A Message from the President (2003)
EXCELLENT – a word or an identity?
If you’ve read our mission statement, you may have noticed the word “excellent.” You often hear and see this word amidst the swirl of media news and advertising bombarding you each day. Is it merely a clever empowerment buzzword, or is there really a deeper meaning? At Advantage RN, we take the word excellent seriously. In fact, we’ve made it the backbone of our business.
Let me explain…
Hello, I’m Matt Price, President of Advantage RN. Before coming to Advantage RN I was with another travel nurse company and was in the process of exploring other career options when I was invited to come and visit Advantage RN. At the time, I was eager to take some time off and investigate other opportunities – the fast pace of travel nursing was burning me out!
The offer to visit persisted. I was told that Advantage RN was different and that there was an abundance of enthusiasm; there was even electricity in the air! After waffling for several weeks, I relented and drove the 30+ miles from my home to Advantage RN.
And I’m glad I did.
What I saw was a company culture where employees were simply oozing with energy and excitement. The company was growing fast, employees were having fun, and there was a teamwork spirit that I had yet to see in my business career. Ultimately, I decided to join the company and can only tell you I’ve found out first hand that positive energy is indeed contagious!
One of my initial goals at Advantage RN was to create a mission statement to capture this remarkable culture and define our commitment to our stakeholders (ie., customers, employees, owners, etc.). I began to jot down notes as ideas came to my mind on what could best define our mission in simple terms. My prior experience in companies ranging in size from $5 million to $15 billion prompted me to start writing phrases like “superior customer service,” “maximizing shareholder value,” and “striving for continuous improvement.” Later, while on a family trip, I was compiling my thoughts about our mission statement, when I happened to glance at a magazine headline titled, “Be Excellent To Each Other.”
During the next few hours of driving, I continued to mix and match the various ideas, but kept drifting back to those simple words. Sure, they didn’t include fancy adjectives or phrases about out-servicing our competitors and creating value. But they seemed to capture the essence of what we are trying to do, which is to create excellence in all our relationships. I reasoned that if we could accomplish that, we would surely produce a win-win result for all of the parties touched by our business. I later discovered that the magazine was in fact Oprah, and the author of the article was Deborahann Smith. Now, I must confess that although I’m impressed with Oprah’s success, I had never read her magazine. But, I guess you’ll have to count me as another believer – thank you Oprah and, of course, Deborahann, for these simple, yet powerful words of inspiration.
Presently, a sign displaying our mission statement hangs in our lobby to remind our employees of these important words each morning as they arrive. I also added the following phrase, “Our Customers, Our Employees, Our Families, Ourselves.” To fully appreciate these additional words, you have to experience the corporate culture of Advantage RN. Here you’ll find a staff of high-energy people who work hard, enjoy recognition for their success, and have marvelous fun in the process. Prior to Advantage RN, most of them had worked extensively in the travel nurse industry and enjoyed it, but felt something was missing. Advantage RN’s culture has given them a home where they can flourish. And, if I really think about it, this feeling is the reason for my decision to join Advantage RN.
In 2008, we expanded the Mission Statement to include “communities” as well. After over five years in business and an average yearly growth rate of over 40%, we feel confident that we are going to be in this industry for many years to come. So, it’s time to give back. This year we made substantial financial contributions to two non-profit organizations that give back to the community – Culture Works of Dayton and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Ohio. We also donated several laptop computers to an orphanage in Guatemala where several of our employees did mission work this summer and from where another employee will soon be adopting a baby.
To ensure our continued prosperity, we will settle for nothing less than providing the best response time with the best nurse candidate at a competitive billing rate to our hospital clients. And, of course we will continue to give our travel nurses the highest compensation, best living conditions, and finest benefit packages we can assemble. But, in order to accomplish these goals, we can’t just say that we need good employees. Who doesn’t? Our mission is to create a culture at Advantage RN where our employees are truly empowered so that providing excellent service is second nature. We want employees who are not just happy with their work – they are tickled to be here. We want them to be friends with their fellow workers, lead a fulfilling family life, and be secure with themselves. We want to challenge them to grow both professionally and personally. In short, we want them firing on all cylinders, and the product of this passion – our culture – to be something truly special. I guess what we are really saying is that we want “excellent” to be their identity. Who will be the big winners? All of us: our nurses, our hospitals, our employees, our communities, and ourselves.
If you are a nurse looking to travel or a hospital looking for an agency that is focused on exceeding your expectations, we would like to show you the many benefits of traveling with Advantage RN. We are indeed a different breed of travel nurse company. If you are looking for something different, please contact us.