Health Care Professional

Transcription

Health Care Professional
Table of Contents
Acknowledgement
Introduction: What is it worth to you? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5
Chapter 1: The Essence of an Elite Traveler. . . . . . . . . . . . Page 7
Chapter 2: Travel Nursing as a Career. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 10
Chapter 3: Emerging Travel Nursing Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 16
Chapter 4: Your Money Mindset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 22
Chapter 5: Do You Have What it Takes? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 31
Chapter 6: The Power in Preparation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 36
Chapter 7: The Fine Art of Recruiter Relations. . . . . . . . . . . Page 50
Chapter 8: Hot Spots for Travel Nursing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 53
Chapter 9: Capitalizing on the Health Care Traveler’s Lifestyle . . Page 63
Chapter 10: Unforgettable Luxury Housing. . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 67
Chapter 11: What to Do with All That Cash you Stashed? . . . . . Page 74
Chapter 12: The Lucrative Business of Travel Nursing. . . . . . . Page 76
Appendix
Appendix A: Travel Nursing Forums and Blog Sites. . . . . . . Page 80
Appendix B: Travel Nursing Magazines . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 81
Appendix C: State Boards for Licensure and Endorsement. . . Page 82
Appendix D: Nurse Licensure Compact States . . . . . . . . . Page 83
Appendix E: States with No State Income Tax. . . . . . . . . . Page 89
Appendix F: The Agency Structure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 90
Appendix G: Hospital Interview Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . Page 94
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I dedicate this book to all the lives I have touched and all the lives that
have touched me throughout my travel career and therefore contributing
tremendously to this project.
My most sincere gratitude to my mother for accompanying me for the
countless 1,450 mile drives to and from South Florida on more occasions
than we care to admit to although we said “never again!” after the first trip.
Thank you for the soothing hot cup of Lemon Zinger tea when I needed
a break while writing, what would later be, the beginning of the very
first chapter of this book. I can’t thank you enough for your support and
encouragement. I’d also like to thank my close friends and family in New
York for all the joyous memories while on assignment in the city and for
visiting South Florida when I needed my family most.
A special thanks to the amazing travelers, all of whose cheeky humor,
to the point of tears, has led to exceptional experiences and fantastic
friendships along the way.
To the Monsoon Internet Marketing Group who has shown an undying
commitment to my success and how to go “from good to great” in this
endeavor.
You all have left such lasting impressions which I will forever cherish.
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What Is it Worth to You?
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Introduction: What Is it Worth to You?
Are you ready to catapult your life and career into a world of endless
vacations and a potential six-figure salary while challenging yourself with
fantastic new experiences?
Are you ready to be a part of the elite group of free-spirited nurses
nationwide who are taking charge of their lives and nursing careers to conquer/
tackle their life goals and financial dreams? Well then, welcome to my world!
The vibrant career of travel nursing affords you the opportunity to create
the lifestyle you’ve always wanted, on your terms, while enjoying new, relaxing
and captivating cities. With travel nursing, you don’t have to wait until you’re
retirement eligible to vacation for three months in Europe. Rather than working
at the same hospital throughout your entire career, with the same coworkers
day in and day out, waiting years for a promotion or a new position to open up
in another department, travel nursing offers
a new and exciting assignment every three
months. And, you’re in charge of selecting
the assignments that are most appealing to
you. Travel nursing provides an excellent
opportunity to gain experience in a variety of
specialties as each assignment adds depth
and diversity to your resume.
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Do you enjoy expanding your inner circle
of friends and acquaintances by meeting new and interesting people?
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Are you a traveler at heart?
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Do you thrive off of new adventures, sightseeing and learning about
different areas of the United States and abroad?
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Does your perception of the cost of frequent traveling hold you back as
you consider newfound experiences?
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Do you feel stuck in a position where your current pay is unlikely to allow
you to live the lifestyle you deserve or allow you to save up a nest egg for
a rainy day?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then traveling as a
healthcare professional, may be right for you.
Travel nursing provides an excellent opportunity to create an ever-widening
and diverse group of friends from across the United States and around the
world! You can enjoy learning from those you meet and work with and gain
an appreciation for differing perspectives and ways of life. Developing new
relationships of varying levels amongst new friends and co-workers can provide
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an enriching dimension to your personal and
professional life.
Travel nursing not only provides the
opportunity to see new cities, but to truly get to
know the area and people who live there. You
learn much more about an area, its unique
features, culture, and people by living there
and truly becoming a part of the community—
even if for a limited time. You aren’t just a
tourist rushing to see the sights in a couple
of days. Instead, you will be immersed in the local community and culture,
learning from your own experiences and from those with whom you live and
work.
You’ll never be able to travel throughout the United States more
economically than you will as a travel nurse! Visit areas of the country you
think you’d enjoy living in before pursuing a permanent position, take a mini
vacation as an escape from the mundane, and be free to govern your career
by making more money and working less.
With considerably higher pay rates than those typically seen for traditional
employment, travel nursing can provide the financial stability you need for
both an enjoyable lifestyle and a bank account bursting at the seams.
So what is it worth to you? More time to yourself and with your family,
less stress, a hefty financial cushion to go along with those amazing vacation
plans you’ve had in mind for quite some time now? Or, perhaps, professional
growth?
Now is the time to take advantage of your versatile career in healthcare
and make it work for you. As a nurse, you give of yourself daily to care for
your patients, why not give to yourself and experience the lucrative lifestyle/
business of travel nursing? The Elite Traveler will guide you through making
the most of a career in travel nursing.
Let me show you how!
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Chapter 1: The Essence of an Elite Traveler
Do you remember the day you decided to become a health care
professional? Take a moment to recall that turning point in your life when
becoming a member of the healthcare industry was a passion that burned
within. There are many Elite travelers across our nation and across the world
that share the same vision, the same personal responsibility to achieve a
greater good for all mankind, to see the best in individuals of all creeds and
cultures by providing non discriminatory care to those in need. It’s a personal
virtue to succeed in the art of caring. It’s evident in all we do.
The magnanimity of hearts
The loftiness of minds
Nurtures all things that grow
It harmonizes and unites
Through our eyes the intent of our souls
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
When I Chose my Career Path
I recall, at the tender age of 15, babysitting for my neighbor. She was
a working mother with a one-year-old son Andrew and a newborn daughter
Samantha, both as beautiful in my eyes as a clean crisp Fall day in New York.
Bundles of joy who make you warm and cozy inside like being bundled up
in a pea coat and scarf. As I routinely would, I eagerly awaited 7 a.m. for the
children to wake. However, I noticed Samantha wasn’t resting as soundly as
usual. She tossed and turned and simply wouldn’t settle. I laid her on my chest
and sound asleep she fell. She was very warm to the touch so I undressed
her, keeping her diaper on to avoid any potentially unfavorable accidents, and
laid a blanket over top of us. Thinking she would now rest well, I attempted to
put her down. No such luck. She, again, fussed and seemed uncomfortable.
After about an hour I phoned her mother and suggested Samantha see a
pediatrician. I was then, even at the young age of 15, able to pick up on
the nonverbal cues even the tiniest of beings could relay in an effort to
communicate. She was taken to a pediatrician that afternoon who diagnosed
her with otitis media, an ear infection. That was the day I decided to become
a pediatric healthcare professional.
I’m sure you have a similar story, and I’m willing to bet that’s not all we
have in common.
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Qualities an Elite Traveler Should Possess
The Essence of the Elite Traveler is more than going to work and clocking
in and out—it’s compassion. It’s delivering a new life. It’s the feeling you get when
you put on a hair bonnet, surgical mask and booties. It’s finding joy in scrubbing
your hands for three minutes from your fingertips to your elbows, backing into
the OR door and drying off with a sterile towel. The excitement that comes with
donning the sterile gown as the scrub nurse affixes the ties in the back and you
unfold the sterilized baby blanket. The exhilaration you feel with an umbilical cord
clamp and sterile scissors in hand awaiting the bundle of joy who has failed to
progress. Happy birthday!
It’s taking the time to read a get well card sent to the unit for Helen, a
patient with Sundowners Syndrome and dementia, recovering from a total hip
replacement that is wheeled out into the hallway in her Geri Chair at night so
the nurses can keep her company. The darkness for her is frightening. Her
catalog of life experiences was truly amazing.
It’s comforting the pre-operative patient as best you can prior to surgery;
taking the results from the pre-operative labs to the surgeon, checking for
allergies, making sure their personal belongings are with a family member who
will be awaiting their safe recovery from anesthesia. Off to the OR we go. Cap,
mask and snow shoes. Bovie patch, scratch,
tip. Allis, Babcock, Crile, curved Criles and
Kellies, DeBakey, Army Navy’s, Kocher’s,
Deaver retractors and Mayo scissors. Can I
have a 2.0 silk, please?! With the hopes her
recovery will go fairly well…it’s time for a safe
transfer to the stretcher post closure, ensuring
the patient is comfortable and off to the Post
Anesthesia Care Unit.
The essence of the Elite traveler is serving as the definitive resource
in your specialty. Remain up-to-date and knowledgeable of the changes that
have come and gone to enhance patient care and provide modern medicine
as it evolves. It’s important to participate in clinical trials and research
developments to learn about new technologies and cutting edge treatments.
Subscribe to a medical journal in your specialty. You can often find the latest
issue of any given journal at your local library in the medical references
or periodical section. Take the opportunity to read a few articles that may
interest you and perhaps provide some insight into tailoring your patient care.
Additionally, subscribing to your specialty-specific organization will show your
dedication to your profession.
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Keeping abreast of ongoing research studies will give you the opportunity
to present options to your current facility and department to perhaps implement
a new protocol when caring for your newly admitted patients.
Always stay true to your inner voice as a patient advocate and do what’s
right. Your virtuosity will not go unrecognized and you will be respected for a
job well done. You’ll ensure excellent references and clinical evaluations
by being a team player who also has the ability to work independently.
Lastly, live by the 5 Tools for Travel Nursing Success:
Diversify Your Funds: Increase your knowledge base to increase your
marketability to ensure ongoing travel nursing opportunities and keep the
cash flowing.
Maintain a Lucrative Mindset: Change the way you view opportunity. In
order to succeed in travel nursing, you will no longer think like a staff nurse
with limited options; you must train yourself to think as a travel nurse on a
more global scale.
Keep Energized: Create a fitness regimen to include restorative sleep
and a well-balanced energy-boosting diet for your long, 12-hour shifts.
Power in Preparation: Set yourself up for success. Get organized!
The Fine Art of Recruiter Relations: Manage your life and day-to-day
communications with your recruiter.
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Chapter 2: Travel Nursing as a Career
The Nursing Shortage
Nursing has evolved over the years both in terms of the practice of nursing
and the career opportunities available to nursing professionals. With each
nursing shortage and during times of war, nurses have continued to rise to
the occasion. We now realize that many of the greatest advancements and
achievements in nursing have been connected with war time and recession.
Nursing has created so many opportunities for us to serve and care and to
become the strong, independent leaders we are today. We must take an
active role in the implementation of a strategic plan to overcome the future of
our profession.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Registered Nurses constitute the largest healthcare occupation with 2.5 million
jobs—59 percent of which are in hospitals. The Bureau also says the largest
health care industry, hospitals, will grow slower than that of other industries
due to the early discharge (< 24 hours) and more outpatient procedures. To
the contrary, home health care, outpatient facilities and offices of physicians
are expected to grow 34-39 percent.
As baby boomers age, so does the nursing population—leading to a
retirement boom slated to occur between 2011 and 2020. With the average
age of the Registered Nurse population documented by the National Sample
Survey of RN’s by the Federal Division of Nursing as being 46.8 years in
2004, 40 percent of Registered Nurses are well over 50 years old. This means
younger people must enroll at the same rate annually in order to replace the
expected number leaving the workforce.
In an effort to unite the professionals that make use of healthcare
products and pharmaceuticals along with the community that receives them,
the Johnson & Johnson family of companies began their commitment to the
healthcare community in 2002. With the increasing number of vacancies in
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nursing, Johnson & Johnson championed a multi-year $50 million national
initiative to, according to their website, “enhance the image of the nursing
profession, recruit new nurses and new faculty, and help retain nurses currently
in the profession.” They feature real nurses whose stories of compassion and
heroism are poignantly defined within two comprehensive websites — www.
discovernursing.com and www.campaignfornursing.com.
As the Johnson & Johnson campaign states: “Today our nation faces the
most profound shortage of nursing professionals in its history.” The current
lack of professional nursing staff is here to stay with many professional bodies
predicting an even more severe shortage to come. Take a look at these
shocking statistics regarding the current state of the nursing shortage:
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According to a 2007 American Hospital Association report, U.S. hospitals
need approximately 116,000 registered nurses to fill vacant positions
nationwide.
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Based on findings of the Nursing Management Aging Workforce Survey,
55 percent of surveyed nurses reported their intention to retire between
2011 and 2020.
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The University of Pennsylvania Council on Physician and Nurse Supply,
has determined that 30,000 additional nurses will need to graduate annually
to meet the nation’s healthcare needs, which represents an increase of 30
percent over the current number of annual nurse graduates.
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing is the nation’s top
profession in terms of projected job growth with more than one million new
and replacement nurses needed by 2016. The shortage is not confined to the U.S. According to Associate Professor
Amanda Kenny of La Trobe University, Australia, the main causes of the
current and continuing shortage include “the exponential increase in the
aging population, the burden of chronic disease and the significant workforce
scarcity.”
With the need for qualified staff on the rise, now is the ideal time to take
advantage of this shortage and consider the option of travel nursing to meet
the high demand for skilled professionals across the country. If you are seeking
to either develop your career, or to change locations while greatly benefiting
both professionally and financially, travel nursing is for you.
How I Learned about Travel Nursing as a Career
Six months after graduating, while on staff at the University of Rochester,
I was pod mates with Heather taking care of six newborns for our 8-hour
day shift. As the day went on we became more acclimated to one another
and began talking about how long she had been nursing at the hospital.
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Shortly thereafter, she mentioned how she had lived in upstate New York her
entire life and was ready for a change. “Where are you looking to move?” I
asked puzzled. At the time, I was perfectly happy in upstate New York, why
would anyone want to leave such a peaceful and beautifully green city? Her
response was one of uncertainty. She wanted to perhaps travel as a nurse to
North Carolina where some of her close family members had moved in recent
years, but was afraid to leave her immediate family behind. She was obviously
torn between seniority of seven years at UR and giving in to experiencing the
unknown.
The following day, I was on my two-day stretch of “days” off and headed
to the downtown library to do some research. I was determined to see what
travel nursing was all about.
Several months later, I began looking for a travel nursing assignment in
South Florida. A close friend and neighbor had moved to Palm Beach the year
prior and I missed her dearly. I figured I would find an assignment in South
Florida for the summer, hang out with her and catch up on old times. And so
began my travel nursing frenzy.
I wasn’t for sure at the time but I could only imagine how different travel
nursing was going to be from the staff job I had back in New York. Based on
the contract I signed, there were no 8-hour days backed with 12-hour night
shifts. No fighting icy roadways and slick bridges in the dead of Winter. No sir!
There were no politics of seniority and no more settling for vacation dates I
didn’t really want because some tenured nurse, who had been there 25 years,
wanted to take that exact week to catch up on her Danielle Steel collection.
Plus, there was my own health to think of. Within months of starting a
full-time position in my dream specialty of Neonatal Intensive Care, I began
experiencing tremendous stress from not sleeping and eating properly. I soon
found myself at my primary care physician’s office complaining of headaches
that didn’t seem to go away after countless milligrams of ibuprofen, eating,
sleeping, hydrating beverage after hydrating beverage and they only continued
to get worse. Soon I discovered that MSG, raspberries and an inconsistent
work schedule left me with debilitating migraines.
As a healthcare traveler, the mindset is entirely different. You learn to
place value on what’s really important. My knowledge and expertise led the
way for my reputation as a travel nurse, not the nurse who complained about
not having a 1cc heparinized normal saline flush cosigned when trying to
maintain the central venous catheter port patent as indicated on the MAR.
What a headache. Travel nursing was the way to go.
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The Response to the Nursing Shortage
Why do hospitals utilize healthcare staffing agencies?
With the costs of healthcare constantly increasing and hospital budgets not
keeping up, hospital administrators have to make decisions about where their
budget dollars will be most effective. As a result, they choose to let staffing
agencies incur the costs of payroll, education, housing, travel, and benefits.
So it may be that a nurse you see in a hospital for a few weeks, the one who
acts like they’ve been there for years, is actually a seasoned travel nurse who
has been assigned to the floor for a short-term assignment.
Travel nursing began as a seasonal substitute due to the increase in
population during the winter months in the Sunbelt states. As individuals
escaped from the frigid winds and heavy snows of the Northern states, hospitals
in those areas saw a steep incline in care. As the beds filled, the hospitals
needed a plan to increase nursing staff. Hospitals began to hire nurses
for temporary employment a few months out of the year until the seasonal
citizens returned to their permanent residences back North. Recruiting nurses
proved rather easy to do. Nurses who signed up for the jobs may be from
the same northern areas and welcomed the break from the drudgery of snow
and slush. The work was challenging, but the nurses became tourists on their
days off. The trend soon caught on as a solution for nursing assistance across
the country. As Travel Nurses Now states, “Countless travel nursing agencies
have since emerged, making thousands of positions available to qualified
nurses across the country.”
