We’re excited to introduce our Nurse of the Month, Laura! Laura is a PACU nurse that just began her travel journey. We chatted with her while she is absolutely shining in her first placement in Raleigh, North Carolina. Learn more about our Nurse of the Month:
What has it been like working during the pandemic?
It was a hard year with a lot of changes in healthcare and the world. My decision to do traveling nursing just made sense. The pandemic was the catalyst I needed to make some serious changes in my life.
What placements have you had in the past?
I chose a hospital in Raleigh, NC bc it all fell into place. I saw an opportunity to be in a new part of the country and I was excited for the experience.
All-time favorite placement?
Raleigh was the first of what I hope will be many others.
What is your career history, how did you become a travel nurse?
I have been a nurse for 26 years. I worked in the ER for 7 of those years and then got a job in PACU where I have been for over 15 years.
What inspired you to become a travel nurse?
The pandemic made me want to see what the rest of the world was like. I figured there was no time like the present to do something I have always wanted to do and not to put off what I could do now until later.
What is your nursing specialty?
PACU is where I love to be and working there just came naturally to me. It was a good fit.
Favorite hobbies outside of work?
I love to bake and cook. I stay active by going to Zumba classes and training to run races.
Best travel nursing story?
It’s no secret traveling nurses aren’t always welcomed in the unit they choose. But the PACU at the hospital in Raleigh made me feel like I was part of the team from the start, and that meant the world to me.
What’s your favorite part of working with Stability?
All expectations were communicated and if I had any questions or concerns, I felt comfortable asking and Stability helped any way they could.
What is something you bring with you (non-nursing related) to every move/placement?
I am easy going and I adapt to new situations quickly. As a traveler that is important.
Any advice for future travelers?
If you aren’t sure you want to do it, don’t be afraid. If the pandemic taught me anything, it is that life is too short to put things off until later. The money is great, but the opportunity to see and do new things and meet new people, is what it was really about for me. My assignment surpassed all of my expectations and then some.
Doing your taxes often seems daunting, especially if you have a new career, like being a travel nurse. However, there are plenty of online resources to help prepare you for completing your taxes promptly and correctly. Here’s the scoop on what travel nurses need to know regarding taxes:
Filing taxes for travel nurses is a different process. Travel nurses have a different income breakdown than other staff members.
You can’t expect to fill out your taxes like say, a staff nurse at a hospital. This is largely due to a difference in income breakdown. Staff nurses typically have a salary that can be taxed specifically. Travel nurses have hourly pay in addition to stipends that are nontaxable. The combination of the two is your total income. These stipends can cover a variety of things – housing, food (you typically get a set weekly stipend for meals and groceries), and miscellaneous expenses related to work. They are nontaxable because they are required for you to successfully work your job as a travel nurse, thus not counting as part of your taxable income.
To get the most bang for your buck, it’s in your best interest (and the travel nurse agency, like Stability Healthcare) to keep your hourly rate on the modest side, but have more nontaxable stipends. However, don’t have an hourly rate that is too low. This can affect you later on in the future if you apply for loans, collect Social Security payments, etc. For example, the less you make via your hourly wage, the less Social Security funds you’ll be able to collect later on, since nontaxable stipends aren’t included in this number.
There are a few different places you can see examples of income breakdowns like travelnursing.org, Blue Pipes, NurseFly, etc. However, this will not be your exact breakdown. It depends on your position and contract.
You have to have a tax home in order to receive nontaxable income.
According to Turbotax, “the IRS defines your tax home as the ‘entire city or general area’ of your workplace.” If you work in a different state or city you primarily reside in, the location of your workplace would be your tax home. For example, if you live in Chicago, IL but your travel nurse position is in Nashville, TN then Nashville would qualify as your tax home. As the IRS states, “travel expenses are the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business, profession, or job. You can’t deduct expenses that are lavish or extravagant, or that are for personal purposes.”
You have to prove to the IRS that you have a tax home. In order to do this, you must visit your primary residence at least once every twelve months and pay for the expenses required to maintain this home. If you work somewhere longer than a year, then it’s considered indefinite, and would not prove you have a tax home.
If you fail to prove that you have a tax home, then those nontaxable stipends aforementioned will be taxed.
There are some specific ways to help you prove you have a tax home.
- Keep a record of all the expenses you have to maintain your primary living residence. This can be tracking mortgage payments, saving bills for utilities like the electric bill, paying rent, etc.
- Rep your home state. Be registered to vote in your primary living area, register your car there, and don’t get a new driver’s license in a different state.
- Don’t forget, you must visit your primary residence at least once every 12 months. Keep a record of this visit through photos, flight records, etc. An easy way to do this is by making an effort to return to your primary residence after every assignment.
Don’t forget about state taxes.
