It’s an inevitable hazard of working as a nurse. Some years, you just have to work on Halloween. It’s the ultimate bummer, even this year when Halloween party options are limited. While some might be getting their sexy nurse costumes ready, you’re putting on your real scrubs and heading in for a long shift. But that doesn’t mean you can’t join in on the fun!
Dressing up for Halloween at work not only makes the day feel more fun and festive for you, it can also really bring joy to your patients. It’s easy to buy some cat ears, or fairy wings. But if you want to mix it up this year and don’t have a lot of time and resources for costume shopping, here are some easy ideas that will make your coworkers and your patients smile.
Rosie the Riveter
Rosie is a classic Halloween costume because you can look cute, be empowered and all you need is red lipstick and a bandana. You could also trade in your scrubs top for a button down with the sleeves rolled up. If you get some blood and guts on it as the day goes on, that’s okay! Rosie saw some messes in her day, too.
This year, Ryan Murphy released his deranged prequel of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Nurse Ratched, which will undoubtedly lead to hundreds of artful Halloween costumes. For a nurse, these costumes are even more relevant. Dress up as Sarah Paulson’s sadistic character (or the original Nurse Ratched played by Louise Fletcher) by ordering one of these old fashioned nurse scrub caps, and wearing a button down dress and tights. Depending on which Nurse Ratched you’d want to be, the old or the new, you could tie your hair into two knots at the front of your cap (Fletcher), or in a nice bun behind your cap (Paulson). Your dress could be white (Fletcher) or blue (Paulson).
The days at the beginning of quarantine where we were all binging Tiger King seem so far away, but Halloween is a perfect time to bring the trends of 2020 full circle. And this one is just too easy and fun to pass up!
All you have to do is wear your hair long and wavy, tuck in a tie dye or tiger print blouse to your scrub pants and wear a flower crown. If you really wanted to have fun with it, you could bring a tiger stuffed animal to work with you, or you could make a sign that says “I didn’t feed my husband to the tigers!” You could even buy a little Ken barbie doll and chain it to your stuffed tiger. A little sadistic? Maybe! But it’s Halloween!
A Girl Scout
This is a cute wholesome one that’s easy to do. Just take a jean vest to put over your scrubs and make yourself some homemade girl scout badges out of colored paper and safety pins. Could be work-related prizes or life-related. Make some extras to pass out to your coworkers and patients. If you give out actual girl scout cookies as well, everyone will really love you!
Have some blue scrub pants and a yellow scrub top? Add some blue suspenders to the mix and bam! You’re a minion. Here’s a guide on how to easily make some minion goggles to strap to the top of your head for the day. Kids especially will be your biggest fan.
Want to celebrate the holiday’s somewhere new? Check out our list of Travel Nursing placements here to get started on your next adventure.Read More
Travel nursing is a rewarding career and many individuals choose it for a variety of reasons. Like most health professionals, nurses spend the majority of their time taking care of others and not themselves.
However, if you are a travel nurse, it’s essential to start retirement planning as soon as possible. At the end of your time in the workforce, you want to make sure that you have enough funds to enjoy your retirement after many years of hard work and dedication to patients.
With that said, if you’re looking for retirement resources, this article is for you. Continue reading to learn more about nurse retirement and what you can do to secure your future finances.
Understand Your 401k Options
When it comes to retirement planning, one of the primary problems that travel nurses face is setting up a 401k. As you know, travel nursing usually involves working for various employers, which makes setting up a 401k difficult.
Since travel nursing isn’t a conventional job, some companies may not offer investment plans. Thankfully, nurses who work through Stability Healthcare don’t have to worry about that.
Once you’ve worked with us for one year, we’ll provide you with the details on our 401k plan and how you can enroll through our partner ADP. We have an incredible selection for you to choose from and we want all of our employees to secure their monetary future.
Retirement Planning for Travel Nurses
Now that you know that we offer 401K plan options to our employees, you can take the proper steps towards implementing your retirement financial planning.