Within the past decade, travel as a healthcare professional has been an
increasingly popular option and has expanded rapidly for qualified nurses
looking for career moves, financial security and the pleasures of a traveling
lifestyle. Hospitals are finding that not only does outsourcing fill the gaps when
they arise, but it also benefits them financially.
David A. Manko, author of the article, “Hospital Outsourcing Continues To
Expand” in Hospital Newspaper, explained that outsourcing is attracting more
and more media attention as corporations across the country outsource an
increasing number of jobs formerly held by permanent employees in an effort
to cut costs.
With the ability to hire staff only as needed, the travel nursing business
befriends the finances of many major hospitals in the U.S. Today, the
combination of filling vacancies and saving money continues to strongly attract
numerous hospitals to the travel nursing market irrespective of the economic
climate.
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In his article, David A. Manko also confirmed that both hospitals and
physicians are recognizing that outsourcing can be a win-win situation. Once
hospitals regard outsourcing favorably and start experimenting with hiring
medical staff on a temporary basis, they realize that it works very well for
them, which encourages them not only to continue with it but also to depend
on it more heavily. By 2006, many hospitals which were looking into employing
other medical staff were realizing the benefits of outsourcing.
With baby boomers reaching the age group which needs health care most
and with people living longer due to advances in medical treatment, the travel
nursing business can only be looking toward stronger growth as the need for
more nursing staff continues to increase exponentially.
Change in Career Path for Male Nurses
An article published on July 17, 2007, illustrated
a new trend in nursing. The article titled “Men Shift
Career Focus to Travel Nursing,” revealed that
roughly 13 percent of student nursing graduates
are males. Nursing organizations and travel nursing
employers around the country are attracting more
men to the female-dominated nursing profession
with innovative recruitment tactics and lucrative
salary and benefits packages. Now that the recognition and encouragement to join the nursing profession
has been openly offered to the male population, it is interesting to note that
there has been a gradual increase in the number of men considering this
career. The Department of Health and Human Services claims that the figure
of male nurses has risen from 2.7 percent in 1980 to 6 percent in 2007. Even
with this increase, there remains a large gap between the available qualified
nursing staff and job vacancies.
What Companies Offer
There are currently more than 350 travel nursing companies across the
U.S. assisting more than 25,000 registered nurse travelers. Each of these
companies is on a continuous mission to recruit and retain high-quality,
experienced nurses. Nurses are offered short-term employment positions
at various in-need locations in exchange for a higher salary, bonuses, PTO
programs, the same benefits as full-time permanent positions and a flexible
schedule to help avoid a potential burnout.
Some agencies even offer guaranteed pay programs where you still
receive full pay even if a shift is cancelled. It’s important to understand how
guaranteed pay for the hours contracted to work will help you, as housing
costs, daily allowances and other incentives are based on full-time hours
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worked per week. If hours are not complete due to low census or cancellation
but your contract indicates guaranteed pay, taking the time off is
OK. However, be sure to document your availability to work for each
additional day of the pay period. Otherwise, if you do not have the leeway
to take the time off, then be clear that you need to maintain full-time hours to
fulfill your obligation to the travel nursing company.
Completion bonuses are also offered and range
from $500 up to $5,000 for assignments lasting 13
weeks. Travel or relocation allowances are frequently
provided as an added feature.
Other advantages of travel nursing include
health and dental insurance, referral bonuses, tax
benefits, 401k, as well as a basic vision plan, life and
professional liability insurance.
Also found amongst several company incentives are free quality housing,
free continuing education, 24-hour support, credentialing assistance and
tuition discounts.
So the opportunity for you to create a new and improved career as a
travel healthcare professional awaits you. Why not take the initiative now to
contribute to the recovery of the nursing profession all awhile creating new
and cultivating experiences.
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Chapter 3: Emerging Travel Nursing Trends
The Future of Travel Nursing
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in the field of nursing
will increase by at least 23 percent by 2016 and that the shortage of qualified
nurses available to fill those positions will be even greater than it is today.
In 2005, there was a shortage of 116,000 nurses. That number is expected
to grow to 800,000 by 2020 leaving ample openings for experienced nurses
who are willing to travel. With the new medical technologies that are being
developed, the shortage is expected to grow even higher in specialty nursing
practices. With more than 200 specialties available in a career field that has
one of the most stable employment outlooks, you can imagine the effort
needed to recuperate the expected loss.
Yet, after all these years, hospitals have not yet figured out how to
combat frequent demands of overtime, rotating shifts of nights and weekends
and on-call hours. All these issues are contributing factors to stress, burnout
and, ultimately, a high turnover rate. Employment of registered nurses by
hospitals is slated to rely on foreign educated nurses as well as temporary
employment to fill staffing needs. As the demand for nurses grows, temporary
nurses will be needed more often, leading to a growth in the employment
services industry. The American Hospital Association reports current vacancy
rates in some hospitals as high as 19 percent for full-time Registered Nurses.
So what are travel nursing companies doing to attract the attention of
potential Registered Nurse candidates and keep their travelers on board?
Let’s take a look.
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Top 5 Recruitment and Retention Tactics for Travel Nurses
With the looming shortage of nurses nationwide, it’s no wonder healthcare
staffing agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to fill the overwhelming
number of nursing positions currently available. Nurses who wished not to
brave the storm during the downward turn of the U.S. economy over the last
three years found themselves quickly foregoing the luxury of freedom, turning
to safety and security.
It’s expected by the year 2018 nearly 600,000 new RN positions will be
created, therefore increasing the volume of the RN workforce by an astounding
22.2 percent according to the December 2009 Workforce analysis by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. In turn, every effort is being made by each and
every travel nursing company throughout the U.S. and abroad to come up
with innovative ways to retain their nurses. I guarantee their creativity will be
a win for you.
Respect and Open Communication
The number one factor in recruitment and retention is respect and
communication. Nurses want to know that their work is appreciated and, if they
have a concern, they have someone they can count on to hear what they have
to say. Nurses also need to know that they are important to their employer and
that if they are giving their best they will get the best in return. Recruiters who
understand the stress that comes along with a career in nursing and leave an
open line of communication between themselves and the travel nurse they are
representing stand to retain the most clients. If you feel like your recruiter is
working with your best interests in mind and really listening to your needs, you
will be more likely to stick with him or her for your next assignment.
Allowing for Assignment Flexibility
Flexibility is essential. Travel nursing offers you the ability to accept or
reject assignments based on a number of factors, including rate of pay,
geographic location, specific facility, and many more. It also offers you the
ability to safeguard your professional license if you find that the facility is not
living up to their end of the bargain. If a staffing agency is on the ball, they
will take their employees’ concerns seriously as they have an obligation to
ensure that an employee’s assignment is what was contracted and that the
employee is being treated well. A good recruiter or travel nursing company will
never pressure you into taking an assignment you don’t want or staying on
assignment at a facility that doesn’t live up to your standards.
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Competitive Compensation
The third-highest determining factor in employee satisfaction amongst
healthcare travelers is salary. Compensation for work done and work done
well can mean the difference between a happy employee and one who could
easily leave a job. Nursing has been a traditionally low-paying, time-intensive,
and high-stress job—until recently. If you are an experienced nurse with a
great employment history and the ability to prepare and adapt to most any
situation, recruiters are going to want to keep you. Don’t sell yourself short in
the negotiation process.
Comprehensive Benefits
Benefits are number four on the list of employee recruitment and retention
tactics. Some agencies provide immediate access to healthcare and retirement
benefits and compensation for housing and utilities. Some companies will also
reimburse expenses for travel to and from an assignment. Because healthcare
staffing agencies don’t want to lose great employees, once you have proven
your value to the agency, you’ll be able to negotiate some additional or
enhanced benefits.
Complimentary Continuing Education
Free education is the fifth tactic for recruiting and retention of travel nurses.
Continuing education is a necessity in the field of nursing from licensure
renewal to specialty-specific credentials. It can also be quite expensive if a
nursing professional has to pay for it out of his or her own pocket. Expanding
your knowledge base opens up more assignments for you in the future, as
well as ensuring a top-notch pay rate for those assignments. This tactic is a
win-win for both travel nurse and recruiter and has the potential to persuade
a travel nurse to sign on or forge a long-term commitment with the agency.
Travel Nursing as a Mainstay During Trying Economic Times
America is in the middle of a financial crisis and, believe it or not, it is the
perfect opportunity for nurses to meet healthcare needs across the country and
to profit from travel nursing assignments. During tough economic times, stress
takes its toll on everyone. There is an increase in poor nutrition; the population
feels there is no longer money for fresh fruits and vegetables and focuses on
less expensive and less nutritious food. Stress affects every part of the body
and frequently results in increased smoking and alcohol consumption, which
often leads to illnesses that require immediate medical attention as well as
hospitalization.
Concurrently, there is less money for entertainment and eating out; crime
increases as does the number of pregnancies as more couples are spending
more time at home. So during a financial crisis, unlike many other career
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opportunities, the demand for nurses increases. While unfortunate for America,
a nurse can take advantage of the opportunity gap and profit tremendously
from the travel nursing industry.
Get In, Get Out and Get Paid!
“Get In, Get Out, and Get Paid” has long been my motto. Are you captivated
by dollars or intrigued by cents? Travel nursing offers a lucrative world of
opportunity coupled with the exuberant lifestyle of an Elite Traveler. The wave
of travel nursing has changed significantly since the mid 1980’s. It is soon to
become the emerging trend within the healthcare industry and the fast track
way to earn the most money in the shortest period of time. I have worked eight
months a year with four months to vacation as I chose with amazing salaries
and reimbursements.
Because of the current state of the economy, many facilities are unable
to forecast far in advance and find themselves less willing to offer up a
three-month assignment. However, they are willing to look at four-, six- and
eight-week assignments. Oftentimes these assignments are extended, if not
renewed, as they continue to bring additional travelers on board. Traditional
travel nursing companies are now looking toward the future with this economic
crisis at hand, offering rapid-response contracts to picket lines and strikes as
well as guaranteed 48-60 hour work weeks with shorter contracts in tow. Per
Diem rates for daily meals are also crucial. Working 60 hours a week, who has
time to cook? Agencies such as Fastaff, Cross Country Trav Corp’s First 48
and CRU offer exponential hourly rates, guaranteed overtime and weekly pay.
Any way you view it, ultimately, the money matters!
So whether you are a new graduate or a seasoned staff nurse, pay close
attention to the information provided and you will instantaneously see that your
time is a huge proponent of your financial success. The idea is to condense
the amount of time spent yet yield a much larger financial return.
Staten Island
Although I enjoyed each and every assignment, by far, one of my most
rewarding assignments was in Staten Island. At the time, a close cousin was
getting married in Long Island the weekend following the completion of my
NICU assignment in Westchester, NY. I arrived promptly at 7am on the unit for
orientation and met the Nurse Manager; a New Yorker through and through—
hysterically funny and easy going. We discussed my shift availability and
preferences and began creating a schedule. Something I hadn’t experienced in
previous assignments: a Nurse Manager who understood that her nurses have
lives. On this unit, everyone worked well together to not only accommodate
the unit needs, but each other’s needs also. I simply mentioned that I had the
wedding of a lifetime to attend that upcoming weekend and I’d like to have
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the following Monday off to spend with my family. Without missing a beat she
replied, “Sure, no problem, take as many days as you need.” I thought, wow!
Who wouldn’t want to work for a manager like that? I couldn’t have asked for
a better assignment. Not only was I close to family and lifelong friends, I could
take the Staten Island Ferry or a twenty minute train ride from New Jersey for
a quick trip to lower Manhattan and even hang out in Short Hills, NJ. But, who
knew that working 48 hours a week would prove to be so lucrative. What’s one
extra shift per week? At a base rate of $38/hr for 40 hours and time and a half
at a rate of $57 for the remaining eight hours—you do the math. I was making
$2,065 weekly. Don’t believe me? Take a look at one of my paychecks.
On staff, it would have taken me 117 hours or three weeks to make the
amount of money I made in 48 hours or one week on assignment as a travel
nurse in Staten Island. How amazing is that?! Really and truly, for each week
worked in Staten Island, I could have taken two weeks off from the staff position
I had previously. So again, let’s do the math. For an eight-week assignment,
I could take off 16 weeks or four months and spend the summer down under
in Australia!
To top it all off, the staff was great to work with, accommodating, always
willing to help and a ton of fun no matter which shift I worked.
Ultimately you are leveraging/maximizing your time to your financial gain,
therefore freeing up even more time to capitalize on an additional short-term
contract. In the end you will have earned twice as much money in two thirds
the amount of time than a traditional travel assignment. If 60 hours per week
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is a bit much, there are also 48-hour guaranteed assignments in which you
are simply adding one extra shift per week. There are windfalls of profits to be
made with travel nursing so choose to Get, in Get Out and Get Paid.
Increase Your Marketability!
The next trend that is ongoing but resurfaces during trialing economic
times is the need for you as a travel nurse to broaden your horizons. This is
what I call: Diversifying Your Funds, Elite Traveler Tool #1. If you prove you
have the ability to care for a broader patient population, you’ll be more likely
to get the position you want. Expand your options within your subspecialty to
increase the number of ways in which you can add cash flow into your pocket.
Secondary specialties offer you the opportunity to increase your
marketability to travel nursing companies, affording you a wider array of travel
opportunities. For example, I am a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse by trade;
however, to broaden my knowledge base, I went through orientation and
gained a full-time staff position on a Postpartum, Mother/Baby unit. Caring
for the newborn came rather easy; however, learning how to organize a
postpartum check was priceless when asked to float to Mother/Baby while on
assignment in Chicago, IL.
Hospitals are not only looking for travelers with strong intrapersonal
skills, but also travelers with strong clinical skill sets who are willing to float
to a similar unit. This is key in alleviating potential contract constraints with
unpredictable census fluctuations. You will find many facilities request, in their
position summaries, the need for a traveler to fill a Pediatric ICU position who
must also be able to float to the Cardiovascular ICU with a pediatric case.
As healthcare professionals, we know how important credentials and
certifications are in keeping current with national protocols and the delivery
of up-to-date patient care. By doing so, you automatically set yourself apart
from the rest.
So, imagine wanting to travel to Colorado or Utah in the winter to learn
how to ski for the very first time, and to your amazement there are two
assignments: One in Salt Lake City, Utah on an Adult Hematology/Oncology
unit and the second on a Pediatric Oncology floor in Denver, Colorado. Having
a solid knowledge base to excel in either unit, which would you choose? By
broadening your level of expertise, you now have the ability to choose where
the fun begins!
Take the time to invest in yourself. Use your knowledge to delve into
endless possibilities and travel opportunities. Pave your own way throughout
the travel nursing industry and multiply the number of available assignments
at your fingertips.
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Chapter 4: Your Money Mindset
Determining Your Financial Future
What Are Your Financial Goals?
What are your fundamental views of money? “Money is the root of all evil.”
Do you agree or disagree? Money allows you to forge a sense of self and help
others along the way. Do you agree or disagree? Either way, the choice is
yours. Either way you’re right.
So let’s dive right in and take a look at your current salary. Are you really
content with your current annual salary, coupled with mandatory overtime and
on-call shifts? Are you managing to simply sustain your current lifestyle by
paying the bills and perhaps saving a few hundred dollars for an emergency?
Ask yourself: am I living or existing? Undeniably, there is a vast difference
between the two.
Ask yourself: what do I want to be worth? Do you want to be worth $75,000
in a year to two years? Don’t you think it’s about time you break out of the
mundane and into an extraordinary life? You can and will by having and
implementing a successful money mindset, Elite Traveler Tool #2.
Your money mindset is a combination of your successes and failures
to date, your underlying fears, as well as your earliest education in money
management. In large part, your behaviors are established from modeling the
behaviors and thoughts of those who surround you. Take a moment now to
think about your overall view of money. What are your beliefs, thoughts and
values when spending, earning and investing?
What Does Money Mean to You?
What purpose does money truly serve within your daily life? Is the thought
of having an abundance of money a lingering concept or an attainable truth?
Are you captivated by dollars or intrigued by cents?
The significance of money ties into where those learned behaviors of your
youth have led you today. Is money simply a means for exchange or does
money have a more profound meaning in your life? To some, money signifies
a level of freedom allowing you to express yourself freely and to truly live your
best life. It enhances your personal sense of
self and allows you to help others as well. There
are varying reasons why having increased cash
flow yielding disposable income ranks as a top
priority to most; however, it is essential for you
to determine why having additional income is
meaningful to your life.
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Despite where you currently find yourself, overall, your money mindset
sets you apart from hypothesized goals to those in the forefront of attainable
truths. The goal here is to improve your way of thinking and learn how to
optimize your earning potential. Changing your mind to change your life is the
key to financial success/freedom and I will show you how.
4 Steps to Reveal and Achieve Your Money Mindset
First and foremost, the most important step to gaining financial freedom
is to: Step 1) Acknowledge and raise your awareness of your current level
of thinking when it comes to money. Raising awareness allows you to bring
your unconscious behaviors to the forefront of your mind, resulting in a more
deliberate state of action within your day-to-day life. You need to be comfortable
and aware on a conscious level to what your ideas of success are to prevent
yourself from unconsciously sabotaging your dreams.
Take the following quiz to begin outlining and clarifying
your
financial goals:
Which statement best describes your current financial situation?
a) I am quite satisfied.
b) I am moderately satisfied.
c) I am not satisfied at all and unsure of what to do.
d) My current financial situation is unacceptable, how do I achieve more?