Being a travel nurse complicates state taxing a bit, but don’t fret! Remember to file before the typical state tax deadline of April 15th (although you may want to prepare plenty in advance). In addition to your tax home’s state, you also have to pay nonresident taxes for every state you worked in during that tax year. Some travel nurses can work in several states within a tax year.
How to avoid an audit.
Record everything! Although it may seem easy to have digital receipts, it’s also good, and encouraged, to keep physical copies. Every receipt related to a stipend is necessary. Keep a special folder to keep track of physical receipts and to write down the mileage. If you have digital receipts, create an organized folder in a special drive like Google Drive or Dropbox. Keep all your assignment contracts in one place.
The most important thing: take care of yourself and keep the future in mind.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to take care of yourself and have savings in case any future issues arise. Many travel agencies do not get paid time off. If you have to take time off of work, you will not get paid, so don’t rely on just living stipends. Have a backup plan.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask! Your travel nurse agency is there to answer any general questions you may have. If you have tax specific questions (like about a specific state’s taxing), reach out to an account that is experienced in working with travel nurses. They’ll be able to give you pointers and aid you in the tax filing process.
All in all, although filling out taxes as a travel nurse is different than other medical careers, it’s easy if you know what you’re doing. Give yourself plenty of time to prep in order to put yourself in the best position moving forward.Read More
This may come as a surprise, but one of the best ways to get a look into the life of a travel nurse is to, well, go on Tik Tok! Tik Tok gives a platform to anyone to create any kind of content, and there are plenty of travel nurses that make videos about their experiences. Here are a few of our favorites:
If you’re interested in becoming a travel nurse but don’t really know where to start, @sibsrn is your kind of Tik Toker! She makes videos that are direct and to the point – like the benefits of applying to jobs you think you may not be right for, how to handle a long-distance relationship while being a travel nurse, and skincare basics for a nurse. She makes videos for things you wouldn’t even think of right off the bat, but as soon as you watch them, you’re glad you did! Every so often she gives updates on where her position is, how she’s liking it, and where she’s going next.
@byernestion is one of the most well-followed travel nurses on Tik Tok. He’s a strong advocate for Black rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and for being yourself! He’s one of Tik Tok’s travel nurses that posts most regularly, so you can always have new content to see. He is also very blunt when he answers commenters’ questions, so you get an honest viewpoint on his feelings pertaining to being a travel nurse.
Courtney Maree (@laughingbabe) shows the adventure-filled lifestyle that travel nurses can live and shares all of her tips and tricks so you can do the same. Her content is the perfect mix of relatable, educational, funny, and also serious. Her positive energy and content creates a welcoming and supportive place for nurses of all levels to enjoy.
Most of @courtneyzanee25’s Tik Toks delve into the benefits of being a travel nurse, but with a humorous twist! You can watch her pick out which scrub cap she’s going to wear for her shift, see her use memes to illustrate the monetary benefits of being a travel nurse and learn about some of the activities she does where she’s stationed. She injects plenty of her personality in each Tik Tok, making the content more relatable, even for those who aren’t nurses! It’s a good mix of classic Tik Tok dances and funny, informational videos. The comment sections are great to read because they’re often filled with input from other travel nurses or people who are interested in becoming a travel nurse.
@reesesRN is a travel ICU nurse. Her Tik Toks chronicle why she wanted to be a travel nurse, how she became one, and what she typically does on her shifts. Her content is very relevant and mirrors today’s social issues. Some videos help expel myths about the COVID vaccine, some advocate for human rights, and some are more lighthearted, like giving insights into what different parts of a hospital smell like. She also often answers questions about travel nursing that other users comment on. All of her videos are informative and important and are up to date with modern medical and social issues.
@charley1969 is an ICU travel nurse. There are plenty of great, humorous Tik Tokers, and although @charley1969 is funny, they also have more serious videos thrown in that deal with the hard, emotional sides of being a travel nurse. They provide a realistic side of being a travel nurse that many don’t often see. However, despite the somber tones of some of their Tik Toks, @charley1969 often still offers a positive, encouraging outlook that sheds light on how important travel nurses are.
@travelnursetiktokaf uses Tik Tok as a platform to help staff nurses transition to travel nurses. With a plethora of information on travel nursing out there, it is awesome to see the ins and outs of travel nursing from a travel nurse. This account gives a look at the money side of things and how to navigate the profession, but also shines a light on the experiences, the people, and the fun parts of travel nursing. Her videos have you thinking, “who wouldn’t want to be a travel nurse?”