Although we require one year of work before you can enroll into our 401k, there are other things you can do to ensure that you are protected financially. Below are a few suggestions:
Save 15% of Your Income
Even without a 401k, there are ways that you can jump-start your retirement planning. One of the smartest things to do as an employee is to pay yourself. Saving 15% of your income ensures that you’re putting away a nice nest egg.
In addition to a 401k, using a Roth IRA allows you to invest money that grows tax-free. The good news is, you won’t be taxed once you take the money out for retirement either.
Your objective should be to continually invest for retirement, even while you concentrate on other financial obligations— like paying off your mortgage. By implementing financial strategies that work in conjunction with one other, you can create a stress-free life after nurse retirement. Therefore, after 20 to 30 years of working, you could have a home that is paid for and a hefty retirement savings.
Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan: Yes or No?
When starting your nurse retirement plan, one of the primary decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not you want a tax-deferred benefit. Basically, Tax-deferred means that you won’t pay taxes on your income right now.
However, you will have to pay them on the funds once you withdraw it. It’s a big decision to make, but it’s one that you’ll have to choose carefully. If you believe you are in a position to pay taxes right now, then do so. That way you won’t have to pay the money after retirement.
On the other hand, if you have lots of financial obligations, you might benefit from saving money on paying taxes and waiting until you have a larger lump sum after retirement.
Retirement Financial Planning: Invest Long-Term
Retirement planning takes a lot of patience and willpower. One of the biggest challenges individuals face when trying to secure their financial future is the impulse to withdraw money from their 401k.
Things happen in life, and when they do most people panic and become riddled with fear and anxiety. In this state of mind, you might decide to pull all the money out of your 401k, which interrupts the consistency of your retirement planning.
It’s important to remember that investing is a marathon, not a sprint. So before you go tampering with your retirement money, make sure you have other savings funds set aside to help you in case of a financial emergency occurs.
Monetary difficulties are examples of situations when saving 15% of your income comes in handy.
Use Professionals to Help With Nurse Retirement
Sometimes it helps to have an expert financial advisor to assist you with your retirement planning. One of the biggest misconceptions is that financial professionals are only helpful to individuals with large salaries. However, people of all tax brackets can benefit greatly from a monetary advisor.
If investing and retirement planning is too big of a task, let an expert assist you. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re set at the end of your working years. Plus, it’ll provide you with someone who holds you accountable.
A financial professional can also offer tips on what you can do in the event of a monetary setback.
Travel Nursing Made Easy
Retirement planning is essential for securing your financial future. But if you’re at a crossroads in your career and need to find your next nursing job, Stability Healthcare can help.
Our free job search platform allows you to view jobs that pay your preferred rate. You’ll get interviews quicker through our platform and begin a rewarding travel nursing assignment in no time.
For questions about our services, feel free to call 855-742 4767. Also, check out our nursing reviews to learn more about how we’ve helped other travel nurses.Read More
The leaves are changing, we’re pulling out our sweaters, and most importantly, we’re officially making the leap from iced coffee to hot. We put together a list of some of our favorite fall drinks to get you feeling festive and give you a little boost to start your shift on a fall-filled note!
Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
8 oz coffee (either warmed up cold brew or regular coffee)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Califia)
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine ingredients in high powered blender and blend on medium speed for a good minute or two. Taste and feel free to add additional maple syrup or other ingredients – everyone’s taste is different! Feel free to top with whipped coconut cream! Enjoy!
Spiced Apple Tea Latte
1 1/4 cup grass-fed whole milk
1/4 cup grass-fed cream
1 medium organic apple, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon organic black tea
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte
2.5 cups hot water (approximately 175 degrees)
1/3 cup raw cashews
2-3 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
2 teaspoons matcha powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. For an extra creamy drink, soak your cashews in hot water for 15-30 minutes, then drain and rinse before adding to the blender. Serve the pumpkin spice matcha immediately.
via Kaitlyn Noble
Apple Caramel Latte Macchiato
2 cups apple cider
1 cup milk
6 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoon salted caramel sauce
extra sweetener if desired
Add milk, apple cider and instant coffee granules to a small saucepan. Give it a stir and let it heat up until just before it’s simmering. Add vanilla extract and, if using, additional sweetener of choice. Prepare the mugs by pouring salted caramel sauce into them and swirl to cover the bottom. Cool the mixture a bit (unless you have a heat-proof blender) and then blend. It will get bigger in volume as you blend, so you shouldn’t completely fill the blender. Work in batches if needed. Using a spoon, hold the foam back while you divide the milk mixture among the mugs. Then divide the foam between the mugs. Drizzle with more salted caramel sauce!
