Tuesday, November 18, 2008


We’re moving! Anyone who has visited the Continental Travelnurse headquarters in London knows that we have been bursting at the seams for quite a while now. Finally, after long and careful consideration, our offices are moving a few blocks away to larger quarters at 11 Bruton St.

The most important fact is that nothing has changed for our clients and nurses: you can reach us by phone and email by all the current methods and we will continue to provide you the best possible service. Too many businesses place a premium on a flashy address and posh amenities. You can always spot a new business poised to fail when a company spends lots of money on fancy digs.

Continental Travelnurse knows our most important investment is in our nurses and clients. That’s why we began in a tiny basement office and then after a year of sustained success moved into a top-floor location on a modest side street only a few steps away.

We’ve been building our business ever since and for quite a while the Continental Travelnurse staff has been cheek by jowl with one another. But our commitment has always been to managed growth: we didn’t want to move again until it was absolutely necessary and we were able to find the right location at the right price.

That time has arrived and we’ve moved a few blocks away from our current spot. In fact, we can step a few yards away from our new entrance and see all three of our past and present locations. In a way, that captures the spirit of Continental Travelnurse: we want to stay rooted in the practices that have brought us success, grow when it’s prudent and possible and always keep in sight what matters most -- the clients and nurses that are at the core of what we do.

But to be honest, it HAS been quite crowded. The previous location was a comfy spot located on the attic floor of a tiny building and had very low ceilings, which meant our voices echoed all over the room when staff were on the phones.

The best aspect of the new address? Leslie Giltz, the founder and head of Continental Travelnurse, laughs and says, “Shannon can stop hovering around the copy machine so she can hear herself talking on the phone.”

Bruton Street, like virtually every part of London, has some remarkable history. Queen Elizabeth II was born just a few doors down at 17 Bruton Street on 21 April 1926. Perhaps she’ll even come to call someday!

Go to our main Continental Travelnurse website to learn more.

Wedding Bells For Two Travel Nurses

Continental TravelNurse guarantees a great experience for all the travel nurses who want to work, make good money and see different parts of the world and have fun doing it. Of course, we can’t guarantee you’ll meet the love of your life – but it has happened. Though they both came from Australia, they’d never met before coming to the UK and working with Continental TravelNurse. Kirstie Clark (formerly Barwick) explains. (She’s pictured on the right with husband Jon.)

“I’m from a small county in New South Wales,” says Kirstie. “Jon is from Newcastle. They’re about six hours away from each other by car. We didn’t know each other and we both took travel nursing jobs in Edinburgh, Scotland.” Kirstie was looking to work at a fulfilling job in her field, save some money and travel around. Romance was not on the agenda. “No, that was the last thing on my mind,” she laughs.

“We kind of hung about with each other for a month or two,” remembers Kirstie. “We did tourist-y things like going to Edinburgh Castle. Six weeks into it, we started to get serious.” Jon loved that they both took deep satisfaction in their jobs – and having fun. “She has a keen interest in healthcare and we both feel the same way about the importance of helping people,” says Jon.

Then Kirstie describes what can only be called a classic Continental TravelNurse experience. They used the money they’d saved up during their two assignments to go skiing in Austria. During their third assignment in Oxford, the new couple took weekend trips to Paris and elsewhere. “Then we used the money we saved during that assignment, took trips to Greece and Spain and then we flew home, says Kirstie. “We came home in May 2006. I moved to Newcastle. He proposed to me on New Year’s Eve. We were going on a cruise around Newcastle Harbor when he asked me and we got married March 8, 2008.” And Continental TravelNurse was there in spirit. “I wouldn’t have met her any other way,” says Jon.

Go to our main Continental Travelnurse website to learn more and get contact information.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Nurses Take The Stage

Continental Travelnurse wouldn’t be the thriving company it is without the terrific nurses we work with from around the world. That’s why we always take good care of our nurses and love to hear from them. Here is some of the feedback we’ve received from our friends and partners, the nurses.

“Just a wee note to thank you all so much for your individual efforts throughout my time with Continental Travelnurse – nearly six years, on and off! You all do a fantastic job and I loved being in London."

“Just wanted to say thank you for all your help and support. You are a great company and a lovely bunch of people. I’d have no hesitation in recommending you to other nurses. All the best."