@mackyoustoopd is another great example of a Tik Toker who creates hilarious bits that not only give you a good laugh but give you first-person thoughts on being a travel CNA! Although most of his content is pretty specific to being a travel CNA, they’re still funny overall and are certainly appealing to anyone who already works in a medical field. Since he posts so many videos on a regular basis, his content spans from the typical occurrences of a night shift to what it’s like working with patients (in his case, specifically for patients in the Psych ward).
Post-anesthesia nurses are highly popular and needed in almost every medical environment. They’re specialized nurses providing care for patients who have gone under anesthesia. This is particularly important since sometimes patients can experience side effects of anesthesia or have trouble regaining consciousness. Post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses can enjoy a long and rewarding career in their field, often finding employment in many settings. If a career as a PACU nurse intrigues you, keep reading to learn about what you need to know to start your path toward becoming one.
What is a Post Anesthesia Nurse?
As their name states, post-anesthesia nurses care for patients who have gone under anesthesia. They observe and treat patients post-operation to make sure they safely awake from anesthesia. PACU nurses care for vital signs, measure consciousness levels, and ensure sedation is wearing off properly.
Unlike operating room nurses, PACU nurses take care of patients once they leave the operating room. Similarly, PACU nurses are not mistaken with nurse anesthetists, who have specialized and advanced nursing degrees.
National average salary: $94,966 per year
Job outlook: 12% increase by 2028
Where Do Post-Anesthesia Nurses Work?
Post-anesthesia nurses work in the post-anesthesia care unit in hospitals. While this is a critical care unit, patients here have gone under anesthesia but do not need close monitoring like in an ICU. Sometimes PACU nurses can find employment in other medical facilities that provide treatments that require anesthesia, such as testing facilities and ambulatories.
What Kind of Patients Are in a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit?
Patients in the post-anesthesia care unit aren’t in any danger. These patients have gone under anesthesia and are transferred here for close monitoring until they’re fully awake. These patients haven’t undergone any major surgical procedure that requires intensive care. Otherwise, patients would be transferred to the ICU instead.
What Does a Post-Anesthesia Nurse Do?
PACU nurses work in the recovery room, becoming one of the first people they see after a procedure. Because some patients experience side effects such as nausea, fear, agitation, and difficulty breathing, post-anesthesia nurses are there to care for and monitor their progress. Sometimes, PACU nurses may also be responsible for helping patients stand and completing the discharge process.
Post-anesthesia nurses provide comfort and assurance. They explain to family members the anesthesia side effects and answer any potential questions. This close connection to patients and families means PACU nurses need to be understanding and compassionate.
Most responsibilities include:
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and make quick critical decisions
- Respond to complications administering medications and assisting in other procedures as needed
- Monitor post-operative patients’ levels of consciousness
- Measure and record patients’ vital signs
- Treat pain, nausea, and other post-operative symptoms of anesthesia
- Provide comfort and reassurance to distressed patients
- Educate patients and family members on post-surgery care
How Do You Become a Post-Anesthesia Nurse?
Like other nursing specializations, the journey to becoming a PACU nurse starts with getting certified as a registered nurse. Gaining experience in the post-anesthesia care unit is enough to start carving a career in this field. However, you can also further your education by becoming a certified post-anesthesia nurse (CPAN).
- Certified post-anesthesia nurse (CPAN)
- Certified ambulatory perianesthesia (CAPA) nurse
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Post-Anesthesia Unit Nurse?
Most PACU nurses handle between one to two patients at a time, so it’s considered a less stressful nursing job. Still, it is paramount that good PACU nurses have strong nursing skills and make quick decisions about their care. Compassion, communication, and collaborative skills are crucial in this position. PACU nurses often are part of a larger team and must work in a group environment.
Most common skills or post-anesthesia unit nurses include:
- Experience in intensive care unit or post-anesthesia care unit
- Proficiency in electronic hospital management systems
- Exceptional interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills
Starting Your Post-Anesthesia Nursing Career
Many consider a post-anesthesia nursing career the stepping stone to reach more highly specialized positions. Obtaining experience in the post-anesthesia care unit can prep nurses to assist in the operating room or even become anesthetic nurses in the future. If a nursing career in post-anesthesia care interests you, these steps will help you position yourself as a great candidate.
At Stability Healthcare, we place nurses in hospitals across the United States, helping them find tremendous opportunities in various fields, including in the post-anesthesia care unit. If you’re ready to kickstart your career, search for your next placement and set up an interview today.Read More
Being a travel nurse has a lot of perks – one being the opportunity to travel across the country and land yourself in an exciting city! Here’s a view of the best places to visit (and work in!) this spring.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles is one of the United States’ biggest cities with some of the best weather. Less than an hour drive away from the oceanside, you can try your hand at surfing, swimming, or, for those less adventurous, relaxing on the beach! For those with a more artistic palette, there’s plenty of music venues, galleries, or art sight-seeing across the city. Our favorites:
Gold Diggers – As it says on their website, Gold Diggers is “a bar, boutique hotel and recording studios all within a single campus.” If you need a staycation during your time as a Los Angeles travel nurse, Gold Diggers is one of the most unique hotel experiences you can get. Occasionally, there’s secret live shows and events. Plus, they have a killer bar and some of the most stylish rooms in LA.
