A Holiday Survival Guide for Travel Nurses
For some nurses, Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year. A quarter of Americans work over the holidays, but for travel nurses, spending time away from home can be seriously stressful. Living in a different city, staff shortages, long hours — all of these things take the fun out of the festive period. If you’re an OR nurse, emergency nurse, or specialize in a different field, and you are working over the holidays, read this survival guide.
1. How to Cope with Not Seeing Your Family
As a travel nurse, you might have to work over the holidays in a hospital in a different city, miles away from your home. Spending time away from your family can be difficult at any time of the year, but during the holidays, this can really sting.
You can always celebrate the holidays with your family another time, though. Why not postpone Christmas Day until when you return home? You can still exchange gifts and enjoy a glass of eggnog — just on a different day.
Make sure you have plenty of contact with your family when you are not on shift. Regular phone calls and emails will help alleviate any feelings of homesickness. If things get tough, stick it out, and remember, your contract will eventually come to an end. Your patients, on the other hand, might spend weeks — or even months — lying in a hospital bed.
“Although you may miss your family, you can eventually walk out the door. Cultivating empathy for your patients’ plight is an important act of compassion,” says Vanessa, a Stability travel nurse in Oakland, CA.
2. Create Your Own Celebrations
You won’t be the only one spending time away from your family during the holidays. Talk to your colleagues if you feel homesick, and spend time with patients. Like you, they would rather be at home.
Combat your holiday blues by creating your own celebrations. Bring your favorite holiday snacks — candy canes, fruitcake, lots of chocolate, etc. — to work and share them with your colleagues and patients. You can also decorate your work-space and make it more homely. A few decorations and a miniature Christmas tree will add some festive cheer to any hospital interior. Exchange gifts with other medical staff, too.
“Play some music, hang some decorations, eat some gingerbread men,” says Erik, a Stability travel nurse in Torrance, CA.. “After all, it’s still the holiday season and your profession is nursing — caring for others is very much in the holiday spirit.”
3. Think of the Financial Benefits
If you are working over the holidays, you will likely miss important family events. However, you can make up for it by taking a family vacation after the festive season. Typically, it’s cheaper to travel after the holidays, so you’ll get more bang for your buck.
As a traveling nurse, you might receive more money during the holidays, too. Depending on the organization you work for, you could receive double time pay.
If you are open to working the holiday season, you will be able to cash in on some great holiday rates (typically 1.5 to 2 times your typical hourly travel pay).
As a travel nurse, working during the holidays is tough. You will be away from family, work long shifts and miss important events. Postponing your Christmas plans, creating your own celebrations and thinking of all the financial benefits, however, will make this time of the year a little bit easier.
Looking for a travel nursing agency that provides you with more flexibility and pay transparency? Search Stability Healthcare now and find travel nursing jobs nationwide.Read More
Guest blog by: K Chandler Rosemont
I wish this was not a common theme amongst most hospitals…but unfortunately it remains ever-present. Some places less than others, some more than most. Nurse bullying is real and it happens more often than not.
I am so fortunate to work at a zero tolerance nurse bulling establishment…however, I still find it happening. How does one handle such situations? I’ll share with you the best ways I have gotten through sticky situations the right and wrong ways.
TAKE A BREATH
When an incident occurs, take a deep breath. You don’t want to be a short fuse and do or say something you will regret. Taking the time to gather yourself will allow you to see if you are truly upset or maybe more sensitive that day. In the moment, emotions are so strong. Perhaps it is something that can blow over without a big fuss! Take the higher road and walk away if you can.
KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS
This happens to be my specialty and I got particularly good at it in nursing school. I had many cases in nursing school where nobody wanted to take nursing students for the day. So I began preparing homemade treats and bringing them for the nurses. They appreciated this more than I can convey. In no time, I was paired with a nurse for all my shifts…and also all my classmates!
Another more harsh example is when I left work one shift, I received a phone call about something I forgot to do. It was a mixture of forgetfulness and a lack of education on my end. It was an honest mistake and caused no harm to the patient or their treatment whatsoever. However, it was treated as though it was a very big deal. I was called and disciplined on the phone after a thirteen hour shift. Trust me, I had little to no patience left at this point but I took a deep breath and was very sincere and apologetic: “I can see how frustrating this must have been for you. I am so sorry. I was unaware of the importance of this paper. I will work harder next time to meet the standards of practice.” The use of “I” statements in times like this is imperative. Keep the attention on how you will change. Sometimes being the bigger and sweeter person can help mellow out a situation and in turn, make the nurse bully appreciate you more as a colleague.
This is where I have failed. I unfortunately vented to my fellow new grad nurses about the incident and immediately developed a pit in my stomach. I felt worse speaking about it than not speaking about it. I felt as though I had stooped to the bully’s level. If I felt the need to talk about it, I should speak to someone outside of the workplace. And if it is necessary, escalate the incident to the charge nurse.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SUPERIORS
Should the situation be so bad that it impacts your work day-to-day, you must bring it to your charge nurse’s attention. Anxiety will only build and patient safety could be compromised. Remember that they are there to help you. You may not be the only one bringing forward your concerns! Perhaps other nurses have expressed concern about a certain nurse bully. All in all, listen and trust your gut. We are there to serve our patients and their families. If you are unable to do so safely and to your best ability because of a nurse bully, you must escalate your concerns!
Keep checking in on the Stability blog for more inspiration and for nursing tips!Read More
Plenty of people are satisfied with jobs that require them to see the same surroundings and talk with the same people day after day. But if that’s not an ideal situation for you, if you’d rather have a job that allows you to explore new places and meet new people throughout the country, then it’s time to think about becoming a travel nurse. Travel nursing jobs are available in exciting destinations all over America. As a traveler, you’ll work for top-notch facilities, and when you aren’t working, you’ll be able to explore your new city at your leisure. After each contract, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for the many cultural differences you’ll find throughout the country.
Why You Should Consider Becoming a Travel Nurse
Travelers are employees of traveling nurse companies. But unlike most employees, travelers can pick and choose from a list of assignments. When you join an agency, you’ll work with your recruiter to find the best possible destination and facility for you. If you have relatives located throughout the country, you could choose assignments that allow you to be close to them. With each contract you accept, you can look forward to the following:
- Salary: You’ll earn enviable wages as a travel nurse.
