Happy New Year! Now that we’re officially getting settled into 2021, we wanted to share some tips and ideas for journaling and setting goals. While this isn’t necessary and people can have mixed feelings on resolutions, the new year presents a great time to reflect and reset (especially after 2020). Check out our recruiter reflections on 2020 and scroll down to get started on your own!
It’s helpful to start off with a self-reflection. Last year was a year like any other – ESPECIALLY for nurses and healthcare workers. One big feat we can all be proud of? Surviving a pandemic AND working through it on the frontlines.
Questions to ask yourself
How have I grown?
What have I learned about myself?
What is one thing I gained? One thing I let go of?
What is an obstacle I overcame?
What were my highs and lows of 2020?
Draw, paint, write out, or print your top 3 moments of the year!
Now let’s take our learnings and reflections and put 2020 in the past. 2021 will continue to prove challenging, but there is one thing is different – there is hope.
Questions to ask yourself
What brings me the most happiness?
What can I do this year to bring me closer to my ideal life? In what ways can I start living that life right now?
What goals can I set to help me have the kind of year I want?
How can I take those year-long goals and break them down into manageable pieces? What can I do this month? This week? Today?
Draw, paint, or write out your top 3 goals for 2021. These can be anything from something tangible like taking a travel placement you’ve been dreaming about to being more positive at work.
Pick a word
If you’ve read through all of this and don’t feel like setting out goals and reflecting, this one is for you. Pick one word and then throughout your year when you are in moments of uncertainty remember that word. For us that word is optimism!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and you might be stuck at the hospital or away from friends and family. Being a travel nurse during the holiday season can be especially daunting, especially during a pandemic, but we’ve got some tips for surviving the holiday season. Take a look:
Prioritize + Take Care of Yourself
Get a good night’s (or day’s) rest
- Getting enough sleep is imperative to having enough energy throughout the day. If your schedule allows it, The New York Times sleep guide suggests trying to fall asleep and waking up roughly at the same time each day.
- Additionally, no screens a bit before bed can help put your mind at ease and help you to fall asleep faster. If you need to have your phone by you for the alarm, try putting it in your room but out of arm’s reach so you won’t be tempted to check social media before bed.
Make time for exercise
- If you exercise outside of your shift, The New York Times suggests working out in the morning. This typically leads to a more rewarding night’s sleep. According to a Vascular Health and Risk Management study, adults who exercised around 7 am typically got a better night’s rest.
- Exercising doesn’t mean you have to go to a gym. It can be as simple as going for a long walk or playing a socially distant sport. The CDC explains that “Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and anxiety and help you sleep better.”
Relaxation and Self-Care
- Mediation just isn’t for yogi and spiritual people. It has numerous health benefits, especially for stressed-out travel nurses. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health points out that “There is moderate evidence that meditation improves symptoms of anxiety. A 2014 review of the literature found that mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety, depression, and pain, and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life.”
- The New York Times has a great guide for those interested in meditating. Since travel nurses are busy, especially during holidays, it’s important to note that “setting aside time for formal meditation is an important way to establish a routine and get comfortable with the practice. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference” (New York Times).
Virtually connect with friends and family
- Realistically, as a travel nurse, you most likely won’t be able to be around friends and family for the holidays. This is the perfect time to schedule some holiday facetime or phone calls or shoot a friend a text.
- Crafting an old fashioned letter never goes out of style. Not only is it a thoughtful way of communicating, but you have the chance to pick up and use cute holiday stamps!
- No matter what religion or holiday you practice, sending holiday packages to friends and family can be a gentle reminder you’re thinking of them. Opening gifts doesn’’t have to just be under the Christmas tree, on a special day, or on a birthday! Schedule a group zoom to see reactions to the treats you buy them.
Don’t Forget the Holiday Spirit
- Don’t forget about yourself, treat yourself! There’s a long list of websites with creative self-care guides, such as Refinery29, Marie Claire, The Manual, Men’s Health, and more. Self-care isn’t just limited to vegging out and eating ice cream (although those are certainly reasonable!). Self-care is tailored to you, so choose a socially-distant activity to do on a day off that makes you feel good.