Celebrity Home Tours – Your feet might be tired after working long shifts – give them a break by booking a bus tour that visits celebrity homes across LA. Although this activity may seem a little gimmicky, it’s a good way to view the city and catch a break at the same time. One option is Starline tours, who claims to be the original celebrity home tour!
Milwaukee is a vibrant city nesting on the coast of Lake Michigan. Milwaukee tends to have more mild springs, which leads to plenty of artistic communities taking advantage and hosting galleries and art walks. Although Wisconsin is mostly known for their cheese, there’s a ton of great restaurants for carnivores, omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike. There’s also plenty of hiking options (like the beautiful Kettle Moraine) within driving distance for those looking for something more adventurous. Our favorites:
Milwaukee Art Museum – According to their website, the Milwaukee Art Museum has over 30,000 works of art. Famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe is a native to Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee Art Museum has one of the largest collections of her work.
Cactus Club – When live shows become a thing again, Cactus Club is one of the best places to catch a drink and set from a local (or nationally touring) band. While the wait is still on, Cactus Club is currently offering a special Airbnb stay that allows you to drink, eat, and sleep in the venue’s decked out green room.
Vanguard – Milwaukee’s Vanguard has the best of all worlds when it comes to eating. Vegan hotdog? You got it. OG hotdog? On the menu! With an emphasis for hot dogs and sausages with uniquely curated toppings, Vanguard has something that will have everyone’s mouths watering. We recommend the schnitzelwurst!
Find open positions in Milwaukee.
Chicago is a Midwest gem. You get the best of a large city, plus a beautiful lakeside with plenty of beaches to relax on. The spring is the best time to visit Chicago, not only because you can avoid the dreadful winters, but because there’s a ton of food festivals, music festivals, good weather, welcoming block parties, and pretty neighborhoods to walk around in. Our favorites:
Montrose Dog Beach – Get some vitamin D while being surrounded by dogs. Need we say more?
Pick Me Up Cafe – After walking around the quirky Uptown neighborhood on north side Chicago, grab a meal at the eccentric Pick Me Up Cafe. We recommended the buffalo wrap + a spiked milkshake.
Wicker Park – This neighborhood is the perfect place to shop. Brimming with a mix of well known brands like Adidas, small book shops like Myopic Books, and great coffee shops like Brü, Wicker Park has the kind of shopping that would appeal to anyone.
Find open positions in Chicago.
There’s a reason why people have been flocking to Colorado – it’s simply one of the best places to visit! It’s a great option for those who are more nature oriented, or who enjoy consistently scenic views. If you take on a travel nurse position here, bewarned, you might love it and not want to leave! The city boasts sports (like the Broncos & Nuggets), a ton of microbreweries, coffee shops, and plenty of activities like hiking, skiing, and tubing! Our favorites:
Illegal Pete’s – Although Illegal Pete’s is a favorite amongst the college crowd, it’s also the perfect place to grab a margarita with another fellow travel nurse after a long shift. They also have affordable mexican food that tastes great, plus you can watch the latest sports game as you enjoy their queso.
Landmark’s Mayan Theatre – A movie theater is one of the best places to get your entertainment fix. Snack on some popcorn and soak in the elegant architecture of the theater before turning your phone off and enjoying a film!
Blue Moon Brewery Tour – This is a good fit for, well, people who like to drink beer! See exactly where and how the magic happens that creates one of Colorado’s most recognizable beers brands.
Find open positions in Denver.
Nashville isn’t just for country music lovers. The city is a great fit for anyone who likes music, good food, and southern charm. Nashville’s food scene is most notably known for hot chicken, BBQ, and biscuits, but there’s also great roasteries, pastry shops, veggie options, and more! There’s amazing landmarks like the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Our top three:
Local Honey – Self-care is an important aspect of being a travel nurse. After a few weeks of long arduous shifts, getting a fresh haircut is a great way to feel good. Local Honey is a salon that specializes in color and unique haircuts, so you can really develop your individual style.
Country Music Hall of Fame – As mentioned in the above paragraph, you can’t go wrong with a little country music. The Country Music Hall of Fame catalogues the history of country music through galleries, archived music, and more. Plus, you can learn more about all the artists who have earned the honor of being in the Country Music Hall of Fame!
Find open positions in Nashville.