What are your financial dreams?
a) Winning big in the lottery.
b) Getting and keeping a good job with health benefits and ample vacation.
c) Owning my own home despite the current condition of the housing
market.
d) Having a tremendous cushion in a savings account or other investments.
Think of the last major financial decision you made, what were your
feelings?
a) Unsure of what I had just done, regretful.
b) My mind was racing and my pulse was elevated.
c) I didn’t ask enough questions and I skipped over all the details.
d) I was confident and relaxed.
If faced with a difficult decision, what do you do?
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a) Brush it aside with the hopes it never returns.
b) Complain to those closest to me.
c) Delegate the task to someone else.
d) Brainstorm to come up with an innovative solution.
How much money would you like to make this year?
a) $60,000 - $70,000
b) $70,001 - $80,000
c) $80,001 - $90,000
d) More than $90,000
Your score and how you rate:
Total up your score: give yourself 1 point for each A, 2 points for each B, 3
points for each C and 4 points for every D. Find your score in the chart below
to see how you rate.
Number of
Points
5
How You Rate
You definitely have very limiting thought. This is ok;
let me help you move from the scarcity mindset to
the money mindset.
6-10
You’re on the right path, but could use a little more
clarity of vision.
11-15
With a little fine tuning you are well on your way to
reaching your full potential.
16-20
Congratulations! What you believe you will
achieve.
Explanation of the Questions
1. Which statement best describes your current financial status?
How eager and determined you are to gain and achieve success hangs
in the balance here. Successful people have successful mindsets, are more
motivated to make life-changing strides and are significantly more apt to stick to
those strides. Your thoughts must support your expectation; otherwise, limiting
beliefs will hold you captive in mediocrity or prevent you from achieving your
dreams of success. If you are satisfied with your current financial state, what
will encourage you to set higher goals and desire to achieve more?
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2. What are your financial dreams?
This question analyzes your ability to think above and beyond your usual
scope of thought. Take the initiative when determining your financial future, why
leave this decision to chance? Remember, W. Clement Stone said: “Whatever
the mind can conceive it can achieve.” This is an important concept to take
with you throughout the course of this book. You must be able to envision
yourself on a much larger scale and deter yourself from a limited mindset.
3. Think of the last major financial decision you made, what were your
feelings?
Confidence is a keeper! It’s not to say that all decisions will turn out to be
the best decision ever made, however, it is key to have faith and confidence
in the choices you make.
4. If faced with a difficult decision, what do you do?
Often difficult decisions come along with trying times. How well you handle
adversity is a telling sign of your level of success. You must logically analyze
the situation and be able to allow your instincts to guide you. With anything, the
key to growth and development is the ability to reach higher. Being inquisitive
and adventurous to see what else is available to you takes action and a steady
drive for excellence. Your mindset is the determining factor to any outcome in
finances and in life.
5. How much money would you like to make this year?
Did you choose the amount slightly above what you are currently making
today? Snap out of it and stop limiting yourself! There are a windfall of profits
to be made in the travel nursing industry. You have the potential to make more
than $100,000, why settle for less? Many have difficulty envisioning something
so far from their current state. It’s important to remember to aim high and that
there is nowhere else but up!
Scarcity Programming vs. Abundance Thinking
Is this particular mindset helping or hindering you from achieving
your goals? Having taken the quiz, how did you do? Do you experience a
limited view of money within your life? More often one is taught to hold on tight
to earned income for “money doesn’t grow on trees.” This is an example of
what’s called scarcity programming. The scarcity mentality holds that there is
only a finite amount of wealth in the world and that when one person gains,
others lose. Scarcity is limiting, (just the word alone is traumatic) yet safe. Most
people value safety over potential opportunity or risk. So part of the challenge
here is to override your fear and to recognize that playing it safe will only lead
to a mundane, routine, status quo, ho hum (I could go on) life. Start thinking
that you deserve a quarterly raise and that there is an ample amount of money
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available to you as well as others, and then you can start attracting what you
wish into your life therefore creating abundance. Whatever you can imagine
yourself having will come to fruition. Create an environment for yourself with
uplifting thoughts and motivational goals that are realistically attainable.
Step 2) Clarify your existing beliefs truthfully! If you have a few limited
beliefs about money, improving your income will not become a priority for you.
You must be willing to challenge and reformulate your belief systems to gain
a clear and concise attitude about money. This will, in turn, help you establish
your desired level of growth. If you don’t believe you have the ability to make
more money, naturally you will continually remain in your present state. So why
not make a change to fuel your expectations? Determine what your genuine
objectives are so they are in true alignment with your core values. Clarity is
power. The power in clarity will help you move through the challenges you
may face and give you direction.
Determine what moves you. Nowadays, the difference between good or
great and success or failure is motivation. Motivation is your “get up and go”;
your personal reasons why you make the choices you do in life. We all have
the opportunity to achieve our dreams, but how clear you are on how and why
is really important. Did you intend on being at the point of considering travel
nursing as a career right now? It could mean a better way of life, a means to
give back to others in your community, help your family, increase or promote
your own sense of self through brand new experiences. Your happiness lies
within your ability to live consciously and make continuous positive strides
towards success.
Give yourself a reason to push through. Are you motivated by the best
pay? Are you motivated to relocate to an area where you’ve always wanted
to live? What are some of the things that you dream of having, being and
doing that are supported by financial gain? A place you’ve always dreamed of
visiting, a memory of a lifetime you wish to create, or perhaps that one thing
you’ve always wanted to learn.
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Fill in the blanks below to give you a clear vision on your dreams
and goals.
Where would you like to explore?_____________________________
Where do you want to live?__________________________________
How much money do you want to make?_______________________
What do you want to buy that you thought you would never be able to?_
________________________________________________________
Why are these things significant for you? ______________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
Are these things worth the effort to become a travel nurse?
Now that you’ve determined what it is that you want, let’s establish the
short-term goals that will help you achieve your dreams.
The Focus Funnel is a modern day take on motivation. It outlines the
fundamentals of clear thought and precision of action in four key stages.
The Focus Funnel
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As we have previously concluded, your mindset is the biggest piece of
the puzzle when trying to make changes to your career goals. Your ability to
succeed highly depends on how careful and skillful you are at establishing
and maintaining a lucrative mindset. How many times have we heard about
a terminally ill patient, comatose on a ventilator that miraculously holds on for
days while in the Intensive Care Unit just until that Aunt Susan who lives 1,500
miles away makes it to say goodbye? In most cases, while the hearing is the
last to go, it was that determined mindset that enabled them to hold on long
enough.
Clarity of what you want to achieve validates your effort in setting achievable
goals. Short-term goals provide conscious recognition to self fulfillment, in that
you have successfully accomplished your desired outcome.
Setting Personal and Professional Goals
To become a successful travel nurse you need to set measurable goals.
Begin by determining your long-term goal and setting a timeframe for
accomplishing it. One rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make sure the goal is
attainable within two years or less. Any timeframe longer than two years may
prove a bit more difficult to outline clear and concise stepping stones to create
your pathway to your desired outcome.
Step 3) Set short-term goals. This step requires you to break your longterm goal down into smaller obtainable tasks. These short-term goals
are created to provide encouragement and assurance along the road to
achieving your desired outcome. Although fairly easy to set, it is equally
important to set aside time and energy into creating these smaller stepping
stones toward your ultimate goal. Short-term goals have to be simple in nature
but significant enough to make some progress. Analyze your goals as a whole
to ensure they are not in conflict with what you are truly trying to accomplish.
Determine why these goals are important to you and what inspires you to
achieve them. It’s like maintaining a post-surgical patient in the Cardiac ICU on
respiratory support without the key piece of equipment to maintain the airway.
Of course you have options, however I don’t know about you but I’d rather
not have to Ambu bag the patient. The same applies here. In medicine, we’ve
made tremendous strides not only out of necessity, but out of advancement,
creativity and innovations.
Knowing the reason why these stepping stones are significant will help
you keep full grasp on the task at hand. Commit to your goals that have been
set forth with enthusiasm. Give yourself specific timeframes to get the job
done. Do not let false starts or adversity derail your pursuit. Believing in the
outcome determines the outcome.
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Once you have refined your written goals and created a plan of action,
incorporate these tasks alongside your daily activities. Remind yourself of
your goals and pursue your passion. Visualize your success. By concentrating
your mental and physical energy on a single purpose, the positive energy that
truly lies within will surface to promote your desired outcome.
My Money Mindset
I have come to determine that those with successful mindsets understand
that imagination, inspiration, motivation and beliefs originate in our minds and
that change in thoughts must take place here first. All in all, successful people
have successful mindsets.
Initially I didn’t have a money mindset when I began looking for travel
nursing positions, nor when I accepted my first assignment and began working
at Children’s Hospital. I understood that in taking my first assignment I would
be making an additional $10 per hour than I had working a night shift with
differential in my hometown in upstate New York; even more the reason to leave
the snow behind and welcome the beach. After about a month of working in
Miami and learning my way around, I realized I had the opportunity to put forth
a more focused effort in exponentially decreasing my ongoing “good debt”
incurred by student loans and car notes. It was then that I began developing
the Focus Funnel. I created a rather simple, yet systematic, module proven to
consistently achieve any underlying goal. I used the Focus Funnel to maintain
an abundant mindset, gain clarity of what I deemed important, set the shortterm goals necessary to achieve my greater goal.
As I became more involved as a healthcare traveler I realized there was
an abundance of assignments with even higher pay rates and bonuses just
waiting for me! I remember thinking “all I have to do is aim high.”
Step 4) Optimize your earning potential; optimize your life experiences.
Depending on your personal and financial goals, you may opt to travel with
a more contemporary company as outlined in Chapter 2 with my Get in, Get
Out and Get Paid motto. The important thing to take into consideration here
is the hourly rate you need to optimize your earning potential and to therefore
optimize you life experiences. Travel nursing can do that for you!
Setting the Bar for Your Practice-Specific Expertise:
I have experienced firsthand the lucrative business of travel nursing. What
enticed me most was the option to choose when and where I wanted to travel,
making very few compromises, and how much money I could make. As a travel
nurse, I don’t have to wait for seniority to come around to hopefully get a 3
percent raise the following year. I became my own manager. I determine whether
or not a specific assignment meets my standards based on compensation,
location, income, bonuses available and if it’s the lifestyle I would like to lead
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for the next three months—if not longer. Imagine thinking, “I will not work for
less than $35/hr.” You have that option. Imagine how magnificent it is to give
yourself a hefty raise once a quarter, simply by expanding your knowledge
base across your specialty.
So what determines an adequate salary for your current level of expertise
in your specialty? Calculate your pay rate based on the information provided
therefore allowing you to set the bar for what the minimum for which you
are willing to work. How much you will need to earn per hour to cover the
expenses of your current home? Include all utilities, mortgage or lease
payment, insurances and upkeep. Include in this number the amount you will
need to be able to put aside in savings and money to spend while you are
at your assigned location. Use the following formula to figure your minimum
hourly wage and yearly income:
Yearly income = weeks per year X hours per week X hourly
wage. If you want to have an annual income of $90,000, work 40
weeks a year, 60 hours a week, you would need to have a minimum
hourly wage of $37.50. Some nurses plan to work 60 hours a week
so they can meet their minimum yearly income and have 12 or more
weeks off each year.
How you will achieve this is entirely up to you, but with this number in
mind you are already on your way to preparing to chose which company and
which assignments will work best for you. You won’t waste your precious time
negotiating mediocre contracts.
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Chapter 5: Do You Have What it Takes?
Throughout my travels I have come to determine some pretty important
qualities a nurse should possess when deciding to embark on the magnificent
journey of traveling as a healthcare professional. You may have already
acquired some of these traits through life experiences or perhaps during your
course as a healthcare professional; however, as a traveler, these traits make
the difference between a pleasant and not so pleasant journey.
Personal Preparation
Assess your adaptability to a career in travel nursing with the following
questions.
uu
Do you have strong clinical, organizational and interpersonal skills?
uu
Do you adapt well to changing environments?
uu
Do you have a curious sense of adventure?
uu
Do you thrive on the challenges of meeting new people, learning new
protocols specific to each facility you are assigned?
uu
Can you easily adjust to different cultural experiences and customs that
are not familiar to you?
If you can identify yourself with the above questions, then you are definitely
on your way to becoming an elite travel nurse.
Autonomy
First, let’s take a look at autonomy, which is the most important factor
when determining if you are indeed ready to take on a career in travel nursing.
By definition, autonomy refers to one’s ability to make an informed decision,
with reference to patient care, based on fact. This means, acting immediately,
without hesitation, once you have gathered and analyzed all the pertinent
clinical information needed to make an informed clinical decision regarding the
wellbeing of the patients under your care. Additionally, one’s moral and ethical
responsibility for the actions taken in this self-governing or independent role
is the foundation for outlining whether a healthcare provider can handle more
autonomy and is also directly tied into the degree of strength a nurse’s skill set
and analytical abilities possess.
A successful nurse has a keen analytic quality along with an ability to
equally weigh the facts given in order to make a sound clinical judgment. An
Elite Traveler is able to take ownership of the quality of the work performed
and gains more responsibility in the clinical decision-making process. So the
question here is: are you capable of handling more autonomy with clinical
decision making? Are you able to stand in front of the attending and/or fellow
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and clearly and concisely state the basis of clinical decision making based on
patient presentation and solid clinical findings? As in any case in healthcare,
credibility is paramount. Taking your knowledge and putting it to good use
towards both client wellbeing and professional growth will prove you are a
strong nurse and a traveler worth keeping.
Connect with New Co-Workers
Finding ways to meet your new co-workers and connect with them will go
a long way in making sure your assignment runs smoothly. From assignment
to assignment you will notice that you will have to deal with a wide range of
personalities; from the overly bubbly to the healthcare scrooge. All in all, you
must possess the ability to easily adapt to new living and working environments
without it taking a toll on your own personality and wellbeing. If you easily make
new friends, that’s even better, because oftentimes co-workers are the best
tour guides to show you the little-known, must-see places around the city or
town where you’re working. Before long you will have a few new sightseeing
companions in your fellow staff members and other travelers.
Be sure to:
uu
Find the fine line between sharing your
experience and bragging. You want
to let your co-workers know you have
experience in a tactful way to assure them
of your clinical capability and establish
trust amongst the group.
uu
Share a bit of yourself with your coworkers. Be careful not to divulge too
much—just enough to be friendly and open the lines of communication.
uu
Keep your wage and benefits to yourself. Nothing can cause problems
between co-workers faster than a difference in pay. If you are asked directly
what you get paid, simply state, “I don’t discuss my pay with anyone.”
uu
Be careful with your comments of the culture and climate in the area
you are assigned. Remember, your new co-workers permanently live in
this area. Nothing is more insulting than a few ill-placed comments about
the local culture.
uu
Stay out of workplace politics—at all costs! Always stand on neutral
ground and do not take sides.
As a traveler, you ultimately wish for your presence at any given
assignment to be seamless. This effort to be seamless should be evident to
your colleagues, indicating you can adapt to their culture, and also evident
to the patients you are taking care of. Connecting with your co-workers is
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important to work on so that the potential for you to be viewed as an outsider
to your patients and perhaps portrayed as being incompetent based on lack of
integration is kept to a minimum.
Positive Energy and an Uplifting Spirit
Although nursing does have its share of challenges, it is important to
understand that positive energy and an uplifting spirit go a long way when
providing excellent care to your patients and family members. This is also true
when interacting with your newfound co-workers.
Each day, you have the opportunity to make your day extraordinary. You
have the power to make it positive or negative simply by how you view the
situations that arise. Every person has days when situations arise that are
less than desirable, time consuming and frustrating. It is how you deal with
the ups and downs that make you a success. Looking at your co-workers with
empathy will allow you to understand their situation in a positive light.
As a traveler, you chose to pack up and move to a new location, new
culture and new way of doing things. Coming in well rested, with a positive
attitude and being mindful of the thoughts and concerns of the facility and its
employees will allow you to offer empathy while maintaining professionalism
and delivering high-quality care. Don’t forget, you are there to provide your
new co-workers with a means of reprieve from the stress they have been
experiencing during their time of shortage.
Be Productive
Adaptability equals productivity. The ability to adapt quickly to everchanging working conditions and unit requirements will show the hiring facility
they have made the right choice in you. Each hospital has its own work culture
and requirements for travel nursing jobs. Each state has its own work rules
and certification requirements. You must have the ability to adapt quickly
and easily to the various needs of a travel nursing assignment. This includes
learning where to find the basics, i.e. the linen closet/cabinet, the Pyxis for
medication dispensing, the crash cart and chart location, the pharmacy and
central supply. (There’s nothing like needing the Haldol and not knowing where
to find it!) A successful nurse delivers quality patient care while being flexible,
approachable and at times a leader amongst the team.
Having a proper work ethic is very important when beginning a career as a
travel nurse. Do you typically go the extra mile or only do the bare minimum?
If your work ethic is suffering now, who’s to say it will be any different while
traveling as a nurse. Most importantly here, if your work ethic is in need of
resuscitation or taking away from the level of quality patient care the facility
strives for, your contract may be terminated. Your travel nurse agency may
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not be able to continue providing you with assignments if contracts are being
cancelled due to poor work ethic.
Coping with Stress
Where does stress come from in a nurse’s life or work environment?
