Nursing is a noble career choice — but not everyone is suited to this type of job. Nurses are a special breed of people. They work exceptionally long hours and work under constant pressure. Their job requires empathy, kindness, quick thinking, skill, and intuition.
Nursing can also be a very fulfilling profession. It’s filled with plenty of challenges and excitement to help you grow as both a person and a medical professional. There’s also a brilliant opportunity to branch off into travel nursing. This allows you to explore a country while broadening your nursing skill and knowledge.
If you’re thinking of becoming a travel nurse, this blog outlines everything you need to know.
What Is Travel Nursing?
A travel nurse is a registered nurse with the same clinical background as any other nurse. They work for an independent staffing agency that assigns them to different care areas to fulfill short-term employment gaps. These travel nursing positions are temporary, generally spanning 13-weeks at a time.
Travel nursing came about when the field of nursing faced a shortage throughout the U.S. Hospitals and clinics developed a scheme that offered open nursing positions, higher pay, and housing while covering the cost of relocation.
Travel nurses are generally legible to work in any state across the country as well as at international nursing locations. The appeal of travel, higher pay, and broadening your skillset is what makes travel nursing highly popular today.
The Importance of Travel Nurses
Travel nursing serves a major socio-economic purpose. It helps to bridge the gap between supply and demand within the healthcare industry. This ensures that the nationwide population receives the care they need and deserve.
Travel nurses also help to fulfill the mandatory nurse-patient ratios throughout hospitals and clinics across the country. Essentially, this increases patient safety, lowers mortality rates, and improves patient outcomes.
To add to this, travel nurses bring with them a different skillset and bags of knowledge from different care areas, backgrounds, and geographic locations. Overall, this makes for a more diversely skilled healthcare industry.
A Quick Guide on Becoming a Travel Nurse
In order to become a travel nurse, you’ll have to complete and receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Otherwise, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from an accredited university will also suffice.
After this, all nurses must pass the NCLEX — the National Council Licensure Examination. This means you are a licensed nurse in your chosen state of practice. The NCLEX is a nationwide exam for all nurses in the U.S. and Canada. Schooling generally takes two-four years, depending on the length of the nursing program you choose.
When it comes to medical practice, there is no better way to broaden your knowledge and skillset through hands-on experience. With nursing, experience is probably the most important factor in becoming a sought-after travel nurse.
Most travel nursing agencies look for nurses with a minimum of two years’ experience in the healthcare industry. If you have the following traits, this makes you extra appealing to nursing agencies:
- Strong leadership skills
- Expertise in a chosen field (additional certifications)
- Good communication skills
- Dependable and reliable
- Works well under pressure
- A good problem solver
Aside from this, nursing also requires you to have great interpersonal skills. This is because you will have to deal with many different walks-of-life throughout your nursing career, especially when travel nursing.
Bear in mind that it’s important to investigate nursing license requirements for each state. You may need to apply for a different nursing license depending on what state you intend to work in. Licenses may take days, weeks, or even months to obtain, so always plan ahead!
Travel Nurse Certifications
You don’t necessarily have to have any additional nursing certifications other than your nursing degree and license. But it does give you an edge over other nursing applicants.
Having an advanced RN certification makes your skillset all-the-more desirable to hospitals, clinics, and travel nursing agencies. Some of the most worthwhile certifications that are nationally recognized include:
- Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN)
- Certified Nephrology Professional (CHN)
- Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN)
- Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN)
- Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR)
- Certified in Care, Coordination, and Transition Management (CCCTM)
It really does depend on your preferred area of expertise, but additional certifications can make all the difference in your travel nursing applications and placement.
Travel Nurse Salary and Other Benefits
Travel nursing salaries tend to vary greatly. This is due to the average earnings based state-by-state, the nursing department, the nursing agency, and any additional certifications. Most travel nurses are paid an average of $1,300 to $2700 per week. This makes for an average annual income of $44,727 to $106,985.
Generally, nurses with specialized experience in more intensive departments tend to earn more. This includes Neonatal Intensive Care, the Operating Room, Intensive Care, and the Cardiac Cath Lab.
Other than their weekly salary, travel nurses are also legible for non-taxed stipends for their living expenses and housing in each state they work in. These stipends are paid on top of your hourly nursing rate. Some other stand-out nursing benefits include:
- 401K investment options
- Free continuing education courses
- Tax advantage plans
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance
- Nursing license reimbursement
- Referral bonuses
- Liability and disability insurance
- Worker’s compensation
Keep in mind that you should do your homework before signing up with just any travel nursing agency. Your nursing recruiter is an important figure in your career as they are the bridge between you and your next travel nursing placement.
They also ensure you are paid what you’re worth, and should always be open and honest with you about placement opportunities. Do your research, and find the best agency fit to suit your career needs.
Bring Your Travel Nursing Career to Life With Stability Healthcare
If you’re interested in becoming a travel nurse, Stability Healthcare is your go-to for finding some of the best travel nursing opportunities in America.
Search for career opportunities, set an interview, and book your next nursing assignment through our detailed online portal. Browse for travel nursing jobs here and find your ideal placement today…Read More
World Oceans Day is held every year on June 8th to raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans and the role they play in sustaining a healthy planet. To celebrate, we’re sharing 8 of our favorite Stability placements on the ocean. Now that the sun is getting hotter and the days are getting longer, there’s no better time to take a job on the beach… or at least near a beach.