Seattle has a bad rep for balmy weather, but it’s a fantastic place to visit. Nestled on the water, Seattle has an eclectic history with music (Nirvana, anyone?), the arts, and coffee. Plenty of movies have been filmed in Seattle, like the iconic 10 Things I Hate About You. To be frank, Seattle is a cool city, and one of our top cities to visit in the spring. Our favorites:
University of Washington Campus – As a travel nurse, you’re likely not a college student anymore. This doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip to University of Washington’s campus to catch in the beautiful views and campus architecture. In the spring, the campus is dotted with beautiful Japanese cherry blossom trees. Plus, the campus has a breathtaking view of Mount Rainier.
Spooked in Seattle Tours – Not for the faint of heart, the Spooked in Seattle tours offers a look into the city’s paranormal misadventures. It’s the longest running ghost tour in the area, and is run by people who are classified as actual paranormal investigators. You might want to make sure you don’t have a shift the next day, you might get spooked out of sleeping!
Find open positions in Seattle.
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Travel nurses are skilled professionals who take assignments in facilities with short-term staffing needs. They have the opportunity to provide patient care and get to see exciting places at the same time. But there’s more to becoming a travel nurse than meets the eye. Below are reasons why you should to become a travel nurse.
1. Great Pay
Our travel nurses earn good hourly rates on top of Day 1 insurance through United Healthcare including dental and vision, automatic life insurance policy, extra shift bonuses, guaranteed stipend, and 401K for travel nurses who have traveled with us for at least a year. Most importantly, we offered PTO for all of our travel nurses.
Getting a travel nursing job is not difficult although it’s best if you have about 24 months of acute care experience.
2. You Can Take Your Family With You
You don’t have to travel alone. If you have a spouse or children, you can always take them with you. Travel nurses can even bring along their pets to pet-friendly cities. We can also help you arrange for your housing and we reimburse travel expenses up to $600. You may also be eligible for a housing subsidy if you manage to secure your own housing. If you love your assignment, you also get the option to extend your contract.
3. Demand for Travel Nurses is High
The demand for travel nurses continues because of Covid-19. It hit its all-time high last year during the pandemic and the demand is still expected to rise. In fact, the forecast is bright for the nursing profession in the next four years. The travel nursing profession can give you more financial stability and flexibility as you can work anywhere. If you are committed to your profession, there is no shortage of job opportunities for you.
4. More Freedom and Flexibility
One of the benefits of being a travel nurse is having the freedom to choose wherever you want to work. You can pick your own location and if you are flexible with shift times, it’s easier to connect you with more travel nursing assignments. Travel nurses also get to take time off in between their assignments, to either go on a vacation or spend quality time with their family or friends. Most jobs do not offer this freedom and flexibility — you basically have full control of your life when you become a travel nurse.
5. Professional Growth
Working with a range of different healthcare facilities from outpatient care to Level 1 trauma center enables you to broaden your skill sets and enhance your current expertise. More experience coupled with a strong background and a commitment to your profession will help you succeed.
6. Live in New Places
If you want to see more of the United States and discover exciting places to live in, then travel nursing is for you. Nursing assignments are available in all 50 states from the busiest cities to quaint towns. If you want to explore a new state, we can always help you with how to apply for a new license.
7. Find Your Dream Place to Settle Down
By working as a travel nurse, you get the option to work anywhere you want to. You can take advantage of this opportunity to find an ideal place to settle down. By working in a different location, you get to test the waters and see what life is like in that place. You get to compare living in different towns or cities and decide where you want to permanently live.
Being a travel nurse provides you with a rare opportunity to live in any place that you want. And the more experiences you have working in different places, the more likely you are to get new travel nursing assignments. Most importantly, you can broaden your skills and can adapt to any working environment.
8. You Get to Relax
Most of our travel nurses stay on for a minimum of three assignments and then they take time off to relax or travel with their family. Compared to working as a permanent nurse, being a travel nurse lets you avoid burnout. You always have the option to take a break after your assignment. As soon as you have recharged, we can connect you again with more travel nursing assignments.
9. No Workplace Drama
One advantage of being a travel nurse is you don’t get caught up with any workplace politics or drama. You only need to show up every single day and focus on providing the best patient care. By being a travel nurse, you get to avoid having to deal with long-term management or co-worker issues. Your only commitment is to get the job done properly and improve your skills.
10. Experience More Adventures
Traveling lets you experience life differently. You can explore new places, try new cuisines, learn new cultures, discover new interests or hobbies and meet new people. You get to do all these by becoming a travel nurse. This profession can give you the opportunity to try new adventures, something that you may never find in your own city. So long as you are open to new experiences, the options are endless.
