TravelNursingBlogs.com http://travelnursingblogs.com Tips for your travel nursing life Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:39:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 Ask a Travel Nurse: What do you do about safety concerns on assignment? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/safety-concerns-assignment/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/safety-concerns-assignment/#respond Fri, 10 Feb 2017 21:29:48 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24731 Share

Young woman with question mark

Ask a Travel Nurse: What do you do about safety concerns on assignment?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hello, Mr. Morrison,

I had a bad experience on my most recent assignment and my contract was terminated last week. My company was made aware two months ago about safety issues on the unit and my desire to break my contract due to these safety issues — which included no Charge Nurse, no nurse aides on the unit, and five primary care patients on Med/Surg — but did nothing. What do you do about safety concerns on assignment? What approach do you suggest if the same scenario occurs in the future?

Thank you!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

I’m sorry your travel experience was not a pleasant one.

Without speculating about specific facilities or systems, I will tell you that I once had my own similarly poor experience.

Some facilities have a habit of paying rather well, but I caution nurses that this is because they will work you. At such facilities you can plan to float to other units consistently, even if your contract is stated to be for a specific unit (as mine was) and plan to have little in the way of support (such as charge nurses or ancillary staff, like techs or aids).

Again, I cannot speak about specific facilities, but some do have a bit of a reputation in the travel world.

A simple step would be to avoid such facilities that are consistently charged with patient safety concerns, but this may not always be accommodating to your travel plans.

One way to “scope out” a facility is in the interview for the assignment. Have a list of questions ready to ascertain whether or not the facility appears to provide good support to their nursing staff. Ask if the unit has techs or aids, ask about nurse patient ratios, ask if there will be a charge nurse available each shift and if they are free floating or will also have a patient assignment. Basically, any concern you have run into in your practice is fair game in the interview.

You must also have a “good feel” after the interview. If you are already starting to question the safety of the facility, and have not even set foot inside the building, do you really think this will be an assignment that you will enjoy for three months?

One additional tactic, about which I have written (but never put into practice myself), would be to call the unit in which you will work during off hours (usually at night when less hectic). Ask one of the nurses if you could have five minutes of their time to ask some questions about the unit. Having never done this, I’m not sure if I would identify myself as a Travel Nurse or simply a nurse looking to come work in their unit (my instinct would be the latter).

I would then proceed to ask them what the unit is like. Do the nurses work together in a good team approach or is it every nurse for themselves? Do they have the tools needed to do their job? Is it a safe place to work? What is the acuity like and are the assignments usually paired correctly depending on those acuities? Anything you can think of to get an “inside” look into the unit.

Chances are, a bedside nurse is going to give a more accurate picture of the situation versus a unit manager who is just looking to get some help for their staffing needs.

Finally, ask your recruiter at your travel company if they have had any other Travelers that have worked at that facility. This is something I have done before and have received both positive and negative feedback on facilities. Your travel recruiter should also be able to tell you if the facility is known for, or has in the past, canceled any contracts. The relationships I have with my recruiters allows this type of honest dialog, but I cannot imagine any recruiter wanting to send a nurse to a facility that is known for contract terminations.

You also need to look at your travel company’s cancellation policy very carefully to see how much you might be on the hook for should a cancellation occur. There are actually companies out there that look at cancellations as part of doing business. However, there are also travel companies that will charge their Travelers thousands of dollars to recoup costs of a canceled contract even when the cancellation was in no way the fault of the Travel Nurse.

I hope this helps make your next assignment a better experience.

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

 

 

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Best Travel Nursing Blogs on the Planet! http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/best-travel-nursing-blogs-planet/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/best-travel-nursing-blogs-planet/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 23:15:03 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24699 Share

woman thumbs up

Woohoo! TNB has been named one of the Best Travel Nursing Blogs on the Planet!

Travel Nursing Blogs is feeling pretty awesome about being named to Feedspot’s list of the Best Travel Nursing Blogs on the Planet!

We work hard to connect with Travel Nurses everywhere and to share great information and fun blogs that will help you succeed in the travel healthcare world and also have some fun while you’re at it.

Thanks so much for reading, asking questions, and being the awesome Travelers that you all are!

Be sure to check out the full list of Best Travel Nursing Blogs on the Planet from Feedspot, because there are some other really great blogs that also cater to current Travel Nurses as well as those who are thinking about trying it out and searching for information and guidance. We are proud to be among them!

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Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I find my own Travel Nurse housing? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/find-travel-nurse-housing/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/find-travel-nurse-housing/#respond Fri, 06 Jan 2017 22:06:26 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24681 Share

Color question mark in drawing house

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I find my own Travel Nurse housing?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi, David!

I’m a new Traveler and am curious about finding my own housing. How do I find my own Travel Nurse housing?

Also, do you recommend certain Travel Nursing companies?

Thanks!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Hello,

My best advice: Remain curious, at least for your first assignment.

While many Travelers do opt to take a stipend and find their own housing, it is something about which I caution nurses on their first assignment.