- Job security: There is a never-ending demand for travel nurses.
- Skills: Travel nurses grow their skills and knowledge with each assignment through exposure to a variety of situations and medical facilities.
- Flexible scheduling: Take a break between contracts when you want to.
Resume: Travel nursing is like a gold star for your resume. It lets you stand apart from hundreds of other nurses. Employers like to hire nurses who can jump into any situation and competently overcome it, and being a traveler proves you can do this.
Where You Could Go As a Travel Nurse
From Barrow, Alaska to Honolulu, Hawaii, and from Palm Springs, California to Cooperstown, New York, you can go virtually anywhere you want as a travel nurse. Nursing is a high-demand profession, and medical centers rely on travel nurses to fill in the gaps in their employment roster. You could travel north during the summer and south for the winter, if you wish, or reverse those trips if you prefer to experience the seasons in all their glory. Your travel nursing company will work with you to ensure your complete satisfaction with your placement. Some factors you may wish to consider as you peruse the available job listings include:
- The geographical location
- The attractions and amenities of the city
- The climate and seasonal weather patterns in the area
- The size of the medical facility
- Your previous experiences with the area
Some travel nurses have favorite cities that they like to return to now and then. Others prefer to seek out new destinations every time in order to take full advantage of an adventurous lifestyle and career path. The choice is up to you.
What to Know About Licensure
It’s easier than ever for traveling nurses to explore America, thanks to the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). The original NLC was enacted in 1999. It enabled nurses to obtain multi-state licensure, enabling them to practice in any participating state without having to obtain a new license. This capability is crucial not just for career travel nurses, but also for those who occasionally travel to assist with natural disasters in other states.
Today, travel nurses benefit from the enhanced version of the NLC, which establishes uniform requirements to ensure that all nurses with multi-state licensure have comparable qualifications. Since the eNLC was implemented in January 2018, 31 states have already joined it and other states are working on legislation to become new members. This is great news for travel nurses, as it opens up doors all over the country. If you meet the following requirements, you can upgrade your license to an eNLC license.
- You hold an active, unencumbered license
- You have graduated from a board-approved education program
- You have passed an NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam
- You have passed a state and federal criminal background check (fingerprint)
- If you are an international graduate, you have passed an English proficiency exam
- You have a U.S. Social Security number
- You do not have any state or federal felonies
- You do not have any misdemeanors related to the nursing profession
- You aren’t participating in an alternative program
After confirming that you meet the requirements, you can apply for an eNLC license through your state’s board of nursing website. It may take a few weeks to process your new license, so if you’re tempted to become a travel nurse, you might want to start this process right away. Note that if you already hold an original multi-state NLC license, you’re already grandfathered into the new eNLC–there’s no need to apply for a new license.
How You Will Find Housing at Each Destination
Housing is one of the top concerns prospective travel nurses have, but in many cases, individuals find that it’s actually easier to obtain housing as a travel nurse than otherwise. When most people need to find new housing, they are on their own. But travel nurses have an entire team to help at their traveling nurse companies.
Stability Healthcare has a reputation for always putting the needs of their travelers first. You can choose from properties across the country. Travelers make excellent tenants, which is why residential building managers and rental companies reach out to Stability with offers for short-term tenants. Our team can also help you find reasonably priced housing, including furnished options. Of course, you could always find your own housing if you wish. If so, you can receive a lodging subsidy to reimburse you for the costs. Lodging subsidies are issued based on the General Services Administration (GSA) guidelines, which vary based on location.
What to Know About Insurance
Some travel nurses find it problematic to maintain health insurance, particularly if the plan their agency offers is less than desirable. That’s another reason why it’s crucial to choose the best possible travel nursing agency. At Stability Healthcare, travel nurses are covered from day one with United Healthcare. Employees can choose from four different plans to find the right fit for their needs. Plus, dental and vision coverage are included.
How to Get Started as a Travel Nurse
Now that you’ve had a chance to reflect on the many benefits of this career path, and to become familiar with the details of the arrangements, are you excited to begin your new adventure? Here’s a step-by-step checklist to help you get started on your journey.
1. Obtain your eNLC license.
Since it can take a few weeks for your license application to be processed, it makes sense to take care of this first. If you haven’t already applied, visit your state’s nursing board website and follow the directions. You may need to submit proof of your residence. Getting your eNLC is beneficial because it simplifies the process of working as a nurse in different states. However, it’s not mandatory. If you don’t currently live in an eNLC-participating state, or you’d rather not obtain an eNLC, then you’ll need to apply for licensure in each individual state that you wish to work in. Your travel nurse agency will help you sort through the nuances of licensure in different states.
2. Sign up with the best travel nursing agency.
This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your career. There are a number of factors you should consider when selecting an agency, including the agency’s reputation for professionalism and transparency, the HR policies (including PTO and insurance), and the satisfaction of their employees. Take your time researching your available options. Stability Healthcare is confident you’ll return to our website, especially when you read our testimonials. Once you’ve decided to partner with Stability, just fill out the online form to get started.
3. Take your pick of assignments.
There are thousands of travel nurse jobs to choose from at any given time. You can search by nursing specialty or location. When a job catches your eye, click on it to view more details. You’ll see the location, duration of the assignment, hours per week, shift, start date, and pay.
4. Arrange for your housing.
As soon as you accept a job offer, you can begin working with the team at Stability Healthcare to finalize your housing arrangements. Note that it’s quite common for traveling nurses to bring their spouses, partners, or other family members. You could decide to rent anything from a small apartment to a whole house, depending on your needs. Some travel nurses like to travel together. Stability can help you and a friend find travel nurse jobs in the same location, and sometimes even in the same facility!
5. Make plans for traveling.
Part or all of your travel expenses may be reimbursed by your agency. Stability Healthcare reimburses travel expenses up to $600 for each assignment you accept. If the location is within driving distance of your current residence, you might choose to pack up your car. Otherwise, flying to the destination is a sensible choice. If you’ll be flying with pets, you should research the airline’s pet transport policies well in advance. You may need to call the airline after booking your ticket to let the representative know that you’ll be traveling with a pet. Be sure to find out about the airline’s restrictions on animal carrier sizes and similar policies.