- Buy yourself something nice! While being a travel nurse, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself during a hectic time. If you want a creative way of finding gifts to treat yourself, there’s plenty of gift guides during the holiday season. If you need ideas, our very own Stability Healthcare blog has a list full of them. Vogue, Refinery29, Buzzfeed, and Self are a few more gift guides to browse.
Bring Holiday Joy to the Unit
- There’s no better way to bring positive energy than to have a little fun. Make decorations to lift spirits in the unit – here are some fun ideas.
- Find some festive attire! While you’ll still need to wear your scrubs and adhere to hospital policy, there are fun ways to get creative on the holidays. Decorate your badge with candy canes, wear festive headbands – reindeer horns, elf ears, Christmas tree lights, the possibilities are endless!
- Bring in treats for your unit. For some inspiration take a look at our article on tips for bringing in holiday goodies! With COVID, protocol in your hospital might look a little different than normal so be sure to check on what rules are in place ahead of time.
Decorate Your Living Situation
- You don’t have to go above and beyond, but even a little garland or some string lights can lift your mood.
- If you don’t want any extra decor, throw some Christmas music on the speakers and some cookies in the oven to set the mood.
- Cozy up your space for the winter so you can feel your most comfortable – here are some tips.
Ready to start the travel nursing journey? Head to our website to see open roles.Read More
We’re excited to announce our new Nurse of the Month series, where we highlight Stability’s rockstar nurses. Starting with OR nurse Marissa Cascio!
Marissa has always had an adventurous spirit. In her free time, she rock climbs, sails sailboats or scuba dives off the Southern California coast. As a travel nurse, when she drives from placement to placement, she brings a large hiking backpack with her full of supplies to stop anywhere in the country and camp, hike, see the sites.
Last Spring, a dangerous adventure presented itself in a way she didn’t see coming. The Los Angeles hospital where she worked as an OR nurse became flooded with COVID-19 patients. She said that over half the staff contracted the virus. But, just like she would for an off-roading trek through a canyon or desert, Marissa prepared herself. The hospital was drastically short on PPE, so each day she brought home her own mask and sterilized everything, and woke up with a fresh mask in the morning.
During the chaos, she had put in a request with her Stability recruiter to work somewhere she had been dreaming of living: Laguna Beach. This summer, a position opened up at Mission Hospital Providence, and within a few days, Marissa says she went in for an interview.
Now, after surviving the worst of Los Angeles’ COVID-19 surge, she says she essentially works on the beach.
“Every single patient has a beach view of the ocean,” Cascio said. “I just wanted to work somewhere that was actually… paradise.”
We caught up with Marissa and asked her some questions about travel nurse life:
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Pennsylvania. From a town called Greenville. It’s a really small town, a rural area. Like I lived on a dirt road.
Did you always want to go to the West Coast?
I always knew I wanted to travel. I never knew exactly where, but I always wanted to go to California.
Were you always aiming to be a travel nurse?
No actually, I wanted to go to medical school. And so at first, my bachelor’s was in nutrition and dietetics. And then I took all the prerequisites, all the courses, studied for the MCAT. And then last minute I changed my mind. I was dating someone who was already in medical school, and I was like, This is not what I want. So I finished out all my courses and then I went to the accelerated RN program. I got my bachelor’s in one year at Rochester University in New York. I didn’t know until afterward, but it’s the top 3% of nursing programs in the nation.
So eventually you became a travel nurse… what made you want to work with Stability?
I signed up with Stability because I have been traveling for so long. It has been five years now. And I kind of just heard word of mouth, what are good companies and what are bad companies and what are like companies that, you know, stand up for their staff, and their nurses. I was so unhappy with my other agencies, I decided to make this change and I’ve been happy ever since.
What’s the travel nursing community like in general?
There definitely is and it’s more just about the locations you’re in and that’s how you get to like meet people and travel around. I’ve definitely made a lot of friends.
Where do you want to travel next?