The demand for nurses continues to increase across all areas of healthcare. Nurses with professional expertise in more than one area of care have more options to branch out, especially when it comes to traveling nurses.
Travel nursing compels nurses to be at their professional best. It also provides nurses with the unique opportunity to travel to areas of the world they might not otherwise experience and network with medical professionals from various backgrounds and experience levels.
Travel nursing requires adaptability, a deep well of nursing knowledge, and an eagerness to continuously learn. Nurses with multiple specialties generally enjoy a greater degree of access to travel assignments than their more limited counterparts.
If you are considering adding to your nursing specialties or changing your specialty entirely, here is a guide to help you get started:
Start With a Self-Assessment
Take stock of your nursing strengths and weaknesses. Determine areas in which you would like to improve and consider facets of nursing that perhaps you hadn’t before, in the context of the strongest skill sets.
For example, if you learn fast, are quick on your feet, and have been highly responsive as a floor nurse, then as a travel nurse, you might try your hand at an emergency room assignment. If you enjoy working in pediatrics, you may have a knack for nursing vulnerable patients and might excel in geriatrics as well.
Consider areas that correlate with travel nursing needs and your personal interests. For example, if you have an interest in challenging nursing assignments, then consider cultivating a specialty in intensive care. There is an ongoing demand for travel nurses, so switching to this specialty would pique your interest and increase your chances for frequent placements.
Do Some Research On Different Nursing Specialties
Switching specialties for travel nurses may require little more than brushing up on institutional knowledge or shadowing another nurse to learn policies and procedures for a few days. Other changes in specialties require an advanced degree or an entirely new set of certifications.
Choose a few areas of travel nursing that you are eager to explore and research their qualifications. If you do need to go back to school or obtain another certification, opt for a specialty that is a bit less rigorous to explore while you get the appropriate credentials for your desired option.
Also, peruse job descriptions for your chosen specialties to get a good idea of what may be expected of you in the field. Before you expend the effort to make the switch or take the step of shadowing a fellow nurse for a few days, it is important to ensure that the specialty you are pursuing aligns with your professional goals and skills.
While you are laying the groundwork to get the proper educational credentials or waiting for the perfect travel assignment to open up, start networking. Connect with other nurses that are already working in the specialty to which you are making your move.
Ask questions, glean pertinent advice, and soak up as much information as you can. Nurses working in the field can help you prepare to make the switch as seamlessly as possible.
If you know other nurses who have gone through the process of changing their specialties, ask them about any pitfalls they may have encountered in the process. For a more comprehensive understanding of this process, ask nurses with stationary positions in your local medical facilities as well as other travel nurses.
Plan Ahead To Change Your Nursing Specialty
It is important to be fully prepared before you make the leap to a new nursing specialty. Plan for your transition and time it to ensure you have had enough time to get the proper certifications and educational credentials (if they are needed).
You also want to ensure you have learned enough about your new specialty to feel comfortable caring for patients immediately. You may be excited, but don’t rush the process.
Limit Your Specialties
One of the reasons becoming a multi-specialty nurse is so exciting is because your value increases as a nurse and you become more engaged in learning about your professional all over again.
Professional enthusiasm is a desirable trait, especially for a travel nurse. However, don’t overextend yourself or you risk compromising future patient care. Choose just one or two new specialties to which to expand at a time.
Before you move on to another trait, make sure you have a professional level of expertise to offer the highest quality of care to patients on each assignment. Once you’ve mastered your new specialty, then you can consider learning another.
Prepare Your Professional Materials
A switch to a new nursing specialty means updating your resume with the care qualifications that most match your chosen area and brainstorm possible interview questions about the switch.
If you have already established a relationship with a travel nursing agency, be prepared to demonstrate your competence in this new area and provide any necessary proof of your qualifications. Most agencies will not provide you with an assignment in your new area of expertise if they are not sure of your ability to make the switch.