You will have a ton of things thrown at you on your first assignment and it is an adjustment period. You do not want to be trying to complete hospital orientation and working a full time schedule when your landlord suddenly states there was an issue and they cannot honor your lease, or you find out it is not the safe area you thought it was, or there is a plumbing problem and the landlord cannot even be reached, or a thousand other things that usually never happen, BUT CAN.

In 20 years I have always had the company find my housing and things usually go off without a hitch. But for the time my landlord decided he could make more money renting to vacationers than someone staying months at a time, or when I arrived to a trashed apartment, or the time I arrived just hours before a half dozen police officers (weapons drawn) had someone face down on the ground literally 50 yards from my front window, I was glad that it was someone else’s problem to find me a new place.

Again, many Travelers do find their own housing and couldn’t be happier. While I prefer to never test the water and end up in a situation where I have to deal with housing issues on my own, if you do wade into those waters, there are a few things of which to be cautious.

First, be careful signing leases that require large down payments or will hold you to the full terms of the lease. While contract cancellations are not what I would call common, they do occur (I’ve had two in 20 yrs). Should this ever happen while you are on one of the aforementioned type leases, depending on when the cancellation occurs (say a few weeks into your assignment), you could be responsible for thousands of dollars under your lease agreement.

While many rentals will have you sign some sort of document, I have heard from a Travel Nurse that simply posts what she is seeking on Craigslist (that she is a Travel Nurse, has excellent references, is seeking a place to stay for at least three months, and does not wish to pay a large deposit or commit to long period of time). She claims to have never had an issue in finding the housing she needs.

While there are some sites (like airbnb) that specialize in short term housing throughout the states, many Travelers do just use Craigslist. You can also find just about anything on CL from a five-bedroom house to rent, to just a single room. Some Travelers do live on the cheap and then pocket the rest of the housing stipend for extra cash. However, many are unaware of the tax implications of doing so. Even if you do have a “tax home” (which often makes your housing non-taxable), any extra money not used for housing, should likely be reported (be rarely is).

So, while finding your own housing is something that many Travelers choose, do an assignment or two, talk with other Travelers that have done so, and THEN revisit the topic. You are not going to be throwing tens of thousands of dollars out the window by waiting, will be better informed and more ready to take on extra responsibility when starting an assignment, and may just find that if you are with a company that finds you great housing, it’s a luxury that you come to appreciate 🙂

With regard to travel companies, I do offer nurses help in getting set up with some great people in the industry, but only recommend specific recruiters with whom I have worked. This is because I firmly believe that the recruiter is such an important part of the equation, that the company is really secondary in most instances.

I refer nurses to recruiters in five companies ranging from small to large (actually, the largest in the Travel Nursing business) and allow nurses to decide which one they prefer. Some nurses like the personal experience of a smaller company and some just want exposure to the largest number of assignments. Others want something in between, which would be at least two of the companies I use. But once on file with a company, you can use any of them on an assignment by assignment basis as your needs may change.

If you’d like some help, what works best for both my recruiters and I is to have you send me your best contact info (full name, best email, and best phone number where they might reach you) to david@travelnursesbible.com.

I’ll pass along your info and after I do this, I’ll email you the name of the person who will be contacting you, the company for which they work, and a little bio on the company. These people are the ONLY people who will receive any of your information and you will not have 20 different companies flooding you with calls (something that can happen when people use sites that submit your application to multiple outlets).

I ALWAYS advise Travelers to be on file with at least a handful of companies (after a decade and a half, I am still on file with six or seven). So many of the nurses join all the companies I refer them to, but usually find a favorite and do most of their traveling with that company. I am no different, but when I want to get to a location and my preferred company does not have any assignments in the area, I can always call two or three others and find what I want.

It’s also important for new Travelers to be on file with multiple companies because some hospitals will even specify, “no first-time Travelers.” So obviously, the more companies you are on file with, the more assignment opportunities you will have (not all companies have the same assignment selection).

Don’t be afraid to have several companies looking for you at once, but be courteous to your recruiters and let them know if you do take an assignment with anyone else (so they do not continue to spend their time seeking an assignment for you).

While most Travelers start with the companies that I use, if in your travels, you ever hear of another company that interests you, always check them out on the travel nursing forums and see what other Travelers may have to say about them.

Another way to gauge a travel company can be by the amount of time they have been in business (not all “young” companies are bad, just as not all companies that have been in the business awhile will be good). Longevity just says that they have been doing this awhile and should have most of their ducks in a row (and it also means you should be able to find out more about them on the forums).

Also look and see if they have a Better Business Bureau rating. Not all companies are accredited by the BBB (most might not be) but even if a company is not accredited by the BBB, they may have a rating and you can see if anyone has ever filed a complaint against them.

Finally, I recommend simply typing the company name into a search browser with the word “complaint” or “review”. This sometimes yields some pretty interesting results.