Do you have any hobbies you do outside of work?
I scuba dive. I go fishing. I rock climb. I do triathlons. All kinds of stuff. Oh and I’m also an Instagram influencer. I actually just started doing it just like six months ago. And I went from 1000 followers all the way up, like 55,000 followers. So weird.
Do you have a favorite snack in the break room when you’re working long shifts?
String cheese. There’s nothing better than string cheese and playing with it to get your mind off of things.
Is there anything in your nursing life that you just like cannot live without?
Probably my dog. I have a little French Bulldog. His name is Gus. I sometimes call him Gustavo when he looks like an old man. He always travels with me.
Is there anything that you pack (not nursing related) for every move to a new placement?
I have a well, it’s a backpacking bag. And so it’s always ready to go with like five or six days worth of food, fire supplies. It has a pillow, a sleeping bag, everything ready to go backpacking — the shoes, like lines and ropes, and everything like that. So that way if I’m traveling from one place to the other place, and I see something I want to explore, I can just throw on my backpack and go.Read More
Although it’s been roughly nine months since countries across the world have been in various states of lockdown, COVID numbers continue to rise, and precautions are more important than ever. However, it’s still a great time to be a travel nurse. View updated stats relating to COVID and the latest suggested steps to COVID prevention below:
Pay Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse Right Now
- Despite the pandemic, right now is a good time to be a travel nurse. Hospital and the medical field needs plenty of help, a good role for a travel nurse to fill.
- As stated on Nurse.org, the pay for a travel nurse has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic. Typically, travel nurses earn around $3000 per week, but as an incentive to work during the pandemic, that pay rate has increased in some places to over $10,000 per week.
- If you have additional questions on how to become a travel nurse, the Stability Healthcare blog has plenty of information to offer.
COVID Cases are the Highest They’ve Been
- On December 2nd alone, The New York Times reported 2,885 new coronavirus deaths and 199,988 cases across the United States. Currently, in the US, there have been over 14 million reported cases and over 257,000 deaths. Keep in mind these are only reported cases, not including those who may have been asymptomatic and went untested or those unable to get tested due to limited testing capability.
- Rising COVID numbers vary by state. Although numbers are high across the USA, there are a few states where numbers are slowly decreasing, such as Maine, Vermont, and Hawaii. Texas has now surpassed California and leads with the highest number of reported COVID cases.
- COVID numbers outside of the United States vary between countries. According to CNN, the US leads the world in the highest number of cases and death, with India following behind with 9.5 million cases and 138,000+ deaths.
Worry Surrounding the Upcoming Holidays
- Multiple government officials and healthcare leaders, including Dr. Fauci, have expressed concern that COVID numbers will aggressively rise due to the holidays. Dr. Fauci has called on self mitigation to help prevent the spread of COVID, however, without any official mandates in place, increasing numbers are still expected.
CNBC stated that “while the CDC warned people against traveling for Thanksgiving, more than 9 million people traveled in airports running up to and after the holiday.”
- As seen during Thanksgiving, families and friends tend to gather during holidays, which poses an elevated risk for contracting and infecting others with COVID. Not only are people more likely to interact maskless with others they do not live or work with, but the longer the time people are together, the higher the probability of contracting COVID from an infected person is.
- If you do plan on gathering with family or friends for the holidays, the CDC encourages wearing masks, being six feet apart from others, and frequently washing hands. There is less risk of congregating outdoors while still wearing a mask while not eating or having a drink. Guests should remain on the quieter side, since taking and singing loudly have proven to pose a higher risk of passing COVID. View the full list of prevention methods here.
New Vaccine Developments and Who Will Get it First
- Multiple companies have announced developed vaccines that are reliable and effective, but none are yet officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the CDC, in late November there were five different COVID vaccines that were in large-scale clinicals trails: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. It’s expected that some versions of the vaccine will be approved by mid-December, which will spur a roll-out amongst several states.