If you aren’t taking your car to your new destination, it’s a good idea to research public transportation options ahead of time. Many popular travel nurse destinations, like San Francisco, have multiple options. The use of public transportation is also an excellent way to get to know your new city better, and to meet interesting new people.
6. Arrive at your new city and attend orientation.
Travel nurses are expected to adapt quickly to each new facility and department. However, medical centers recognize that orientation is essential to support a successful assignment. If you work with Stability, you’re guaranteed to have an orientation at each facility. You’ll be given information about the sort of orientation you can expect when you’re headed to a new facility. Orientation typically lasts a week or less.
How You Can Make the Most of Each Assignment
You worked hard to earn your nursing credentials and get your career started. Now it’s time to put your credentials to work for you. As a travel nurse, you’ll have incredible opportunities to explore countless new places. A nursing job lasts far longer than a typical vacation, which means you can get to know each new city like a local.
Making the most out of each new destination is a process that begins before you travel there. Research your new home in advance and make a list of everything you’d like to do and see while you’re there. Perhaps you’d love to explore the nightlife or immerse yourself in the city’s cultural heritage, art scene, or natural wonders. Be ambitious with your plans; there’s plenty of time to do it all. And if you fall in love with the city and want to extend your stay, just ask about extending your contract. Another great thing about working with Stability is the company’s high rate of contract extensions.
Are You Ready to Start Your Exciting New Career?
Stability Healthcare is an industry leader in travel nursing, with excellent benefits, PTO, and competitive pay. Sign up today to become a traveler, and get instant access to thousands of open jobs. Our representatives look forward to helping you launch your new career in travel nursing.Read More
Thinking about a career as a travel nurse? If you’ve ever thought about travel nursing, you’re not alone. Travel nursing is exciting. Not only can you visit different hospitals around the United States, but you might be able to travel globally. You can meet lots of new people and the money is great, too!
Because there’s a nursing shortage in some locations, nurses are called upon to help fill shifts. These might be short-term roles but the quality of care that you provide is important. Travel nurses might fill in for maternity leave or to cover if a department is short-staffed. Your training, experience, and expertise make you a valuable asset to any team that you work with.
Here are a few advantages that travel nurses have and reasons why you might want to consider this type of exciting career.
TRAVEL NURSING ADVANTAGES:
As a travel nurse, there are several advantages that you can enjoy. Travel nursing advantages can include higher pay and signing bonuses. Other advantages include relocation assistance and housing. And there are many other advantages which we’ll explore…
You’ll Have High Pay as a Travel Nurse
Because you taking on short-term work assignments, the pay scale is different. Instead of an annual salary or a job opening that includes an hourly rate, the pay scale might be broken down into weekly pay, specialty, job title, and location.
Some nurses will look at the salary structure and select the highest paying opportunities first. They may want to pay student loans off early in their careers or they may want to buy their first home.
Here are a few examples:
- Travel Nurse Labor & Delivery RN, Day Shift, California $3,080 per week
- Travel Nurse Medical Surgical RN, Night Shift, New York $2,194 per week
- Travel Nurse OR RN, Day Shift, Massachusetts, $1,800 per week
- Travel Nurse Pediatric RN, Flex Shift, Louisiana, 13-Week duration
- Travel Nurse PICU RN, Night Shift, California, 8-week duration
Traveling Nurse Salary Structures
From the sample breakdown, you can get an idea of how job listings are set up. This can help if you are thinking about travel nursing as a career and you want to consider a particular specialty like pediatrics or med-surg.
Typical schedules range from four weeks to thirteen weeks in duration. There are thousands of nursing jobs available all over the United States. You can enjoy many advantages in your nursing career and have consistent working opportunities.
A traveling nurse has a lot to consider when they select a position they want to apply for. They may see salaries that are higher than what a full-time nurse might make. That’s because travel nurses are like temps where they are not receiving a full benefits package. They tend to be paid higher because the positions aren’t permanent.
With travel nursing, you might receive paid housing and some medical benefits. You might also receive money as reimbursement for your related travel expenses. This might include reimbursement to cover flights, a hotel, and car expenses.
Travel Nurse Salary Breakdowns
Maybe you did a search online for “How are travel nurses paid?” Because travel nurses are paid based on their contracts, it’s hard to calculate a total salary for a travel nurse. Some job opportunities might pay more than others. They may pay a higher salary and have fewer benefits or vice versa.
An example is a travel nurse in Missouri that makes $24 per hour and receives a separate housing stipend that totals $1,000 per month. This may be completely different if you were to work in California. Your housing stipend might be $2,000 per month, but the pay might be $20 per hour.
When you break down the total compensation it might look like this:
$300/week for meals x 14 weeks $4,200
$2,000/month for housing $6,000
$500 one-time signing bonus $500
Divided by total hours worked /600 hours = $17.83
Add in the base pay $25/hour
Total compensation $42.83 per hour
As you can see, as a traveling RN, you can make a lot of money. The average hourly schedule for travel nurses can go as high as $48 per hour for specialty job opportunities. RNs are among the highest paid professions in the world.
Hour Guarantees and Pay Guarantees
With travel nursing, you might be wondering if nurses have set schedules with each job assignment. You might also want to know what kind of guarantee nurses will have that they’ll be working when they travel.
Because of the high demand for RNs, travel nurses can select assignments that have specific hours each week. This can vary by employer. When you find a particular job opening that you’re interested in, talk to your recruiter about the assignments. While they can vary, the range can go typically from 48 to 60 hours per week depending on the employer.
With the pay guarantee, talk to your recruiter. They can outline the pay guarantee in your travel nursing contract. This helps to ensure you will get paid even if a shift has been canceled.
Sign-On Bonuses, Referral Bonuses, and Completion Bonuses
Travel nurses get all kinds of perks and rewards:
A signing bonus might be added to particular job assignments where they have a nursing shortage. Your signing bonus is not part of your housing allowance. This would be a one-time bonus to take that particular assignment. Signing bonuses can range from about $250 to $6,000 depending on the employer.
Know another travel nurse? You might be eligible for a referral bonus. A referral bonus can range from about $100 to $500.
