Nora Vandagrifft Kelley
In 1990-1993 while living in Malawi, Africa, Nora was driving behind a bus loaded with families when it tragically slipped over the edge, rolling over and seriously injuring many of the passengers. Helpless in the moment and emotionally impacted by the event, Nora returned to the United States to become a nurse so that she could help others in a time of medical need.
Nora went on to graduate from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) with an RN degree. She started her professional nursing career with Community Health in Kokomo, Indiana.
Working 5pm-5am shifts, and later 5am-5pm shifts, plus every other weekend began to take a toll on Nora’s family life. As a single mother of three, she was challenged to keep her life in balance. Arriving home as the children were leaving for school, then leaving for work as the children were coming home from school, Nora was determined to find a better solution. She switched to day shift, believing this would improve the situation, only to learn it was difficult finding a daycare that opened at 4am. Frequently finding herself needing two sets of daycare to handle the hours, she began to seek out a nurse staffing agency to provide flexibility for her family.
In June of 2000, at 1am while working for an agency, Nora received a call from the County Coroner saying that there had been a shooting and she needed to come and identify the body. Nora’s 13-year-old son was spending the night with his cousin and the two boys, unbeknownst to Nora, decided to spend the night with a friend of the cousin. Nora called the night shift supervisor at the hospital and asked the supervisor to cover the balance of the shift. The supervisor agreed to finish her shift, then she called her agency employer to inform them she would be leaving. As Nora was preparing to leave the unit she received a call from the owner of the agency saying she could not leave! The owner informed her that the shift was the agency’s responsibility and they would lose the money if she didn’t finish the shift. Regardless of the death, she was expected to stay. Shocked at the response, Nora told the owner she was leaving and it would be her last day with the agency.
Tragically it was her nephew who had lost his life. From that moment forward, Nora decided to start her own staffing agency, and Assured Nursing, Inc. was formed. She wanted to give nurses a balance between work and family — the flexibility to live a more fulfilled life. The business would be driven, not by profits, but by compassion and dedication to the nurses and facilities with whom she works with.
Over the next year, Nora worked to establish the business, employed as a nurse three days a week, and spending the other days marketing Assured Nursing. She landed her first contract by working as a hospital nurse in Indiana and recruiting nurses for Assured Nursing in the evenings and weekends. Twenty years later, Assured Nursing does business with more than 50 hospitals and surgery centers in Indiana, developed partnerships with several physician groups, and expanded to include travel nursing across the nation. In February of 2012, Assured Nursing was selected to provide the Indiana Veteran’s Home in Lafayette, Indiana with the Medical Director and a team of specialty physicians focused on keeping residents in the facility at home and healthy.
Assured Nursing, continues to focus on flexibility to create a balanced life for all types of healthcare workers. It has received its Joint Commission Certification in December of 2010, followed by the company’s certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise the same month. Nora is proud to lead an agency that recognizes the value in every employee, providing work-life balance opportunities that promote family and career success.