If you have other questions, I’m easiest to reach at david@travelnursesbible.com. But, I am still a working traveler who corresponds with a lot of nurses on a daily basis, so please understand if it takes me a little time to respond.

I hope this helps.

David
david@travelnursesbible.com

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Ask a Travel Nurse: Should I take a multi-hospital float position? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/multi-hospital-float-position/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/multi-hospital-float-position/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:40:41 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24623 Share

Ask a Travel Nurse

Ask a Travel Nurse: Should I take a multi-hospital float position?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hello! I’m an RN in Boston and looking into my first Travel Nurse experience. I’ve already applied to a company and started the process. My top location pick was Austin, Texas as I’ve heard great things about the city. I also have a friend there — which is a huge plus as I’d like to know at least one person! Long story short: A position opened up and I was submitted for it. Only after the phone interview did I find out it is a float position between four different facilities in the area. I would be called from day to day before each shift telling me where to go. I don’t want to miss a good opportunity but I also feel like this is a bit much for my first experience as a Travel Nurse. I’m afraid it would make it hard for me to make friends and get my feet under me if I am going to a new floor and hospital every shift. What are your thoughts as an experienced travel RN? Thanks!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Hello Meghan. My thoughts … well, I actually thought of several awful things (being hit by a bus was included), that I would rather have happen to me than the scenario of which you wrote.

I hope I didn’t overstate too much, but I have never taken a float assignment knowingly. I did have the unfortunate experience working at a hospital in San Francisco that was contracted to be based in a certain unit, but only found out about my float responsibilities, the first shift out of orientation. This was also the only travel assignment on which I ever seriously thought about “walking” on my contract for safety issues.

I would have to know your specific situation to know if I could rightly advise you NOT to take this. Something like, “you’ve been waiting for six months just to get a phone call,” and even then, I might still find reasons to advise you to decline.

Yes, there are pluses to the assignment of which you spoke. But there are also some quite large disadvantages, most of which you seem to be aware. I also don’t like not having a home unit. It is very hard to get to know people and become a trusted member of the team. Even though I had a good buddy of mine that was working close to San Francisco, he was the only person with whom I would hang out during my entire assignment. Since he worked a regular 9 to 5, we’d pretty much only get to hang on the weekends I had off. It was a pretty lonely assignment.

From what you described, you are essentially working as a registry Traveler, possibly never staying in the same place on consecutive nights. You wouldn’t have much patient continuity, even when you do work your shifts in a row.

This is a HARD assignment. Due to that, it’s not a great intro into Travel Nursing. We can’t all hit Maui on our first outing, but going someplace fun is something I feel necessary for nurses to fall in love with the idea of travel. For the most part, I enjoy my job as a nurse and relish any assignment where I am found counting the hours to my next day off.

If you have not had much luck in fielding offers, you may need to look at your second or third preferred location or try signing up with more travel companies to open you up to more opportunities.

I’m sorry that I may not have added much to this as far as the downside, because again, you seem aware of many of these aspects. However, you have to trust one basic instinct with Travel Nursing — your intuition. The fact that you are doubting this tells me you have your reservations. I don’t feel like I would be too far out of line telling you to trust your gut on this one.

I hope this helps.

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

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Ask a Travel Nurse: What is the best Travel Nursing company for my specialty? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/travel-nursing-company-specialty/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/travel-nursing-company-specialty/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2016 21:29:49 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24527 Share

Ask a Travel Nurse

Ask a Travel Nurse: What is the best Travel Nursing company for my specialty?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David,

I am a PACU nurse with 28 years of experience and I’m about to try Travel Nursing! I’d like to go to Phoenix, Arizona for the winter and wonder if you know what is the best Travel Nursing company for my specialty? I’ve literally spent all day looking at ratings and reviews, and am just wondering if there are different issues per specialty.

Thanks!

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I suppose there could be agencies that cater to certain specialties, but I don’t know of any that limit their scope to certain areas of nursing.

Most any facility will contract with multiple agencies that place all specialties. While PACU positions are by no means rare, agencies will certainly have more positions in specialties like tele or critical care. Therefore, you will want to sign up with multiple agencies to open you up to a good number of assignments.

While many agencies could have the same offerings, even in a popular specialty like critical care, I will find some of my agencies carry assignments that the others don’t.

I don’t know that you will run into any specialty-specific issues related to travel. You can always check out the online Travel Nursing forums to find fellow PACU Travelers.

If you need any help getting started, I do offer to set nurses up with the great recruiters I use for my travels. Just email me at david@travelnursesbible.com and I’ll be happy to help get you started.

I hope this helps.

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

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Happy Travel Nurses Day 2016! http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/happy-travel-nurses-day-2016/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/happy-travel-nurses-day-2016/#respond Wed, 12 Oct 2016 21:05:35 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24496 Share

Travel Nurses Day 2016

Click here to join in the Travel Nurses Day celebration, play games, take quizzes, and win prizes!

It’s almost that special time of year again! Sure, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, and a lot of other great holidays are coming down the pike, but this week we celebrate Travel Nurses Day!

