and delivery at Siloam Springs Regional Hospital this week.
Lucas of Meridian, Miss., has been a nurse specializing in labor and delivery for 21 years. She has worked for The Right Solutions for the past 11 of those years.
On Wednesday, she was packing and preparing to return home. She has plans to spend time with her two grandchildren.
Working in Siloam Springs is probably the farthest she’s been from home since her grandchildren were born, she said. Her oldest grandchild is 5 years old.
Lucas’ first contract with The Right Solutions was in May 2003.
She chose The Right Solutions because she received a postcard from the company at a time when her husband’s job could have been cut. The plant where he was working was closing.
“It just happened as we were in a position to make a change,” Lucas said.
After receiving the postcard, she called TRS and spoke to Robin Clark, who is still her recruiter. Lucas was unfamiliar with working as a travel nurse, but she said “Robin talked me through it.”
Her first position working for TRS took her to New Mexico. Lucas thought that by the end of the contract her husband would be joining her in New Mexico because his position would be cut. She said he is still working at that plant.
“I just kept on traveling,” Lucas said.
Without her husband’s support, she said she wouldn’t have been able to do it.
She said the money she has earned helped pay for college educations of three daughters and two weddings.
“We owe these college degrees to TRS,” she said.
She knew choosing to work for The Right Solutions was the right decision when she met owner Diana Wright and Clark while she was working in New Mexico. They came to meet Lucas because they were going to be in the area. After meeting, Wright gave Lucas a business card and wrote her cell phone number on the card. Wright told her to call anytime if she had any trouble.
“I think I chose right,” Lucas said.
Wright met Lucas in June 2003. “I was immediately impressed with her nursing skills and abilities,” Wright said. “Kathy has been a delight to work with all these years, and I thank her for the dedication that she has given to her nursing profession! “
Lucas has never worked anywhere for TRS where she felt like she was alone, she said. It didn’t matter where she traveled. One position was in Juneau, Alaska.
“They’ve never let me down,” Lucas said. “It’s just a phone call to get somebody.”
She said TRS pays her to go places and see things.
“I’ve experienced different cultures,” she said.
People often ask her where she’s from when they hear her southern accent. In Ohio, she said people loved to hear her tell stories just to hear her accent.
Working for The Right Solutions has been fun, she said. She knows it’s a good company when she can refer family and friends to TRS and “feel good about it.”
Whether she is working, Lucas said she keeps in touch with Clark and TRS housing manager Kathie Henry. She explained that when babies in their families are born, they will share the news.
“It’s just like they are part of my family,” Lucas said.
Clark said Lucas “is a great person. We keep in touch even off the clock.”
Henry said Lucas is like family. She’s her “sister girl.”
For her next position, Lucas is looking at a job on the Gulf Coast.