Another great perk is that some companies offer sizable end-of-assignment bonuses. They may offer this if you performed stellar work and didn’t take any time off. The employer may even extend your contract or contact you in the future about a potential full-time opportunity.
Aside from the higher pay, there are other advantages which we’ll explore next.
You Can Decide Where You Want to Work and Vacation
Another great advantage to working as a travel nurse is you can travel to exciting destinations all over the United States. When you start looking at available job opportunities, there might be a few states that you want to travel to. That’s how most travel nurses start out in their careers.
Here are a few areas that might interest you:
- California: Visit Hollywood, LA, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, San Francisco, Yosemite
- New York: Visit New York City, the Catskills, Long Island, or Niagara Falls
- Florida: Visit Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, or Tampa
- Nevada: Visit Las Vegas or Reno
- Hawaii: Visit Maui, Kauai, Waikiki, or Honolulu
When you select a nursing assignment, consider the location and any nearby tourist destinations that you would like to visit. This can make for an exciting trip – especially if you plan to visit every state!
Now, let’s take a look at other advantages that travel nurses have. And, there’s a lot more!
You Can Receive a Housing Allowance and Relocation Assistance
As a travel nurse, there are a lot of perks. When you sign up with a travel agency, they might pay for your living arrangements. This can be included as part of your total compensation package. But, don’t worry. You don’t have to scramble to find your own housing in a new location you’re not familiar with.
Free Housing or Housing Reimbursement
Most hospitals and health facilities will have some type of housing arrangement for visiting and temporary staff. This is common in teaching hospitals. That means the stress is taken out of housing and the good news is that most housing that’s provided is furnished. This makes it easier on you if you’re only in a particular area for a few weeks.
The housing provided may include covering the cost of utilities. Furnished units usually include modern appliances, too. The locations are usually on hospital grounds or adjacent to the property. They may only be a short distance away. Should you elect to stay with friends or family, you may be eligible for a housing subsidy.
Relocation assistance might also be offered depending on the job assignment, the term of the assignment and the employer. They might cover basic moving expenses, flights, hotels, and rental cars. These are helpful ways to get you settled in to help you have what you need before you start your assignment.
Depending on the travel nursing agency you sign up with, your assistance package might include discounts on cell phone plans, roadside assistance, gym memberships, and rental cars.
You Can Receive Medical Benefits and Other Perks
Travel nurses are eligible to receive various types of health and wellness benefits. These can include medical insurance, dental coverage, and vision insurance. Some employers offer basic life insurance and insurance to cover accidental death or dismemberment coverage.
Depending on the employer, they might match your retirement savings and offer a 401(k) matching program. Travel nurses may contribute a total of $15,500 per year tax-free. If you’re over the age of 50, you can contribute a total of $20,500 per year tax-free.
Now, let’s talk about the people and the patients.
You Can Meet New People and Provide Great Care
A benefit to travel nursing is that you can meet a lot of new people. You might be working in different hospitals and medical facilities all over the United States. Keep in touch with the people you meet. You may get to meet other traveling nurses. And, of course, you’ll work with your fellow nurses, doctors, administrative staff and lab technicians. This can vary depending on the floor you are stationed on.
You might come back to work at that particular location if a full-time opportunity opens up. You might even pick up another assignment at the same location but on a different floor.
An additional advantage to travel nursing is it’s a rewarding career where you can make a difference in the lives of your patients.
You’ll Receive Nursing Support
As a travel nurse, it can be scary to start work in a new city where you don’t know anyone. But, you’re never alone. Most travel nursing agencies offer a 24-hour support line to help if you have any questions about your assignment.
Additionally, staff will help you with your credentials to confirm your licensing requirements are all in place. The travel nursing agency you sign with will also help you set up your direct deposit. They can answer any questions you have about traveling to a new city and what to expect when you start at a new facility.
Ultimately, starting a career as a traveling nurse can be an exciting time. There are so many great states to visit in the U.S. Travel nursing agencies do all they can to equip you with everything you’ll need to start your new assignment! Are you ready to get started?
Start a Career as a Travel Nurse Today…
Are you’re interested in finding out more about travel nursing? Or, do you have questions about this type of career? If you would like to look at the travel nursing opportunities that are available, you can find excellent opportunities with Stability Healthcare.
Ranked as the best travel nursing agency, Stability Healthcare can help you explore the nation’s top travel nurse jobs and opportunities with leading traveling nurse companies. Take the next step in your career. Earn the salary you want and have a flexible schedule so you can travel and meet great people. Contact Stability Healthcare today!Read More
You’ve got the education and the experience to handle the job and it’s just what you’re looking for. Your application process is going well and you’ve been called in for an interview. No sweat, right? If this part of landing a new job is daunting, have no fear, the best way to get through it is to be prepared.
By having a little advance notice as to which nursing interview questions might be asked, you can prepare in advance to handle anything the interviewer might throw at you. Here are some questions that have been asked in the past and the best way to handle them so you’ll sound like a reasonable and intelligent person but also so you’ll stand out from the pack.
The 10 Most Common Nursing Interview Questions: Why They Matter
When you interview for a nursing job opportunity, you will be asked a series of interview questions. These are unlike a standard interview. The questions are behavior based interview questions. They can outline how you will perform on a floor with patients. They can also address how you will respond in emergency situations.
While every nursing opportunity is different, they will all have a few common questions. By mastering your answers to these interview questions in nursing, they can help you do well in your interview. Prepared and confident, you can do better in your interview. This will put you one step closer to your dream job.
Below are the ten most common nursing interview questions to explore. And, we’ve included pro tips for answering nurse interview questions to help you respond:
- Describe a time when you had to take on a leadership role.
This can relate to anything. Describe the circumstance. What made you step up? Who were the people involved? What opportunity arose from this?
- Tell me about a conflict you were involved in on the job. What happened and what did you do?
Describe a conflict you were involved in at work. What role did you play? Who were the people involved? Was the outcome positive? What were you able to learn?
- Tell me about a situation when you worked with a difficult coworker.
Describe the situation. What was your relationship like with them? What happened in the situation? How did you handle it? Was the outcome positive?
- Tell me about a positive experience you encountered in nursing.
Describe the situation. What role did you play? Outline the steps. Why were you proud? Who were the people involved?