Travel Nurses Day was created in 2013 by Medical Solutions as a way to celebrate and recognize all of the awesome healthcare Travelers out there. This year, Travel Nurses Day falls on Friday, October 14th, but the celebration is already rolling at TravelNursesDay.com!

For 2016, the celebration is shoe-themed, because who wouldn’t want to walk a mile in a Travel Nurse’s shoes?!

This year, Travelers can have a Happy Travel Nurses Day 2016 with activities like:

  • A “Where should I Travel Next?” quiz — find the perfect location to suit you on your next assignment!
  • A Travel Photo Find — put your mad skills of observation to good use!
  • Travel Libs — a la the Mad Libs of your youth!
  • A “What Shoe is Your Perfect Fit?” quiz — because haven’t you ever wondered if you’re more of a boot, heel, clog, or sandal?!
  • #MyTravelNurseShoes Photo Contest — show off pics all of the exciting, beautiful places your Travel Nurse shoes have taken you, or even show off the shoes themselves!
  • For those curious about Travel Nursing, there’s also a “Is Travel Nursing in My Future?” quiz!

There are also tons of great prizes you can enter to win by taking these quizzes, playing the games, and entering the #MyTravelNurseShoes Photo Contest, including:

  • Three Fitbit Blazes
  • Three Shiatsu Back Massagers
  • Three Artifact tote bags
  • Three $120 Dansko gift cards
  • Three $130 Alegria gift cards
  • Three $75 Inkkas gift cards
  • Three Dickies scrubs sets
  • Three spa pedicures
  • Three JBL Clip+ Splashproof Bluetooth Speakers

Travel Nursing Blogs wishes you a very happy Travel Nurses Day 2016! We also wish you luck on the fun batch of activities over at TravelNursesDay.com. May the odds be ever in your favor!

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Which Solo Traveling Movie Character Are You? http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/solo-traveling-movie-character/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/solo-traveling-movie-character/#respond Thu, 15 Sep 2016 20:14:25 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24466 Share

Traveler selfie

There’s something pretty special about traveling solo! Take this quiz from Orbitz to find out which solo traveling movie character are you?

Some Travel Nurses hit the road with their dogs, cats, spouse, significant other, kids, and who knows what other types of companions! Traveling with family and/or pets is definitely a doable option, especially if you have a pet-friendly company that’s willing to find you the right accommodations for your travel crew — but many other Travelers elect to hit the road solo.

Flying solo is a great way to take on satisfying challenges, meet new people, and learn more about yourself and the world around you! In fact, it’s such a great exercise that there are tons of movies, books, and songs that document the joy of the solo journey. From Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again (On My Own)” to Terry McMillan’s How Stella Got Her Groove Back and beyond, there’s so much to eat, pray, and love about traveling solo as a Travel Nurse.

So, which pop culture solo travelin’ character are you most like?

Click here to take a quiz from Orbitz that will answer the question: Which Solo Traveling Movie Character Are You?

And whether you are a solo artists or you travel with an entourage, happy trails to you, Travel Nurses!

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Ellen and Channing Tatum Surprise Nurses http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/ellen-channing-tatum-surprise-nurses/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/ellen-channing-tatum-surprise-nurses/#respond Thu, 08 Sep 2016 20:12:22 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24423 Share

Ellen and Channing Tatum Surprise Nurses

Six San Diego nurses got a MAGICAL surprise from Ellen and Channing Tatum this week.

If you love Ellen, Channing Tatum, and/or Nurses, this post is for you.

Six lucky San Diego nurses got to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” with their hunky hero, Channing Tatum. Not only did they get to meet him, he had a fun surprise for all of them … tickets to the Magic Mike show opening in Vegas in March of 2017.

The nurses work together at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in San Diego, where they say they and their colleagues do 10,000 births a year. That’s about one birth an hour!

But these busy gals say they always make time for Ellen’s show, getting all their patients set and coordinating their breaks around the show’s 3 p.m. air time.

This isn’t the first time nurses have lit up the screen on Ellen’s show.

There was the time Miss Colorado, Nurse Kelley Johnson appeared on the show after her awesome nurse monologue at the Miss America pageant — which made waves after it was mocked on “The View.”

And there was also the time Ellen and Bruno Mars teamed up to prank an unsuspecting nurse!

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Ask a Travel Nurse: Do staffing companies offer insurance to spouses too? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/staffing-companies-offer-insurance-spouses/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/staffing-companies-offer-insurance-spouses/#respond Fri, 02 Sep 2016 20:32:31 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24409 Share

Happy traveling couple

Ask a Travel Nurse: Do staffing companies offer insurance to spouses too?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hello!

My question is, do staffing companies offer insurance to spouses too? My partner and I are potentially interested in Travel Nursing — he is an ICU RN and I am an RD. I’ve found information about many Travel Nurse staffing agencies offering insurance for the RN, but is it common for agencies to offer insurance for the RNs spouse as well (at extra cost, I’d assume)?