San Diego, CA
Miles of sandy beaches, surfable waves, sailboats, and a zoo. What’s not to love about San Diego? Right at the bottom of California, where it’s sunny and warm all year round, it’s hard to find a better beachtown.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
When most people not from New York think of a beach getaway, they might not think of the north shore of Long Island. But why not? Long Island’s gold coast is beautiful and much less crowded than the Hamptons. Grab a craft beer and catch a bonfire on the beach this summer after work, and you won’t be sorry.
There are two placements in Riverhead, and you can see all of our high paying New York placements here.
Fort Bragg, CA
Describing Fort Bragg sounds like you’re making up a romantic little beach town for a novel. In Northern California off the Mendocino Coast, Fort Bragg is best known for Glass Beach, with its shore full of colorful glass stones. The beach is part of sprawling MacKerricher State Park, which supports varied birdlife and harbor seals. If you want a break from the ocean, you can hop onto The Skunk Train, a steam locomotive that weaves through the redwood forests of the Noyo River Canyon. This quiet old logging town is a perfect place to spend a sleepy summer in Northern California.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
A summer in South Florida is certainly one you won’t forget. Even with the restriction of COVID-19, you’re bound to have a fun time on the beach this summer. Eat some delicious Cuban food, take in the palm tree scenery, and gaze at that beautiful blue ocean.
Check out all of our Florida placements here.
This small university town on the north end of Humboldt Bay will offer you some beautiful beach days on the Gold Coast, as well as a relaxed hippie vibe to settle into after a hard day’s work. Arcata is known for its progressive politics and its vegetarian restaurants, but it’s also just outside of Crescent City, where there’s miles of white sandy beaches and the weather is always a little chilly, perfect for those long walks on the beach.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
The Western Gulf Coast of Texas is probably another beach that escapes most people’s minds when they think about where to vacation. But if you’re someone who loves wide open spaces and cheap rent, you might consider it. Brownsville might be the cheapest place in America you can live in and still be only a few miles from the ocean. And Boca Chica Park and South Padre Island boast truly beautiful beaches, with sea turtles and water parks and all.
You can look at all of our Texas placements here.
San Francisco, CA
If you want a scenic beach but you also crave city life, there’s no place better than San Francisco. As long as your calves are well equipped to walk up endless hills, you’ll experience so much culture and beauty in this city. And with Stability’s high paying placements there, you can actually afford the cost of living.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
We’re saving the best for last, because there is no beach like Venice Beach. Bring your skateboard and your hacky sack, and get ready to embrace the boardwalk lifestyle. Inglewood might be a small town landlocked outside of Los Angeles, but it’s only a 20-minute drive to Venice Beach, and a 20-minute drive the other way to Manhattan Beach. You can have it all living here, including an almost $3,000 a week placement.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.Read More
There’s a wealth of podcasts out there targeting many different groups. As a nurse, staying on top of the latest news and educational resources is paramount. But your education doesn’t have to remain limited to a textbook or a guide. Podcasts are an excellent way of listening to what’s happening in the nursing industry, learn tips from seasoned nurses, and learn to cope with the ins and outs of being a nurse.
So, next time you have a few minutes to spare between shifts, your commute, or on your days off, tune-in to these podcasts that will help you grow as a nurse.
Listen for: Mental Health Care
Nurses, particularly travel nurses, need to nurture their mental health. Working with emotional cases, dealing with high levels of stress, and sometimes being at the forefront of chaos, can be mentally and emotionally drawing. Meditation Minis Podcast helps you focus on your mental health. Most episodes are around 10 minutes, which means they’re the perfect podcast to listen during shifts when you’re having a rough day at work. Plus, they follow a friendly setting that’s not intimidating for meditation beginners.
Listen for: Continuing Education
A must-listen for nurses everywhere. NRSNG features current content centered around nurses’ education and professional interests. From personal journeys to the latest developments in the nursing industry, this podcast covers it all. Tune-in to listen from an extensive network of certified nurses and special guests that bring a fresh, real-life perspective to nursing education and the nursing profession.
Listen for: Travel Nursing Insight
Maybe you’re a travel nurse looking for ideas on how to optimize your assignments. Or, perhaps you’re an RN looking to explore the world of travel nursing. No matter in which bucket you fall, this podcast will be your go-to place of everything travel-nursing related. Listen for an unscripted insight into travel nurses everywhere. Look out for new episodes sharing advice, personal stories, and the latest developments in the travel nursing industry. Even if you’re not planning on ever becoming a travel nurse, this podcast stills offers tips and solutions that can benefit any RN in the field today.
Listen for: Self-Care and Self Help
Even the most seasoned nurses know the importance of self-help/ This podcast, hosted by Robert Duff Ph.D., answers mental health questions without the BS. When you’re listening to the podcast, you feel as if you’re talking to that very frank friend who isn’t afraid of telling you the facts straight. The podcast explores mental health topics like depression and borderline personality disorder, which can come in handy for nurses dealing with patients in these conditions. But, it goes a bit further talking about topics like perfectionism, which might be quite common among nurses.
Listen for: Real-life Insight Into Nursing
While nurses work with many people all the time, it’s easy to feel lonely and misunderstood. This podcast is a nurse favorite because you’re talking to nursing professionals that go through the same experience as you are. Each podcast episode, hosted by two registered nurses. One nurse shares personal stories to impart motivation and inspiration, while the other taps into the darker side of nursing, not everyone talks about.
Topics range from daily issues nursing professionals face in their professional and personal lives to hospital challenges and workplace bullying. Expect to hear everything about the flu, nursing frustrations, and mental health in the workplace. The Good Nurse Bad Nurse podcast is an excellent option for everyone in the nursing field, but it’s a must-listen for nursing students or those looking to venture into this exciting field.