Tip: As you can see, the goal is to talk about the positive experiences in these situations and what you learned. You’re doing great. Let’s try a few more.
- Explain a time when you offered education to a patient or their family member.
Describe a time when you educated a patient or their family about their care or a medication. How did you communicate with them? Did they understand you? Was the outcome positive?
- Explain a time when a patient or their family wasn’t happy with your care. What did you do?
Careful. This is a trick question. Don’t talk badly about a patient or their family and don’t get emotional. If you did anything wrong, admit it. What was the incident? What did you do wrong? How did you learn from it? Was the outcome positive?
- Describe a time when a patient or their family was especially happy with your performance.
Describe the incident. What was the person or their family member happy with? Note: If another nurse or assistant was involved, give them credit. That shows you’re a team player.
- How do you talk to patients and their family if there’s a language barrier or if they don’t understand you?
Give an example of a situation you encountered where you needed to use medical terminology in laymen’s terms. If it was a language barrier did you ask for an interpreter?
- Tell me about a time when you had an aggressive or irate patient. What did you do in that situation?
Walk through the story and outline your actions. Why was the patient angry or hostile? Did you get upset? Were you calm and rational? How did you handle this? Were other people involved? Was the outcome positive?
- Tell me about a time you were under a great deal of pressure. What was the situation and how did you address this?
Describe a story and the steps. Maybe there was a time you were short-staffed. Who did you ask for help? How did you stay calm?
Tip: As you can tell, these questions are about how you work with patients. You’re doing a good job. Remember, don’t try to sound like you rehearsed your answers. Smile and be yourself.
Here are a few more interview questions for nurses…
Can you tell me about a situation when a patient didn’t provide important information you needed? What was the outcome?
Describe an occasion like if a patient had a reaction to a medication they didn’t tell you they were allergic to. How did you react? Who did you alert? How did you teach the patient about this?
Can you describe a time when your department went through a change? How did you adapt to it?
Detail a change your facility made. Describe the actions you took to adapt to it. Maybe it was a change in protocols. How did you communicate this to others?
Describe a time you didn’t receive the help you needed. What did you do?
Give a situation where you needed to take action to obtain information. Who did you speak to? Was the outcome positive?
Tell me about a time you felt uncomfortable at work. What did you do?
Describe a situation you were unsure of. Maybe a patient was inconsolable. How did you react? What did you learn from this?
Questions On Adversity
These nursing interview questions focus on how you handle difficult situations. The key to answering these is to have specific examples of how you handled similar instances in the past. To prepare for them, go back through your work or school history and decide which examples you’ll use so they will be at the forefront of your mind. Examples of these questions include:
How do you handle a difficult patient or family member?
Talk about de-escalating the situation and displaying patience and empathy.
Tell us about a time you had to deal with an incompetent team member?
Here again, showing patience is important and depending on the severity of the incompetence, either training the team member yourself or alerting a supervisor is the right course of action.
How do you handle stressful situations?
Talk about what you do to de-stress at work. Be specific when you address these issues.
Questions on Your Motivation
These are tough questions because there are no right or wrong answers. They are the ones that delve deeply into who you are as a person and where you want your career to go. They include things like:
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
The pat answer of “I wanted to help people” isn’t enough here. Get specific. Maybe a relative or friend was sick when you were young and you always wanted to help them. Maybe you are empathetic to suffering in people. Maybe you feel strongly about helping others.
Why do you want a promotion?
Here it is best to lay out a bit about how far you’ve come and your experience. Don’t get too involved with details, those are on your resume. Talk about how you feel this promotion will benefit you, patient care and the employer.
What do you find difficult about your job?
Don’t just list problems and petty complaints. They don’t care if you don’t like the food choices in the vending machines. What they do care about is seeing how well you handle these difficulties and what your plan is to eliminate them.
What is your weakest attribute?
Don’t say you don’t have one, everyone has a weak spot. Use this question to highlight your emotional attachment to your patients. Maybe you care too much or maybe you get frustrated with the limitations of the insurance industry.
Tell us about a time you made a mistake on the job?
Here again, everyone makes mistakes so don’t claim you haven’t. Be sure your prospective employer knows that you took responsibility for your mistake and took the necessary steps to correct the situation.
Why Did You Become A Nurse?
Perhaps one of the top questions asked across the board, this one can seem so simple and innocent when first spoken, but if you aren’t prepared for it, it can leave you thinking in silence.
The reason for that is easy to understand. Most people have a complex array of motivations that led them to their decision to become a nurse. It’s not something they simply woke up one day and decided to do. You, too, probably have a whole list of events and advice that led you to your decision.
However, the interviewer is going to expect a straightforward, passionate, and punctual answer to this question and all others. That’s why you should go ahead and get your thoughts together ahead of time.
Remember, it’s not about sounding scripted, it’s about sounding well-thought-out. You don’t have to memorize an answer word-for-word, just get your ideas in order so you’re prepared when this question inevitably comes up.
What Traits Are Important In A Nurse?
Interviewers will ask this question to gauge your values. As a nurse, values are something that has been repeatedly addressed, and challenged, throughout your time spent training and working with patients first-hand.
The best way to answer this question is with a breakdown of the top values you think to apply to your work. Answers differ, but an example would be: “There are so many, but I think the top three traits that I embody are empathy, patience, and being unwilling to give up until I have exhausted every avenue of treatment.”
Generally, a follow-up question will be, “How do you exhibit these important traits?” You can get ahead of the game by going ahead and extending your answer to include a story that demonstrates one or all of these traits and how you have put them into action in your position recently.
If you lack hands-on experience, sharing a story about how you would react to a scenario that you have witnessed or heard about can help show the interviewer that you always keep these key traits in mind during your work.
What Challenges Do Nurses Face?
As with nearly every position in the medical community, it’s important that nurses are staying abreast of what’s happening in their area, in their field, and beyond that could impact their work or how they approach it.
It also demonstrates a higher level of interest and dedication to your work if you’re able to pull from a professional publication that you recently read and tie it into your answer. Here’s an example of a younger nurse tying together an article she read with a personal story about an older nurse she has worked with or known:
“I actually just read a piece on Daily Nurse the other day that spoke on the latest innovations in the field of nursing. It got me thinking about this exact question and I realized that adapting to the increased usage of tech is just as fascinating as it is difficult for some nurses.