Thanks for the information! This blog has been helpful as I am researching things!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

With the companies with which I have dealt, it is actually uncommon to NOT have insurance availability for spouses/families.

Companies that place emphasis on high hourly rates have usually not seen to the items that many Travelers deem a necessity, one of those being a good insurance plan. Those companies that allocate more money toward healthcare plans will certainly have better premiums, deductibles, and options for family coverage.

I have worked with a travel company where I heard the CEO mention that he spent around a million dollars a year for the healthcare plan for their Travelers. I am never the highest paid Traveler in the unit when I work with them, but I always have great housing and top notch healthcare (because they place emphasis on those amenities). NO company out there will have the best of ALL facets (highest pay, best healthcare coverage, nicest housing). It’s a balancing act and the best companies for you will be the ones that allocate the compensation they receive, evenly to the facets that matter most to you.

If you need any help getting started with some great recruiters, feel free to contact me at david@travelnursesbible.com

I hope this helps.

David
david@travelnursesbible.com

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Dear Nurses, Love Z Dogg MD http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/dear-nurses-love-z-dogg-md/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/dear-nurses-love-z-dogg-md/#respond Fri, 19 Aug 2016 17:36:35 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24371 Share

Z Dogg MD Dear Nurses

Dear Nurses, you are awesome! Love, Z Dogg MD

Travel Nursing Blogs has previously shared videos from “the Weird Al of healthcare,” Z Dogg MD — but this time he’s really outdone himself.

Z Dogg MD, AKA Dr. Zubin Damania, has created a video parody of Tupac Shakur’s awesome matriarchal melody, “Dear Mama,” in which Shakur sang the praises of his mother’s enduring strength.

Z Dogg obviously knows who else has such enduring strength, so he made this great video tribute to nurses everywhere. It’s not all fun and games for the funnyman this time around, as he takes a moment to honor nurses as “the beating heart and soul of medicine” and also brings up serious topics like nurse staffing ratios, burnout, and other issues nurses face in their “Nurse Lyfe.”

After you watch “Dear Nurses,” be sure to click here to see more nurse love from Z Dogg MD!

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Ask a Travel Nurse: What advice do you have for taking a contract in Hawaii? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/advice-contract-hawaii/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/advice-contract-hawaii/#respond Fri, 12 Aug 2016 19:56:12 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24352 Share

Travel Nurse Hawaii

Ask a Travel Nurse: What advice do you have for taking a contract in Hawaii?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David,

I want to start off by saying I read your book and it was very interesting! Such helpful information!

I started Travel Nursing after two years’ experience in Tele. I’m from south Florida and wanted to do the Midwest, so my first assignment was in Munster, Indiana. I fell I love with nearby Chicago, found a contract there and decided to stay!

So here I am almost 5 years later in Chicago (which I love), but I am ready to travel again! This time my heart is set on Hawaii. I know the pay sometimes isn’t the best in Hawaii, but I truly just want the experience!

What advice do you have for taking a contract in Hawaii? I am already working with my previous agency that has jobs in ICU in Maui but the pay rate is worse than I thought! Is this a good location? Obviously I don’t know anyone personally there, but I am very independent and social/outgoing. I feel prepared for the independent/alone situation, but is Maui worth it? Could I find better rates with other companies? I felt the need to reach out to you because I read your book and it helped to get a better understanding of Travel Nursing, and because you are so experienced! Any advice will help — thank you! And I am very much excited to take this journey, I KNOW I am ready!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

As far as taking a Hawaii contract, you need to be of the mindset that you are doing it for the experience, not the paycheck. You need to view it as an extended vacation and must resign yourself to the fact that you will very likely leave the island more in debt than when you started.

You can travel to Hawaii on a budget, but then why go? Once on the island, you’ll want to take the whale watching tours, learn to scuba dive, rent a surfboard, drive to Hana (multiple times), hike and explore, shop in the luxury stores or art galleries, tee off on a fairway facing the ocean, eat dinners in restaurants that create exquisite entrees from the local seafood, or countless other activities that tug at the monthly paycheck you’ll earn (and may require regular use of a credit card or two). However, it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.

As far as location, Maui No Ka ‘Oi (simply translated, Maui is the best!) It is where I have spent approximately two years of my life over the course of three assignments on the island. It was my first travel assignment and I likely still know many of the people there in the ICU (please tell them all I said “Aloha” should you decide to take the assignment).

Travelers are common in the unit and they are welcoming and inviting (I believe I had Thanksgiving with one of the staff’s family my first time there).

As for better rates with other companies, that is something you will have to research yourself as I’ll never know the current rates or how the different companies allocate their spending — some might have a higher hourly, but your insurance costs more, etc. If you need some more options in regard to travel companies, email me as I’ve traveled to Maui with two of the current companies I use.

Consider how long you wish to stay and what you will do for transportation. Rental cars can be pricey when renting monthly, but may be required depending on where your company houses you. I shipped my vehicle the last two times I went ($1000 each way), but I also stayed for about ten months each time, so the cost was way less than a rental car.

