Andrew Moreton, CEO of Conexus MedStaff, created the vision and business model that has driven tremendous growth for the company. He was recently named to the 40 Under 40 list by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA). Throughout his career, which includes executive roles in the oil and gas industry, Andrew has worked in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the USA.
As Conexus MedStaff celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2021, Andrew reflects on the agency’s performance and commitment to meet emerging needs in the healthcare industry.
Looking back, how do you view the nurse recruiting agency’s first decade?
It was a long-term, strategic investment for us. It's been a great journey and it's worth stepping back to understand the experience I’ve gained over the years personally and professionally within the global labor market. I’ve gained a deeper understanding about diverse cultures and what people are ultimately looking for as part of their career progression, what they want for their families, and what they want for themselves. I couldn't be prouder than to be CEO of Conexus MedStaff.
What are the biggest influences in the agency’s growth?
Well, I think we’re fortunate there is an underlying demand and shortage of nurses in the United States, a supply and demand issue. We provide a great, long-term strategic solution that I think is really compelling to our clients.
You need to have great nurses and great clients and great people as part of your team. You need to be able to retain and support your nurses throughout the journey. Within the market, the backdrop certainly helps. But it's down to the details of just having a great team in place - nurses, clients, and key individuals within Conexus.
Our retention has been just phenomenal. I think everyone just buys into the vision we have as a company. They find it really rewarding to be part of a sector that makes a difference for the people who really deserve it. There is a lot of grit and determination and hard work that our nurses need to show to be able to make a move and come over to the US. We’re also here for international graduates who have already made that move to the US. As needed, we help nurses with critical parts of their transition, including getting a Permanent Resident Visa or the Green Card.
Getting a job as a nurse in the USA can be a long journey and I think it helps that we’re engaged on multiple levels. It's just a team effort and rewarding for anyone to be in this space. With the COVID-19 pandemic – and working with and supporting healthcare professionals who are really on the front line – it’s been rewarding for us as a team. We're just extremely thankful for the work that our nurses do day and day out.
How does Conexus MedStaff help nurses in the immigration journey and their careers?
As a full-service company, we go the extra mile in our marketing phase to attract job candidates who hopefully choose Conexus.
Really, it's about supporting them through key aspects of immigration. It can be a long process, but it's one our in-house immigration team has been through many, many times. We personalize that service for all our healthcare professionals.
While we have processed thousands of Green Card Visas for healthcare professionals, most nurses and medical technologists have never been through the process. We focus on communication and make a commitment as a partner to our nurses. We’re not going to let them down. We're going to make sure they achieve their dream of getting to the United States. It's about our commitment to them as much as their commitment to us to achieve that.
When we get to the phase of being close to deployment, it continues – the service we provide to our nurses. It's just really rewarding journey we take with the nurses while they are working for us.
What are some of the primary values of Conexus MedStaff?
We’re proud of the values that are defined by all of us, not just by me. They are key values that we see are important to our community – family, care and support, growth, and gratitude. As a values-based organization, we define them for our community and set expectations. Some of the values come down to just doing the right thing.
We're ambitious to continue grow in the right way. We have a great service to offer as a team and to our clients and our nurses. One of our other values is just enjoying your job day in and day out and delivering on our vision in the best possible way.
What inspires you in your role?
From my perspective, I really enjoy being able to build things and go through that transition of change to have a long-lasting impact. It’s inspiring to me to do that in the healthcare space. The international community is close to my heart, something I've experienced, having been born overseas and raised overseas. I love to travel and experience different cultures. Building something everlasting and doing it in the right way inspires me.
It's great to see the passion in individuals who have been with us many years and as well as individuals who just joined the team more recently. It's about harnessing all that a team brings and doing the best we can with what we have.
How does the agency encourage nurses in their careers?
We feature a program that helps ensure that nurses are US Ready for that first day of work in a US hospital or long-term care facility. Through the pandemic, it was apparent that education, not just in the United States but also globally, was being impacted through the ability of nurses being able to do clinicals. We've really tried to address that problem by looking at the education support we can provide to our nurses. We're rolling out a virtual simulation for our nurses to prepare them for that first day and for our clients. It can be tailored to a different orientation approach that each of our clients takes or the specialties of our nurses. We're really looking forward to going live with that service for nurses and our clients as well. We always look at career development for our nurses. For example, we support them if they want to move from medical/surgical to a more specialized area. That's how we help differentiate ourselves by investing in our nurses and being attentive to them.
We've clearly done the right things in terms of our growth, including over the last five or six years. We want to help a much larger community of clients and nurses. We've taken a step back and reflected on what we can be doing to make that experience even better with our nurses and our clients.
We're excited to implement those changes as part of our processes and how we're delivering our services to our clients and our nurses in the future.
Education lasts a lifetime, and we feel very proud of how we’ve helped develop our nurses – whether they're in the early years of their career or have much more experience and are transitioning to the United States. Hopefully, they'll look back with fond memories at their time with Conexus.