These are some of the podcasts you should be listening to right now. There are thousands of podcasts available online talking about nursing, mental health, family, wellness, even fitness. Tune-in to these podcasts whenever you have spare time, while on your commute, or as you’re filling in paperwork. A few minutes a day can make a huge difference in your day, so whenever you feel down, or you feel a bit lost, listen to one of these podcasts to stay updated, guided, and ready to go.
Whether you’re a nurse working on the front lines, or you’re taking this time to be with your family, building a strong immune system is so important right now. While everyone is furiously washing their hands and social distancing, it can be easy to forget about what’s working inside of your body. These home recipes might bring you some peace of mind, knowing that your body is strong and healthy. Plus they taste good and are a fun quarantine activity. Here are five fun immunity boosting recipes you can whip up in your kitchen. Make them for yourself and your kids!
How many times have your friends challenged you on Instagram to, “see a shot, send a shot”? Give your liver a break and take a few swigs of this jam-packed immunity booster shot recipe instead. It’s got every natural ingredient you need to strengthen your immune system, including garlic and ginger, lemon and orange juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, and turmeric. The best part is that most of this should already be hiding somewhere in your kitchen.
Here’s why all seven of these ingredients are like the Immunity Avengers, coming together to save you from any nasty seasonal cold or flu that might have you freaking out unnecessarily during a global pandemic:
Honey and turmeric are rich in antioxidants, which help protect your cells from free radicals, those pesky molecules that pop up when your body breaks down foods. Free radicals can play a role in heart disease, cancer and more common cases of the cold and flu.
Known for killing harmful bacteria, apple cider vinegar is totally the fighter we need in this crisis. And lemon juice and orange juice are both very high in vitamin C. Orange juice also has antioxidants, and lemon juice helps support your heart and digestive health.
Garlic and Ginger are your tale-as-old-as-time immunity boosters. Both have also been known to help reduce the symptoms of the common cold. They also serve as a flavor kick. After all, shots should be exciting!
Add a dash of black pepper and cayenne (also known to boost your metabolism, which is a win-win during this time of unlimited snacking), and you can make this shot in five minutes. Check out the full recipe here. You can make a whole growler full of immunity juice, that way it’s ready for you each morning, or you can make just a glass-full.
This doubles as an immunity booster, and a perfect Spring/Summer refreshment. Bring a pitcher of it outside on the patio while you garden or read a book.
Water Kefir, a bubbly, fruit-infused drink, is similar to Kombucha in that it’s filled with probiotics, but it’s a little bit less complicated to make on your own. It does take about three days to make, but with only five minutes of prep time. All you need is water kefir grains, which you can order on Amazon Prime and have delivered early next week, water, the fruits of your choice mixed with some organic sugar, maybe some ginger, a strainer, a kitchen towel and some big mason jars!
This fruity, refreshing drink is filled with probiotics to heal your gut, give you an energy boost and even clear up your skin. And warding off inflammatory reactions in the gut is also a really natural way to protect your immune system.
If you’re working from home, drink a glass of this halfway through the day and you’ll get a boost of new energy. If you’re going into the hospital, you can take it to go in a cute mason jar!
Here’s the full recipe with several fun variations.
There’s nothing like a superfood that also tastes delicious. That’s why sweet potatoes are always a go-to when you’re trying to eat a clean, plant-based diet. This recipe for sweet potatoes topped with ginger, miso and scallions is particularly good for the immune system.
You cut your sweet potatoes or yams in half, length-wise, and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes. Then you mix butter, shallots, miso and ginger together in a skillet, and spoon your tasty miso butter over your golden roasted sweet potatoes. It’s a delicious lunch, or a great side to go with dinner.
Sweet potatoes themselves are filled with beta carotene and vitamin A, which help support your immune system and also benefit your vision, your heart and even your teeth. They’re called superfoods for a reason! But it’s the other ingredients in this recipe that really make it a one-two-punch for building up the immune system. Miso itself is probiotic and great for the gut and immune system. And as we’ve said before, ginger is a go-to for boosting immunity.
Get the full recipe for this rich and uber healthy treat here.
Smoothies are some of the most fun and tasty ways to get all the good antioxidants, vitamins and probiotics you need to fight off the cold and flu. This one has everything you need and has enough natural sweetness to make it taste delicious.
First, put in some kale and spinach, which will load you up with Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber and calcium. Whew! Add some mango pineapple and kiwi to make it taste tropical, but also to add even more Vitamin C. Squeeze in some lemon for an extra metabolism boost. And add some ginger because…. Do we even have to tell you?
Mix it all in with some almond milk, or oat milk, and you’ve got yourself a green smoothie. If it’s not quite sweet enough for you, add some cacao nibs — cocoa, believe it or not, is actually an incredible antioxidant! You can also add some avocado if you want a slightly creamier blend.
Sure, it’s easy to buy granola from the store, but often when you read the back-labels, even the more organic-looking blends have a high dose of fructose corn syrup or other artificial flavorings that cancel out the good protein and fiber you’re looking for. So now that we all have a little more time in the kitchen, take a stab at making your own granola!
This recipe is filled with flavorful, natural ingredients that boost the immune system and leave you feeling full throughout the day. Paired with a dollop of greek yogurt, this is truly a breakfast of champions.
You can look at the full list of yummy ingredients for this recipe here. But we’ll highlight some of the best ones helping your body fight off bad actors.