You will probably not want to stay on the side of the island where the hospital is located, nor will you want the drive back and forth to Lahaina. My last two contracts, I was housed in Kihei and would request this if I were taking another assignment (but it would require transportation to get to work).

I could probably come up with a few other tips, but it might take a direct question for me to recall that aspect of my contracts. You can always email me at david@travelnursesbible.com, but hopefully this may be enough for you to make a decision on whether or not you have the interest.

I hope this helps.

Aloha,

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

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7 Stranger Things Gifs for Nurses http://travelnursingblogs.com/humor/7-stranger-things-gifs-nurses/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/humor/7-stranger-things-gifs-nurses/#respond Mon, 01 Aug 2016 21:30:06 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24311 Share

7 Stranger Things Gifs for Nurses

These 7 “Stranger Things” gifs for nurses will get you all lit up like a Christmas tree. Or, y’know, a Christmas alphabet wall, or whatever the case may be!

In case you’ve somehow missed the magic of Netflix’s original series “Stranger Things,” I suggest you avoid any potential *spoilers* below, reach for the remote, and remedy that ASAP.

But for the legions of fans who’ve fallen for this ’80s homage, which I’ve come to describe as “If ‘Twin Peaks’ and Goonies had a baby and Stephen King delivered it,” we’ve created a set of gifs inspired by everyone’s favorite summer 2016 TV obsession, with a special bent towards those in nursing.

Here are Travel Nursing Blogs’ 7 “Stranger Things” gifs for nurses:

When you worked straight through your lunch break and now hangry is too gentle a word for your appetite and state of mind …

Noooooooo! Not today, Satan!

When someone means well but interferes with your patient care …

Seriously. Is bad handwriting a special, secret class required in med school?!

When your shift ends and you suddenly have the speed of 10 Usain Bolts!

When someone doesn’t trust your opinion because “you’re just a nurse.”

When your patient hits the call button again the minute you leave the room.

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Ask a Travel Nurse: Do I need recent experience for Travel Nursing? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/experience-travel-nursing/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/experience-travel-nursing/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:56:05 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24290 Share

Travel Nurse question

Ask a Travel Nurse: Do I need recent experience for Travel Nursing

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I want to do Travel Nursing assignments in a cath lab and I have previous cath lab experience of approximately 10 years, from 1999 to 2010. I worked all phases in the lab and as resource nurse. Do I need recent experience for Travel Nursing? I have no doubt I could hit the floor running in little time, despite my time away.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Even with more than two decades of critical care experience, I’m not 100% sure I’d be able to jump right back in even with only six months to a year away from the bedside.

Trends change, new procedures become available, and the equipment we use to do our jobs may also evolve into something which could benefit from current experience.

I too would be pretty confident that I could jump right back in. But travel is a bit of a different beast and employers are generally looking for recent experience for the aforementioned reasons.

I would say that securing an assignment may depend on two things. The first is, what have you been doing for the past five years?

If you took five years off to open a travel agency, it certainly would not be the same as if you were still working as a nurse in some capacity.

The second variable would be how badly a facility needed help and how open you’d be to an assignment that may not be in your top few desired locations.

You are in an advanced specialty, so there is the potential to have a facility look at your past, rather than recent, experience. However, you might run into difficulty booking any assignment where you are going up against other Travelers with current cath lab experience (despite the others not having as many total years of experience as you).

I would venture a guess that securing that first assignment would be key and you’d be okay going forward from that.

The only real way to further gauge this is to speak with a few recruiters. I’m sure that both the recruiters and I would share the view that getting back to the bedside would be your best course of action to make you more attractive to the hiring facilities.

But again, if you can secure that first assignment, you may be able to forego recent bedside experience. It simply depends on what you find out there in regard to what the facilities are willing to accept.

If you need any help with getting connected to some great recruiters, feel free to email me at david@travelnursesbible.com

Hope this helps.

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

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10 Inspiring Shoe Quotes for the Travel Nurse http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/shoe-quotes-travel-nurse/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/shoe-quotes-travel-nurse/#respond Thu, 07 Jul 2016 13:32:11 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24241 Share

As a Travel Nurse, you know from experience that the right shoes can make or break your shift. Too small, and you’ll have a blister the size of Texas on your heel before the night is over. Too big, and you’ll be slipping and sliding as you rush from patient to patient. We know the shoe makes the Travel Nurse, so with that in mind, we’ve compiled this top 10 list of inspiring shoe quotes for you:

Travel Nurse Shoes

Shoes make the Travel Nurse. What’s your favorite pair of nurse shoes?

