Making a Difference

Nurse finds solace helping the Navajo Nation with coronavirus response efforts

It’s common for travel nursing to take providers to destinations far and wide. Often, it is rural healthcare facilities that need additional support. Debra Kelly, a provider with CHG Healthcare’s RNnetwork division, answered the call and accepted her first travel assignment in the Navajo Nation. Nothing could have prepared her for what the coronavirus pandemic had in store for the tight-knit community.

“It can be extremely rewarding sometimes and sometimes it can be extremely heartbreaking,” says Debra. “I have a gentleman that I see pretty regularly and he brought it home to his family and all six of his family members died within one week. That was pretty hard for me.”

But regardless of the hardship she faced, two assignments later, she considers the Navajo Nation a second home.  

“Traveling has given me the opportunity to see parts of the country I would have never seen, and been involved in cultures I never knew existed. I have a family here that’s kind of adopted me … I call him my brother, he’s my best friend,” Debra shares. “They have a ranch and I go out and help herd sheep, haul hay and water.”

Debra is able to dedicate herself to her work and solely focus on being the best nurse because she knows her RNnetwork recruiter, Kristen Hill, is taking care of all of her travel needs.

“I love this company. I love Kristen Hill,” exclaims Debra. “She has been phenomenal. She’s my biggest cheerleader.”

Here’s Debra’s story about her journey to the Navajo Nation, the lifelong friendships she’s made, and her experience working with Kristen.  

RNnetwork is part of the CHG family of brands. Since opening in 1998, RNnetwork has worked hard to always put people first – a value practiced by all CHG companies. 

If you’d like to work with nurses like Debra, take a look at our careers page

About the author

Ashley Miller

Ashley Miller is a senior communications specialist who enjoys building relationships with all of CHG Healthcare’s unique employees. As a former television journalist, storytelling comes naturally to Ashley. She’s always looking for a new way to highlight our people and their contributions to our company, clients, providers, and communities.

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