We’re proud to feature a list of prominent speakers who are at the forefront of their fields. These professionals are always eager to share their knowledge and inspire like-minded enthusiasts. Read more about this year’s speakers below, and contact us if you would like to learn more information.
Nicole Thomas, RN, MSN, CCM, DNP(C)
Educator, Mentor, Nurse, Entrepreneur & Author are a few of the words to describe Nicole Thomas, RN, MSN, CCM, DNP(C) the founder of Nicole Thomas INC., a educational firm that provides education, tools, and resources to nurses, nurse practitioners, and allied healthcare professional who have a desire to take their career to a level that is beyond the confines and limits that have placed on them by society’s perception of what their respective role should be.
Nicole has lead in her roles as a leader, manager, associate director, and servant for various fortune 500 companies in the area of medical & clinical operations, teams of nurses, nurse practitioners, & allied health professionals that where challenged to go deeper into their “job” roles which resulted in 80% of her direct reporting staff expressing the desire to want to do more in their roles as a healthcare professionals and 65% accepting the challenge and put in the work under her guidance & leadership, which concluded with an end result of all personnel going on to successfully further their education in healthcare, advancing to other roles within their respective organizations, or opening their own businesses which range from community health centers, healthcare organizing firms, consulting firms, home health agencies, and more. She has consistently maintains a 98% success rate on her ability to lead a successful team of healthcare professionals in the areas of productivity, education, motivation, and empowerment which has afforded her the opportunity to be the recipient of the Super Hero award, a prestigious award in which over 1,500 were nominated but only 125 were selected.
In addition to being a Master’s prepared Registered Nurse & Certified Case Manager, Nicole utilizes her 11- years of leadership, healthcare expertise, clinical knowledge, and business acumen to provide healthcare consulting services through her company Impact Nurse Consulting . As an accomplished Nurse, healthcare professional, educator, & strategist, Nicole is known for her ability to help individuals reach their ordained level of success as healthcare professionals all while ensuring it aligns with THEIR purpose as a healthcare professional. She is the author of "In Health, On Purpose! Awakening Your True Calling In The Healthcare Profession" , a purpose guide for the healthcare professional. The strategies in this book have helped dozens of healthcare professionals change their mindsets, adjust their language and begin to identify, manifest and fulfill their purpose.
Kay Epi Slane
Master of Ceremonies
Highway Hypodermics, LLC® is dedicated to providing quality and up to date information to travel nurses around the world to assist them in finding the adventure of a lifetime. As the longest running informational website for travel healthcare, run by a practicing travel nurse, it is our mission to bridge the gap between traveling nurses and travel nurse companies. Only by education on how to be a quality traveling nurse and how to be a quality traveler recruiting agency can we change the image of both sides.
Duke started with an Associates Degree in Nursing From Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish Hospital College in St. Louis, and finished her BSN at City University of New York- Hunter College. She completed her education with a Masters of Science in Nursing as an Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Columbia University in the City of New York.
Ms Duke has 15 years experience in Nursing, with the last 4 years spent working as a Board Certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specializing in Inpatient Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in New York City at one of the Nation’s top hospitals, Mount Sinai Hospital.
In addition to her full time career as an NP, she also serves as a clinical preceptor to NYU ACNP graduate students, editorial contributor, motivational speaker, mentor, agency represented social media influencer, hosts the “Bad Decisions Podcast”, and is the founder of the “Duke It Up Event” which is an empowerment and mentoring workshop.
Katie is respected most for her authentic, raw transparency and relatable content focusing on motivation, lifestyle, and professional career insights and guidance.
In 2019, the Katie Duke + Cherokee Uniforms Collection launched; making it the first collaborative scrubs collection in the world between a medical apparel brand and a Nursing Professional. The collection is an affordable, functional, and all-inclusive size line of trendy and classic pieces for all healthcare providers.
Over the course of building her personal platform, she has worked with global brands such as Cherokee Uniforms, Laneige, Prudential Financial, Clinique, Magee Women’s Research Institute, Nestle Boost Nutrition, Match.com, Dentyne, Kaplan NCLEX Prep, Anisa Beauty, Panera, Jet.com, SoFi Financial, Littmann Stethoscopes, Swimsuits For All, Easy Spirit, Nurses Travel Network, and more. She has been featured in global women’s empowerment media campaigns alongside Ashley Graham, Brooke Shields, and Angela Simmons.
In addition to continuing her inpatient NP career, Katie Duke’s 2 year goals include authoring a book about embracing your bad decisions and mistakes as a stepping stone to success, expanding her motivational event series, growing her Collection with Cherokee Uniforms, and branching into lifestyle products to help the everyday professional woman find work + life balance.