Begin Your Journey as a Travel Nurse
We are a travel nursing agency that can assist you with travel nurse jobs. We can help you find your next assignment and it’s easy to get started — simply search for open jobs and compare high-paying travel jobs, set an interview and book an assignment. Our team will assist you every step of the way including helping you arrange for your housing. Apply today!Read More
Being a travel nurse is an incredible journey that makes it possible to have a different, profitable career full of enriching experiences. But it’s normal to be in doubt and think: is this kind of work for me? Will I be able to adapt? Well, if you’re looking for some courage or inspiration to help you along your path, we’ve selected some books that will offer you the necessary immersion in the travel nursing universe. The inspiring journeys herein will help you resolve your doubts and invigorate you to push forward with this amazingly rewarding career.
1. Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), David Morrison
Likely the best-known book among travel nurses, it’s one you should definitely have in your mobile library. The book is an excellent super didactic guide for those who are just starting their careers or are looking to grow in the field. David Morrison’s book offers a detailed explanation of each step to pursue a career, listing all the qualifications you need and what characteristics are essential to carry out this type of work. If you feel at all lost or uncertain about where to start, this is the book to read!
2. Hitting the Road: A Guide to Travel Nursing by Shalon Kearney
Another excellent guidebook for pursuing a career in travel nursing, this book, penned by the retired travel nurse, Shalon Kearney, gives you a wealth of practical knowledge based on her decades-long career. The book goes into details on finances, tax strategies, and even international travel. And if you’re not sure this career is for you, the book offers some wonderful self-assessment tests designed to help you determine whether you’re on the right path.
3. Words of Hope from Nurses to Nurses by Sue Heacock, RN, MBA
Written for anyone that wants to be inspired by the amazing jobs that nurses do, this book takes the reader on an epic journey of ups and downs from nurses all around the world. This book is an excellent source of collected wisdom and inspirational stories bound to keep you inspired for a long time to come.
4. Roadfood by Jane & Michael Stern
Every travel nurse knows the struggle of finding a decent meal on the road. Jane and Michael Stern penned this wonderful little book as a guidebook for those on the road who want to experience something more than the usual fast food and restaurant chains. After all, a big part of traveling is about trying all kinds of new food. The book contains plenty of recommendations on where and how you can eat like a local across the United States—invaluable literature for a hungry travel nurse!
5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
While not specific to the nursing world, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is an instant classic for anyone passionate about traveling. Elizabeth tells the story of deciding to leave her comfort zone as she uncovers the three parts of nature important to her. The book will inspire you to find your own inner peace while exploring this wonderful world we live in.
Being a travel nurse is an amazing profession that allows you to make a positive impact on the world while exploring it and becoming the best version of yourself. If you’re feeling inspired and looking for that next big assignment, see open positions today at Stability.Read More
You’ve almost survived (and maybe even thrived) in the challenges of nursing school. After graduation, there’s just one obstacle standing between you and the career of your dreams: the NCLEX.
Before you set out on your travel nursing adventure, it’s time to buckle down for some serious studying. If you’re already studying effectively for the NCLEX, you might be wondering which are the most important NCLEX study topics.
If you want to ace the NCLEX, keep reading — we’ll explain which are the most important study areas for you to focus on.
Assessment and Diagnosis
Assessment and diagnosis are the foundation of your nursing practice. Your nursing classes taught you the signs and symptoms that accompany diseases.
Now, can you identify those symptoms in a busy nursing environment? That’s what the NCLEX wants to find out.
Some NCLEX questions will give you a list of symptoms for you to diagnose. Other questions will give you a few symptoms, and then ask what other assessments you should do. This tests your ability to figure out what assessments you need to do to get the full picture of your patient’s health.
When studying for NCLEX assessment questions, ask yourself:
- What signs and symptoms of this disease would I be most likely to see in real life?
- If I only noticed a few signs of this disease, what assessments should I do to find out more?
- What other diseases have these signs, and would it be easy to make the wrong diagnosis?
- What psychosocial factors are at play in the patient’s life that contribute to their situation?
If you practice thinking critically about your assessments, you’ll be well prepared to take on these NCLEX questions.
Triage and Prioritization
In your real-life nursing practice, you’ll have several problems on your hands at once. That’s why triaging is a crucial skill for nursing.
The NCLEX tests your prioritization skills by giving you a complicated situation involving several different patients. You’ll need to draw on your diagnostic knowledge to figure out what’s wrong with each patient. Then, you’ll have to decide who needs your help first.
What’s the first thing you do for a patient with severe burns? What’s the one thing you shouldn’t do for someone with hypothermia?
Nursing students tend to have a wide knowledge base of medical-surgical topics, but less preparation for first response nursing. Give yourself lots of time to brush up on emergency nursing to get ready for these NCLEX questions.
You’ll see pharmacology questions sprinkled throughout every area of the NCLEX. That means you’ll have to know more than just the name and purpose of each drug. You will need to know how each drug could impact your patient in any situation.