Go to our main Continental Travelnurse website to learn more and get contact information.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Newest Client: Guys & St. Thomas's

The newest client of Continental TravelNurse is also one of the oldest and most prestigious hospitals in the world. Indeed, Guy’s and St. Thomas’s are two of London’s – and indeed the world’s – best-known teaching hospitals.

St. Thomas’s is old even by the standards of London, a city where a 170 year old pub can be casually referred to as “the new pub” because it replaced an even older pub on the same site. But St. Thomas’s has a 900 year history, respectable by anyone’s standards. It’s been around since the 12th century and was named after Thomas Becket (the martyred saint who stood up to Henry II) from the get-go or within its first century. A few hundred years later, St. Thomas’s was rededicated to Thomas the Apostle, hence the odd spelling of its name.

Few hospitals can claim the lineage of this institution. Florence Nightingale opened the first nursing school in the world at St. Thomas’s in 1860, just to name one notable fact. It’s been the site of filming for everything from a “Doctor Who” episode (in which St. Thomas’s was seen transplanted onto the moon) to the acclaimed zombie movie “28 Days Later.”

Guys Hospital is a relative youngster founded in 1721 (that’s about 600 years after St. Thomas’s!). But the famous doctors who have walked through its doors include people who have discovered Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Addison’s disease and -- more positively – penicillin. The poet John Keats was even a student at Guy’s. (Maybe he should have studied more – Keats would die of tuberculosis.)

Together these institutions remain vibrant, top-notch and truly historic hospitals that are a memorable privilege to work at.

Go to our main Continental Travelnurse website to learn more and get contact information.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Housing For Our Nurses: A Top Priority

Continental TravelNurse is the only UK travel nurse agency to offer comprehensive housing to its clients – a fact that both the nurses and the clients who hire them absolutely love. For Housing Coordinator Jane Richter, her job only gets easier once the nurses have moved in.

“Two people just moved into a flat and said it’s better than their own home,” laughs Richter, who has been the Housing Coordinator at Continental TravelNurse for two years.

“People are always concerned about housing and expect the worse. Then, when they’ve been in the location for an assignment and are about to head off on a personal trip, they try to bargain with us to make sure they get the same exact location.”

In other words, nurses are skeptical that the housing provided will meet the high standards the expect and we guarantee. And then once they’re in it, they often convince themselves it’s a fluke. “They really believe none of the other flats will be as good as what they get,” she said.

But of course they are because Continental TravelNurse knows the importance of good housing for both the nurses and the clients who use them. “The feedback from the nurses to the hospitals about how good their housing is is always good and that makes the hospitals even more confident about working with us,” says Richter.

Continental TravelNurse achieves this high standard by checking out locations personally whenever possible and by building long-term relationships with housing agents, grading each apartment continually and always keeping in mind convenient transport to work. One future innovation Richter has been building on is to create a sort of travel nurse cul de sac when she’s found a prime location, such as a site in Edinburgh. It has excellent transportation to two different clients and the flats are very nice. “We’ve got three or four flats there,” says Richter. “It’s a lot of fun for the nurses to have a bit of a community there and it just makes sense. We’ll be doing more of that down the road.”

Indeed, that communal social network is a big draw for travel nurses and Richter loves to pair off people into the same flats that she knows will get along. “Two nurses, Amy and Bianca, have become best friends and they’re on their third or fourth assignment and they always insist on rooming together.

One key to Richter’s job as Housing Coordinator is managing expectations. Ironically, nurses before their first assignment tend to have really low expectations (they can’t imagine housing chosen by someone else will be acceptable to them) and really high. “Americans are used to really big houses and Australians are used to having a lot of land around their homes,” explains Richter. “So sometimes they find housing that –in the UK – may be really high standard but doesn’t match what they’re used to. But when it’s clean and nice and in a great location for both work and fun, they soon realize what a good job we’ve done.”

And that job never ends. Richter describes a typical day where she might juggle three different issues and keep three different nurses happy as a good one. And the scope of her job is challenging and fun.

“It goes from the biggest issue to the smallest detail,” says Richter. “From negotiating a lease agreement to getting a washing machine that’s gone on the fritz replaced the very same day. It’s never, ever boring.”

Go to our main Continental Travelnurse website to learn more and get contact information.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Nurses Take The Stage

“It was a wonderful experience made easier by Continental Travelnurse and its support. Knowing you had a job and accommodations was brilliant as a major stress relief."

“I had a blast! Thanks for everything! You guys are great; I hope we get a chance to work together again soon.”
Go to our main Continental Travelnurse website to learn more.