First off, SEEDS. This recipe includes three different kinds of seeds: flax, pumpkin and sunflower. Flax seeds are filled with Omega 3 fatty acids which help your white blood cells fight off disease and infection. Flax seeds, along with pumpkin seeds, are also rich in iron and zinc, which have antiviral and antifungal properties. Sunflower seeds contain selenium, which helps fight certain types of cancers and boosts your immune system. Plus, they’re rich in Vitamin E which gives you healthy skin and nails.
This recipe also includes agave, the nectar of the tequila gods. If your husband or parents ever give you flack about your mid-day quarantine margaritas, you can always defend yourself by pointing out some of agave’s many healing properties. Agave contains fructans and saponins which are both known to boost your immune system.
Your homemade granola will also contain a healthy dose of cinnamon, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps that all of these things, including the dried, sweetened mangos, are so delicious! Check out the full recipe and see for yourself.
Want to explore more about travel nursing opportunities?
Stability Healthcare is an industry leader in travel nursing. Check out our Travel nursing jobs page for dozens of listings for high-paying gigs all across the United States. If you still have questions, contact our representatives. They are always available to help you start a fascinating career in the travel nursing field.Read More
With many states approaching their peak days as far as the number of cases and deaths attributed to COVID-19, people crave a path to normalcy. However, amid the pandemic, healthcare workers continue their fight to help as many people as possible, with limiting resources and staff members to support them. Coronavirus updates keep changing by the minute, if not by the second. With more confirmed cases, healthcare workers are still trying to piece together the ins and outs of this pandemic. For travel nurses, emergency nurses, and other essential healthcare personnel keeping up with COVID-19 updates are of the utmost importance for their health and wellbeing.
The Latest COVID-19 Numbers
As of this writing, there are 579,005 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States and 22,252 total deaths, expanding across 55 jurisdictions. Signs of the spread slowing down are optimistic if people follow social distancing and stay at home. However, there’s no way to guarantee this will happen, and we’ll indeed be able to flatten the curve.
While all of this is continuously happening, healthcare workers and facilities are now facing new challenges of their own. On the one side, healthcare facilities are now looking at strategies to mitigate personnel staffing shortages. On the other, healthcare personnel is scrapping for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as shortages continue to worsen.
Healthcare Workers Looking for PPE
Right now, there’s a severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of PPE. Risk in demand, panic buying by healthcare facilities and civilians, hoarding, and misuse are leaving hospitals struggling to meet needs. The shortage of personal protective equipment is placing doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers at higher risks.
From gloves, respirators, medical masks, face shields, goggles, aprons, and gowns, the need for PPE is real.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, beyond supplies diminishing, prices have surged. For example, surgical masks have increased prices six times.
The concern with supplies is that it might take months to go back to normal. According to the World Health Organization, we need close to 89 million medical masks each month for the COVID-19 response. The number goes up to 76 million when we talk about examination gloves. Plus, 1.6 million goggles per month. To meet these rising demands, the WHO estimates that the manufacturing of PPE must increase by 40 percent.
Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE You Should Know
As healthcare facilities left and right kept looking for ways to optimize the supply of PPE, the CDC stepped in with some guidelines.
- Reserve PPE for HCP and replace PPE typically used for source control with other barrier precautions such as tissues.
- Use re-usable PPE that can be reprocessed.
- Use PPE beyond the manufacturer-designated shelf life for training.
- Consider allowing healthcare personnel to extend the use of respirators, facemasks, and eye protection, beyond single patient contact.
Hospitals and Facilities Looking for Staff
At the frontlines of the outbreak, healthcare workers are finding themselves in an unprecedented staff shortage. Over 9,000 healthcare workers contracted COVID-19 over a week. However, the numbers are not one hundred percent accurate because many cases go unreported. The rise in cases correlates with the shortage of PPE to keep workers safe. Not to mention, ongoing staff shortages in healthcare isn’t a COVID-19 only problem. It’s estimated that even before the outbreak, the US needs to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 to care for the aging population qualitatively.
So far, the states facing the most number of cases include New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, closing the top five. Overall, job postings for healthcare workers tripled in the US in a matter of days. The top states with Coronavirus-related job openings include California, Washington, Georgia, Maryland, and New York. Altogether, these five states account for 61% of the job demand. Out of these job postings, about 21% of the market is looking for Registered Nurses.
The surge in demand for healthcare personnel expands to government entities, nonprofits, the private sector, and beyond. Right now, trying to fill staffing gaps is one of the top priorities to control the outbreak.
What Can You Do?
As a travel nurse, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to navigate the situation. If you’ve chosen to be part of the frontline warriors, reach out to your travel agency to start making the necessary arrangement. Right now, travel nurses with the flexibility to move from one state to another quickly are what most healthcare facilities need. Stability offers placement for nurses in many of the cities experiencing a surge in demand. For all the brave nurses out there, reaching out to the various states battling the outbreak, Stability wants to be your ally and partner to make sure your placement arrangements are as straightforward as possible, so you can focus on what matters the most – caring for others.Read More
Starting a career as a travel nurse is both exciting and frightening. We all know that starting in the nursing field comes with its number of common mistakes. But, when you add in the travel aspect, you’re bound to face even more risks of making mistakes.
1. Not Taking The Housing Search Seriously
When it comes to housing, travel nurses can work with their agency to arrange accommodations for them, or they can choose a stipend to find their arrangements. It’s common for new travel nurses to choose the latter as they believe they’ll be able to find reasonably priced housing and save some money.
However, most people underestimate how long it takes to find housing. By the time their assignments begin, many new nurses find themselves without housing arrangements. Not to mention, many find accommodations that are too big or too small for their needs, which can mean additional expenses.