Perhaps an increased nurse-to-patient ratio, fear of the unknown, a less than
favorable patient outcome or even personal matters. As fun-filled as travel
nursing is, there is always a lingering element of stress. Stress amongst
leaving behind a sense of comfort and predictability from your work week
routine, the places you frequent to the friends you get together with after a
long day at work. Your ability to cope with stress is very important to your
success as a nurse and more specifically, a travel nurse. A successful travel
nurse applies patience to pressure and learns successful approaches to
stress management. Keep in mind that not only are you dealing with everyday
stressors associated with life and death within healthcare, you are also faced
with unfamiliar surroundings, new co-workers and ever-changing practices.
All during which you must remain knowledgeably compliant at all times with
established facility protocols. So it is important to find effective and healthy
means to unwind and de-stress. Elite Traveler Tool #3. Create a fitness
regimen to include restorative sleep and a well-balanced energy-boosting diet
for your long 12-hour shifts. Indulge in the hobbies that bring you the most
pleasure and joy. Try healthy stress-relieving activities until you are able to
find the best activity that releases your stress. And never forget your daily
routines while on assignment.
A Love of Travel
A travel nurse gets to see the country; however, travel nursing jobs are
much more than a tourist trip. You will learn what it means to live somewhere,
and discover the charms and rewards that most visitors miss. Different travel
nursing jobs will have their own distinct personality, like the neighborhood in
which you will be living. Some aspects will be great. Some will be challenging.
A willingness to accept each in equal measure delivers the joys of travel
without the frustration of not being in a permanent home.
Determining why you’ve ultimately decided to travel as a healthcare
professional, will thoroughly aid you in finding the perfect travel assignment
that upholds your personal standards. If you’re physically and mentally ready
to take on this challenging career, and you can quickly and easily adapt to
new environments and protocols you will find it nothing but rewarding. Once
you get into the swing of things, travel nursing will give you all the benefits of
a permanent position with the flexibility of the self-employment theory. Add to
that the fact that you are in charge of your career path and you couldn’t come
up with a better career combination. You can use your skills and experience in
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a rewarding career, while embarking on a non-stop travel adventure that pays
you to visit your dream destinations for weeks and months at a time.
Outside the clinical perspective, becoming a travel nurse takes much
more dedication than one would typically imagine. Although you do have the
option of bringing your four legged companion or your significant other, most
travelers are going on this adventure alone. It is extremely important to know
that, in order to take full advantage of your newfound residence, it will require
you to step outside of your comfort zone and explore. Take day trips on your
days off to explore what the location truly has to offer. Oftentimes, I waited to
explore with other travelers or friends to go on these trips, I found myself doing
less. Get out there and explore!
While it may be a bit easier to explore in small rural areas, major cities
offer a wealth of culture. Additionally, do not wait for the weather to dictate
your willingness to venture out. There are plenty of alternatives when the
weather does not permit.
So, you ask, how did I know I had what it takes to be a traveler? How
did I have the motivation to create this exciting lifestyle by taking care of sick,
premature babies while seeing the sites in new and captivating cities while
making a ton of money? I didn’t know exactly. I had completed school, got a
job, but immediately the politics were overwhelming and I had “low man on the
totem pole” syndrome. I always wanted to learn more, do more, achieve more
and thankfully the Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and Neonatologists were
always encouraging of my career as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse and
on board to teach. But I was eager to see how different areas of the country
practiced my passion of neonatal medicine.
Shortly thereafter I realized these characteristics were mainstays of a
successful travel nurse. I put myself out there to experience a change that
could only be for the better. Ultimately, my zest for adventure motivated me
and steered me down the path of travel nursing.
So if you have an uplifting spirit and can work productively and
autonomously, connect with your coworkers in a way that shows you genuinely
care about their unit, their wellbeing and you’re there to help, you’re half way
there. Couple that with the ability to effectively manage unforeseen stress,
and maintain a love for travel, then CONGRATULATIONS, you have what it
takes to be an Elite Traveler.
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Chapter 6: The Power in Preparation
So you want to be an Elite Traveler and it’s evident that travel nursing
sparks your curiosity. You have invested time in your current career but you
have an urge to move on to something bigger, something better; better pay,
better benefits, more exciting locations and adventure.
The power in preparation outlines what I like to call: The 40% Advantage,
Elite Traveler Tool #4. Prior to embarking on a fun-filled life of travel nursing,
preparation in a number of key areas such as clinical education, personal
preparation and organization, will give you the advantage needed to ensure
success when obtaining travel nursing assignments. So where do you begin?
Education and Experience
Do you have enough experience to begin working as a travel nurse? Hospital
representatives and staffing agencies look for healthcare professionals with
a wide variety of experience within their given specialty. Begin building on
your clinical expertise now. Strong skills checklists enable the interviewing
facilities to see that your level of experience is exactly what’s needed in their
unit. All travel nursing companies consider this portion of your application just
as important as your active nursing license and certifications. Proficient and
highly competent nurses are more likely to be selected simply for their knowhow. Prepare your career to exceed all expectations with the correct amount
of clinical expertise.
General Guidelines for Clinical Expertise:
uu
8 Months: Dialysis
uu
12-18 Months: ICU, OR, Ambulatory OR, PACU, PICU, Ambulatory PACU,
NICU, PEDS, LD, Pedi ER, Home Health, Cardiac Cath Lab, CVICU,
CVOR, BMT, Telemetry, ER
uu
2 Years: Medical/Surgical, Endoscopy Lab, Psych, Rehab, Postpartum,
Nurse Manager, Wound Care
uu
3 Years: LPN
Additional certifications such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), increase your level of marketability,
and in this competitive market, subsequent credentials are essential to your
success.
Skills Checklists
There are a number of skills checklists in all of the major areas of nursing
practice. These include: the Operating Room, Central Processing, Cath Lab,
Emergency Room, Physical Therapy, Home Health, Postpartum, Pediatrics,
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Labor & Delivery, Intensive Care/Critical Care, PACU, OR First Assist, and
Psychiatric Skills Checklists, as well as checklists in Respiratory Therapy,
Neonatal ICU, Telemetry/Step-down, Oncology, Sub Acute, and Med/Surg
categories. The purpose of a skills checklist is to determine what specific
clinical experiences you have had and which types of equipment and medical
devices you have used during your overall course as a healthcare professional.
These checklists are significant in that they provide the company, as well
as the hiring facility, a collective summary of your abilities and competency
in performing your specialty-specific functions. I recommend you go back
through your educational materials and all of the job descriptions for positions
you’ve held in the past. Write down every procedure and clinical responsibility
you’ve ever had. The more skills you can prove, the more likely you are to be
rewarded the job when in competition with another healthcare traveler.
If you list a skill set, you must be prepared to demonstrate your skill,
possibly in a clinical setting, probably in a knowledge-based test such as the
PBDS testing system that many agencies use to ensure that their applicants
have all the skills necessary to work for a particular medical unit. You can
go over the skills checklist with your recruiter or complete the form online to
expedite the process.
What Is PBDS (Performance-Based Development System)
Testing?
Performance-based Development System (PBDS) is a series of
standardized tests that evaluate the skill level of travel nurses and new
hospital clinicians. The system was designed by Dr. Dorothy del Bueno to
test the skills and learning needs of new RNs more than 20 years ago. It was
later implemented at a number of hospitals across the country as a means
of quality assurance. These exams are given in a variety of specialty areas
to include both written and clinical evaluation of a nurse’s skill set. Many
companies will confirm your assignment and send you on your merry way, left
to the vices of this PBDS testing; no forward notice and no study materials.
Administered online, usually upon day one of initial hospital orientation, you
are required to successfully complete this testing or risk forfeiting your newlyaccepted assignment.
I had already accepted my assignment, completed the paperwork and
was on the road to my next destination 600 miles down and 850 miles to go
when my recruiter called me and notified me of the mandatory PBDS test
she neglected to mention several weeks prior when I applied for the position.
I was speechless when she told me that if I didn’t pass, I would be forfeiting
my assignment and would be left 1,500 miles away from home and paying
the housing costs for the days leading up to the start of my assignment. Oh
my gosh! This cannot be happening. I was in panic mode for the rest of the
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drive that day and ultimately said, “Ok, how bad can it be?” My concern was
that medicine varies widely across the country although often ending with
the same results. Who’s to say that progressive medicine is incorrect or that
non-teaching facilities lack the modern protocols necessary to care for their
patients? I had no idea what to expect. Interestingly enough, the test was a
lighter version of the NCLEX, a recap of nursing school in a nutshell. It covered
everything from Geriatric care to Medical Surgical nursing with most of the
questions concentrating on the wider specialty of Maternal Fetal medicine.
So, make sure to ask your recruiter if the assignment you have agreed
upon has any additional mandatory testing to be taken when you arrive on site.
To make even more certain, ask the interviewer of the site you are interested
in traveling to during your phone interview.
Surviving with Little to No Orientation
You’re ready for your first day: new location, new facility and new coworkers. Are you fully secure in your knowledge base to work independently
of doctors orders and rely on your clinical judgment? Looking at the scope of
a travel nurse’s responsibility, you will find autonomy is the most important
trait for a travel nurse to possess; the ability to work independently and use
clinical judgment to your discretion is paramount to your success during your
travels. Understand that, oftentimes, there is little to no orientation. The facility
that is employing you as a travel nurse often has the expectation that you are
an expert who adapts easily to any environment and needs little—if any—
orientation. Prepare yourself for this realistic expectation; however, do not
hesitate to clearly state your level of discomfort if necessary to protect your
patients as well as your nursing license. How you cope with constant changes
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will determine the success of your assignment also. Your confidence in your
abilities will shine through making you a valuable asset right from the start.
Day One after a Week of Hospital Orientation
I remember the first night shift at Children’s Hospital. Well rested and ready
to go, I arrived at the unit promptly at 7:30pm to begin my first night shift as a
traveler. I asked the day shift charge nurse to point me in the direction of the
person who was to orient me for the evening. She explained they were short
staffed that evening and I was assigned to two babies. The first was intubated
on a ventilator I had never seen or heard of before, and as I was told “tried to
die” on day shift. The second assignment: the unwanted colic-like long-term
newborn who had already spent 40 days in the NICU with a tracheostomy, a
trach collar and required frequent suctioning. “So,” she says with an eager
smile, “Pam will be your resource.” I nearly freaked inside and naively said
“when will I receive orientation?” The charge nurse chuckled and said if I were
to have any questions to ask Pam. Pam was one of those eclectic nurses in
her mid 40’s with short spiked hair and animal print scrubs. You could tell she
was the no-holds-barred mother hen around the unit. Right off the bat she
said, “You’re an experienced nurse right? You can take these two kids and let
me know if you need anything.” (I thought, “Of course, while you roam the unit
and chat the night away.”) “Not a problem really,” I said, “Just show me where
the oxygen dial is on this Siemens ventilator, where I can find the ‘Manual
Breath’ button, the button to silence the alarm and the digital measurements
screen for the Rate, PIP (Peak Inspiratory Pressure) and PEEP (Positive End
Expiratory Pressure). In the meantime, can you call the Respiratory Therapist
to give me a detailed rundown on this machine while I assess the baby? I can
find the Ambu bag and check the equipment.” “Sure,” she said. Pam turned
out to be a riot, a really fun lady to work with; not big on babysitting which was
great, but can someone show me where the supplies are?!
Despite the fact that you are bringing assistance to these units, aiding in
multi-disciplinary care for their patients for which they have long since been
short staffed, you may be viewed as an outsider and many may not wish to
become well acquainted. They are in need of your expertise, your knowledge
and your ability to jump in to provide outstanding patient care; you are vital to
the facility. Don’t be surprised when you are assigned the busiest and least
desirable assignments or perhaps those that no one wants because the patient
is on contact isolation precautions or the parents are extremely difficult. “Give
it to the traveler”… (so we can sit and chat all night). Yes it happens—all the
time!
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Finding the Best Agency
Finding the best agency to work with is also very important. Take your time
and review the requirements and benefits each agency offers. Look carefully
at housing, travel reimbursements, insurances, continuing education and
assistance with state licensure. Time off policies and other benefits can make
for an outstanding package. It is important to remember, you are a nurse in
great demand, and you don’t have to go with the first agency you find. Take
notes and compare the various agencies. Go with the agency that best suits
your needs.
There are several types of travel nursing companies: those on a global
scale best suited to international travelers and assignments, those on a smaller
scale catering to travelers and assignments on a regional or local level, and
those which are specialty specific. For example, you may find during your
research, a small or newly-founded company which mainly places specific
specialties within the industry on a regional level, such as the Medical/Surgical
units, the Operating Room and Same Day Surgery within the Mid West, while
larger, more established companies focus on placing healthcare professionals
within all specialties across the nation and internationally.
As there are numerous agencies that vary in size and specialty, you may
want to ask for references from current nurses the agency employs to gain a
better understanding. Oftentimes, recruiters are eager to put you in contact
with a traveler they employ to help answer any questions you may have
regarding traveling or the agency itself.
Overall, you are looking for an agency that will provide you with a great pay
rate to travel to your most desirable location that will help you negotiate your
needs and achieve your goals while on assignment with them. You are also
looking for a travel nursing agency that will be flexible and accommodating
during unforeseen circumstances. Assignment availability is also a huge
factor in choosing an agency to work with and even more the reason to apply
to at least three travel nursing companies that meet your outlined criteria,
therefore giving you the opportunity to have ongoing travel assignments if you
choose.
Ultimately, the key to your success when choosing a travel nursing agency
is to know what specific criteria you consider to be “showstoppers,” or things
you are simply unwilling to compromise on. For example, are you willing to
arrange for your own healthcare coverage to add a few dollars per hour to
your hourly wage? Are you willing to forego private housing for your dream
assignment and location? As a traveler, I’ve done exactly that. I have chosen
to take my chances on having a roommate to ensure a profitable hourly rate
and to live in an amazing city. On the other hand, I have met fellow travelers
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who have no preference for their location. They simply want top pay and, in
turn, treat each new location as a mini vacation and an opportunity to explore.
So what’s important to you? The best salary, the prime location,
comprehensive benefits and paid time off or private housing; take a moment
to think about your key showstoppers and write them down. Once you have
clearly identified your most important desires from a travel nursing company,
begin your search online. Keeping these things in mind will help you narrow
your list of potential agencies to work with.
Initiating contact with a potential travel nursing agency is rather easy to
do once you’ve done your research. The focus of your initial contact should
be to gain a general overview of what the company has to offer. You’re also
looking to sort out whether or not this particular company provides your key
showstoppers, if not more. After your initial review of the company, if you
would like to find out more, speak with a recruiter for the details and begin
the application process. Also, make sure to add the company to your list of
desirable companies.
Most agencies will have you up and running in a minimum of two weeks
after submitting your application. However, it is not unheard of for a travel
nurse to begin the process and not take an assignment for several months.
You have the ability to schedule your assignments as you need. Take your
time and be selective.
My First Travel Nursing Agency
In taking my first assignment with Medical Express, I gradually realized
what amazing benefits they offered. Aside from the extra $10 an hour over
what I was making in New York, the company reimbursed me for my Florida
license, and paid for travel mileage from New York to South Florida. Medical
Express also allowed me to move in a week before my assignment started in
order to give me some extra time to settle in. The best part was every three
months, between contracts at the same facility in Miami, Medical Express flew
me home to New York for two weeks and back to begin my second and then
third contract at Children’s Hospital. It doesn’t get any better than being flown
home to your family after your first assignment alone in a city three times the
size of your hometown.
Choosing a Destination
Choosing a destination to travel to may not always be
the easiest thing to do when the time comes; with so many
opportunities and countless possibilities who’s to say which
location will be best. So what do you want and where do
you want to be? You can go surfing in the winter in Hawaii,
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work at a prestigious medical center in the northeast in the fall, herd cattle in
the Midwest in the spring if you want. From one assignment to the next you
decide what is most important and at the top of your to-do list.
Once you have decided to join the field of travel nursing, get a jumpstart on
your licensure needs for areas you wish to travel. This will drastically decrease
the amount of time spent preparing for the next assignment requiring an
additional license.
Write a list of cities and/or states you would like to travel to. Check the
area’s website for licensure requirements. Twenty three states have formed
an alliance for nursing licensure which allows you to practice in a participating
state under the laws governed by your home state of licensure without
obtaining an additional practice license. If your state of original licensure, the
state in which you have taken the NCLEX exam, is not a part of the compact,
you will need to take the necessary steps to apply for an additional license
by endorsement. If you know you are truly interested in taking an assignment
in a certain state, it is always best to begin the endorsement process well
in advance of accepting an assignment. Also, take into consideration that
background checks and finger printing are, for the most part, standard during
the authorization process due to heightened security and may prolong your
turnaround time to obtain licensure. Certain states, such as Florida, are well
known for an elongated approval process, so begin early to avoid missing out
on a dream assignment due to licensure delays. Keep in mind that temporary
licenses may be issued in a timely fashion and are satisfactory to begin your
assignment.
On my first assignment I ran into delays while trying to obtain nursing
licensure by endorsement from the state of Florida. My recruiter warned me
of possible delays I may experience while trying to obtain licensure. Using my
recruiter’s guidance, I applied two months in advance for my nursing license
by endorsement and paid to have a temporary license issued. I accurately
filled out the necessary paperwork in a timely manner and submitted the
application with the hopes of a quick turnaround time. To my dismay, my
recruiter was right. After four weeks and no word from the Board of Nursing,
countless hours were spent each morning after my 11 pm – 7 am shift at my
staff job, on hold, listening to elevator music, trying to get in touch with a live
representative in the Licensure & Verifications department to no avail. Days
and weeks had gone by and still no temporary license. I was worried that I
would have to forfeit my already accepted and confirmed assignment in sunny
Miami because there was still no license to practice.