Adam Gomez, COO, Moxie Mentoring
Adam began his career in the healthcare staffing industry nearly a decade ago, working in a dual role as a client manager and recruiter. Throughout his career, he has worked with peers and leadership to improve the experience of travelers and client facilities alike. His drive and passion to this end has not gone unnoticed. He is known as a thought leader by many in the industry, and is frequently consulted by senior leadership because he is solutions-oriented and has a panache for creative problem-solving.
Movers and Shakers
Joanie Reneer, COO, Medical Staffing Solutions
Chief Operating Officer and co-owner of MSS, I have spent the last 13 years growing this wonderful business. As a Registered Nurse, I started my career in hospitals, working in Med/Surg, telemetry, ICU, and CVICU. Transitioning into homecare, I eventually opened and operated a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency and a Home Infusion Agency. In 2003, MSS became the next challenge for me and it was so cool to build it with another nurse who cares about our employees as much as I do.
Rich Smith, Atlas Medstaff
Agency issues and Q&A session
Rich Smith is the Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Atlas MedStaff. Founded in 2012, Atlas has been the fastest growing healthcare staffing company in the country for the past three years. From the beginning, Rich focused on social media to grow Atlas. To date, their YouTube channel has over 1000 videos specific to travel healthcare. Much like other successful business owners, Rich doesn’t have a college degree. He often tells people his degree came from studying other successful business owners like Marcus Lemonis and Gary Vaynerchuk. He believes success doesn’t come from a book. It comes hard work and dedication, early mornings and late nights. It comes from taking care of the people that take care of our family members when they are sick, and believing that doing the right thing for the right reasons resonates with people.
CEO of EmpoweRX, Inc.
Becoming a Clinician Entrepreneur
Mary Kathleen (M.K.) Bryan, founder of EmpoweRx, Inc, brings her passion for health care providers and 25 years of leadership experience to her approach to staffing solutions. M.K. has amassed an impressive business background ranging from employee recruitment, professional development and retention to managing operations to establishing her own companies. Seeing the coming changes in tax reform and its many effects on healthcare, she saw an opportunity for clinicians to work as Clinician Entrepreneurs to increase earnings and offer facilities the option to have top talent while saving on staffing costs. M.K. and her team provide consulting services to walk clinicians through the entrepreneur process.
Erica Harvitt, OT
Are you Ready to Travel?
With a background in Psychology and International Business in the technology sector, Erica brings a unique perspective to the field. A graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Masters of Occupational Therapy Program, Erica spent her subsequent 3 years as a travel therapist in the Home Health and Acute Rehab settings. Over the past 5 years Erica has had the privilege of traveling extensively around the globe for work and pleasure taking a special interest in service projects for sustainable futures in 3rd world economies. Erica is presently operating The LIST, a searchable database for LIVE travel healthcare jobs
Donna Robinson, Travel Tax
Donna Robinson is the Operations Manager for TravelTax and TravelTax Canada. Donna has a degree in Business Finance with a minor in French from Bob Jones University. She started her career working as an executive for a multi-state retail store for 3 years before entering the fundraising industry helping raise the necessary funds for schools and civic groups as an area sales representative. She was a consultant in the insurance field for over 18 years advising business clients and their employees (in 4 states and DC) on benefit issues and compliance issues. She left that position to pursue her project management certifications.
In 2018 she joined TravelTax as the Operations Manager. She knew that it would be an exciting project to help move TravelTax from Nebraska to South Carolina and set up new operations systems and procedures, but it has turned into a much bigger opportunity. Donna loves working with TravelTax staff and clients and is motivated to fulfill the company’s vision of helping medical, cross-border, and international travelers. She loves spending time with her entire family including her sons, grandkids, twin sister and their families.
Kathryn Mullins, BSN, RN
Agency Support from Home Base
Kathryn Mullins, BSN, RN, Clinical Operations Manager. Katie is the head of our Clinical Liaison team here at trustaff. She has been a RN for over 15 years with experience in cardiac, transplant, and med/surg ICU. She was a fellow travel nurse early on in her career working at several facilities across the country. While working in the ICU, she was heavily involved in patient safety, particularly alarm fatigue, nurse fatigue, and medication administration safety. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing as well as Psychology. Katie’s skills and experiences have given her a great foundation as a clinical advisor and we’re lucky to have her.
Angel Wells- Toccoa Cons
Angel Wells is a partner and Chief Executive Officer of Toccoa Security Consulting. Angel started her career in various health care settings. She then focused on public safety. Angel has been training as a self-defense/personal security instructor for the last 3 years.
Angel provides consulting services for client companies in the area of sales and marketing. In addition, Angel is sought out by clients to speak and teach in the areas of self-defense and corporate security concerns. As an avid student of firearms and shooting, Angel is a strong advocate for women in shooting sports and in addition is a talented archer.