Alert Your Travel Nursing Agency To The Switch
Reach out to the travel nursing agency from which you receive assignments and let them know you have added a new specialty to your resume. Ask for any nearby assignments they might have to allow you to get your feet wet before traveling on a far-flung assignment for your new specialty.
The benefit of taking a local assignment in your new specialty first is that you have your community-based support network of colleagues on which to fall back if you have questions or concerns about the switch.
Wearing a face mask at work all day long has become a glum, dreaded reality for everyone, but especially for nurses. While some ERs and ICUs might require you to wear the masks they give you, a lot of hospitals and clinics are loosening to allow staff to bring in their own masks. So as we’re finally getting used to breathing through fabric all day, it’s time to invest in a mask like you would a good stethoscope or a good set of scrubs. You want a mask that’s breathable and that stays in place while you’re talking to patients (if you’re having to pull it up all day, what’s the point, right?). You want your mask to offer you the greatest level of protection, both for yourself and the people around you, because it’s unlikely you’ll be able to remain social distanced with all of your patients. And finally, you want your mask to be comfortable and as attractive as a mask can be. Like most things, if you can make it cute, you can make it work.
That’s a lot of requirements for a small piece of fabric, but here are five mask companies up to the challenge.
Maybe it’s because Mandala is already used to making practical items for those who work in the healthcare industry, but these masks rock! They come in lots of different solid colors, two different sizes and two different styles. They have adjustable ear straps, a wire to fit to your nose, and a pocket insert where you can put filters. Each mask comes with a pack of three replaceable PM2.5 filters, which is a six layered activated carbon filter, designed to effectively block airborne contaminants.
The masks are made with the same anti-microbial fabric that Mandala makes their scrubs with, so they’re sanitary and easy to breath in. And with the adjustable straps, they offer a nice clean look. You can talk all day in them and they won’t fall down your face. We recommend the pleated cloth style, as it offers a little more breathing room than the other style.
Price: $9.99 each
There’s no hiding how much we love Figs and to no surprise at all, they have launched a fantastic mask. Simple with pops of fun color, these masks are comfortable, breathable, and sleek. Made with both safety and comfort in mind, these masks boast features like a bendable nose wire for a close fit, a slot for replaceable filters, and soft elastic ear loops for all day comfort. Made with Figs signature FIONx fabric with Silvadur™ antimicrobial technology, four-way stretch, moisture-wicking, anti-wrinkle, and ridiculously soft properties, this mask is sure to check all of the boxes. The Medium/Large mask can even be worn over an N95 mask for extra coverage!
Price: $12.99 each
The Mandala masks have everything….except fun patterns. If florals are really your thing, these double-cotton face masks come highly recommended by stylish doctors. They come in six different floral patterns and each comes built with two cotton layers and a washable filter in between, as well as adjustable ear straps. Reviews all say they’re cute and comfy.
Price: $14.99 each
If you’re looking for a more casual, athletic look in a mask, these Casetify cotton masks look simple and light, but still offer you all the protection you need. Just like Mandala masks, these come with two filter inserts. They don’t have the wire at the top of the nose, but they fit snugly enough for it not to matter.
Price: $12 each
These are made with three layers of thick cotton t-shirt material, but they’ve also been treated with an anti-microbial layer, giving even more protection from bacteria. The Buck Mason masks are unique because they tie around your head, like a real surgical mask. It gives you the freedom to tie them comfortably so they stay in place all day.
Price: $30 for a five pack
For an everyday selection of face masks, you really can’t go wrong with Old Navy. They offer limitless bundles of different patterns, and all of them are three layer cloth. They have ear adjustable straps, and they’re SO affordable. You can buy a 10 pack for $25. You could wear a different mask every day of the week without having to wash. Amazing!
Price: $25 for a 10 packRead More
It’s always an asset in any career field to be fluent in more than one language. But for nursing in particular, where so much of your job depends on being able to communicate and connect with people from all kinds of backgrounds, being bilingual is a major plus. Here are five reasons that speaking two or more languages at least semi-well could make your nursing career soar.