- As reported by NPR, the general consensus is that the vaccine “should go to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living.” Due to its expected limited availability, people within those groups might also be parsed through to determine who is in greatest need for a vaccine. NPR points out that the primary goal of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to “reduce severe illness and death from the disease and to lessen disruptions to society and the economy from the pandemic.” The CDC released a loose plan for vaccine roll-outs which can be viewed here.
- When the vaccine will be made to the general public is hard to say. Those who don’t work in a healthcare position and who aren’t considered high risk might be waiting until spring or summer 2020
Other COVID-related News
- Surprising many, the CDC has revised its quarantine guidelines. Originally, people were encouraged to quarantine for 14 days following a known exposure. Now, the CDC says that a seven-day quarantine will suffice if said person gets a negative test result after being tested no earlier than the seventh day. Additionally, quarantine can end if the exposed person isolates for 10 days with no symptoms.
COVID statistics are continuously updated. Suggested sources are The New York Times, CNN, and any other reputable publications and sites. The CDC is the best source regarding information on how to keep yourself and others safe from COVID.
It’s that time of year! Whether you’re shopping for gifts for yourself, your loved ones are asking what you want this year, or you’re looking for a gift for the travel nurse in your life, we’ve got you covered. Scroll for some gift-giving inspiration from some of our favorite brands like Homesick Candles, Casper, Book of the Month, and more.
For the self-care trendsetter in your life, the world’s first weighted robe. There’s nothing better than coming home from a 12-hour shift, taking a shower, and then snuggling up in a cozy robe. This is the ultimate ticket to comfort and relaxation.
The Joy of Sleep gift set from Equilibria has everything you need to wind down for the evening to fall asleep —and stay asleep. Equilibria is premium CBD with personalized dosage support. The package comes with a 1:1 consult with a member of their team to help craft the perfect routine. And 5% of the purchase benefits Black Girl Ventures!
This self-heating ceramic mug from Food52 keeps your joe warm as you idle your way through a good book and unwind before or after a long stretch of shifts. After all, what nurse doesn’t love a good caffeine-related gift?
Casper’s Glow Light is small enough to throw in your suitcase and pack up, but the perfect size to create the perfect relaxing ambiance in your room. This light was designed to help you fall asleep, making for the perfect wind-down for a better, deeper sleep.
These RickerPoorer recycled fleece sweatpants are this season’s latest trend. With all the time we are spending at home there is no better way to get comfy. These will quickly become your new favorite article of clothing. Plus they are sustainably made and RicherPoorer provides care packages for South LA Cafe, Midnight Mission, and Boys & Girls Club Metro LA when you bundle with other products.
Nurses spend so much time on their feet, it’s no surprise when sore backs are an issue. This back relief lumbar pillow from Cushion Lab is made scientifically designed to relieve back pressure and improve sitting posture on any chair, sofa, recliner, or car seat. Its fluid lines contours naturally against the back to provide effective lumbar support.
Book of the Month selects 5 books every month, you decide which one (or more) you want, and then it’s shipped right to your door. This is the perfect subscription to gift a travel nurse. Unwinding with a good book is a wonderful way to take your mind off of things on stressful days.
We’re obsessing over these Jaanuu scrubs lately. Their mission is to be empowering, authentic, intimate, raw & real, inclusive, and innovative. That’s exactly the kind of energy a nurse needs in their life. They also have fantastic underscrubs and fleeces that are great for the cold hospital temperatures.
The Healthy Hands Trio from Kiehl’s features three classic rich hand creams for dry skin relief. Nurses are always battling dry and cracking hands making this hydrating cream a gift that is sure to be used until the very last drop.
Homesick Candles are quality, hand-poured candles that remind you of some of your favorite places. This is an incredibly thoughtful gift for a travel nurse to provided comfort wherever their next placement may be.
If none of these are catching your eye, just remember that travel nurses are constantly packing up to go to their next placement. The perfect gifts fit into a suitcase, have a specific use or comfort, and of course, are unique to the person receiving the gift. Happy gifting!Read More
One of the benefits of being a travel nurse is the option to work virtually anywhere in the world. Assignment choices vary depending on experience, specialty, and desired location, but being able to change up your travel nursing destination means that you can move with the seasons. Here are some of the best travel nursing destinations for winter – whether you love or hate it.