How to Avoid this Mistake: Start by planning your house search way early in the process. Ideally, you want to talk with your travel nursing agency to ask for help with housing. Remember, they have experience making these arrangements for thousands of travel nurses across the nation. Whatever you believe you can do, they’ll probably do it faster and find a better deal.
2. Making Charting or Documentation Errors
As you’re going through nursing school, there’s a lot you focus on, but most people forget about paperwork. One of the most common mistakes new travel nurses make in the field is charting or documentation errors. Recording the essential patient’s information is a critical part of your job as a nurse. But, it’s also one that leads to many common mistakes. You must become aware of the proper way to fill charts and documentation, as any error can make you liable for lawsuits.
How to Avoid this Mistake: First of all, make sure you take the time to read through the documentation as you see it for the first time. Make it a habit to double and triple check your input before you file away a chart. Include any prescribed medication, discontinued medicines, every nursing action, any changes in your patient’s condition, and any order or suggestion given regarding the patient’s care.
3. Making Assumptions About Policies
If this is your first job as a travel nurse, you’re unlikely to make this mistake. However, if this isn’t your first assignment, but you’re still new to the industry, making assumptions about policies is a common mistake. Not knowing the procedures and policies of your workplace can be detrimental. While no one expects you to memorize them on the first day, you should follow policies and protocols after a few weeks in the role. Remember, never assume policies or procedures are universal; what works for one hospital might not work for the other.
How to Avoid this Mistake: Try to familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of your new workplace before you arrive. Reach out to your travel nursing agency to see if they can help provide you with the right information. If you can’t do this beforehand, then make it a priority to ask about policies on your first week and start getting used to their process.
4. Not Asking for Help
Most new travel nurses fall for this mistake. Travel nurses are expected to be experts in the field, which leads new nurses to abstain from asking questions out of fear of looking inexperienced. However, not asking for help from a coworker or your travel nursing advisor might place you at risk of making a medical error that could potentially endanger a patient’s life.
How to Avoid this Mistake: Get rid of the idea that seasoned nurses are unwilling to help. Stop making excuses to avoid making questions. If you have a concern or question, reach out to coworkers, supervisors, and other personnel around you for help. Ideally, you want to find yourself a mentor that will guide you through the various situations you’ll encounter as a travel nurse.
5. Making Mistakes with Medications
While this mistake might arise from faulty administration policies, it is a common mistake many new travel nurses make. Dispensing the incorrect dosage, handing out the wrong medication, or giving a prescription to the wrong patient are all errors that most nurses have experienced. It’s common for new nurses to feel extra pressure, which can lead to a foggy mind, therefore result in common mistakes like handing out the wrong medication to a patient.
How to Avoid this Mistake: The best way to ensure you prevent this mistake is by focusing on your patient and having a clear mind. Try to find ways to manage your emotions and stress, as well as keeping your personal life outside of your work life. As a nurse, you need a sharp mindset to prevent as many mistakes as possible.
6. Not Being Prepared
Many new travel nurses get caught up on the excitement of their assignments and forget about the details. Making sure your state nursing license is ready, your credentials and other documentation are current, that you’ve done all required training and tests before deadlines. These are just some of the things you need to know before starting your assignment. Also, knowing who your supervisor will be, what floor you’ll be working on, and more is all part of the process.
How to Avoid this Mistake: Talk to your travel nurse agency recruiter and make sure they can guide you through every checklist item you need before you start your assignment. They should be able to provide you first-day instructions to give you a better idea of what to expect.
7. Skim Through Your Contract
Landing your first assignment as a travel nurse can be quite exciting. However, most people forget to read through their contracts and end up having questions or issues with the terms and agreements. Beyond the overall picture, you have to look at your compensation package and your assignment guidelines. The more you get familiar with your contract, the fewer surprises you’ll encounter than the road.
How to Avoid this Mistake: First of all, read through your entire contract. Look for sections that discuss missed-hours penalties, your untaxed income, contract violations, and more. If you must, try to find a lawyer with experience working with travel nurses to look over the contract before you agree to any commitment.
8. Not Having a Tax Home
Even many seasoned travel nurses make this mistake. Most travel nurses have what’s known as an untaxed income, or stipend portion of their salary. The only way to reap these benefits is by establishing a tax home. It’s not difficult to have a tax home, and your travel nurse agency can help you make sure you have all the paperwork needed to file for one.
How to Avoid this Mistake: The moment you start looking for your first travel nurse assignment, you should begin the process of filing for a tax home. There are many IRS rules for establishing a tax home, but if you have them all, it should be an easy filing.
9. Staying Too Long
Stemming from our previous common mistake, staying for too long is another common issue. It’s easy to fall in love with an area, but sometimes it can become a double-edged sword. When you stay too long on the same location, you can undermine your tax home, which means you might lose tax benefits. While “too much” is a challenging timeline to determine, you should avoid any long-term assignment contracts. If you don’t qualify for a tax home, then this is a mistake that won’t bring you any adverse effects.
How to Avoid this Mistake: Make sure you double-check your assignments timeline. If you’re working with an agency, let them know you have a tax home established, and you cannot work in one place for more than 12 months in any 24 months.
10. Failing to File All Your Taxes
We all make tax mistakes from time to time. But, new travel nurses often find themselves making the same tax error. It can be confusing, after all. As a travel nurse, you’re likely to move from state to state, which means you have to pay taxes in every state you work. It doesn’t matter where your tax home is, or how much your agency pays in taxes; you still have to pay them in every state. How much you pay depends on many factors.
How to Avoid this Mistake: Even if you understand your taxes well, as a travel nurse, it’s best to work with a professional. Because you have to deal with various state laws, don’t procrastinate on your taxes. Start working on your filings as soon as you can to avoid any penalties or issues.