  1. “Never underestimate the power of a shoe.” ~ Giuseppe Zanotti

 

  1. “Good shoes take you good places.” ~ Seo Min Hyun

 

  1. “A woman with good shoes is never ugly.” ~ Coco Chanel

 

  1. “Cinderella is proof that one shoe can change your life.” ~ Anonymous

 

  1. “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

 

  1. “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.”             ~ Bob Thaves

 

  1. “The right shoe can make everything different.” ~ Jimmy Choo

 

  1. “All God’s children need traveling shoes.” ~ Maya Angelou

 

  1. “Close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, ‘There’s no place like home.’” ~ Glenda, the Good Witch (Wizard of Oz)

 

  1. “I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

 

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? What are your tips for finding the perfect fit? Share your thoughts with us!

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5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Your Travel Nurse Independence http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/fun-ways-celebrate-travel-nurse-independence/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/fun-ways-celebrate-travel-nurse-independence/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 17:09:18 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24222 Share

Fourth of July Travel Nurse

Get a little patriotic this Fourth of July, and find a fun new way to celebrate your Travel Nurse adventure.

As a Travel Nurse, you get to experience holidays and cultures in all different parts of the country. This Fourth of July, let the freedom of Traveling Nurses ring! Don’t have any plans for the holiday yet? Here are 5 fun ways to celebrate your Travel Nurse independence:

  1. Seek out the locals’ advice: Ask your neighbors or coworkers about fun things to do around your city or town. As a native, they’ll know where the best farmer’s market is, when and where a free summer concert is going down, which nearby festival has the best fireworks display, and/or any other local perks. When you follow their advice, you’ll be sure to feel like a native too.
  1. Experience regional holiday traditions: One of the best parts of traveling is experiencing cultures different from your own. So find out what makes your temporary home special during the Fourth of July and celebrate it. For example, if you’re anywhere near Washington, D.C., you should watch the fireworks show at the National Mall. It’s sure to make you feel super patriotic! In the South, Nashville, Tennessee has one of the largest firework displays in the U.S. The city follows that up with several free concerts, featuring a range of country music stars and the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony. For all you West Coasters, be sure to make your way to San Francisco. Pier 39 hosts a rocking live music concert this holiday. Others towns celebrate in less obvious ways. For example, Fort Ransom, North Dakota has a Fourth of July Rodeo.
  1. Soak up the outdoor activities in your area: OK, so maybe firework shows aren’t really your thing. No problem! No matter where you are in the U.S., chances are the big outdoors isn’t very far away. You can take a hiking adventure or picnic in one of our country’s numerous state parks, try paddle boarding on a lake, or visit an historic attraction. Really, the possibilities are endless here. The main thing is to get out and enjoy America!
  1. Try a new food: Each region in the U.S. has something unique to offer in the food department. At your Fourth of July potluck, be sure to relish all the local cuisine. This is your chance to act like Food Network star Guy Fieri and finally appreciate chicken and waffles, develop a yen for Rocky Mountain Oysters, or even taste test deep fried butter — you know you want to try it!
  1. Create a patriotic playlist: Still not in the Fourth of July celebratory mood yet? In honor of the land of the free and the home of the brave, make an American song playlist. After belting out tunes like, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “I’m Proud to be an American,” “Party in the USA,” and “American Pie,” you’ll be sure to feel ultra-patriotic.

From sea to shining sea, you can find several ways to celebrate your Travel Nurse independence this Fourth of July. No matter how you decide to celebrate our nation’s freedom, have a wonderful and safe holiday!

What are your plans for the Fourth of July this year?

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Inspiring Travel Nurse Photo Alert! http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/inspiring-travel-nurse-photo-alert/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/travel-nursing/inspiring-travel-nurse-photo-alert/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 08:00:57 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24201 Share

One excellent perk of Travel Nursing is all of the AH-MAY-ZING photo ops and pictures you get to take along the way! In that spirit, Medical Solutions recently hosted a Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest. Submissions included a lot of stunners, but in the end it came down to eight victors in four categories — each of whom won a $250 Amazon gift card from Medical Solutions for their supreme shutterbugging!

We could all do with a little Travel Nursing inspiration every now and then, so check out the winning pics from Medical Solutions’ Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest:

Travel Nurse Photo

Travel Nurse Photo

Travel Nurse Photo

Travel Nurse Photo

Travel Nurse Photo

Travel Nurse Photo

Travel Nurse Photo

Travel Nurse Photo

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Ask a Travel Nurse: Do travel companies help you learn new specialties? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/travel-companies-learn-new-specialties/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/travel-companies-learn-new-specialties/#comments Mon, 20 Jun 2016 22:32:55 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24196 Share

Ask a Travel Nurse

Ask a Travel Nurse: Do travel companies help you learn new specialties?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David,

Thanks for sharing all this information — it’s a lot to take in! I am wondering how to become more specialized. I’m a pediatric RN med-surg wanting to do more traveling now that I am an empty nester. So, since ICU is a hot specialty, how can I get into PICU area? Do travel companies help you learn new specialties?

Thanks for responding!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

While there can be some opportunities to float to other areas while on assignment (I’ve gathered quite a bit of ER experience as an ICU traveler), to do something like you are seeking, would likely require a hiatus from travel to work in a facility that was willing to train you in a specialized area.

