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).
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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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
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.
While nursing is one of the most rewarding professions, it is also one of the most stressful. For nurses, stress can lead to critical errors in patient care and even increased mortality rates. Stress can be caused by a myriad of reasons including (but not limited to) understaffing, overworking, difficult patients, issues with coworkers, a nurse’s personal life, the list goes on and on. Just because the work can be stressful, doesn’t mean that you’re stuck being stressed forever. Managing stress is essential to prevent burnout and provide your patients with the best care. We’ve got some tips and tricks to reduce stress, keep reading to find out.
Travel nurses often have busy schedules, so finding time to exercise may seem daunting. If you can’t fit in a full workout a few times a week that’s okay, don’t let it add to your stress! There are tons of quick workouts available online and even taking a brisk stroll around the block will get those endorphins flowing. Endorphins boost serotonin levels, which can improve mood, appetite, and sleep cycles.
Meditation or yoga
Doing a yoga class or taking some time to meditate every day is a sure way to leave you feeling refreshed and clear-minded. Try your best to let go of everything going on around in your world and focus on you and finding a moment of peace. According to the NIH, practicing yoga can lead to an improved quality of life by reducing stress, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and relieving anxiety. Whether you want a morning routine to keep you going through the day or an evening routine to unwind with before bed, we’ve got you covered. You can also download apps like the Calm to help you meditate and unwind.
Maintain a healthy diet – but treat yourself when you want to
It’s been proven that “eating a healthy diet can reduce the negative effects of stress on your body.” On a nurse’s schedule, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can be challenging, but not impossible. One tip that can help is using one day to meal prep to keep you on track, here are three fun recipes to get you started. Another tip is to make healthy swaps. This means you don’t have to change your routine or diet, but instead of crabbing for those Doritos reach for some carrots and hummus instead. That being said, don’t forget to eat food that makes you happy, restrictive diets aren’t healthy or stress relieving. Listen to your body and what makes it feel its best.
According to a study at NIH, the “use of essential oils to decrease work-related stress among nursing staff may improve retention, workplace environment, and increase nurse satisfaction.” There are many ways that aromatherapy can be effective including candles, diffusers, lotions and body products, oils, and more. Some scents that aid in stress reduction are lavender, jasmine, bergamot, chamomile, rose, and lemon balm. Pro tip: carry a tiny satchel of lavender in your pocket and if you’re feeling overwhelmed on your shift take a deep breath and smell the pouch for a little moment of zen and rebalance.
Take a mental health day
If you’re feeling burnt out and feeling like you’re on the verge of cracking that’s a sure sign that you need a mental health day. Mental health days are just as important as taking a sick day if you aren’t feeling well. You can’t show up for your patients and deliver them the best care if you aren’t putting yourself first. Take a look at our article on signs that you need a mental health day.
Psychiatric nursing is unlike any other kind of nursing. While psych nurses aren’t there to treat or reverse depression or dementia, they can offer the understanding empathy only a nurse can offer to help patients begin healing. Mental illness is by far one of the most challenging disorders to treat. Thus, it’s easy to see why psychiatric nursing can bring some unique challenges to the job and some rewarding moments. If a psychiatric nursing career interests you, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about psych nurses.
What is a Psychiatric Nurse?
First of all, there are two primary types of psychiatric nurses or career paths you can take. First, you can work as a psych registered nurse. You can also work in more advanced roles like a psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatric/mental health advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Mental health nurses are essentially specialized nurses who focus on caring for those with mental illness’s psychological and physical well-being.
They also support the family members and friends of those with mental health conditions. Psych nurses may assess mental health needs and develop nursing plans for care.
National average salary: $74,651 per year with about $12,125 extra in overtime
Job outlook: 26% increase by 2022
Where Do Psych Nurses Work?
Like with other medical professions, psychiatric nurses find themselves working in both inpatient and outpatient care. These can be hospitals or psychiatric facilities that offer inpatient treatment. Or outpatient care in the patient’s home or a local clinic. Psych nurses have a bit more independence in terms of where they can work. They can also work with a wider variety of patients on their own, making outpatient care a standard option for many.
Other work settings for psychiatric mental health nurses (PMHN) include rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, mental health agencies, schools, colleges of nursing, and military clinics or hospitals.
What Kind of Patients Are On A Psychiatric Unit?
Although psych nurses work with patients all over the place, they can work with almost every segment of the population. Patients in this unit can be children, adolescents, adults, and older people. They often work with people with substance use disorders and those with eating disorders, among other mental illnesses.
What Does a Psych Nurse Do?
Unlike other traditional nurses, psych nurses don’t treat any conditions. Instead, they work with a larger group of health care professionals to develop and implement care plans. Psych nurses can work with anyone who has a mental or behavioral condition that’s negatively impacting their life.
Depending on the path someone chooses, their duties will vary. The psych nurse essentially develops a nursing diagnosis and a plan of care, implements the treatment plan, and evaluates its effectiveness. On the other hand, APRNs also offer primary care and treat individuals and families with psychiatric disorders, sometimes even offering psychotherapy.
Most responsibilities include:
- Prescribe medications if needed
- Administer medications
- Implement nursing care plans
- Assist in basic needs
- Facilitate group therapy
- Create treatment plans
- Offer psychotherapy
- Coordinate with families, doctors, and other health professionals
- Provide self-care
- Evaluate mental health needs of patients
How Do You Become a Psych Nurse?