Before long, the time had come. I was scheduled to hit the road and make
my way 1,550 miles to South Florida and, you guessed it, still no temporary
license. Now down to the wire, I had no choice but to request to have the
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start date postponed a week with the hopes that what the Board of Nursing
had relayed to me was true. “It was in the mail.” I was discouraged. This was
supposed to be an exciting time; this is my first travel assignment. What was
I going to do if this didn’t work out? Now down in South Florida, I was fearful
that the facility would cancel my contract after the unexpected delay, and that
I would be responsible for paying housing costs for the week I was living
in company housing and not working. But, there was a break in the clouds
that scorching afternoon, shortly after the routine 2:15 South Florida spring
rain. The temporary license arrived and I was finally able to kick off my first
assignment in the exciting career of travel nursing.
Many of the most desirable travel nursing assignments are not on the
market for long. These prized positions are competitive and often have several,
well qualified candidates with stellar profiles submitted for consideration.
Make yourself more marketable, gain a leg up on the competition by having
an active/current license in the desired state.
The “50 Mile” Rule
You will also need to decide if you are going to be traveling as a nurse
locally or traveling more than 50 miles away from your home. There are a few
facts you need to know before you make that final decision. Controversy and
confusion tends to find its way to a traveling nurse when the “50 mile” rule is
mentioned. Intense research on this rule has been done by many nurses and
travel nursing agencies to clarify the rule. All in all, there is no real basis for the
“50 mile” rule in the IRS code. Ultimately, the idea of tax-free reimbursements
is contingent upon one’s need to sleep and rest while on assignment as the
distance between the tax home is determined too far to commute. In other
words, for your assignment to fall under this category, the distance between
your home base and the contract facility must be viewed as non-commutable.
If you live in an area in which the average commuter travels at least 50 miles
to get to work, such as Los Angeles, you cannot be considered a travel nurse.
If you travel 50 miles to your facility in an area in which the normal commute is
10 to 15 miles, you may be considered a travel nurse. Why the discrepancy?
Hospitals will use the “50 mile rule” to resolve whether the employees are
outside “their metropolitan area” to determine which employees will receive
premium pay. Employers will use the “50 mile rule” as a screening tool to
determine which employee is working away from home.
One word of caution, always seek expert advice by consulting a tax advisor
regarding eligibility for tax-free allowances or provisions.
“Tax Home” City
Your “Tax Home” city is the place in which you have legal and historical ties.
These ties include driver’s license, voter registration, banking, car registration
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and mail delivery. However, there is a catch: having these items may represent
your permanent residence, not necessarily a tax home. A tax home is defined
as the location in which a mortgage or rent payments are made. On the other
hand, a permanent residence is defined as a location of which no exchanges
of payments are made. If you live with a family member or a significant other
in which no rent is paid, but you still receive local mail and are eligible to vote,
etc., you have a permanent residence. Might you have additional questions
regarding a “tax home” please consult a tax advisor to find out if you qualify.
“Tax Free” Housing
“Tax free” housing is what you receive if
you have a tax home, work far enough from
your tax home in which you would need sleep
or rest to make it home after a shift and, in
turn, your agency compensates you with free
housing or a housing stipend. Another benefit
to having an established tax home is that the
amount of taxes deducted from your paycheck
is significantly less. In this case, the dollar
amount deducted will be based on taxes that are imposed by the city and
state in which your primary dwelling is located. For example, if you have a
primary tax home located in the state of California, all taxes placed on your
gross income will be that of California regardless of the fact that your current
assignment may be in Texas; a state with no income tax. If your current
dwelling is company housing and changes with each travel assignment taken,
the total dollar amount for housing paid by the Travel Nursing Agency will be
placed into your paycheck as additional earning. You will then be taxed on that
figure biweekly and the amount is then deducted.
With all matters regarding taxes and the IRS, it is in your best interest to
consult a tax advisor. Before choosing a tax advisor, be sure to ask if they
have experience working with travel healthcare professionals to maximize
your tax benefits.
How to Anticipate Availability of Assignments
When a healthcare professional decides to travel, one of the ways to judge
where and when nurses or other traveling healthcare professionals will be
needed is to pay close attention to geographic trends. The nurse-to-patient
ratio at most hospitals has proven to be significantly lower than desired to
achieve optimum wellness. This ratio can be adversely affected by seasonal
increases in illness and accidents, as well as by aging populations, increases
in birth rates, changes in demographics in a particular area, economic factors,
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and many other environmental changes and challenges. Watch the news,
read industry magazines and newsletters, talk with your recruiter.
One example: the current economic problems seen in the U.S. Layoffs,
downsizing and business closures have contributed to joblessness and highstress levels. The emergency rooms are dramatically impacted by people who
are uninsured, self-paying clients have no insurance and no money for an
office visit. The hospital ERs are pressed to the limit with people who would
normally make an appointment with their primary care provider, because it’s
the only way they can be seen by a doctor. This creates a huge gap in the
nurse-to-patient ratio, requiring that agency nurses are hired in order to ensure
patient safety.
How to Create Assignments
I was in my third week in the NICU while on assignment in Chicago, Illinois
when Katrina hit the bayous of Louisiana. Within a couple weeks the facility
I was working for at the time had already begun to rally mobilize groups of
healthcare professionals and any volunteers to be vaccinated who wished to
help Louisiana recover from the disastrous tragedy. Shortly after seeing the
devastation on the news during morning break, I immediately contacted my
recruiter to see what was being done on our end to further assist the relief
efforts. Unfortunately, having been on assignment for only three weeks, I was
unable to mobilize myself. Nurses were accepting three-week contracts for
which they would be working seven days a week, 18 hours a day, making time
and a half each day. You were only allowed one piece of luggage and you had
to sleep in FEMA relief tents, but with such deplorable conditions none of that
could compare to the life experiences of helping those in dire need. Although
I was unable to help directly, three of our staff NICU RNs volunteered and
departed shortly thereafter. I, on the other hand, was able to pick up at least
one shift a week to help cover the staffing needs in their absence.
As previously discussed, there are many times when nursing shortages
increase due to various environmental and economic issues. When this occurs,
if you are diligent, you may be able to create an assignment for yourself. How?
Well, it’s really quite easy.
When you see there may be a need, do as I did, contact your agency
recruiter or account manager. Ask if there are any open assignments in the
area where you see the need. If there is an area you would like to travel to,
you can also start researching jobs at the hospitals, medical centers and other
facilities in the area. When there are open positions that you are qualified
for, you may also contact your recruiter or account manager to see if they
have a relationship with that particular facility. If your agency already has
a relationship with the facility, they may be able to turn the position into a
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new contract. If they don’t have a relationship with the facility it will create an
opportunity to develop both an ongoing relationship with the facility, as well as
an assignment for the traveling healthcare provider.
Negotiation Preparation
Do you believe you are worth what you negotiate? As a trained and
experienced professional, you are worth the wages, travel reimbursements,
bonuses and luxurious housing you receive. Your services are in great demand
and there are many facilities that are unable to perform at their desired level
without the assistance of travel nurses nationwide.
Go in Prepared
You are knowledgeable; your skills are honed, so why not take that same
professional approach to negotiating your contract? With solid information
to back up your desired wages and compensation, you should be able to
obtain a good portion if not all of what you desire on your travel assignment.
If you don’t need particular benefits, such as company housing or health
insurance—because you already have these items covered through other
arrangements—be sure to convey this information to your recruiter. You will
receive up to an extra $2 per hour for declined benefits and at least $700
per month for declined housing, all of which can be found on your contract
agreement—so read every line.
Read Every Line of Your Contract
Aside from the details provided to you from Payroll regarding direct deposit
and the specifics as to your exact housing locations, the majority of the binding
details needed to get you on your way are found within the contract agreement.
The fundamentals of each contract include the following:
Greeting:
The greeting is a welcome letter outlining who your contact liaisons will be
during the course of your assignment. Your client accommodations associate,
security deposit information, housing costs for missed shifts, tax home
eligibility, group health insurance and its expiration date, any applicable bonus
information, the number of hours the bonus is contingent upon and eligibility
requirements allotted per pay schedule.
The Contract:
Contract and agency clauses are paramount when preparing for an
assignment. All details and descriptions provided in your contract are your
only protection and safeguard during the course of your assignment in the
event something does not go according to plan.
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To help you better understand your contract, I have outlined the key
areas of the contracts you will come across no matter which company you
chose.
Routine Clauses are those that outline standard agency/company
policies and procedure statements regarding non-wavering details, such the
timeframe required to submit timesheets, confidentiality statements, signing
of contracts prior to arrival on site, agency early termination clauses as they
reserve the right to do so at any time throughout the course of your contract.
The second aspect of your contract includes Wavering Clauses or
rather details of assignment clauses as they change based on the specific
assignment you chose. These clauses change based on your assignment
specifics and vary from assignment to assignment. As an example, these
include housing details, pay rate and bonuses, beginning and end dates
for your current assignment, designated time off, scheduled shifts and shift
differentials, floating requirements and guaranteed hours. It is vital you read
these areas thoroughly and make sure they are accurate.
Sample Contract:
When reviewing your contract, DO NOT assume all the details verbally
agreed upon are listed in the contract. A simple error could leave important
details from the contract, leaving you in a bind. If anything is missing, any items
written in a confusing manner or unclear, ask for clarification. This contract is
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your confirmation that you will receive what you negotiated. Check out the
penalty section regarding your potential inability to finish an assignment. Know
what the conditions are and the cost of the penalty. Ask to include clauses in the
contract for an option that offers a special leave agreement for an emergency
without penalty. Long-term contracts are not the standard practices of travel
nurse agencies, with the majority ranging from 13 to 26 weeks. You should
only sign a contract for the length of your current assignment.
When to Renew
Approximately six weeks after the initiation of your original assignment,
the decision has to be made if you are interested in renewing your contract.
Although it seems rather early, this career is fast paced. No sooner than
you arrive, you’re deciding if you’d like to stay on board once the contract
is complete or venture off to experience a new-found travel adventure. The
facility is also deciding if they’d like to renew your contract based on unit needs
and traveler performance—all within the first six weeks. Be sure to review
the assignment contract renewal/extension just as carefully as you would the
original contract. Gain clarification if any area of the contract is unclear.
Get organized!
To me, this is the fun part. As you move from assignment to assignment,
from the rural Midwest to the fast-paced metropolitan cities of the east coast,
you have to find a way to keep up with all your stuff: licensure requirements
from state to state, assignment contracts, Physician Exam forms and lab
results. After about a year, I realized I had no idea where I had stashed my
New York license information which, of course, was up for renewal. Was it
hidden somewhere in a box I packed and shipped off to South Florida or was it
still back in Upstate New York with all those Winter clothes that were no longer
needed? So as organized as I am in my professional career, I really had no
idea where the paperwork had gone. So I decided to get organized!
A Helpful Tip
Put together a three ring binder to include five durable hole-punched
folders. The first folder is marked for company information, contact details for
your recruiter and housing coordinator. The second folder should include all
of your pertinent assignment research: state regulations, the facility, and the
population you may serve; all will be a definite help if you are expected to dive
right in. Complete the facility interview questionnaire to remind you of what was
discussed when comparing assignments. The third folder should include your
credentials, physical exam forms and any lab work that has been completed
or may need to be completed before venturing off to your new assignment.
At each assignment you will go through a thorough health screening process,
which often includes reviewing your credentials such as the state nursing
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license, CPR and advanced resuscitation certifications. Maintain a complete
traveler profile with each assignment ensuring all paperwork is up to date and
certifications are current. As you become an avid traveler, you will find yourself
with multiple licenses all of which seemingly expire within one year of each
other; you can store all of those in the fourth folder and leave the fifth folder to
miscellaneous papers.
While on assignment in Staten Island, I had the pleasure of caring for
a lovely family who was always so thankful to each and every nurse who
cared for their first-born child. The twin sibling was lost in utero, but every
day the family showed how happy they were to have just the one son after
trying so hard to start a family for so many years. With a little gaining and
growing, and the resolution of Respiratory Distress Syndrome, the family was
discharged. Shortly thereafter, we received a thank you letter from the family
for our dedication to caring for their newborn. As healthcare professionals we
take pride in giving unconditional quality care to our patients and never expect
a thank you in return. I was simply happy for the success of their son’s stay in
the NICU and went on to put a copy of that letter in my binder to carry with me
on my travels as a reminder of a job well done.
All in all, this binder will go along with you during your travels to help keep
you organized and prepared.
Remember: the power in preparation is tenfold when getting ready for
a career in travel nursing. The legwork done upfront is key to your ongoing
success as a traveler.
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Chapter 7: The Fine Art of Recruiter Relations
Although the first line of defense when embarking on a travel nursing
career is deciding upon a company, additionally, establishing and maintaining
a happy and healthy relationship with your recruiter is essential. Your best
course of action is to be assertive. Come in prepared with your best and
most assertive self. Build and nurture the foundation of this relationship, as
it’s another integral piece of the puzzle, Elite Traveler Tool #5. So I will show
you how to deal with recruiters who could potentially slash your bottom line
profits in half.
Interview Your Recruiter
When you’ve decided upon an agency and completed the application
process, you will then be assigned a recruiter. However, this does not mean
you have to remain with that particular recruiter if you do not feel he or she is a
good fit for you. I have found that interviewing recruiters up front and utilizing
the following questions has proven key in determining the success of the
relationship at hand. Immediately you will know if he or she has the qualities
necessary to make your life as a travel nurse memorable or miserable. Prepare
yourself with the following interview questions:
uu
Do you enjoy your position as a recruiter?
uu
What is the most challenging aspect of your position?
uu
What do you feel is the most important part of your relationship with a
candidate?
uu
How long have you been a recruiter?
uu
Do you have nursing experience? If yes, have you been a traveling nurse?
uu
What do you feel is the most rewarding part of your position?
uu
How long do you expect to remain a recruiter?
uu
If you could change one aspect of your job, what would it be?
uu
How can I make our relationship work best for you?
uu
What do I need to tell you about me that will help you understand what I’m
looking to achieve with this company?
Secondly, review the verbal—and non-verbal if meeting the recruiter in
person—answers provided by your recruiter.
uu
What was the reaction of the recruiter when asked to take part in an
interview?
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uu
Did he/she answer the questions as if they were rehearsed or relaxed,
encouraging and genuine?
uu
Did he/she listen when you spoke or seem preoccupied?
How you find your recruiter’s responses, personality and gestures are
equally important to the information he/she may provide or neglect to provide
regarding the company you are looking to gain more information about. All
in all, their response will also determine the quality of the relationship at
hand. Only you can make that call and if you don’t find it to be a good match,
ask for another recruiter. This is the person you will need to work closely
with throughout the entire time you are with the agency. Ideally, you want
to empower your recruiter to work for you, to work independently with your
best interests at heart with the least amount of management from you. Clear
guidance goes a long way.
Building a Relationship
Recruiters understand the value of a healthcare traveler’s expertise in the
continuity of quality patient care. Your recruiter will work hard to assure that
you are rewarded in return. The quality of your relationship plays a significant
role in convincing your recruiter of your needs. Establish a relationship built on
trust. Be honest and forthright about your strengths and areas where you may
need improvement. Your recruiter can bring to the attention of the facility the
areas where you shine and assist you in building your areas needing strength.
Throughout my travels, I have had my fair share of stellar and not so
stellar recruiters. By far, Jose Muñoz was the best recruiter I had ever had
when I was looking to move on from South Florida. He was very attentive and
thoughtful, always willing to help in any way possible and would make sure
I received the company gift for Nurse’s Week. Come to find out, he was an
Operating Room nurse and subsequently a traveler as well. When we spoke
of what my needs were to accept a travel assignment he listened intently,
jotted down key criteria as we spoke and understood that I worked the night
shift and emailing me when a lucrative assignment became available was our
best option for communicating. We had an amazing relationship. Quite frankly,
I didn’t want to be bothered unless there was an assignment that fit my criteria.
He understood and rolled out the red carpet. I never felt as though he was
trying to get me to fill a position to pump up his commission.
I found that most of the recruiters I dealt with only listen to portions of your
conversation. No sooner do you take a breath, they are trying to ship you off
to the nearest Walk Thru State’s Board of Nursing to hopefully make it through
the picket lines in Missouri during the holiday season; rather than helping you
land an assignment close to home for the holidays.
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Seasoned recruiters typically manage between 50-100 active, working
travelers at a time. As standard protocol for larger companies, there are
greater incentives to ensure successful and ongoing travel nurse retention.
Recruiters typically have a well-established base salary with the majority
of their incentives coming from maintaining active travelers whether it be
renewals, referrals, hard-to-place assignments or rapid response efforts. You
will find recruiters make a valiant effort towards high incentive assignments or
even find them in placement competition with one another. So keep in mind,
they may have a profitable suggestion that you may not have considered.
Take a careful and thoughtful approach to better establish and maintain
your relationship between yourself and your recruiter. Communicate freely
and frequently via email or by phone just to say “hello.” This will ensure a
more honest and trustworthy level of communication enabling you to more
easily bargain for the specific necessities to make each assignment special.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that you and your recruiter are on
the same page at all times on every aspect of your assignment. It is also
important not to assume that he/she will have your best interests in mind. It
is your responsibility to clearly convey your wants and wishes necessary for
a fruitful assignment and relationship. Your relationship with your recruiter is
vital to the success and profitability of your career. Look at it in an honest light
and nurture this relationship.