While there’s no way to prevent these mistakes altogether, knowing about them can help you be more self-aware of your actions and your first steps as a travel nurse. Reach out to seasoned nurses and travel nurse agencies and ask them about the common mistakes they’ve seen, their stories might help you avoid some of these mistakes.
As a Stability nurse, you may be working in a variety of facilities, from small clinics to level 1 trauma centers. The amount of physical energy you’ll exert is dependent on your specific position. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a nurse may be working many long, overtime shifts. Although the time length of your travel nurse shift may vary, one fact remains the same: one must have the proper equipment to keep themselves comfortable and healthy. Below is a basic guide to what a travel nurse can wear during their shift to help alleviate discomfort and maximize productivity.
The Best Scrubs
There are hundreds of scrubs that a travel nurse can choose from. These are very customizable since different nurses will look for different assets, like material, stretch, color, or fashion appeal. Here are some of the most reliable and highly rated by nurses:
FIGS Scrubs have one of the most impressive selections of affordable scrubs. One of their best sellers is Katsina, an oversized scrub top. The shirt has impeccable seaming details and a side pocket large enough to fit a tablet or a notebook (or your midday snacks). Since it’s oversized, you have plenty of room to move. Their Leon top is a two-pocket scrub. Its cut is tailored and slim and its super soft material is anti-wrinkle and moisture-wicking, so you’ll stay fresh when you’re on your shift. *pictured above
Dickies originated in 1922, making workwear specifically for those with blue-collar jobs like farmers and ranch hands. Since then, they’ve branched out into several different clothing branches, including a scrubs branch. Their scrubs are broken into 7 different categories: EDS Signature, EDS Essentials, Essence, Gen Flex, Xtreme Stretch, Dynamix, and Advance. All scrubs come in multiple colors and fits.
Here are two examples and their benefits:
EDS Signature is one of their most popular scrub types. According to their site, the scrubs “feature a unisex fit, natural rise and adjustable drawstring for the perfect fit for men or women.” A bonus: the pants have a pocket on the back, a perfect place to stow any loose items.
For anyone looking for scrubs with more storage, Dickies’ Gen Flex scrubs would be the way to go. In addition to front pockets, the Youtility scrub pants have two cargo pockets on the legs and two back pockets. The material is fairly stretchy, so you have plenty of mobility.
Elle Medical Apparel are the scrubs for female travel nurses looking for something fashion-forward without compromising comfortability. Although more basic scrubs are available, they offer more decorative pieces, like the Ruffle Yoke Top or their Mid Rise Tapered Leg Pull-On Pant. The ruffle yoke top features side vents for added mobility and large front pocket, all in a slimming form. The mid-rise tapered leg pull-on pant also features side vents, and an elastic waistband. Small details, like metal eyelets, give a chic edge. As a fun extra layer, Elle Medical Apparel makes contemporary-cut jackets to wear on your break or to wear on your way to your shift.
Other brands that make scrubs:
The Best Shoes
There’re a few different brands that are recommended for workers who are on their feet. Seeing as long shifts can be extra stress on your lower limbs, you want to make sure the shoes offer plenty of support, with a thick sole and footbed. Ideally, the shoes would be non-slip or slip resistant (check to see if your facility had any requirements). Here are a few suggestions:
Dansko is amongst the most popular choices for people who are constantly on their feet. The company is known for their reliable, good-for-your-feet choices, such as their Wynn shoe. A slip-resistant outsole, superior shock absorption, and a thick midsole ensure optimal support and comfort.
Hoka One One’s Arahi 3 is technically an orthopedic shoe, but it’s also a great asset for traveling nurses. It’s available in a few different color combos, including more vibrant swatches and neutral options, and features “a refined midsole and improved heel rocker.” Its upper sole is made of breathable mesh, so your feet won’t get as hot throughout a shift.
These clogs are easy to slide into if you’re in a rush to get to your shift. It has a large toe box and a slip-resistant sole that is also a heel-to-toe rocker. If the $120 price tag seems daunting, Timberland offers a 4-part payment plan.
Other brands with comfortable, supportive footwear:
Other suggestion of what to wear & have with you during your shift:
- If you have long hair, bring a hair tie or two so you can pull back any loose ends.
- Two pairs of shoes – wear the first pair during your first half, then switch into the second. Footbeds can decompress over a certain period of time, so this will help keep your foot supported.
- If you’re breaking in shoes, wear thick socks to prevent blisters.
- A sweater, in case you get cold on your break or want to feel a little more homey when you have free time.
For travel nurses, understanding how compact nursing states operate is paramount for an established, long-term career in the field. Having a multi-state license is not only a must-have as a travel nurse, but it is also a mechanism to ensure you’re practicing nursing under legal standards that apply to most of the states you work.
What’s the Nursing Licensure Compact?
The Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), which started back in 1977, is an agreement that allows nurses to have a single license that permits them to practice in multiple states. To this date, there are 34 states which have ruling NLC legislation available, which means they recognize a multi-state license or have this legislation currently pending.
What about the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC)
Stemming from the Nursing Licensure Compact, in 2018, legislation that adopted new requirements for nurses to work in these compact states became available. The Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) ensures nurses with the flexibility, time-saving, and lower expenses of taking on travel assignments in any of the participant states. Not to mention, nurses are now able to practice in-person or through telehealth from their home state of licensure or any other eNLC state. There are currently 29 stats with the eNLC legislature.
Who’s Grandfather Under this Agreement?