For each drug you review, ask yourself:
- If a patient told me they were taking this medication, what health conditions would I expect them to have?
- Does this medication have any side effects that I would mistake for diseases?
- What nursing interventions would I have to do if a patient had a severe reaction to this drug?
You’ll use pharmacology wherever your nursing degree takes you. That’s why the NCLEX focuses heavily on it — and your studying should too.
Faced with an aging population, we will soon have more older adults than children. Nurses need to be ready to care for older adults with all the unique physiological needs they have.
Older adults have different health risks, including:
- Different nutritional needs
- Polypharmacology-associated risks (taking many medications at once)
- Higher risk of compromised skin integrity
- Higher risk of confusion during a hospital stay
- Risk of falls
The older adult also might have different baseline assessments, like lower blood pressure and different blood test results.
If you understand how to assess and care for an older adult, you will be ready to pass this section.
Scope of Practice and Delegating Care
As a Registered Nurse, you’ll be a leader on your health care team. One of your primary responsibilities will be to delegate tasks to other team members.
These questions are challenging for nursing students who haven’t gained experience in delegating care to other team members. However, delegation is a key skill to ensuring the safety of your patients. The NCLEX includes a high proportion of questions about delegation.
If delegation questions are new to you, keep a few things in mind when you study for them:
- Never delegate a task to a team member that is outside that team member’s scope of practice
- Only a registered nurse can perform assessments or make judgments
- When the Registered Nurse delegates a task, the RN remains responsible for the patient overall
Don’t forget that the Registered Nurse’s scope of practice does overlap with other health care professionals. In an NCLEX delegation question, you may see several options that fall within the RN’s scope of practice.
Your job is to look at the whole situation and decide which actions you can delegate and which one only you can do.
General Care Management
This is the largest section of the NCLEX, making up 20% of NCLEX questions. Care management questions cover all the day-to-day challenges of nursing.
These questions don’t deal with clinical situations, so they’re easy to overlook when studying. However, since they play a big role in your nursing practice, the NCLEX gives them lots of space.
Management of care includes topics like:
- Patient confidentiality
- Advocating for your patients
- Informed consent for procedures
- Continuity of care
- Nursing ethics
- Safe environment and injury prevention
To pass this section, you will need a thorough knowledge of your patient’s rights and how a nurse protects them.
Travel Nursing and More
No matter which area of nursing you choose to pursue, passing the NCLEX is the gateway to an incredible career.
When you pass the NCLEX, the whole world of nursing is open to you. If you’re intrigued by the idea of a travel nursing career, check out Stability Healthcare. We’re the travel nursing agency that makes it easy to find exciting travel nurse jobs to launch your career.Read More
Burn unit nurses are specialized healthcare professionals with experience in burn trauma. Nurses are part of a larger team of practitioners that help patients who’ve suffered burn injuries. Burn unit nurses practice what we know as critical care since most of their patients arrive from emergencies. If you’re interested in a nursing career with a high degree of specialization, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about burn unit nurses, their career path, salaries, and more.
What is a Burn Unit Nurse?
A burn care nurse specializes in caring for patients who suffer burn injuries and other kinds of trauma. They treat and monitor burn wounds, assess emotional trauma, and offer critical care and trauma recovery assistance. A burn care nurse helps trauma doctors evaluate burns, clean wounds, administer medication, and assist in the early rehabilitation stages.
National average salary: $68,250 per year
Job outlook: 16% increase by 2024
Where Do Burn Care Nurses Work?
It’s not surprising to find out that most burn care nurses spend most of their shifts in the Burn Care Unit (BCU) or the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of hospitals. However, they can also work in a hospital’s Emergency Room (ER) and their trauma center. Sometimes, burn care nurses also work in outpatient facilities providing support and rehabilitation services for patients recovering from burn injuries.
What Kind of Patients Are in a Burn Unit?
The burn unit is a specialized area that’s almost hosted within the ICU. Here, you’ll find patients who’ve suffered burn injuries from contact with fire, chemicals, electricity, or oil. However, you’re also likely to find trauma patients and anyone in critical conditions requiring immediate trauma assistance.
What Does a Burn Unit Nurse Do?
A burn care nurse has a multifaceted role that provides assistance where and when needed. They can help with triage, stabilization, fluid balance, and pain management. However, they can also help in the rehabilitation process by offering emotional support. Overall, burn nurses treat patients suffering from burn injuries. They clean, bandage, and monitor wounds, as well as educate patients about their ongoing treatment.