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Chapter 8: Hot Spots for Travel Nursing
There are several ways to choose an assignment location. You may wish
to travel for a special occasion in which the destination is predetermined
simply to be with family or friends, or perhaps your location preference is
based upon a city you have always dreamed of vacationing to, but haven’t had
the opportunity to do so. Traveling as a healthcare professional is a joyous
venture. It offers you the opportunity to learn new and alternative procedures,
work with amazingly bright physicians, experience diverse work environments
and provides exposure to a variety of challenges to build your professional
portfolio. Amidst all this, traveling as a healthcare professional enables you to
embark on a magnificent journey throughout the country in which your career
is your reward.
One of the biggest attractions to travel nursing for many is the hourly pay
rate or salary offered by travel nursing agencies. Considerably higher than
the typical pay rate for traditional employment, travel nursing can provide
the financial stability you need both for an enjoyable lifestyle and in terms of
saving for your financial future.
There are a multitude of factors that influence the pay rates seen from
assignment to assignment; however, location is key. Location ranks extremely
high on the list when determining the level of a hospital’s desirability. Travel
companies know and understand that a traveler will be more inclined to
accept a position within a desirable location. Cost and probability of obtaining
housing in exclusive neighborhoods is one of the biggest factors weighing in
on a healthcare traveler’s earnings. Along with a location’s popularity, another
consideration is the cost of living and quality of life.
Pay scales often hinge on the allure of a facility’s locale. Traditionally,
contracts in large metropolitan areas have been the highest paid compared
to the outlying rural areas simply because the institution has allocated a
larger budget for securing supplemental staff. However, recent trends have
shown that facilities located on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area are
becoming increasingly competitive.
In the Northeast, the cost of living is indeed high in cities such as New York
and Washington D.C.; traveling registered nurses typically earn a minimum
of $35.00 per hour. This is comparable to areas of the west coast including
major metropolitan areas in the state of California, as well as coastal areas in
Washington and Alaska.
At one point I looked into assignments in Hawaii and realized that I could
have an amazing island lifestyle for $24 per hour at their military hospital
located on the Big Island. Rural Midwest assignments tend to follow suit. For
those who take assignments at facilities in the Midwestern and Central states,
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the going rate falls between $28.00 and $31.00. If you’re interested in heading
southeast for the winter, standard hourly rates begin at $28.00, depending on
the company of choice.
Your travel nursing agency can offer destination suggestions based upon
demand, climate, working conditions and locations that most interest you.
If you have a clear outline of your priorities, the agency can usually make
suggestions and check their vacancies in the locations that most closely meet
your needs and requirements.
Although assignments fluctuate in availability, you can guarantee that the
following are the top 13 hot spots for travel nurses to profit.
NEW YORK CITY:
New York City (NYC) is well known for its high
population density. The population of New York
metropolitan area is the largest in the nation, estimated
at 18.8 million people and is spread over an area of 6,720
square miles. It is also one of the leading U.S. tourist
destinations. Because of its large population, NYC has
a great demand for nurses and there is still a shortage
according to the New York State Nurses Association
(NYSNA).
NYC is an ideal location to consider for a travel nursing position, especially
as nurses tend to work all hours. One of the great advantages of NYC is its 24hour public transportation system which is ideal for non drivers and those that
do not want to hire a car or take their own with them. The New York subway
runs 24 hours a day and both walking and cycling are popular methods of
commuting. There are more than 12,000 yellow cabs and no shortage of cabs
late at night. Furthermore, there are buses, ferries, and an aerial tramway.
NYC has a humid subtropical climate. Summer temperatures often range
from 75oF to 88oF but may creep higher on occasions, while winters offer
temperatures often reaching below freezing, with snow being quite common.
The rainfall in NYC is just less than 50 inches per year.
Towards the end of the twentieth century, the crime rate in NYC was far
worse that it is now, but this outdated reputation often deters people from
visiting the city. However, the current crime statistics clearly show a downward
trend, with NYC ranking the lowest among the 25 largest cities in the U.S. and
a continually lowering homicide rate.
There are five main boroughs in New York: Brooklyn, Manhattan, The
Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Some of the most popular tourist attractions
include: the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times
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Square, The Bronx Zoo and Ellis Island. NYC offers a great selection of U.S.
and international cuisine and has many local specialties such as bagels, pizza
and cheesecake.
MIAMI:
Miami’s tropical climate and coastal location attracts
many tourists each year. Miami is a preferred destination
for those seeking a warm climate. Summer highs of 85oF
to 95oF are expected and often followed by a cooling
storm or sea breeze in the afternoon, while the average
temperature in the winter months rarely falls below 70oF.
Demand for nurses is very good in Miami because it
is a very popular retirement destination. According to the
Nursing Consortium of South Florida there is still a severe shortage of nurses
in the area.
While there are not many tourist attractions in Miami, the beach and
climate draw a lot of people towards the city for fun in the sun and water
sports: boating, fishing, diving, jet skiing and parasailing. Furthermore, a lot of
movies and TV shows, including many reality TV presentations are filmed in
Miami; so why not increase your chances of getting your 15 minutes of fame!
Miami is also a major hub for international travel with direct flights to the
Caribbean and South America’s most desirable destinations. So, if you decide
on venturing to Miami, take full advantage of this travel opportunity.
CHICAGO:
Chicago is another densely populated city, with
more than three million residents. There are four main
city segments: The Loop, also known as Downtown; the
North, which encompasses the Gold Coast, Magnificent
Mile, the Water Tower and Northwestern University; the
Near South where you’ll find Soldier Field, the Shed
Aquarium and the quiet, residential communities of the
Prairie District; and the West Side, where you will find
many of the outlying colleges and universities, the Ukrainian Village and
suburbs west of the Dan Ryan.
The climate is hot and sticky in the summer with temperatures range from
80°F to 88°F. The winters are considerably cold and below freezing with heavy
snowfall coming off Lake Michigan and tremendous winds—so bundle up.
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There is a definite shortage of nurses in Chicago and according to the
Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC), Illinois will have a shortage
of 21,000 Registered Nurses by 2020.
Chicago has many attractions including the classy Magnificent Mile
shopping district, Grant Park, The Field Museum, Navy Pier, Lake Michigan,
Sears Tower, and Buckingham Fountain. The city also offers a fantastic range
of restaurants and local cuisine that includes deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, and
the Italian beef sandwich. If you’re there in the summer, don’t miss the Taste
of Chicago. In July, Chicago’s best line up for a week of amazing food, great
musical entertainment and free concerts all along the lakefront’s Millennium
Park.
With famous stadiums like Wrigley Field and many professional and
championship teams residing in the city, Chicago makes a great choice for
sport enthusiasts.
Transportation facilities in Chicago are excellent. The buses and trains,
also called the “L,” operate as the main means of public transport in the city
itself, while there are many bike lanes for cyclers. Chicago also has a clean
environment for a city of its size and according to a June 2008 entry in the
Chicago Sun-Times all city taxicabs will be using green energy by January 1,
2014.
Of special interest to health professionals, is the fact that many medical
associations are located in Chicago. The American Medical Association,
American College of Surgeons and the American Hospital Association are
among many medical organizations based in Chicago. A job in this city could
therefore be the ideal location for further educational opportunities.
HAWAII:
Hawaii has top-notch health care systems and
hospitals which go hand in hand with the wonderful
weather and surroundings. With just two seasons,
summer and winter, Hawaii enjoys average
temperatures of 85˚F in the summer and 78˚F in winter.
Nursing demand is evident in Hawaii among the
estimated 1.2 million people living in Hawaii. In addition
to the local residents, there are a large number of
tourists who also need health care services while visiting. According to the
Hawaii State Center for Nursing, the shortage of nurses is expected to get
worse with shortage figures projected to double by 2020.
Hawaii has much to offer including a wide range of recreational activities
and facilities such as golfing, surfing, dining out and shopping, not to
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mention the stunning and breathtaking views. A great variety of residential
accommodations are available to traveling nurses including apartments in
large residential complexes and quaint cottages in lush settings. Most of the
housing options are typically centrally located near the assigned facility. Public
transportation is usually available via the bus system. Nursing wages range
from $26.00 to $31.00 per hour. Free housing and the beautiful locale make
Hawaii a paradise destination for traveling nurses.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS:
“Up-to-date facilities just as attractive as spectacular
living conditions,” is how Schneider Regional Medical
Center’s Chief Nursing Officer, Angela RennallsAtkinson describes the environment a traveling nurse
will experience in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USVI
has a constant demand for nurses and is a great place
to work on a temporary assignment with its tropical
settings, perfect weather, crystal blue green water and
beautiful islands.
The cost of living is 33 percent more than most U.S. jurisdictions; however,
the nursing demand has increased wages for nursing personnel, making this
location a working paradise. Most agencies provide housing near the hospitals,
significantly reducing the cost of living further more.
Swimming, tennis, sailing, golf, horseback riding and hiking are just some
of the outdoor activities one can enjoy in the USVI. Entertainment, dining and
nightlife are also readily available as this is a popular tourist location.
The islands offer good public transportation including ferries, safari taxis
for the hills and other rougher terrain and, for the more adventurous, scooters.
There is little variation in the weather throughout the year with temperatures
ranging from 72˚F to 86˚F. The only weather concerns are the infrequent
tremors from distant earthquakes and the occasional hurricane.
But it is important to keep in mind that all in all, this is a pure example of
island life. Challenge your creative healthcare abilities with working within
the island culture: laidback and casual, all in due time. In addition, areas like
these may not have the state-of-the-art equipment you may be accustomed
to seeing in the more progressive healthcare systems seen on the mainland.
Keep this in mind when you decide to travel.
LAS VEGAS:
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” may be the chosen slogan, but
when it comes to the nursing shortage, the nursing need is filled by travel
staff from all over the United States. Americantraveler.com says more than
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30 percent of the 23,000 nurses currently employed in
Las Vegas have out-of-state addresses. Less than 10
percent of Las Vegas’ nursing workforce is under the
age of 30 and even with major programs to increase the
number of younger nurses—such as Adopt-a-student
program, sign on bonuses, tuition reimbursements and
scholarships—Las Vegas still needs to rely on traveling
nurses to fill its needs, which is great news for you.
In an interview with Jack Swinney, CEO of Integrated
Nursing Alliance of Omaha Nebraska, the Las Vegas Business Press reported
that Mr. Swinney, who provides traveling nurses to every private hospital in
Las Vegas, has at any one time, between 500 and 1000 traveling nurses from
his agency alone. Traveling nurses receive on average an additional $5 to $10
per hour and hospitals are paying for their housing as well. Traveling nurses
have an excellent opportunity to cash in on the high demand, excellent pay
and good benefits which make Las Vegas one of the very best destinations
for traveling nurses.
In addition to free housing and outstanding wages, Las Vegas also offers
first-rate shopping facilities, shows, dining, spas and of course the magnificent
casinos. Monorails, buses and taxis are available to travel about town. The
weather ranges from a low of 34˚F and a high of 58˚F in the winter to 82˚F in
May and 106˚F in August.
BOSTON:
Boston’s population of 589,141 is split between the
big city, inner suburbs and outer suburbs. Boston has
the distinction of being the largest city in New England,
yet small compared to other major cities with the cost of
living a bit lower than cities such as New York City, Los
Angeles and San Francisco.
Boston is a beautiful city that boasts about its
historic presence, major professional sports teams,
sailing, cross country skiing, Cape Cod, forest preserves, parks, skating rings
and nightlife. Boston is also famous for its educational institutions and has
11 colleges and universities. The population of Boston is growing rapidly and
as with any increase in population, there is an increase in healthcare needs.
Boston offers great financial opportunities for all traveling nurses with salaries
ranging from $58,000 to $88,000 per year.
Boston has three and a half seasons with a full winter, a few weeks of
incredible spring, the summer and the best season of all, autumn. So if you’re
up for a cold weather visit with an occasional snowfall in April or perhaps a
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sudden thunderstorm during the hot and muggy summer months, then Boston
may just be the place for you.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:
The District of Columbia is the hot bed of politics.
Steeped in history and tradition from the Lincoln
Memorial to the White House and the Washington
monument, D.C. also boasts a variety of local and
national parks. Working as a traveling nurse in D.C. not
only provides busy shifts, but also real excitement after
work.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the
population in 2007 was 588,292 people squeezing into 61.40 square miles
that make up the District of Columbia.
Salary ranges for a Registered Nurse in the District of Columbia begin
on the low side at $65,000 to the high side of $102,000; the average wage is
$87,000 per year. This makes traveling as a nurse in the District of Columbia
very profitable.
The District of Columbia enjoys four seasons: beautiful springs, colorful
autumns, winters with 29˚F as a low and summers averaging highs in the
low 90’s. The beautiful weather only adds to the benefits of working in the
District of Columbia, not to mention the ability to take day trips to Harpers
Ferry National Historical Park for white water rafting or perhaps Baltimore’s
American Visionary Art Museum and National Aquarium.
ALASKA:
Amongst the bear viewing, fishing charters,
shopping, tours and cruises is a need for travel nurses
to provide care to the residents of Alaska. The vast size
of unpopulated areas lends to the difficulty in reducing
the shortage of nurses in Alaska.
For those who love adventure and the great
outdoors Alaska offers an exciting opportunity for either
short-term or long-term assignments. In Alaska, even
the larger cities have a small town feel to them and there are many excellent
activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing in the wilderness. At the same
time, Alaska offers the pleasure and entertainment of an exciting night life.
With annual salaries for Registered Nurses averaging $66,000 per year,
why not take the opportunity to discover why Eskimos build igloos?
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DENVER:
Healthinsurancecolorado.net has noted that there
“are still a lot more jobs than qualified applicants” in the
field of nursing. The population of Colorado continues to
grow at projected rates. In 2008, Colorado’s population
was estimated at 4.6 million. Coloradonursingcenter.
org put out a report in 2004 that statewide Colorado
had 32,370 nurses in the workforce. The projected
numbers for 2014 is 47,120, which is an increase of
14,750 positions or 45.6 percent.
Despite the income increases in nursing, the shortfall still continues.
The Colorado Nurses Association reported that the median income in 2005
increased to $67,000. The need for additional nurses is evident in 25 of
Colorado’s larger cities and incentives for nursing students, travel nurses, and
nurses looking to retire have been extended to attract and retain nurses in all
settings.
Colorado has a wide variety of entertainment facilities and many outdoor
activities including hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowboarding, and sightseeing.
Colorado offers sporting events, theater, spectacular dining and an exciting
nightlife.
Choosing several assignments in Colorado can be an opportunity to
explore the whole state, while earning a healthy income.
SAN DIEGO:
San Diego has many attractions including visiting
the Aerospace museum, Frightmare on Market Street
and the San Diego Zoo. It also has some incredible
four star restaurants like The Bungalow, Nine-Ten,
Whisknladle, Croce’s, and Candelas to name just a
few. San Diego has such a wide variety of interesting
sightseeing, theater, arts and nightlife that a traveling
nurse may never run out of new experiences to try.
The population of San Diego is just under three
million according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A large number of the population
are veterans from the Gulf wars and need long-term nursing care. Even
without the increase in veteran population, San Diego is facing an acute
nursing shortage and the figures of the next 16 to 18 years are even higher.
According to the University of California, San Francisco, it is estimated that by
2030, 100,000 to 122,000 nurses will be needed in the San Diego area alone.
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Currently the income range for nurses in San Diego is $62,000 to $73,000.
As the shortfall increases, the median income is expected to continue to increase
as well. Incentives are being offered to prospective nurses to encourage them
to complete their schooling and remain in San Diego. Scholarships, tuition
reimbursement and commitments with pre-agreed minimum salaries are just
a small sample of the incentives offered.
Travel nurses are also receiving housing paid for by the hospitals and
agencies recruiting travel nurses. The weather, activities, income and benefits
make San Diego an incredibly profitable opportunity for traveling nurses.
LOS ANGELES:
Nearly four million people claim residence in Los
Angeles. It is the second largest city in the United States
with many things to do day and night. Los Angeles offers
movies, sports, aquariums, art galleries, museums,
farmers markets, performing arts, racetracks, and tours.
The nursing shortage is felt in great numbers in Los
Angeles. Several travel nurse agencies only focus on
Los Angeles as the need is so great. The low end of
the pay scale is $50,000 per year, with the median at $67,000 and higher
end at $78,000 per year. Agencies in Los Angeles also work with real estate
agencies to line up apartments, homes and condominiums whose owners are
more than happy to lease to healthcare professionals. This is a huge benefit
considering how difficult it is to find temporary housing in a city of this size.
There is great flexibility for travel nurses to work for an indefinite period of
time in Los Angeles, while still moving about to several different facilities.
DALLAS:
Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas is number
four on the top 100 hospitals to work for in the United
States for 2009. Parkland Memorial Hospital ranks
51 out of 100 in the same list put together by Nursing
Professionals as listed on nursingpromag.com. That’s
just two of the countless reasons for choosing Dallas as
a travel nurse location.
Furthermore, the city has many attractions like the
Dallas World Aquarium, a number of museums, art
gardens, outdoor sculpture tour, Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive, uptown and west
village retail centers. There is also the Mary Kay Cosmetics company, Spanish
art museums, and of course the well-known professional sports teams. There
is a large variety of activities to fill up 13 weeks’ worth of after work hours.