Members of the original NLC may be grandfather into the eNLC. Any nurse who held a multi-state license before July 2017 may be grandfathered. To verify if you’re part of this group, visit nursys.com and enter your license number on their QuickConfirm form to confirm you have the authority to practice.
Why the Nursing Compact States Are Important
As a travel nurse, you already understand the implications of working in multiple states. The Nursing Licensure Compact aims to remove these complications and make it easier for nurses to work across state lines. The NLC allows you to get rid of multiple renewal requirements and fees while expanding your mobility and giving you access to a nation-wide healthcare system of nurses.
Eligibility for Compact Nursing License
First of all, only nurses who declare a compact state as their primary state of residence may be eligible for a multi-state license. If you don’t live in a compact state, you will be limited to a single-state license that is valid in that state only and might require other single-state licenses if you want to work in another state. As a resident of a noncompact state, you can apply to as many single-state licenses as you want.
If you do live in a compact state, some of the eligibility requirements include:
- Primary residence in an NLC state.
- Have an active license as a registered nurse (RN) or licensed professional nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN),
- Meet specific requirements held by your home state and of the state where your practice is.
- Pass an NCLEX Nurse Examination.
Keep in mind that an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) isn’t eligible for a multi-state license and must hold an individual state license in each state of APRN practice.
Current List of Nursing Compact States
Here’s the latest list of nursing compact states. Keep in mind that more states are continuing to adopt the multi-state license requirements and offerings.
- New Hampshire*
- New Jersey
- New Mexico*
- North Carolina*
- North Dakota*
- South Carolina*
- South Dakota*
- West Virginia*
*These are states that have an existing eNLC legislation.
Additionally, these are the states with NLC legislation currently pending:
- Rhode Island
Thankfully, over 50% of the states are members of the eNLC legislation, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to move across states.
How to Apply for a Compact Nursing License
Once you’re sure you meet all the requirements, you can start the process on your state board of nursing website. Find the application form, often listed under “eNLC Upgrade Application” or “Apply for a multi-state license.”
Go through the application progress, if you need assistance, working with a travel nurse agent can be helpful. Then, complete the mandatory fingerprint scan and background check, which will occur at an approved center in your residential state.
After this step, usually a few days or after a couple of weeks, you will receive your new multi-state license in the mail. Once you receive this license, you should be ready to practice in all participatory eNLC states.
Remember to check your current license status. There’s a possibility that your current nursing license is a valid multi-state one. If you’re unsure, check your eligibility using the website mentioned above for verification.
Whether you’re just getting started as a travel nurse or you’re a seasoned nurse, working with a travel agency to ensure your multi-state license is valid and active can place you at an advantage with other nurses. Make sure to reach out to your coordinator or travel nurse agent to go over requirements, updates, and any other processes needed to be able to practice nursing in compact states. At Stability Healthcare, our recruiters and staff members are always available to answer your questions and guide you through the process of obtaining your multi-state license.
It’s clear that these are unprecedented times with a lot of uncertainty. With the recent spike in people infected with COVID-19, it seems as if everyone’s stress levels have skyrocketed alongside it. Being in the healthcare industry you are on the frontlines of this battle, which doesn’t make things any less stressful! Although it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious, confused, and upset about the current circumstances, it’s also important to find ways to try and destress. This will help you be able to think and react more clearly and calmly. You should spend time finding your own personal way to ease tension, but look below for some tips.
Familiarize yourself on COVID-19 prevention
Anxiety and stress aside, you should still be informed of the basics regarding COVID-19 and its best prevention methods. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is your best source. Here is the page for their suggested prevention methods. As the CDC says, the best way to avoid getting the virus is by refraining from exposure to the virus. This can be done by socially distancing yourself, washing your hands, and cleaning surfaces in your home daily. If you have to leave the house for any reason, you should try and stand at least six feet apart from others. Comb through the page to see more specifics on COVID-19 prevention.
Ways to handle stress
Take care of yourself physically
Although exercising may be daunting during a global pandemic, it can benefit you tremendously. Not only has exercise been clinically proven to help lower stress levels, but it provides an activity for you to focus on. Even under self-isolation, you can still take a walk outside or on a bike ride (just keep in mind to try and stay six feet away from others). If you don’t feel comfortable outside, there are several options to get a workout indoors. A few suggestions: Blogilates, which offers both short and longer exercise routines, Yoga with Adriene, who takes you through both beginner and more difficult yoga workouts, and Planet Fitness’ free live streams. These are just a few examples of many free workout plans available online. Additionally, if you have in-home work equipment, try and instill some type of daily physical activity in your routine.
Self-isolation is also a perfect time to try out the new recipes you haven’t had the chance to yet. After stocking up at the grocery store, find a meal plan suitable for you, putting healthy, clean meals at the forefront. However, it’s always a good idea to treat yourself every once in a while!
Find activities that you enjoy
Obviously your daily routine is going to look different while under self-isolation. It’s a great idea to make sure you try and do some of the normal activities you enjoy, whether that is reading a book, watching a movie, listening to music, knitting, playing card games, or chatting with friends.
- Movies: Luckily, we live in a digital age that allows us to have thousands of movies at our fingertips. With recent events in mind, there are dozens of streaming guides popping up on what to watch when you’re self-isolating, like Paste’s 30 Best Stand-up Comedy Specials on Netflix. There are guides for nearly every genre and streaming platform, like Thrillist’s Best TV Shows with 100+ Episodes to Stream, UPROXX’s 10 Best Rom Coms on Hulu, and more. There’s even a Netflix Party extension so you can watch something on Netflix simultaneously with others.