A career as a psychiatric nurse can be gratifying and exciting. The path starts by earning either an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing. There, prospects need to pass the NCLEX-RN licensure examination to become a registered nurse (RN). After this, many try to spend some time building up nursing skills before moving to a psychiatric nursing path.
It’s possible to work in psychiatry without certification. However, there are some certifications and advanced practices that can help. Those who wish to continue their education can become an advanced training registered nurse (APRN) to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing.
- Psychiatric-mental Health Nursing RN-BC Credential
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Psych Nurse?
It takes a specific combination of skills to become successful as a psych nurse. Communication, empathy, and interpersonal skills are at the essence. However, setting healthy boundaries and excellent technical skills will also be beneficial. Psychiatric nurses are very hands-on with daily monitoring of their patients, requiring patience, empathy, and organization.
Most common skills for psych nurses include:
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Extensive knowledge about medication effects and interactions
- A critical eye for signs of deteriorating mental processes or advancing mental illness
- Exceptional coordination and collaborative skills
- Good problem solving and adaptability skills
Starting Your Psych Nursing Career
Psychiatric nurses have a unique career filled with ups and downs. If you’re interested in a psychiatric nursing career, these are the steps you need to get started. Also, due to psych nurses’ nature and their flexibility, mental health nurses are often highly coveted travel nurses who can move freely across the country. At Stability Healthcare, we place nurses in hospitals across the United States, helping them find their perfect roles. See our open jobs today!Read More
In every hospital unit, you’re bound to find specialized nurses that devote their training, skills, and time to provide the utmost level of medical care. Monitoring patients remotely after surgeries and other cardiac treatments are at the heart of telemetry nurses’ responsibilities – no pun intended. Whether you’re just starting your journey as a nurse or you’re looking to find a specialization, this is everything you need to know about telemetry nurses.
What is a Telemetry Nurse?
A telemetry nurse works with patients struggling with heart disease, heart failure, and other cardiac conditions. To understand a telemetry nurse, you have to understand the term telemetry, which comes from the words tele meaning “remote” and metron meaning “measure.”
Thus, a telemetry nurse monitors patients using remote electronic signals and specialized equipment. They monitor patients’ progress, provide medical care, and provide specific cardiac interventions in an emergency.
National average salary: $107,536 per year
Job outlook: 7% increase
Where Do Telemetry Nurses Work?
As their name states, telemetry nurses work in the telemetry unit of a hospital. These units provide care for patients leaving the intensive care unit (UCI) that still require consistent monitoring. In the telemetry unit, patients are more stable but even need close monitoring should their situation change.
Sometimes, telemetry nurses also find work in outpatient surgery centers and long-term care facilities. Other medicine areas may also employ a telemetry unit, so nurses may find themselves working with sleep clinics or neurological units.
What Kind of Patients Are On A Telemetry Unit?
The telemetry unit receives a wide range of patients. Most patients need telemetry monitoring, particularly those with a history of high blood pressure, stroke, or a heart attack. Patients in this unit have a high turnout rate because most patients are already stepping down from a more intense level of care.
What Does a Telemetry Nurse Do?
In short, telemetry nurses provide care for patients with cardiovascular issues and related consequences. They perform frequent patient assessments to watch for any changes. This includes measuring blood pressure, levels of consciousness, and breathing patterns.
Telemetry nurses also operate heart monitoring equipment, perform diagnostic tests, and follow protocols to treat chest pain. Most of the time, nurses also assist with procedures like cardioversions and other procedures performed in the telemetry unit. However, their biggest responsibility is recognizing and responding to cardiac emergencies quickly.
The telemetry nurse has a mixture of responsibilities that include registered nurse duties and technical skills to monitor patients’ health.
Most responsibilities include:
- Caring for cardiac patients
- Using electronic equipment like an echocardiogram (EKG) and breathing machines to monitor patients
- Looking for cardiac baseline changes, arrhythmias, and abnormalities
- Responding to irregularities
- Performing stress tests
- Administering IVs and medications
- Monitoring telemetry units of hospitals
- Assisting cardiologists throughout cardiac procedures
- Using diagnostic tests to evaluate patients’ cardiac health
How Do You Become a Telemetry Nurse?
As a baseline, telemetry nurses are registered nurses (RNs). To become an RN, you need to earn either a Professional Nursing Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. You must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and meet your state’s requirements for RN licensure.
After obtaining your RN licensure, you can start transitioning into telemetry. Consider speaking with a supervisor about your interest in telemetry and ask how you can train in this specialty. Unlike other specialties, there’s no central organization that focuses on telemetry certification. The two most common credentialing programs include the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
- The Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification obtained through the American Heart Association
- The Processive Care Certified (PCCN) certification given by the Association of Critical-Care Nurses
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Telemetry Nurse?
Telemetry nursing is a highly technical environment that requires a more specialized skill set. This career path involves acute care for patients experiencing cardiac problems. The dual nature of telemetry nursing that combines technical and practical skills separates them from other specializations.
Most common skills for telemetry nurses include:
- Understanding of cardiac rhythm monitoring techniques, interpretation, and treatment
- Knowledge of basic and advanced life support procedures
- Knowledge of drug dosage and continuous monitoring
- Knowledge of standard interventions to stabilize patients should an emergency arise
- Understanding of monitoring machinery
Starting Your Telemetry Nursing Career
If the above responsibilities sound like the type of work that interests you, there’s a straightforward path towards becoming a telemetry nurse. With a specialty like this, you could become a coveted travel nurse. At Stability Healthcare, we place nurses in hospitals across the United States in specialties like telemetry. Browse open jobs today!Read More
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!