Exciting foreign job prospects
If you speak another language, especially a romance language, you will be at the top of the list of applicants to go to all kinds of exciting places outside of the United States. COVID-19 may have put a bit of a complication on international placements, but a lot of countries are opening up their work visas again, and it might be nice to go somewhere with a lower case count than the U.S.
You can be more accurate with keeping records, and give better care
Even if you’re not going abroad, hundreds of languages are spoken throughout this country, and there are many families who don’t speak English very well. Especially if you’re working with vulnerable populations, it can be a huge asset to be able to speak with someone in their native tongue. Doctors and nurses get things wrong all the time when there’s a language barrier. You could be the person that steps in and saves the day.
Right now especially, if you’re trying to go where you’re needed most, it can be essential to speak another language. There are all kinds of neighborhoods in cities around the country where English is not the dominant language spoken, and if you want to work in the clinics and hospitals in those neighborhoods, it’s important that you can communicate with patients. Whether it’s Little Havana in Miami or Little Saigon in Seattle or even the Bronx, speaking a second language will make you a treasured nurse to those patients in need of care.
The ability to connect
There’s nothing harder than having a language barrier with someone who is fighting for their life and really needs the comfort that nurses so often provide. Sometimes it can leave nurses themselves feeling helpless and like they can’t perform their job as well as they’d like to. Taking the effort even just to speak basic sentences in other languages like Spanish or Mandarin could make a world of difference for your patients. Think about it — if you’re in pain or you’re about to go into a frightening surgery, or even if you’re just in a room full of strangers, it’s stressful enough as it is. Imagine having the added stress of having to translate all of your thoughts and questions into a language that isn’t your own. And imagine how relieved you would feel to know that someone who works there can speak to you in the language you’re most comfortable in. It really is a huge thing
Want to find a new placement to practice your Spanish, French or Mandarin? Check out our list of placements here.Read More
For most people, fall means orange leaves, pumpkin-spiced lattes, cute knit scarves, and scary movies, but for nurses, this is the season of crowded emergency rooms and clinics filled with folks running fevers and coughing. That’s right: it’s the dreaded flu season. And this year will invariably be worse than most flu and cold seasons we’ve experienced in the past. With the drier air comes a faster spread of both the regular seasonal flu and COVID-19. It will undoubtedly be a busy season for travel nurses, who are already in high demand around flu season.
Here’s what nurses should be prepared for as we head into the colder weather.
First, a little bit of hope: If COVID-19 restrictions stay in place (or tighten) it’s possible we’ll see fewer cases of the flu.
Considering how well the U.S. is doing with containing the spread of COVID-19 (not great, considering we have 4 percent of the world’s population and 21 percent of its coronavirus deaths), this might be a little optimistic. However, countries in the Southern Hemisphere who are already well into their flu season have reported fewer flu cases because of travel restrictions, social distancing, and wearing masks.
But as the weather gets colder, outside gathering options will be limited, and likely more people will be inside together. So the latter could cancel out the former. It remains to be seen.
Get your placements in order now.
Hospitals are already working to bulk up their staff in anticipation of a hectic cold and flu season. If you specialize in ICU or the Emergency Department, you’re in extremely high demand. Now is the time to figure out where you really want to be right now as a travel nurse, because it’s likely that there are spots open almost anywhere. That might not be the case a month or even a few weeks from now as spots fill up, so start putting in for the placements you want now.
Your patients can be infected with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
The CDC has confirmed that, yes, it is possible to contract two viruses at once. This will mean patients will need careful treatment from healthcare professionals who can diagnose symptoms of both viruses. It also means that several people will likely have to be hospitalized more than once, making emergency rooms and ICUs even more crowded.
Don’t forget to vaccinate!
While we might not have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet, we certainly have one for the flu this season. If you haven’t already, get yours now! According to the CDC, everyone should get their annual flu vaccine by the end of October. And keep in mind that it takes about two weeks after getting your shot for antibodies to develop. So don’t go thinking you’re immune right after getting vaccinated.
Want to secure your dream placement as flu season begins? Check out Stability’s list of high-paying placements here.Read More