Jeff Lee- Toccoa Cons
Jeff Lee is the Chief Operating Officer for Toccoa Security and Consulting. He is the former Director of Operations and Corporate Training for the International Tactical Officers Training Association (ITOTA). Jeff has over twenty-eight years of experience studying a variety of Martial Arts. Jeff combines his experiences to assist in leading Toccoa Security and Consulting in providing a wide array of services in business, security consulting and training in person and electronically in the areas of self defense, firearms, active shooter preparedness, and executive asset protection.
Bill Rate Breakdown
Terry Merlin began his career as an RN in 1992 first working in ER and ICU. Through the years Terry has worked in various roles throughout the healthcare sector including hospital management roles. In 2009 Terry established The Merlin Healthcare Group through the acquisition of Nurses 24/7 in 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company acquired the assets of Nurses 24/7 through an asset only purchase agreement. The Merlin Healthcare Group, Inc. is a Florida corporation located in Broward County. Merlin Healthcare has been successful in meeting the demands of the market due to the established relationships, employee satisfaction, fair market pay, benefits and quality services provided. We have been able to match specific skilled workers with client needs, saving facilities time and money, while providing healthcare professionals that are experts in their specific clinical settings. The Merlin Healthcare Group has been able to set themselves apart from the competition because they have been able to create partnerships with their clients, offering out of the box solutions and money saving ideas. The company has not been viewed as just another agency, but as a long-term partner.
Kelly Foley, Premier Medical
Prior to joining Premier Medical Staffing Services, Kelly spent several years recruiting, scheduling, and managing healthcare professionals. Since joining the team 8 years ago, she has supported Healthcare Travelers on their contracts, lead the Premier Travel Team, and has been able to successfully train and prepare Premier Recruiters during the on-boarding process. Combining her healthcare knowledge and background in recruiting and HR, Kelly is a key member of the Premier Team.
Kayla Cash, Onestaff
Kayla Cash is a Lead Staffing Manager, with independently-owned, OneStaff Medical. She’s experienced in recruiting both 1st time travel RNs and Experienced Travelers alike, Kayla strives to make the recruitment process as efficient, educational and positive as possible. Priding herself as a mentor to travelers for what can at times feel like an overwhelming process, during onboarding, Kayla is well-known for her compassion and coaching throughout that inevitable journey in any traveler’s life. Kayla truly understands that her efforts impact the daily lives of her travelers, and that will trickle down to their patients and patients’ families alike. It’s that type of thought process that keeps her passion for the industry so strong day in and day out.
Dan Jewell, TotalMed
"Dan is a Senior Travel Nurse Recruiter with TotalMed Staffing. In his time as a Recruiter, he has worked with two different companies where he has gained knowledge on how various companies can approach the travel experience. Dan’s style to recruiting is to treat every traveler he interacts with, as family/friends, advocating for them in every way that he can. He believes this comes from being as knowledgeable as possible about both business and traveler aspects of the industry. This provides a strong foundation in which both parties can be open and honest with one another. Finally, Dan takes great pride in working with travelers ranging at all levels of experience, but says there are few things that feel as good as being able to say, “CONGRATS on landing your first assignment!” to a new traveler."
18 years ago Laura co-founded Premier Medical Staffing Services, a Wisconsin Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise, with her husband, Mark Hanoski. Laura is a nurse by trade and has worked in a variety of specialty areas as a pool nurse, including 6 years in orthopedics. She has a passion for healthcare and improving quality of life for patients. Laura oversees all the clinical aspects of Premier, from medication teaching to maintaining Joint Commission standards. She works alongside Mark to help grow and plan the future of Premier. Additionally, in 2017 Laura started a non-profit called Heroes for Healthcare - an organization that helps military personnel transition to civilian life and Veterans find their career in healthcare.
Ryan, a native of Kansas City has had the unique opportunity of growing up in the staffing industry being part of a 3rd generation family business. He strives daily to learn and grow within an ever evolving industry. He couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to serve such an amazing industry. Ryan and his wife, Heather have 6 young children. I think we all know what keeps him busy outside of the office!
Melanie Theriac, Medical Staffing Solutions
I am proud of what this company stands for. As an RN myself, it gives me such satisfaction to know that we are providing healthcare facilities with excellent clinicians to help with their shortage of healthcare staff. We do live by our Mission: "Healthcare with Purpose" by always placing the care we give patients as our number one priority. As the CEO and Managing Partner of Medical Staffing Solutions, the best part of my day is hearing the buzz of the growth in our office and knowing that we are employing hundreds of healthcare professionals.