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Dining out is eclectic with unique tastes, thick steaks, high style or down home
dining everywhere.
Dallas has a population of 1.1 million according to the U.S. Census
Bureau’s numbers. Dallas has 17 hospitals and medical centers, is the ninth
largest city in the United States and the third largest city in Texas.
There’s more great news for traveling nurses aiming to go to the Dallas
area; nursing salaries begin at $49,000, with a median of $66,000 and some
salaries as high as $77,000! Dallas is a city alive with culture, history and more
activities than anyone can ever imagine. Along with the income that will be
earned, Dallas is simply an exciting experience.
As you can see there are several hot spots for travel nurses to profit both
personally and financially. Make the decision that’s right for you and begin
leading the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
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Chapter 9: Capitalizing on the Health Care
Traveler’s Lifestyle
What Does Your Ideal Lifestyle Exude?
When you take the time to think about the daily activities that encompass
your day-to-day life, what do you find yourself doing? Are you attending art
shows or monster truck shows? Either way, it’s your life, your lifestyle: be an
innovator in order to live your best life right now!
Designing Your Personal Lifestyle
The concept of lifestyle design is an emerging philosophy that seems
foreign to most; however, it gives you creative control to live a more meaningful
life every day by taking action and seizing the day.
Your lifestyle consists of behaviors that make sense to you regarding
social interactions, etiquette, entertainment and self expression. These
behaviors and practices within your life are a combination of daily habits,
conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions. Ideally, your lifestyle
should reflect your individual values, attitudes and overall view of the world
around you. Therefore, a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self to
create a culture that resonates well with your personal identity. Stop wanting
and start taking control of the steering wheel. Ask yourself if the actions you
have put forth throughout the day today clearly represent you, what you deem
meaningful, important and noteworthy, and if they point you in the direction
of your intended success. It’s important to get to the root of your actions and
determine if your actions are in line with how you truly want to live? What’s
your ideal lifestyle? Write it down on that piece of paper you’ve been working
on and let’s take a look.
4 Key Steps to Designing Your Ideal Lifestyle
Define Your Lifestyle Goals
Goals originate from your innermost dreams and desires. If
you could do anything, be anywhere, and freely choose the people
around you, what would your life entail? Take a minute to answer the
following questions:
uu
Experiences: How would you invest your time?
uu
Places: Where would you live and play?
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uu
People: With whom would you like to invest more time? Which
people are taking time away from the people and experiences
that you truly enjoy?
uu
Things: What do you want to buy that you thought you couldn’t?
The answers to these questions lie within you and will help you determine
your lifestyle goals. However, only motivation and most importantly, persistence
will help you achieve your goals and, in doing so, will prove life changing. So
don’t spend your life in inner conflict; embrace what you hold so dear.
Do you have goals that you wish to achieve that would mean providing
a comfortable way of life for yourself? Some of your goals may be a new
home, a new rewarding career such as travel nursing, to establish a business
or personal relationship, or go on a vacation. Most often, your lifestyle goals
coincide with your financial goals. Write down where your new home will be,
what position you would like to hold and what aspects of you it would fulfill,
what type of vacation is ideal for you and, how much money you would like
to make. Take a moment to consider what you would do given no limitations.
After creating your lifestyle design, with the end result in mind, establish
short- and long-term goals that are achievable, clear and measurable. It’s
significantly important to know why these goals are important to you and what
inspires you to achieve them. Do not let fear of the unknown, false starts or
other outside influences derail your pursuit of happiness. Hold steadfast to
your vision and maintain your focus. Believing in the outcome determines your
level of success.
Once you have refined your written goals and created an action plan, find
ways to incorporate your plan throughout the day. Concentrate your energy
on a single purpose to support your desired outcome. Revisit your personal
goals and visualize success. Make sure your goals are truly aligned with your
personal desires, wants and needs and that they are in agreement with who
you are and what identifies you.
Eliminate
Cast aside the actions, tasks and people in your life that deter you from
your true goal. Eliminate the non-essentials. Oftentimes we inadvertently put
more emphasis on tasks that aren’t necessarily part of our stepping stones to
success. Making conscious choices takes sustained effort but there is a huge
pay-off when you free your emotional energy and time currently being drawn
away by unproductive events to focus on your heartfelt goals.
Success comes from big goals and sustained action toward those goals
each day. Many start with amazing ideas at hand, however, after encountering
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a few false starts or a bump in the road, become distracted by competing
faculties from daily life and are deterred from their main goal. It is important
to dedicate at least two hours per day towards achieving your goals. No one
should care more about your money and your success more than you do.
Create a Plan to Best Suit Your Needs
Once you have figured out exactly what you want out of life, it’s time to
devise a plan to make it happen. Come to the realization that you are the sole
creator of the life in which you live, understand that only you have the ability
to change it. So if you find yourself desiring more, wanting more, then the only
option is to be the change you wish to see in your life.
The idea behind lifestyle design is to venture down the road less traveled,
to break away from conformity…why accept what’s typical? Organize and
arrange a lifestyle that affords you the opportunity to live more openly and to
freely explore a greater sense of freedom and prosperity, to also create new
and exciting experiences to obtain financial freedom.
From personal experience, I have found that once you get started and
build your momentum, you’ve got to run with it; otherwise you will find yourself
exactly where you began, if not in the middle of nowhere, fast. Remember that
making conscious choices takes sustained effort and the philosophy behind
creating your personal lifestyle takes deliberate action. So GET TO WORK!
Live Your Passion
Let your creative energy flow. Be sure to set aside some time each day
specifically for what’s important to you without interruption and enjoy what
your travel assignment has to offer.
How I Designed My Lifestyle with a Career in Travel Nursing?
I enjoy learning all there is to know about the arts and culture; inspirational
and educational, all of which a major metropolitan city has to offer. Cities
such as Miami, New York, Chicago, Phoenix and San Diego offer diversity,
deliciously eclectic foods and amazing architectural delights. Being able to
enjoy these aspects of a city makes my career as a travel nurse most fulfilling.
So, when looking for assignments, I began catering my travel to locations that
offered what I enjoyed most. I found myself selecting cities close to a body of
water, from the northern areas of the Hudson River near Sleepy Hollow, New
York to Lake Michigan’s Grant Park in Chicago. Living in luxury housing by
beautifully flowing rivers or the sounds of the Pacific Ocean is soothing and
also part of the lifestyle I’ve created through travel nursing.
I have also built in time off for a much deserved vacation and holidays to
be with family and friends. I work hard throughout the year to give myself the
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opportunity to take a few months off here and there. In doing so, I always let
the Nurse Manager of the assignment I worked prior to the holidays know
what my availability is shortly after the New Year. On several occasions, the
managers take the initiative to contact my travel nursing company and request
that I return. There’s nothing like having a contract waiting for you when you’re
ready to hit the ground running.
Today I live in a fantastic Miami condo
that is the epitome of island-like resort living
with a phenomenal Atlantic Ocean view,
luscious landscaping, superb amenities
and concierge service, on the Intracoastal
Waterway; a waterway that allows easy
access to watercraft travel. Who needs a car?
A jet ski will do. On any given day, a leisurely
stroll can easily turn into a nature walk. I
often catch a school of cornet fish frolicking
at dawn, a brown spotted stingray or a
manatee trailing about. If that wasn’t all, I am
surrounded by extraordinary international
restaurants. With amazing summer-like
weather year round, people from all over
the world frequent Miami contributing to its
vibrant energy and vivacious culture. Close
to the Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos, a quick getaway is always at my
fingertips.
Traveling is a joyous venture for whichever reason you chose to embark
on this magnificent journey. Travel nursing offers the opportunity to learn
new and alternative procedures and processes, work with amazingly bright,
forward-thinking physicians across specialties, and gain exposure to diverse
work environments all while creating a lifestyle made to order.
Traveling as a healthcare professional is an important, life-changing
decision that will give you the chance to break out of the mundane to create
that new and exhilarating lifestyle you’ve dreamt of.
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Chapter 10: Unforgettable Luxury Housing
Safety and Cleanliness Are Important
Consider the simple fact that travel nurse agencies recruit to secure and
retain highly-skilled, knowledgeable and experienced nurses within their
service. Company housing offers a safe haven, a place of refuge when long
grueling shifts come to an end. Housing provided by the company is researched
online and secured based upon proximity to contracted facilities in the area,
price, fees and lease term negotiations. Valuable healthcare professionals
in unsafe housing environments, is not an option. Nothing less than pristine
conditions are acceptable.
My Five-Day Stay at the Radisson Hotel
Having been gone from home for eight months on my very first assignment
in Miami, I decided I could do without working the Christmas holiday and
returned to New York for the remainder of the year. After spending a fantastic
new year at home, I hopped on the cheapest flight back to Ft. Lauderdale. This
meant getting up at 4:30am to ensure I made the 6:30am flight because I was
already scheduled to work on Monday night. So the flight went well and I made
it just in time to unpack my things, spruce up my new housing and hopefully
even get in a quick nap. I eagerly turned the key and opened the door to find
there was no furniture. Great! Now approaching 5pm I began unloading a few
boxes out of the back seat to free up some space for groceries. As I walked
through the apartment, I noticed tiny black specks of what I thought was dirt
coming from my shoes. Hmm, I thought to myself, have I really tracked in such
minute debris? So I headed to the master bedroom to continue my inspection.
Yet again, more black specks, but this time as I stared intently, what I thought
to be specks of dirt, seemed to be moving. Immediately I headed to Wal-Mart
and purchased a vacuum cleaner with a clear collection canister. I really need
to know what the heck is going on here. In just a few minutes I managed
to quickly vacuum both carpeted bedrooms and to my disbelief there were
thousands of fleas leaping from dust ball to dust ball in a single bound. How
disgusting!
I called my company’s Emergency Hotline and explained the unacceptable
matter at hand. I was then told to find a hotel for the evening and the company
would reimburse me for the nights spent as long as the rate was less than $70
a night. What?! Oh NO. Do you know what a $70 dollar a night hotel room
looks like in Miami and what neighborhood I would have to search to find such
accommodations? I immediately said “You make reservations at the Radisson
Hotel close to Children’s Hospital or else you can explain to the facility why
they no longer have a traveler!”
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The following morning I headed over to the leasing office of the rental
property with the canister in hand. Come to find out, apparently the carpet
was brand new. The previous tenants were pet owners prior to the Travel
Nurse Company taking on a lease for this particular unit. With that in mind, you
would think they may have utilized insecticide before hand as a precautionary
measure. After five days at the Radisson Hotel, the maintenance department
was finally able to bomb the place. Oh, and let’s not forget that yes, by then,
the furniture had been delivered and now I’m expected to sleep on the bed
that had been chemically treated with insect toxin. Great! I was given the go
ahead to return to the apartment by my travel company’s housing coordinator,
so off I went to check it out, just to give it one last fair
shot. Upon turning the key it seemed like everything
had ceased moving. A dead cockroach, greeted me
at the door, you know the ones that are ridiculously
huge and fly, yes those, on top of dead spiders, dead
fleas and other varmints that I will purposely neglect to
mention. And I was left to clean this up? No way! It was
that day I decided on the housing subsidy and moved
to the Flamingo South Beach. Let the fun begin!
Types of Housing Available
What You Need to Know about Paid Housing and Reimbursement
Travel nursing agencies offer a variety of accommodation benefits. These
benefits range from free, private company housing, typically a one bedroom
with the essentials that is furnished, to a set reimbursement for housing and
utility costs. In the majority of cases they will provide you with a housing
specialist to set up and arrange your accommodations.
If you are going to be living in company housing, you’ll want to know, up
front, which utilities will be paid for by the company and which ones will be your
personal responsibility. Do they pay for cable and internet or are these services
available for a fee? Are you responsible for the electricity, gas and/or landline
telephone service? Your company should provide you with documentation that
lists these things. Housing criteria are included in your travel contract.
Most agencies do their best to make their employees comfortable in their
new surroundings. They understand that this is a must in order to build trust and
loyalty in their employees. Consequently, you should always get your contract
in writing and insist that the agency put your accommodations package in
writing. Research your housing options to see pictures of the apartment or
other facilities where you’ll be staying. You can also ask the agency to put
you in touch with a couple of other travel nurses who have previously stayed
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in their private housing. Ask questions. Find out if the housing is what the
company says it is. Pictures are priceless and if it’s your first assignment with
any given agency you want to be sure of your safety.
Unit Inspection
Whether you are going to be paying for your own housing or moving into
company housing, when you first arrive you should receive a move-in inspection
form to fill out. This form will go over all aspects of the accommodations from
cleanliness to damages. If it is not offered to you, ask! Otherwise you will
be held accountable for damages that may have occurred during a previous
tenant’s stay. You will need to go from one room to the other checking walls
for holes or marks, making sure lights and outlets work, the water is running,
with no leaks or water damage, and if your housing includes furnishings,
accounting for all the furniture is very important.
If a lamp is missing when you arrive, you don’t want to be charged for it
when you move out. If water damage is noticeable when you arrive and not
reported, you may be held responsible for these damages as well. Always
complete a move-in inspection. When you move out, the company or the
landlord will expect the unit you’re living in to be in the same condition as
when you arrived. Be sure to assess the unit as a whole or you may be faced
with unforeseen charges and have any repairs or cleaning fees deducted from
your pay. Keep a copy of the move-in inspection form and complete another
inspection with the apartment or housing manager when you move out. You
should do a walk-through with an appropriate person from the leasing office or
the property manager and obtain a signed statement that no more than normal
wear and tear has occurred during the course of your stay in the unit.
Housing solutions can also be solved by looking at leasing private homes of
residents who are interested in leasing to healthcare professionals. Craigslist.
org is a great way to find amazing properties for rent. The owners of these
properties choose to work with the travel nursing agencies as they will be
assured of the agencies’ care of the property.
Some travel nurse agencies have several properties with an apartment as
part of a family home. The apartment usually includes a bedroom, living room,
bathroom and kitchen. The nurse can be completely separate from the family
in the home below. Usually the families are very welcoming to the traveling
nurse and provide interaction, help with the feeling of isolation, and a sense
of security.
Pairing up with a Roommate
Before the majority of the travel nursing companies became more
competitive by offering free private housing, most housing accommodations
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in major metropolitan areas came at a minimal cost of $350 a month. When I
accepted my first assignment in the Bronx, New York, there was no way I was
going to pay to live in the city when I could spend the housing cost attending
Broadway shows and enjoying the New York City nightlife. I considered the
option of having a roommate. In speaking with my recruiter I was made aware
of the criteria I must adhere to in order to be considered for a roommate. She
also mentioned that I could very well end up in a two bedroom, two bathroom
unit without a roommate, so I took my chances. I was indeed paired with a
lovely young lady, Jocelyn, from Tennessee. She worked 12 nights on the
Peds Floor while I worked 12 days in the NICU. On our days off together, we
met another traveler living downstairs and we were able to catch the train to
midtown Manhattan and enjoy a day in the city. Jocelyn was by far the best
roommate since college. We both enjoyed the arts, the exuberant culture of
New York and loved being travel nurses.
Monthly Stipends
If you choose to go with a reimbursement plan or housing stipend for
your accommodations, you’ll find that different companies have different
compensation plans. The majority of them, though, use a standard
reimbursement that is within the acceptable range to the highest allowed by
the federal government as a daily housing expense for the area to which you
are assigned. The allotted amount is divided by the total number of days within
the month stipend is used to pay all housing and basic utility costs.
The monthly stipend you receive for housing depends on many factors.
The location of the assignment plays the largest part of the equation. Monthly
stipend amounts range from $700-$2000 per month. Those numbers also
include per diem meals and travel expenses. To obtain a daily rate, the easiest
route to go is www.gsa.gov. Click on the state you are investigating and it will
break the state down by city. This is a great resource if you choose to find your
own housing.
Housing stipends give you the best opportunity to maintain your personal
lifestyle if you’re concerned about the housing that might be provided for you.
My South Beach Stay
So let’s talk about how you can get prime real
estate for pennies a day. I did! After the company
housing catastrophe, I decided to take the housing
stipend and move to South Beach. I found an
amazing, newly-built high-rise in the heart of Miami’s
South Beach. With a view of the crystal blue green
Intracoastal Waterway, the glowing hue of Downtown
Miami at night, the port of Miami where the cruise ships departed and Star
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Island due West, I had to live there. The amenities were outstanding! Two
infinity pools on the North and South end of the property, three Jacuzzis, two
beach volleyball courts, a tiki bar for afternoon cocktails, all served while you
watched the beautiful water crafts and jet skiers glide by, a 10,000 square foot
health and fitness center all amongst lavishly green landscaping. But, to enjoy
these exclusive amenities, a resort pass was required and only attainable
by being a resident of this prestigious property. While living in this fabulous
gated community, I bumped into Dwayne Wade and several other Miami Heat
players in the morning while on their way to basketball practice and actress
Robin Givens just to name a few. The Video Music Awards came to town
and the beach was swarming with talented musicians. Walking distance to
Collins and a relaxing lunch on Ocean Drive— all for $200 a month! If you
lived anywhere on South Beach, you needed to live here. And little did I know
that as a resident of this amazing property I would find weekly invitations to the
most trendy parties, art gallery openings, exclusive spa offers and Art Deco
home décor discounts. Before long, I found working three days a week, strolling
Lincoln Road in flip flops and beachwear, trying a new restaurant, stumbling
upon a newly-found chic lounge was well worth taking the company’s housing
stipend.