In today’s training courses, nurses use digital interfaces like a third arm. However, it was a real eye-opener for me when I was interning at the local hospital and worked side-by-side with some seasoned nurses who didn’t have the same hands-on experience with the new systems as I did.
It was very rewarding for me to help them learn the new systems while on-the-job and it also made me recognize how important it is that I stay abreast about everything new in the world of nursing, because things change quickly.”
This answer demonstrates an interest in the growing using of technology (which is always big in the field of medicine) and, even more importantly, the young nurse’s initiative when she took a leadership role to help the seasoned nurses at her last internship get a handle on the updated systems their hospital had implemented.
Craft an answer that is able to tie in your interests, dedication, and some top qualities. It doesn’t have to speak on innovation, you might consider an answer revolving around work/life balance or a number of others pertinent topics.
Why Do You Feel You’re Qualified To Work Here?
This is the question where you can really allow your passion and skill to shine through. You’ll need to hone your salesmanship skills, especially when this type of question comes up during the interview.
Talk about your past education, any experiences that have influenced your decision to be a nurse, and your hands-on experience. In addition, remember that you need to emphasize the emotional and human aspect of your work.
They want to know that you’re qualified with your degree, of course, but they also want you to showcase an attitude and personality that qualifies you for your line of work and the environment as well.
If you did not already cover it under a prior question, remind them of what personally motivates you to do the work you do and the dedication that you will bring to the table.
Hardest Nurse Interview Questions and Trick Questions in Nursing Interviews
Ready for the toughest nurse interview questions and the top interview questions nurses are asked? These can be tricky questions so be careful how you respond:
Why do you want this job?
This is a broad question. Don’t over talk and don’t be too brief. Outline how you want to offer quality patient care or help in a specific area of nursing. Maybe a family member or former caregiver inspired you.
What’s a good nursing shift to you?
Careful. Don’t say when everything is quiet. Try to describe an ideal situation when it’s both busy and slow. Outline how you will use the breaks to get caught up with paperwork or consult with other staff members.
Do you have questions for me/us?
Careful. Most people smile and shyly say no. But, this is your opportunity to ask a few questions about the floor, the program, the schedules, and the staff.
How would others describe you in 3 words?
The goal is to show maturity and insight into how you receive feedback from others. What would you say in your 3 words? Loyal, resilient, caring, patient, fair, dedicated, committed, helpful.
If you saw another nurse administering the wrong drug dosage what would you do?
With this answer, remember to follow nursing protocol and describe how you went to a supervisor. Don’t make it personal and demean the nurse, but detail how you stayed professional to protect the patient.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Careful. Most nurses keep this answer too general. Give a personal story about how you did everything to help someone. Outline how you provided excellent care. Include how you saw the patient get better or how they were discharged.
How to Tell Your Story
Many nursing interview questions require you to give specific examples of situations you encountered and had to deal with. In most cases, you’ll want to keep humor out of these stories. You don’t know how the interviewer handles humor and you also don’t want to be seen as someone who takes things lightly. Laughing at yourself is okay, but you can easily stray into making comments about patients, family members or team members, which would be bad.
Keep your descriptions of events short and to the point. This is why getting them organized in your mind before the interview is so important. You don’t want to sit there and take long pauses to recall details. Be sure you include information on how you responded and overcame each situation.
The Bottom Line
Now that you’re prepared for some of the nursing interview questions you might be asked; you’ll be able to form a cohesive answer on the spot. Remember not to memorize a response but just to have some talking points in your head for each one. That way you can customize your answer to the specific question. You also won’t sound like a recording. When trying to land that perfect job, take a page out of the Miss America playbook. If you want to win, you’ve got to nail the interview portion! Now go get ’em!
Looking for the Best Travel Nursing Agency?
Stability Healthcare can help you find the best travel nurse jobs and the best traveling nurse companies. Stability Healthcare is the best travel nursing agency in California. They offer the highest paying travel nurse jobs and lucrative signing bonuses. Search for nursing jobs by job types like ER, OR, or L&D jobs. You can also search for nursing jobs by state or search by nursing salary. To start an exciting career in a field you enjoy, contact Stability Healthcare today!Read More
It’s one of the great ironies of nursing that, while spending long hours caring for the health of patients, nurses often neglect their own wellness. For travel nurses in particular, seeing different parts of the country is rewarding, but the frequent travel can also be stressful, which isn’t conducive to wellness. With some careful planning and a few precautions, travel nurses can effectively manage their own health as well as that of their patients.
Nurses know better than most people about the importance of staying hydrated. Dehydration can affect your ability to do your job well, since it can lead to lethargy, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. However, staying hydrated while working a long shift is easier said than done. Many hospitals ban nurses from carrying water bottles into patient care areas because of concerns about germs.
However, you can likely stash a reusable water bottle at the nurses’ station, the break room, or on your med cart. Set a reminder alert on your watch or phone to help you remember to take a few sips at least every hour.
And don’t forget to stay hydrated while traveling to a new travel nursing job! The pressurized, recycled air within an airplane cabin is very dehydrating. Skip the alcohol and request bottled water instead.
Pack Portable Exercise Equipment
There’s no substitute for exercise. Physical activity prevents and treats certain diseases, elevates the mood, and strengthens the immune system. Exercise is so beneficial for one’s health that some researchers have proposed prescribing it like a medication.
Experienced travel nurses learn to be minimalists while packing, but you can still bring some exercise equipment with you. If your travel nurse company is sending you to a destination you can drive to, consider adding a bike rack to your car. Biking is a great way to explore your new city. If you’re flying, consider investing in any of the portable exercise equipment below.
· Jump rope (try challenging yourself with a weighted jump rope)
· Skip Fit
· TRX Suspension Trainer
· Resistance bands
· Yoga mat (bring a few yoga or ballet workout DVDs)
Take Advantage of Local Wellness Resources
As soon as you land a new job through your travel nurse company, you can start researching the destination. Do a Google search for fitness centers that offer monthly, rather than yearly memberships. If there’s a good chance you’ll have trouble motivating yourself to get to the gym, look for fitness classes instead. Challenge yourself to try something different, like kickboxing, Krav Maga, or aerial yoga. Fitness classes can be more motivating than a gym membership. Once you sign up for a class, you’ll feel obligated to attend.
