Naseema McElroy, Nurses on Fire podcaster and blogger at Financially Intentional
Premier Medical Staffing Services’ mission is to “make a positive difference in those we serve.” To help transform this mission into a reality, Premier is dedicated to providing our clinicians with a variety of high-quality resources that they can use to succeed both professionally and personally. We recently had the opportunity to interview Naseema McElroy, host of the Nurses on Fire podcast and founder of Financially Intentional (a blog about personal finance and living life intentionally) to discuss how clinicians can become empowered about their finances.
Come along with us as Naseema explains the tips and tricks she used to free herself from almost $1 million dollars of debt and why she thinks financial freedom is within every nurse’s grasp.
1. Tell us a little about yourself. What is your background and education?
I’m a Labor and Delivery Nurse and a mom of two girls. I’m from Oakland, California. I took a nontraditional path to become a nurse. I entered an accelerated nursing program after I obtained a Master’s in Healthcare Administration and had been working as an administrator for a large healthcare organization for several years.
2. What initially drew you to the field of nursing?
I loved the autonomy and the ability to work as a traveler internationally. Its so ironic that I have yet to take a travel assignment. I also love that I can leave work at work and if I do have to stay over, I’ll be compensated.
3. On your website, you talk about making six figures but still struggling with money. What brought you to that “ah-ha” moment when you knew that something needed to be changed?
I think its all relative. As the saying goes, “more money, more problems.” The more money you make, the more your lifestyle tends to inflate. Bottom line, I was broke. I had no savings and being a new mom, I was scared for my daughter. I wanted to make sure I was stable enough that if something were to happen to me, she would be okay.
4. How did you begin your journey to financial literacy and independence?
Initially, I thought that I was broke because I never learned how to invest. So, I Google-ed the “top investing podcasts” and Dave Ramsey was on the list. I had vaguely heard of Dave Ramsey and I started listening to his show. I slowly began to realize that it wasn’t about how much I made but how much I kept.
During that time, I was also paying over $1,900 per month to my student loans. I made debt elimination my primary focus.
“I slowly began to realize that it wasn’t about how much I made but how much I kept.”
5. How has your life changed as you have mastered the ability to be “consistent and intentional” with your money?
OMG! My life looks entirely different. I could have never imagined that sharing my story would open a universe of opportunity to me. Not only am I able to empower people to take control of their finances on a global level, I have been featured in major media outlets (like Forbes) and have positioned myself as the face of personal finance for nurses. I’ve done all of this while still working as a staff nurse.
6. In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake that nurses make when it comes to their finances?
The biggest mistake I see nurses making is not investing enough or at all. Expenses and family obligations start to pile up and aggressive saving is no longer an option. Oftentimes, nurses don’t even think about retirement savings until they are close to approaching retirement. When they get to that point, many of them realize that there won’t be enough money to cover expenses. I see a lot of retired nurses working per diem or through agencies just to make ends meet.
7. What advice would you give to a nurse that is in the same position now that you were in years ago?
There is hope! With a little intentionality, you can unlock the multiple levels of freedom taking control of your finances provides you. Start to change your circle of influence. Listen to personal finance podcasts. Follow personal finance influencers on your favorite social media platforms. Join Facebook groups for accountability. Create a plan and stick to it. The road may seem long, but it’ll be faster than you can imagine. Where are you going to be five years from now if you do nothing?
“Where are you going to be five years from now if you do nothing?”
8. What can our clinicians expect when they listen to your podcast, Nurses on Fire, or visit your website, Financially Intentional?
We feature stories of nurses and clinicians (just like you) that have had to overcome life challenges and turned things around to build wealth. You’ll hear about nurses retiring early, building million-dollar companies and reaching financial independence. These stories can be replicated and are paths you can take to reach your financial goals.
I also provide resources that can help you get started or support you in taking control of your money. I share timely, practical tips that take away the confusion that is all too common in the financial industry.
9. What resources can you offer to our nurses that are looking to acquire the financial knowledge and skills that you have developed?
When you sign up for my newsletter on Financially Intentional, you’ll have immediate access to a free, five-day money course.
10. Is there anything else that you would like our clinicians to know?
I’d love to hear about you! If you have a compelling money story to share, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Naseema McElroy: Working as a Labor and Delivery Nurse in the Oakland, California area, Naseema was making a six-figure salary and still struggling to make ends meet. Following the birth of her first child, she was struck by the need to change her financial situation. Realizing that she could not out-earn her financial ignorance, Naseema decided to change her mindset around money. Utilizing a variety of educational resources, she was able to pay off just under $1 million in debt in two-and-a-half years, putting her on a path to continued financial success.
Naseema started the Nurses of Fire podcast and Financially Intentional blog to help other nurses that are living paycheck to paycheck. Her first-hand experience and straight-shooter approach have helped countless other nurses achieve the financial success that they could only once dream about. In addition to offering a variety of tools and resources on her website, Naseema is also available for private, one-on-one consultation sessions. Clinicians interested in booking a private appointment can click here.