How’s it going? How are you feeling today, are you stressed? Are you walking on sunshine or are you getting sunburned? I’m sure those questions will be answered with a gamut of responses, all depending on where you’re living right now. According to a few recent surveys covering everything from finance to mental health, there are certain areas of the country that are more prone to being your “happy place” while others are more equal to a black hole. A recent study conducted by CNN states, “An analysis of stress levels reported across two different time periods by 2.4 million U.S. adults showed a greater-than-expected correlation between geographic location and general stress level. For instance, only 6.6% of Hawaiians reported frequent mental distress, compared to 14.4% of Kentuckians.” Where do you think your state ranks?
So how does this affect you as a traveling nurse? Well for starters, these surveys can be your map to a more pleasurable travel nursing assignment. According to a recent survey of economic and financial indicators by MainStreet.com, Nebraska ranks #1 followed by Iowa, Kansas and Hawaii. This makes sense as the Midwest is somewhat protected from the current economic state. Not to say that these areas are not affected, it’s just less of an impact at this time. Hawaii of course is in the top 5 because why else? It’s Hawaii! “It may be conventional wisdom that highly populated urban areas, where salaries may be bigger, can fuel financial satisfaction, but that’s not necessarily so,” added Harleen Kahlon, general manager of MainStreet.com “Looking squarely at the numbers, it seems that there is a great deal more economic contentment in the small cities, towns and corn fields of the Midwest.” So for now, perhaps an assignment in the “heartland” wouldn’t be such a bad idea? There seems to be an ample amount of opportunity for nurses and others alike. Just because there’s no coast to enjoy doesn’t mean there isn’t anything for you to enjoy. Come explore what states like South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska have to offer, I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Although, just because you live in the Midwest doesn’t mean there are no signs of strife, especially in the hospital. It goes unsaid that being a nurse, stress is a part of the job, but it doesn’t have to be the end all be all of your career. There are many other ways of battling stress and running away from one state to another is not the right solution. Learn to manage your stress and use it to your advantage. See below, I’ve included a number of links to the stories about stress and financial conditions in different states as well as ways to help you combat stress in your work life. Please share what you learned with your colleagues and nurse managers, together you can make working in the hospital enjoyable and rewarding, again.