Prioritize Your Nutrition
Not every hospital is lucky enough to have a great cafeteria with healthy choices. But you can still prioritize your nutrition. Skip the vending machines and bring enough healthy snacks to get you through a shift. Try for a mix of protein and complex carbs, like cheese with whole grain crackers. Fruit does double duty as a snack and source of water. On your day off, you can prepare and pack enough healthy lunches to get you through until your next day off.
Enjoy Nature Therapy
Your mental wellness is just as important as your physical health. Nature therapy, also called ecotherapy, is one way to support both aspects of well-being. According to Counseling Today, the average person spends 90% of the time indoors. This is a historic shift in the way humans have previously experienced nature, and some researchers suggest nature deprivation can encourage everything from anxiety to obesity.
It isn’t necessary to go on a multi-day hiking trip to get back in touch with nature. Just look for everyday opportunities to get outdoors. Take your lunch break outside and enjoy the fresh air. On your day off, find a local park or wildlife preserve. Practice mindfulness while outdoors by paying attention to the sounds, smells, and colors of the natural world. It’ll refresh you, and you’ll feel ready to tackle the challenges of your next shift.
Stability Healthcare has a growing reputation as being among the best travel nursing agencies, thanks to the intuitive online platform, exceptional resources, and pay transparency. If you’re looking for your next travel nurse job, sign up with Stability Healthcare today.Read More
Picture a business traveler in your mind. What field are they in? How are they dressed? Where are they going, and what will they do there? Chances are, you’re picturing someone working in finance or in another high-powered corporate role, dressed in a designer suit, heading to a major city to put a big new deal together or attend a shareholder’s meeting. It’s the image you’ve seen in countless movies, TV shows, and magazines: the professional powerhouse, always on the move.
Nurses are the engine that power a hospital to run smoothly and effectively, delivering the patient care and service that is necessary to the well-being of society. It’s a job that requires constant movement and activity; unlike many other modern jobs, the bulk of this profession is not spent behind a desk.
The Work Wonder Nursing Shoes
The Dansko professional line is considered one of the gold standard shoes in the industry. Boasting of over a quarter-century of experience providing shoes for nurses everywhere, Dansko offers two main lines of nursing shoes: traditional clogs and shoes and the “Work Wonder” shoes for nurses. The traditional nurses’ clogs and shoes mix high style with comfort and support, coming in colors ranging from “wine” and “black oiled” to the more fanciful “hearts” and “paradise” styles; they’ll range from $100-$150. The “Work Wonder” nursing shoes feature a “Cleansport NXT organic odor control system,” as well as easy clean-up and slip resistant technology and a fit that resembles traditional styles. The “Work Wonder” lines come in similar colors and cost $100.
Skechers Healthcare Pro
Alegria Nursing Shoes
Timberland PRO® Renova Slip-On Work Shoes
Birkenstock Nursing Shoes
Grey’s Anatomy Nursing Shoes
- A simplified job search tool (no recruiter needed)
- Flexibility and variety in assignments
- PTO for all travelers
- Day-one health care, extra shift bonuses, a guaranteed stipend, and 401K
See what we’re all about here!
With a population of nearly 40 million, California is the most populated state. However, it is among the lowest in terms of nurses per capita. This is why California has a high-demand for qualified travel nurses. If this is something you’re interested in, you’ll likely find a position in the Golden State.
Travel Nursing in California – What You Need to Know
Before we dive into the specifics surrounding your California nursing license, it’s important that we discuss some of the main areas of concern. For starters, when you are nursing in a new place, it’s important that you understand the main hospital systems.
Although there are a number of noteworthy organizations, including Dignity Health, Sutter Medical Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente, it is less important that you understand these main hospital systems and focus more on the larger hospital systems as a whole. It is also important to note that various regions tend to pay higher rates for travel nurses compared to other areas.
For example, travel nurses tend to be paid higher rates in Northern California, compared to Southern California, based on higher bill rates. However, pay will vary on a case-to-case basis. Keep these variables in mind as you continue to conduct your research, prepare your application, and make travel plans.
How to Obtain Your Nursing License in California
To get started, you will need to first obtain your license. Only then will you be considered to work in California. To do so, please follow the steps and guidelines below.
Please note: The licensing processing itself can take time. As stated by Marian University, since 2013, the state has been processing endorsement applications at a slower rate. This is also why it is beneficial to obtain the assistance of a travel nursing company, as they will help you through this process.
Taking the “short” vs the “long” path
To obtain your California RN license, you can take one of two paths:
- Path one (the “short” path) can take as little as 24 hours — however, 3 to 6 weeks is a much more probable timeline.
- Path two (the “long” path) takes around 12-14 weeks, so you’ll need to plan ahead!
Why the difference in processing times, you ask?
Well, the main difference between these two avenues is based on the fingerprinting process. In the state of California, to work as a registered nurse, you need to obtain your fingerprints from a federal Department of Justice. When opting for the quicker path, which will result in a lot less time and stress, you can provide your fingerprints to the state via LiveScan. You will find the required form here.
Read electronically, the results come back quickly. In contrast, if you request a fingerprint card from the state, send the card in the mail, and then wait for a response, you may be looking at anywhere from 4-8 weeks until the state receives your completed package.
Currently, if you opt for the faster processing approach, you can get a California RN license by endorsement in approximately 4-6 weeks.
What else is required?
Regardless of the fingerprinting path you choose above, all prospective California nurses will need to collect and complete the following:
- A completed endorsement application, which you can print directly from the California Board of Registered Nursing website.
- A recent 2×2 passport-style photo.
- A verification of license, which can often be accomplished on Nursys, an online license verification system. Since certain states, such as Alabama, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Pennsylvania do not participate in this online system, if you are licensed in one of these states, you’ll need to contact your state’s board of nursing (BON). When using Nursys, although you can access this verification immediately, it will only be valid for 90 days. That is why you should not request a verification of license until you are ready to submit your application in full.
- Transcripts from all of the nursing schools you attended. You can request that these be sent to the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN). This typically takes around two weeks. However, it is possible that delays will occur. The only time you do not require this step is when you are applying for a temporary license.
