Champions of Care: Meet the Fusion Traveling Hearts Award Winners

June 24, 2024


Megan Bebout

TravelingHeartsIt’s not news that travel nurses and allied health travelers are constantly making a positive difference in the lives of others. That’s why we created the Traveling Hearts Award, to celebrate and reward outstanding healthcare travelers doing just that. Let’s learn more about the award and meet our 2024 winners!


Champions of Care: Meet the Fusion Traveling Hearts Award Winners


What is the Traveling Hearts Award?

The Traveling Hearts Award is a distinguished honor that recognizes healthcare travelers who truly embody our mission at Fusion: to improve the lives of everyone we touch. This award is given to two champions of care — one nursing and one allied professional — who demonstrate unparalleled dedication to patient care.

By highlighting those who go above and beyond in their roles, the Traveling Hearts Award celebrates the exceptional service and compassion that healthcare professionals (like you!) bring to their patients and communities every day.

Award criteria

🏆Extraordinary direct patient care

🏆Shows strong initiative and drive

🏆Empowers others through mentorship and collaboration

🏆Holds themselves and peers to high ethical standards and integrity

🏆Dedicated to Fusion’s core values of being humble, driven, and positive

🏆Advocates for refreshing healthcare

Award eligibility requirements

🏆Must have completed at least one assignment with Fusion

🏆Must be a current healthcare traveler

🏆Travelers can be nominated by recruiters, facility leaders, patients, or themselves

The unstoppable Stephanie

StephanieNicolas2-minMade of warmth, grace, and a heart in the right place, Stephanie Nicolas, MSN, BSN, RN is determined to make a difference in the lives of others, especially when it comes to her patients. What’s special about Stephanie is that she expects nothing in return, and her positive energy, vibes, and intentions are noticed by those around her — that’s why she received the highest number of Traveling Hearts Award nominations.

“Stephanie goes above and beyond for her patients and advocates for them in their time of need,” said one nominator. “An example is a patient who hates hospital food, so much to the point that they had low blood sugar. Stephanie made a deal with the patient and ordered food with her own money. She makes patients feel like close family.”

StephanieNicolas3-minBut for Stephanie, caring for and about others is the norm. And it’s only elevated by her love for nursing.

“The most rewarding part about nursing for me is being able to be an advocate for my patients, to be there in their darkest and happiest moments,” said Stephanie. “I take pleasure in caring for others and knowing that I did my best to provide a safe environment for them. It’s my greatest gift.”

From gaining experience in a variety of healthcare environments to engaging with local community members to personal and professional development opportunities, there’s many things that initially drew Stephanie to nursing. It’s the connections she makes with her patients that keep her going and striving to do her best.

“Stephanie is a really sweet person with a great heart,” said another nominator. “She loves and enjoys her career. She loves to see a smile on her patients’ faces, which pushes her to keep doing better. She often lifts their spirits and that’s always a plus to the care of anyone hospitalized. For that, most of her patients at time of discharge never fail to write a nice review about her.”

Throughout her experience, Stephanie’s realized that nursing is more than a career — it’s a lifestyle that beautifully blends her love for people and healthcare with the thrill of exploring new places. Now with “Traveling Hearts Award winner” added to her resume, Stephanie’s excited to continue to learn and expand her impact as a travel nurse.StephanieNicolas1-min

“I am very thankful that I’ve been surrounded by outstanding team members throughout the years,” said Stephanie. “I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to nominate me. Knowing that my passion is noticeable to others brings a warm feeling to my heart.”

Officer Respiratory Therapist Brent

Brentpoint-minIf you asked 8-year-old Brent Roberts what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would’ve cheerfully and proudly stated “police officer.” But after becoming a police dispatcher in his hometown, Brent realized he was meant to help people in a different way. He then discovered respiratory therapy, and the rest is history.

“The most rewarding part of being an RT is the chance to work with other healthcare professionals like nurses, doctors, and radiology techs to help take care of patients and give them the best possible patient experience,” Brent said. “If I can make my patients smile even though they’re not feeling their best, I feel like I’ve done something positive.”

To say that Brent does “something positive” as a respiratory therapist is an understatement. Not only does he provide care to a wide patient demographic ranging from tiny neonate to the geriatric population, but the care in which he provides is literally lifesaving.BrentRT-min

For example, when a pediatric patient was brought to the emergency room after swallowing and choking on a rock, Brent took immediate action. Since the rock was blocking the intubation tube, Brent and his teammate spent more than two hours manually resuscitating the patient, saving the child’s life.

“Brent makes an immediate impact on every assignment he takes,” said his award nominator. “By all accounts, he’s one of the most skilled and knowledgeable RTs in the industry.”

Related: Why You Should Start Traveling as a Respiratory Therapist

In true Fusion fashion of being humble, driven, and positive, Brent is celebrating the win of his Traveling Hearts Award alongside his biggest fans — his wife and three kids.

“One of the toughest things about traveling is being away from my family, so hugs from them when I’ve been gone for a while are the best!” Brent said. “My wife and kids were so proud of me; it really fills my heart with pride and joy. I can’t thank everyone at Fusion enough for this amazing award, but also this amazing opportunity that working with Fusion has been for me and my family!”Brentmonkey-min

Frequently asked questions

What do the Traveling Hearts Award winners receive?

In addition to endless bragging rights and well-earned pride, the two Traveling Hearts Award winners receive a $2,000 bonus, prize trophy, and a Fusion swag bag.

Swag Bag 1

When will the Traveling Hearts Award reopen?

Missed this year’s nomination deadline? Don’t lose sleep over it! Instead, mark your calendar for January 1, 2025 — that’s when the award will reopen. Similarly to this year, next year’s nominations will be open from January 1 to March 31 with winners announced in June 2025. Stay tuned!

What other awards and scholarships are available to Fusion travel nurses and allied health travelers?

Not only are we proud to reward passionate travel nurses and allied health travelers with the Traveling Hearts Award, but we’re also excited to partner with the DAISY Foundation to honor nurses’ dedication and outstanding service with a DAISY Award.

Recipients of this award are honored at a celebration with their peers, leadership, friends, and family present. Plus, they’ll be recognized with a certificate, a hand-carved Healer’s Touch sculpture, and several other mementos.

The best part is that the DAISY Award submissions are always welcome! The criteria to receive this award include being a licensed registered nurse or licensed practical/vocational nurse and living up to Fusion’s mission of improving lives.

Related: How Fusion Medical Staffing Recognizes BSN Students and Healthcare Travelers

But that’s not all! To further support healthcare travelers, we unveiled The Compassion in Care Fusion Scholarship, a four-year renewable scholarship for nursing students pursuing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

The Compassion in Care Scholarship awards up to 10 nursing students $5,000 each for furthering their education and matches winners with a Fusion mentor who also has their BSN to help support them during nursing school. Keep your eyes peeled for 2025-2026 scholarship details!



We’ve been on a mission to improve the lives of others since before making a positive difference was cool. We’re dedicated to being a company that supports the current and future generation of healthcare professionals, as well as our local communities, and one way we accomplish that goal is through special awards and recognition.

Know an extraordinary someone who deserves a little TLC? Nominate them for a Fusion award! Learn more about the Fusion difference.