Most responsibilities include:
- Assess, dress, and monitor burn wounds
- Stabilize burned patients
- Maintain patient’s comfort and assist in pain management
- Administer medications
- Monitor the patient’s psychological state and emotional well-being
- Educate the patient and the family about burn wound care, rehab procedures, and how to seek emotional support
How Do You Become a Burn Unit Nurse?
The journey to becoming a burn unit nurse starts like many other nursing careers, with a nursing degree and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Most nurses are looking for a job in burn care to get professional experience in the trauma unit or ICU. Overall, education requirements and preferences will vary by employer. However, certifications in Advanced Burn Life Support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support can help position yourself as a valuable candidate.
- Advanced Burn Life Support
- Basic Life Support (BLS)
- Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
- Critical Care Nursing (CCRN) for Adult Patients Certification
- Certified Wound Specialist (CWS)
- Wound Care Certified Certification (WCCC)
- Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Certification (WOCC)
- Trauma Nursing Core Course
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Burn Unit Nurse?
Burn nurses’ role is an advanced one that requires clinical and technical skills that allows them to provide comprehensive care to patients. They need to be knowledgeable in various treatments to assess the different types of injuries they treat.
Due to its nature, burn care is one of the most challenging specialties in nursing. This position calls for sharp critical thinking alongside specialized clinical skills.
Most common skills or burn unit nurses include:
- Triage experience
- Fluid balance experience
- Trauma recovery and rehabilitation experience
- Excellent communication skills
- Emotional stability and coping skills
- Critical problem-solving
- Technical ability to utilize medical equipment
Starting Your Burn Care Nursing Career
A career as a burn care nurse is thrilling, challenging, but also extremely rewarding. If a nursing career in this specialty interests you, there are a set of steps that can help you position yourself as a great candidate. At Stability Healthcare, we place nurses in hospitals across the United States. You’ll earn high compensation, premium health benefits, PTO, guaranteed stipends, 401(k), paid compliance, and more. Search for your next placement and set up an interview today!
Nurses are on their feet for hours on end, so having a good pair of shoes is essential. Too much time in the wrong shoes can lead to back issues and knee problems and no one wants that. The market is filled with options so we’ve put together some of our top picks based on what nurses need most.
Before we get to our favorites, let’s look at what the most important factors are when picking the perfect pair. We asked five nurses working in different units what was priority for them in a solid pair of work shoes. Here are their top concerns in order from most mentioned to least:
- Good arch support
- Easy to clean
With these things in mind, here are our picks for the best shoes for nurses in 2021.
Of course, you can’t have a list of the best shoes for nurses without including Dansko clogs. For years, these have been a staple in most nurses’ closets and for a good reason. Danskos provide an incredible amount of support and comfort for long shifts on your feet.
Clove is more of a newcomer in the world of nursing shoes. Clove was created for people on the front lines of healthcare, and it shows. Seemingly, these shoes do it all: comfort, strong grip, odor-fighting, easy to clean, and even fluid resistance.
While Vessi’s Cityscape sneakers weren’t made specifically with healthcare workers in mind, that can be hard to believe with all of their key features. They’re 100% waterproof, breathable, stretchy, lightweight, and comfortable. The multiple layers in the shoe are each developed with a different goal in mind, all to keep you feeling your best. On top of all of that these shoes are made with a sustainable goal, buying these versus a competitor saves over 880 gallons of water and reduces every pair’s carbon footprint by 600%.
Brooks Ghost 13 running shoe offers super smooth transitions plus soft cushioning so your run is the only thing on your mind and the same applies for you 12 your shift. You’ll be able to spend time focusing on your patients and not worrying about your feet. These shoes provide maximum support but still feel breathable and light. And Brooks and DICK’S Sporting Goods will donate USD $10 for each pair of shoes to go towards a charity that supports girls running programs.
The Nike Revolution running shoes might be the most stylish option that encompasses all day (or night) comfort. This shoe is made with a lightweight knit material that wraps your foot in breathable support. The flexible rubber sole will keep you walking and not sliding to your patient’s room. While these may not have the water-resistant features of some of our other top choices, they do come with a lower price point, making them a solid option if you’re on a budget.
Sketchers Sure Track shoe may not be the most stylish option, but with incredible benefits and a great price point, these had to make the list. They are light on your feet and provide comfort for long hours on your feet. The leather exterior also makes them easy to clean and take care of.
The Kanteen Clog is the ideal shoe for spending hours on your feet. This pair features a slip-resistant outsole and a custom PU footbed for all-day comfort and support. The exterior of the shoe is waterproof, which makes it easy to clean and keep looking good as new. This is a great choice for nurses with custom foot insoles as the footbed is removable and can be replaced with the sole of your choice. The best part? Keen uses a technology called CLEANSPOTY NXT for natural odor protection, your coworkers and patients will be grateful.
Ready to spend some long hours on your feet? Find youar next placement at Stability today.