- Music: Free music is everywhere – on Spotify, Youtube, Reddit threads, Bandcamp, plus others. Make a calming playlist with music that relaxes you, or a playlist of pop music that you can dance to and take your mind off of things. If you use Spotify, you can even make a collaborative playlist with friends, which will lessen the burden of feeling isolated. Spotify, Apple Music, and plenty of other streaming services typically have already-made playlists that are curated for specific moods.
- Hobbies: Chances are, you will have more down-time for the next few weeks. There are plenty of hobbies you can pick up, such as reading, knitting, scrapbooking, embroidery, sewing, puzzles, and more. We recommend following self-isolation practices and ordering supplies online.
Chat With Family and Friends
Self-isolation doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to loved ones. Chat with family and friends over the phone, or schedule a Facetime session. There’s also Google Hangout, Go To Meetings, and several other online resources to video chat someone. If you want something more tangible, you can also write letters, or send momentos in the mail.
Take a break
It’s extremely important to give yourself a mental break. It might seem pertinent to keep updated on every single news item regarding coronavirus, but taking a break from the internet and TV can be beneficial. Putting aside time to meditate, or do a relaxing activity, or to chat with a friend over the phone can help put you in a more positive headspace.
While you’re busy taking care of everyone else right now, make sure you are taking care of yourself! If you need more resources, check out CDC’s advice on Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19. There are many online resources to help cope with stress during a global pandemic.Read More
At the time of this writing, there are 193,475 confirmed cases, 7,864 deaths, and 164 countries battling the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the World Health Organization. While millions of people choose to self-quarantine, practice social distancing, and stay home, healthcare workers remain at the forefront lines of defense against the virus. So far, dozens if not hundreds of healthcare workers have fallen ill with COVID-19, and more are quarantined after exposure to the virus, leaving the U.S. health system with an unexpected shortage of staff in hospitals.
How Healthcare Workers Are Keeping Up
When something like a virus outbreak turned pandemic occurs, the manuals of operations change on a daily if not on an hourly basis. The constant shift of recommendations from the CDC, hospital management, and the media can leave healthcare workers at a loss. Finding the right protocol in a situation that continues to evolve can be challenging for many hospitals. Let alone for conversations and best practices to trickle down to every healthcare worker in the facility.
Adjusting to the News
Due to the massive extent of the virus, with confirmed cases in all 50 states of the United States, the shortages of personal protective equipment is unavoidable. In response to this shortage, the CDC scaled back on its recommendations about PPE for personnel working with COVID-19 patients.
For example, the use of N95 respirators is now recommended to be reserved with procedures in which small particles are more likely to be produced, versus at all times. To deal with the shortage, the CDC is now recommending surgical masks as an alternative for N95 respirators. Other PPE, such as eye protection, gloves, and gowns, are still recommended.
The Quarantine Dilemma
Another issue both healthcare workers and hospitals are facing is the current quarantine protocol. So far, when a patient tests positive for COVID-19, large groups of staff members, including doctors, nurses, and administrative staff are placed on quarantine for at least 14 days before getting back to work. This is leaving hospitals short on staff to continue to address the situation.
Recently, the Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts quarantined 160 employees after exposure to patients who tested positive. This quarantine forced the center to find 54 temporary nurses to support the shortage of staff. Situations like this are happening all across the nation, leaving hospitals and healthcare personnel more vulnerable than ever before.
Besides, it’s not just those at hospitals and medical centers that are exposed. Caregivers outside hospitals and nursing homes are also vulnerable and exposed to risks.
Most healthcare workers understand the risk and have a call to stay in the front lines of defense against the outbreak. However, putting large staff groups in quarantine for 14 days after contact with COVID-19 patients is not a viable solution due to the shortage of staff happening allover.
Understanding the Risk
It’s essential to understand the occupation risk with COVID-19 and how to protect personnel that falls under each category. Here are some recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
For Low Exposure Risk Workers
These are jobs that don’t require contact with people known to be or suspected of being infected with the virus. They don’t have close contact with the general public and other coworkers.
- Additional PPE is not required
- Other controls are not necessary. Workers should continue operations as usual
For Medium Exposure Risk Workers
Workers with high-frequency interaction with the general public. In this case, additional measurements need to be implemented to make sure they’re working in a safe environment.
- Install physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards, where feasible
- In addition to N95 respirators, workers with medium exposure risk need some combination of gloves, a gown, a face mask, and a face shield or goggles
For High and Very High Exposure Risk Workers
These are healthcare workers at the front lines of treating patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases. In this instance, making sure the optimal levels of security are in place is paramount to safeguard their wellbeing and health.
- Making sure they wear all PPE gear to prevent contamination
- Have standards in place for how to proceed if a worker tests positive for COVID-19
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
If you’re a healthcare provider working through the COVID-19 outbreak, your family’s safety is most likely one of your top priorities. Even as your workplace takes significant safety precautions, you’re still in a risky environment, which exposes your loved ones to the virus.
As you return home, make sure you:
- Thoroughly wash your hands before greeting your family
- Wash any clothes you’re wearing
- If you’re a medium to high-risk healthcare personnel, considering keeping distance with your family members
- Ensure your home remains clean and disinfected every day
- Recommend that they self-quarantine if possible to prevent exposure
While the situation continues to evolve, keep track of everything you can do to stay safe, and keep your loved ones safe as well. Remember, like many other pandemics, this too shall pass. Try to focus on self-care, attend your mental health, and do your best to manage your stress levels. Find support within your community and loved ones. Remind yourself of your value to society and bravery for being at the front lines of the situation and find comfort in the thought that you’re saving lives each day.Read More