If You Want To Warm Up…
Tampa, Florida: Tampa is an ideal travel nursing destination to escape the harsh winter climates because winter all but does not exist in this Central Florida locale. Even if you don’t necessarily want to take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico, you can walk alongside the ocean, enjoy the expanses of greenspaces or enjoy outdoor markets with average winter daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The USF healthcare system as well as Tampa’s extensive population of retirees means travel nurses have plenty of options for work here as well.
San Francisco, California: This is another city that is seasonably mild throughout the winter months. While the fog may cool things down at night and in the morning, you can expect to enjoy outdoor recreation in San Francisco year-round. It is the heart of northern California, which also means that travel nursing assignments are diverse as the opportunities for fun in this locale.
Phoenix, Arizona: Job opportunities across a wide spectrum of healthcare systems and stunning desert scenery make Phoenix one of the top travel nursing destinations. This might not be your ideal option during the summer months, but if a winter escape is what you are after, then this metropolis in the desert should be high on your list. The surrounding mountain ranges mean you can spend time camping, hiking, or fishing while the rest of the country breaks out the snow gear.
If You Love Cold Weather…
Denver, Colorado: You get all the appeal of a bigger city with the wintry weather that guarantees great skiing, snowboarding or nights spent watching snowfall next to a roaring fireplace. Moreover, the extensive healthcare system in Denver means plenty of opportunities for work for travel nurses.
New York City, New York: If you’re on the hunt for travel nursing destinations that will allow you to make the most of the winter weather, then NYC is your spot. Sledding in Central Park, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and of course the myriad holiday decorations bring the city to live. The job opportunities here are plentiful as well as some of the top hospital systems in the world are found around the city.
Bar Harbour, Maine: This is touted as one of the best-kept secrets for an exciting winter adventure. If you want to ingratiate yourself into the season, the beauty and authenticity of Bar Harbour can’t be beat. Acadia National Park offers opportunities for snowshoeing and the shops, while less crowded, all decorate for the holidays with festive fanfare. As travel nursing destinations go, there are plentiful options for job opportunities.
Ready to head to your winter wonderland? Stability Healthcare offers travel nursing placements all across the country. Find your next placement today.Read More
Working at a hospital can really take a toll on a nurse’s health with long hours, lots of time on your feet, lots of high-stress moments, and no consistent routine. It’s important to get in a little extra movement to keep you in tip-top shape so you’re feeling good.
Starting the day with a workout isn’t for everyone, but it is a fantastic way to get the day started. The common misconception is that you have to wake up at the crack of dawn and lose needed sleep to squeeze in a morning workout, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier than usual, and get in one of these convenient morning workouts – all under 20 minutes and all can be done out of the comfort of your own home.
Maddie Lymburner of MadFit has a goal is to help inspire everyone at all fitness levels to get up, get moving, and reach their goals. This 15 minute morning workout is the perfect combination of stretching and cardio to get you moving.
If you’re in the mood for something more lowkey, then this full-body stretch is perfect. Mady Morrison is a Berlin-based yoga instructor and her workouts aim to leave you feeling balanced in body and mind. This video takes you through a full-body stretch that is perfect to get you ready to head into a 12-hour shift.
If you’re in the mood to get moving, this 12-minute cardio routine is sure to get your heart racing. Dudzz Dimension is a former NCAA Basketball player and current Personal Trainer and his videos are for beginners and pros alike. The best part? This only takes 12 minutes!
If yoga is your thing, this one is for you. If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know we mention yoga fairly often This 20 minute full-body flow is the perfect way to center your mind and body before starting your day.
And last but not least, you don’t even have to change your alarm for this one. This 5 minute routine from the Allbengers is just enough to help you break a sweat and keep you feeling strong and ready to take on your shift.
Ready to test out your morning workout routine in a new city? Stability Healthcare offers travel nursing placements all across the country. Find your next placement today.Read More
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
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