I currently know of no travel company that offers training to allow floating to areas in which you were previously unqualified to work. Additionally, most companies ask for at least a year of experience in the specialty in which you wish to travel. Although I’m sure this is a mandate from the facilities rather than the agencies.

In Travel Nursing, you are being brought in to work in a certain unit with staffing needs. No unit is going to bring in a Travel Nurse and then give that staff away to other units so that they may gain experience. While Travel Nurses are often the first to float, that is when your contracted unit has enough staffing (usually core staff) and may be able to charge your hours to another unit. Or, if you are contracted to the facility as a float, you will work in any unit for which you may be qualified; however, that would rarely include any unit that would be above your skill or training. To float on a regular basis, or attempt to take a travel position in these advanced areas, would require much more experience than you could likely gain on a single assignment.

You will also not find a facility that wants to devote the resources to training a nurse (in a specialized unit) when that nurse may only be with them for a period of three months.

While you could further your skills with advanced certs like ACLS or learning specialized training like CRRT, you still would not have the experience necessary to work in the units where you could utilize this training.

I’m sorry to say that I know of no way to become proficient in higher acuity areas other than to take a break from travel, hire on at a facility that will train you, and then resume your travels once you have enough experience.

If any reader knows of any way to accomplish this, please feel free to leave a comment.

David
david@travelnursesbible.com

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Quiz: Which TV medical team is your best fit? http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/quiz-tv-medical-team-best-fit/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/quiz-tv-medical-team-best-fit/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2016 22:12:34 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24180 Share

Quiz: Which TV medical team is your best fit?

Click here to take the quiz and find out which TV medical team is your best fit!

Travel Nurses become masters at not just nursing, and not just adventuring, but also at adaptability. Every new assignment means a fresh new crew of colleagues, and it’s always to your advantage to gel with them as much as you can.

There will always be horror stories about perm nurses who have it out for Travelers, but for the most part, just the opposite is true! In general, as long as you are kind, professional, and make an effort to get to know people, Travel Nursing is actually a really amazing way to make really cool connections and wind up with new friends to visit across the country!

But that’s real life — how about a little fantasy? Just for fun, we created a quiz that lets you find out which TV medical team is your best fit! From the Scrubs squad to the Grey’s gang to The Mindy Project posse and beyond, there are tons of fun fictional medical teams on the telly. Which one would you just fit in with perfectly?

Click here to take the quiz and find out which TV medical team is your best fit!

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Chipotle is Giving Nurses Free Burritos! http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/chipotle-giving-nurses-free-burritos/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/entertainment-and-fun/chipotle-giving-nurses-free-burritos/#respond Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:35:54 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24156 Share

Free Chipotle for Nurses

Chipotle is offering nurses BOGO burritos, bowls, salads, and tacos!

Nurses who love free stuff and food as much as I do will definitely want to stop in to Chipotle today.

The Mexican grill is calling a “Code Burrito” and doing a special BOGO offer for all nurses Wednesday, June 8, 2016, from 3 p.m. to close.

Nurses just need to bring their appetites and their nurse ID or license into any Chipotle in the U.S. during the promotional time to get a buy-one-get-one-free special on burritos, bowls, salads, or order of tacos.

The offer is open to all types of nurses — RN, NP, CRNA, CNS, CNM, LVN, CNA, and any local equivalent. Click here for full details.

Three cheers for Chipotle for recognizing hardworking nursing professionals with this deal. Enjoy, nurses!

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Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I work in Travel Nursing while doing a DNP online program? http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/work-travel-nursing-dnp-online-program/ http://travelnursingblogs.com/ask-a-travel-nurse/work-travel-nursing-dnp-online-program/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 16:18:30 +0000 http://travelnursingblogs.com/?p=24143 Share

Ask a Travel Nurse

Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I work in Travel Nursing while doing a DNP online program?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hello, I am currently a licensed RN working towards my BSN. As soon as I am able to travel, I would like to begin an online DNP program while Travel Nursing. I’ve searched high and low, and I cannot find any information out there from any nurses who have tackled this particular issue. Can I work in Travel Nursing while doing a DNP online program? I realize there are clinical components to many DNP courses, and I also wonder if you were aware of any hospitals/agencies catering to the Travel Nurse and her educational clinical needs? Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer these questions!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Honestly, it sounds as if you are far better informed than I, to know whether or not you would be able to travel and complete the program! My gut tells me that you would need more stability than Travel Nursing would supply. However, you could travel and do the online course work, and then perhaps complete the clinical portion at the end of the program. But again, you would be better poised to know if this is an option.

I also do not know for sure, but would likely say that it would be hard to find any company or hospital willing to assist in this endeavor. While there are companies that assist with educational needs, these would probably be limited to the practice of nursing, and not any advanced practice role. It is much more common to see agencies with BSN programs in place.

I understand what you are seeking; I just think you may be trying to marry two worlds that are incompatible at this time.

I’m sorry I could not provide any more specific assistance in this, but maybe someone reading this will be better able to direct you by commenting on this post.

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

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