Looking for the best travel nursing agency? Want the best travel nurse salary? If you’re thinking about nursing as a career, you might be excited by the lure of a high paying 13-week travel nurse assignment. You can visit exotic locations and enjoy time off in places you would like to vacation. On the other hand, a staff RN or hospital-related nursing professions are also quite attractive.
Here’s the salary breakdown for various nursing professions, pros, cons, and tips to help you decide which area you might want to specialize in.
Salaries for RNs
Maybe you are thinking about becoming a RN. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual salary for RN is $68,450.
To earn your degree as a RN, you must attend a 2-year associate’s degree program or a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in nursing. When you complete the nursing diploma program you will then need to take and pass the NCLEX-RN examination to receive your license in registered nursing.
Average Salary for RNs by Industry
If you did a search for “What’s the most RNs can make?”, “What’s the highest RN salary?” or “What’s the most money an RN can make?” Depending on the area or industry you go into, these are the annual mean wages (AMW) based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Specialty RNs make $77,290.
- General medicine professions and hospital RNs make $75,820.
- Outpatient care facility RNs make $75,680.
- Substance abuse and psychiatric RNs make $71,290.
- Home health care service RNs make $70,230.
- Private doctor’s office RNs make $66,890.
- Nursing care facility RNs make $65,710.
- Want to make $288,000 in nursing? See the highest salaries RN’s can make below.
States Paying RNs the Highest Salaries
If you searched for “travel nurse salary in California”, “nursing salary 2018”, or “travel nurse salary by state”, you might want to know which state has the highest pay for RN’s. It’s California.
Here is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by state based on average mean wages:
- California pays RNs an AMW of $102,700 with the highest salaries in San Francisco, South San Francisco, and Redwood, City, CA at $139,700.
- Boston, Cambridge, Newton MA RNs make $97,130.
- Hawaii RNs make $96,990.
- Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Glendale, CA RNs make $95,650.
- New York and New Jersey RNs make $90,840.
- District of Columbia RNs make $90,110.
- Massachusetts RNs make $89,330.
- Oregon RNs make $88,770.
- Texas RNs make $72,070.
- New York RNs make $83,450.
- Florida RNs make $64,890.
- Pennsylvania RNs make $69,820.
Note: When selecting an area, consider the cost of living and crime rate. While Hawaii and Florida are beautiful locations, California can be expensive to live in.
Salaries for Advanced Practice RNs
One field that offers higher salaries is advanced practical (AP) nursing. To work in this particular area, you would need to have a master’s degree in a specialty area.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual salary for advanced practice nurses is $160,270. The average salary is $107,640 for certified nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.
Want the Highest Salary RN Anesthetists Can Make?
If you’re interested in which nursing professions make the most money. Here are a few salary details from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- In Northeast Iowa (non-metropolitan areas) nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $288,780.
- In San Francisco, CA (metropolitan division) nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $243,390.
- In Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $193,190.
- In Montana, nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $252,460 followed by Wyoming with $250,460.
Note: When considering these areas, factor in extreme weather that may impact where you live and how you commute to work. Florida and Iowa receive their fair share of storms. Montana and Iowa can have severe winters affecting commutes. California is expensive to live in and prone to earthquakes.
Want the Highest Salary RN Practitioners Can Make?
If you want to know the highest salary RN practitioners (NPs) make based on annual mean wages, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states:
- Palm Bay, Titusville, and Melbourne, FL NPs make $164,180.
- Redwood City, San Francisco, and South San Francisco NPs make $151,660.
- Spokane and Spokane Valley, WA NPs make $150,040.
- Alexandria, LA NPs make $144,010.
- Salem, Peabody, and Beverly, MA NPs make $142,730.
- Big Thicket, TX (non-metropolitan) NPs make $143,670.
- Alaska (non-metropolitan) NPs make $137,330.
- Central Louisiana (non-metropolitan) NPs make $131,950.
- Southeast Alaska (non-metropolitan) NPs make $131,110.
- New Mexico (West and North, non-metropolitan) NPs make $129,020.
Salaries for Licensed Practical Nurses
If you’re considering a career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual salary for licensed practical nurses is $44,090.
To earn your degree as a licensed practical nurse, you must attend a 1-year program at a vocational school, a hospital or community college. Salaries for LPNs can vary depending on the specialty of nursing that you go into after graduation. Other considerations include your years of experience.
Recruiting Bonuses and Packages
Nursing recruitment perks can include starting bonuses, relocation help, tuition reimbursement, daycare, and help with housing. Bonuses can range anywhere from about $1,000 up to $20,000.
Travel Nurse Salary Incentives
Interested in a 13-week assignment with high pay? If you did a search for “How much money do travel RN’s make?”
Travel RNs can fill critical roles and can command higher salaries. Benefits include that hospitals may recruit for travel RN’s by offering lucrative starting salaries and hiring bonuses. Downsides include not knowing the staff, hospital layout or location. Traveler’s salaries include:
- Agency travel RNs can earn over $100,000.
- Glass Door states average salaries are $78,120 with the range from $52,000 to $93,000.
- PayScale sets the range from $43,207 to $106,926 based on hourly rates up to $49.88 and overtime up to $69.05 per hour.
How can you boost your travel nurse salary?
There are several ways to continually increase and maximize your travel nurse salary. The first place to start is by earning relevant certifications for your specialty. Then you need to be geographically flexible and prepared to act on an excellent assignment as when presented to you. You should be looking for assignments that provide new and challenging experiences at teaching and magnet hospitals whenever possible. Last, make sure you complete your assignment and leave a positive impact on the facility. References matter!
Are you interested in learning more? Contact one of our recruiters or explore our recruiter fee job page displaying Location and Pay details.
Looking for the Best Nursing Agency?
Stability Healthcare can help you find the great assignments in the best hospitals nationwide. Stability Healthcare is the top nursing staffing agency in California and one of the fastest growing in the United States. They offer great compensation packages including high pay assignments, referral bonuses, and great benefits. Search for nursing jobs by job types like ER, OR, or L&D jobs. You can also search for nursing jobs by state or search by nursing salary. To start an exciting career in a field you enjoy, contact Stability Healthcare today!Read More