Moving Into Your New Home
Moving somewhere new is always a challenge. It is important to research
an area thoroughly before applying for a travel position. Travel nursing blog
websites can be helpful but you may want to call the area’s chamber of
commerce or a travel agency so that they can give you even more information
on things to do, places to go, population numbers and median age of residents.
Your travel job shouldn’t take you away from things you enjoy, places you
like to visit or groups you like to belong. As a matter of fact, getting out and
meeting new people with the same interests is an opportunity many people
only wish they have!
Making Your Temporary Housing Feel Like Home
You will probably be away from home for a minimum of three months and
that can leave you wondering how you’re going to be comfortable in your new
home in a foreign place. As a general rule, you’ll be assigned to housing that
is private and furnished, but you won’t know, until you see it, just what your
accommodations will look like and what kind of a neighborhood you’ll be in.
You will certainly have some things that you’ll want to take with you in order to
feel at home. Deciding what to take and what to leave behind will make all the
difference in how comfortable you feel in your new place.
The housing you are assigned will be completely furnished with everything
from a washer and dryer, a microwave and dishwasher to, at times, dishes,
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pots, pans and linens. However, you may want to carry along a favorite picture
to hang on the wall, or perhaps photos of your family, and even a small pet
if the housing allows for it. If you are a hobbyist, you may want to take along
some of the tools and supplies of your craft so that you’re ready to relax on
your very first day home from work.
I enjoy painting and designing handmade journals for creative writing, so
from assignment to assignment, I bring along my paint brushes and creative
tools for these projects. Taking these things along with you can be more
challenging if you fly to your destination although having your own car can
also make getting around a little easier, if you’re assigned to a location that
doesn’t have a great public transportation system.
Make your new place your haven so you’ll be able to come home to relax
and unwind. You will want to bring your top 10 list of favorite things that make
you feel at home.
uu
Your favorite mug.
uu
A blanket or throw for your living room.
uu
A favorite comforter or quilt for your bed.
uu
That special pillow that guarantees a good night’s sleep
uu
Books to read, Kindle.
uu
iPad or personal computer
uu
Items for your hobbies.
uu
Photos of your family and friends.
uu
Your portable music collection.
uu
And your favorite foods.
Over the years, I’ve managed to be quite creative with jazzing up the companyprovided housing. You can also find other ways to make your new place feel
like home aside from painting an accent wall. I tend to bring the outdoors in
with freshly cut aromatic flowers for a bit of color and my largely overgrown
corrugated ivory plant. Add some personality by adding a decorative area rug
or two, a slipcover to the couch and inexpensive window treatments.
Traveling can be lonely at times. Choosing locations that challenge you
and fit into your lifestyle design are all a part of your travel journey. A little
imagination and creativity can go a long way, helping you make the best of any
home away from home.
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Chapter 11: What to Do with
All That Cash You Stashed
The additional income obtained through traveling opens up a world of
financial opportunity. Depending on what your financial and personal goals
are, you can chose to work for a more modern agency with diverse salary
options to snag yourself a ton of cash. I did!
Within the first six months of taking my very first
travel assignment, I completely paid off my car loan
and was on my way to being debt free! I took a few
vacations from my working vacation, saved a little,
splurged a little, invested quite a bit and contributed
to my 401k while on assignment.
Your options are endless. Pay off your student loans or any unwanted
credit card debt. Save for a backpacking trip through Asia, Europe or even
South America. Take a few assignments and save for a down payment on
the home of your dreams. You can invest in the stock market, purchase
government bonds for a rainy day or perhaps enjoy your favorite pastime
of gambling at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. You
could also decide to return to school to pursue an advanced clinical degree in
healthcare. Whichever suites you best, I say go for it!
The 1st Elite Purchase:
I was on assignment in New York one summer shortly after the Fourth of
July. I had been spending some time in the Bronx with Martin, a childhood
friend, and decided we should take a leisurely drive to the Upper East Side of
Manhattan; the Fall season’s newest IT bag was on display at Barney’s. As we
headed down the West Side Highway, I was so anxious to see what people
were up to on this gorgeous day. As many times as I have been to the city, I
was always intrigued. The streets were bustling with eclecticism, movers and
shakers on the go, financial analysts, the artistic and altruistic. What amazing
energy; there’s something about pot hole ridden, extremely narrow one way
streets swarming with yellow cabs and worldly pedestrians that seems so
refreshing.
Martin parked curbside, right in front of Barney’s main entrance. I
stepped out onto the busy streets of Madison Avenue and 61st Street to
be greeted by a towering hum of movement that jolted me with excitement.
Wow! This is quintessential New York. I made my way to the couture section
on the Main floor just behind and off to the left of the jewelry. Within five
minutes, Balenciaga’s wild current Classic City Bag was mine to the sum
of $1,500 USD. Michael, the sales associate, placed the purely soft vintage
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lambskin handbag into its dust bag and then into the Barney’s very large
black namesake carrier. I was so excited. “Thank you, Michael,” was soon
followed by his “Please do enjoy that absolutely stunning bag, Hon” as I
returned to the bustling streets of New York’s Upper East Side. Done. I
thought to myself, this is the life. I ♥ New York!
My first purchase was a classically elegant handbag. Imagine using the
cash you stashed during your assignment to buy the home of your dreams!
Lisamar, a fellow traveler, and I kept in touch after our assignment together
in Miami. She had recently married and her and her husband decided they
wanted to buy a home in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. In taking note of
the housing market at the time, Lisamar and her husband thought, what better
way to take advantage of the opportunities as a healthcare traveler than to
take an eight-week assignment in California to save up enough money to put
a substantial down payment on the home of their dreams. Needless to say,
two months and $30,000 dollars later, the lovely couple had the home they
had always wanted in Douglasville, Georgia.
The opportunities are endless with a career in travel nursing. Stir up your
imagination and find new and innovative ways to allocate the cash you stash
while on assignment as a travel nurse.
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Chapter 12: The Lucrative
Business of Travel Nursing
Have what you want, when you want most of the time. You don’t have to
wait until you’re retirement eligible to vacation for three months in Europe.
Experience life, its energy and splendor with the comforts of a solidified
position and income. Whatever your goals may be, travel nursing has the
basis for providing you with all the tools needed to cater to who you are. It’s
your life, it’s your lifestyle; seek to achieve your lifestyle goals and personal
freedom will follow; limit yourself less!
A Privileged Lifestyle Designed by You
Your lifestyle consists of behaviors that exemplify you giving way to your
means of social interaction, entertainment and self expression. Therefore,
a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self to create a culture that
wholeheartedly resonates with your personal identity. Determine the things
in life that make you happy and create your own path. Stop wanting and
start taking control of the steering wheel. Ask yourself if the actions you have
put forth throughout the day-to-day clearly represent you, what you deem
meaningful and successful. Are your actions in line with how you truly want to
live? Travel nursing is a fantastic way to live an abundantly privileged lifestyle,
full of vibrancy and enthusiasm.
A happy nurse means better patient care. The happier you are the more
valuable you are to the people around you. When you are passionate about
the people and events in your life, you become a magnet for others living the
same way and those desiring the same experiences. In effect, you can create
an environment where those around you can’t help but to enjoy themselves.
Organize your life around what truly brings you joy and happiness. By creatively
designing your lifestyle, YOU determine what experiences will lead to your
successful living by far encouraging others.
The Luxury of Travel
Travel nursing will give you the opportunity to do
more, see more and learn more than you have ever
imagined possible. All while helping others in need.
Can there be a better career path?
Nurses who desire to become travelers choose
to leave their homes for areas in which they are
unfamiliar. These nurses are just as dedicated to
their profession as their local counterparts—with the
additional dimension of moving to a new location,
meeting new people, experiencing what each area
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has to offer to its fullest. As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to gain
more than just a healthy bank account. You will gain experience in some of the
best facilities throughout the United States. You will meet interesting patients,
save lives, and you will be able to travel to some amazing destinations.
An additional and equally important reason for considering a travel nursing
career is the desire to visit friends and family in distant places without the
financial burden. Travel nursing allows nurses to temporarily stay close to
family or friends, whilst continuing to earn an income. In this way, experienced
nurses can use travel nursing to catch up with long lost friends, attend social
occasions such as weddings or reunions, and to spend time with relatives that
live out of state.
One more reason to become a traveling nurse is the sheer enjoyment of
encountering fresh faces and new places on a regular basis. Some nurses find
pleasure in regular travel without settling down in a specific location. Travel
nursing allows a professional to travel throughout the United States while
working. It is a great way to explore the country with minimal financial stress.
It is refreshing to regularly start anew in a different location. This system offers
a new experience, knowledge, and opportunity.
There is no doubt that wages for travel nurses are generally much higher
than those of a regular permanent position. Travel nursing offers an added
incentive for those seeking to save money, obtain financial security and afford
a better lifestyle.
Financial Rewards for Your Practice-Specific Expertise
Why are travel nurses compensated so well? You have been hired due
to your phenomenal expertise with the added dimensions of moving to a new
location to ease the stress on the local staff. Travel nursing offers top pay rates,
completion bonuses, housing stipends and meal allowances. Licensure and
travel reimbursements are also provided to help you achieve your financial
goals. Imagine working 40 weeks a year and earning a salary of $100,000 or
more! There is no doubt that wages for travel nurses are higher than those of
your permanent staff counterparts.
In addition, you determine whether or not a specific assignment meets
your standard criteria based on compensation, housing location for amenities
within the area, income as well as bonuses available. What moves you to
achieve your financial dreams?
Priceless Knowledge
Traveling is a joyous venture for whichever reason you chose to embark on
this magnificent journey. Travel nursing offers the opportunity to learn new and
alternative procedures and processes, work with amazingly bright, forwardThe Elite Traveler: The Lucrative Business of Travel Nursing
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thinking physicians across specialties, and
gain exposure to diverse work environments.
By working at a teaching facility you have
the opportunity to serve as the definitive
resource in your specialty, remaining up-todate and knowledgeable as to the changes
that have come and gone to enhance patient
care and provide modern medicine as it
evolves. Participate in clinical trials and research developments, subscribe
to a medical journal or two in your specialty. You can find the latest issue of
any given journal at your local library in the medical references or periodical
section. Take the opportunity to read a few articles that may interest you and
perhaps provide some insight as to how you may tailor your patient care.
Keeping abreast of ongoing research studies will give you the opportunity to
present options to your current facility and department to perhaps implement
a new protocol when caring for your newly admitted patients.
Free Will: The Ultimate Luxury
As a traveler you have the option of determining your own schedule: when
and where you would like to work and how long. The important factor to keep
in mind in order to be successful is to enjoy the time that is allotted to you while
on an assignment and know when to leave.
Travel nursing will give you the ability to achieve your financial and lifestyle
goals. The
opportunity to do more, see more and learn more than you have ever
imagined begins with your mindset, all while helping others in need. Can there
be a better career path?
Visualize Success
The first step to success within the travel nursing
industry is to establish a successful mindset of
your ability as a traveler. As outlined in the focus
funnel, your mindset is the foundation to all things
great. Thinking that there are endless possibilities
distinguishes that there are indeed a plethora of
amazing goals just waiting to be achieved. Take
a look at the lifestyle, personal and professional
goals you have established throughout reading this
book. With these goals in mind, make a consistent
daily effort to tailor your routine, activities and
experiences toward achieving your personal best.
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Be confident in your capabilities. Remove all areas of doubt and uncertainty.
Set the bar higher with each assignment to achieve greater financial and
personal success. Look to outdo yourself and achieve more than you have
previously. Visualize the potential of what a career in travel nursing will provide
in your life and set sail!
As a nurse, you give of yourself daily to care for your patients, why not
give to yourself and experience the Lucrative Business of Travel Nursing.
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APPENDIX A:
Travel Nursing Forums and Blog Sites
The information in this appendix is subjective in nature.
www.healthcaretravelbook.com: a great source of information that is easy to
read and navigate. The entries from the nurses are a great source of valuable
information. It’s focus is positive and encouraging.
www.nurses-forum.com: great source for learning about the profession of
travel nurse as well as lively message boards. It is important to not only have
a place to vent, but a place to share vital information.
www.nurse.com: a nursing journal publication from Nurse.com, Inc. The
information on this site is very informative.
www.ultimatenurse.com: a great resource about the ins and outs of travel
nursing. You’ll find great advice from experienced nurses.
www.nurselounge.com: an easy to navigate site that shares a lot of information
relevant to travel nurses.
www.travelnursetoolbox.com: made for travelers by travelers. It addresses
real experiences and what you can do to avoid common mistakes.
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APPENDIX B:
Travel Nursing Magazines:
Keep Abreast of What’s Going On
The selection of magazines in this appendix includes both online and print
magazines. Online magazines listed in this section are free of charge. That is
great news, while traveling you can be updated as needed. While researching
print magazines, I came across several offers for the print magazines
subscription for free. Search online even if you want print magazines for the
free subscriptions.
www.travelnursingmagazine.com: great information, free to join.
www.healthcaretraveler.com: Modern Medicine Network has both print and
online versions of their magazine.
www.nurseweek.com: Nursing Spectrum offers both print and online versions
of their magazine.
www.nursing.advanceweb.com: an impressive site. The amount of information
available at your fingertips is incredible.
www.allnurses.com: an online magazine with great information for not only
travel nursing, but nursing in general.
RN Magazine can be purchased from www.magsdirect.com or www.
subscriptionaddiction.com.
American Journal of Nursing can be purchased through www.magsdirect.com
or www.subscriptionaddiction.com.
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy can be purchased on www.magsdirect.com or
www.subscriptionaddiction.com.
www.nursezone.com: an online magazine with great information for all nurses.
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Appendix C:
State Boards for Licensure and Endorsement
State Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Address Connecticut Dept. of Public Health RN/LPN Licensure 410 Capitol Ave., MS #12 APP P.O. Box 340308 Hartford, CT 06134 Delaware Board of Nursing Cannon Building; Suite 203 861 Silver Lake Blvd. Dover, DE 19904 Department of Health Professional Licensing Administration Board of Nursing 717 14th Street, NW; Suite 600 Washington, DC 20005 Florida Board of Nursing 4052 Bald Cypress Way Tallahassee, FL 32399-­‐3257 Phone 860-­‐509-­‐7624 Fax 860-­‐509-­‐8457 Website/Email www.state.ct.us/dph [email protected]
302-­‐744-­‐4500 302-­‐739-­‐2711 www.dpr.delaware.gov/boar
ds/nursing Georgia Board of Nursing (mailing address) P.O. Box 13446 Macon, GA 31208 (physical address) 237 Coliseum Drive Macon, GA 31217-­‐1640 Hawaii Board of Nursing DCC-­‐PVL P.O. Box 3469 Honolulu, HI 96801 Idaho Board of Nursing th
280 North 8 Street; Suite 210 P.O. Box 83720 Boise, ID 83720-­‐0061 Illinois Dept. of Professional Regulation James R. Thompson Center 100 W Randolph Street; Suite 9-­‐300 Chicago, IL 60601 OR 320 West Washington St Springfield, IL 62786 [email protected]
e.us
877-­‐244-­‐1689 202-­‐727-­‐8471 http://hpla.doh.dc.gov/hpla/
cwp/view,A,1195,Q,488526,
hplaNav,%7C30661%7C,.asp [email protected]
850-­‐488-­‐0595 478-­‐207-­‐2440 877-588-0446
www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/nu
rsing [email protected]
oh.state.fl.us
www.sos.georgia.gov/plb/rn
/ 808-­‐586-­‐2695 808-­‐586-­‐2689 http://hawaii.gov/dcca/areas
/pvl/boards/nursing/ [email protected]
208-­‐334-­‐3110 208-­‐334-­‐3262 www2.idaho.gov/ibn [email protected] 312-­‐814-­‐2715 OR 217-­‐785-­‐0800 312-­‐814-­‐3145 OR 217-­‐782-­‐3414 www.idfpr.com/dpr/WHO/n
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State Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Address Indiana Board of Nursing Professional Licensing Agency 402 W. Washington Street, Room W072 Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 Iowa Board of Nursing RiverPoint Business Park 400 S.W. 8th Street, Suite B Des Moines, IA 50309-­‐4685 Kansas Board of Nursing Landon State Office Building 900 SW Jackson Street Suite 1051 Topeka, Kansas 66612-­‐1230 Kentucky Board of Nursing 312 Whittington Pky., Suite 300 Louisville, KY 40222 Louisiana State Board of Nursing 17373 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, LA 70810 Maine State Board of Nursing 161 Capitol Street 158 State House Station Augusta, Maine , 04333-­‐0158 Maryland Board of Nursing 4140 Patterson Avenue Baltimore, Maryland, 21215-­‐
2254 Massachusetts Board of Nursing 239 Causeway Street Boston, MA 02114 Michigan Board of Nursing Ottawa Towers North th
611 W Ottawa 4 Floor Lansing, MI 48933 Minnesota Board of Nursing 2829 University Ave SE Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55414 Phone 317-­‐234-­‐2043 Fax 317-­‐233-­‐4236 Website/Email www.in.gov/pla/nursing.htm [email protected] 515-­‐281-­‐3255 515-­‐281-­‐4825 www.state.ia.us/nursing/ [email protected] 785-­‐296-­‐4929 785-­‐296-­‐3929 www.ksbn.org/
502-­‐429-­‐3300 OR 800-­‐305-­‐2042 502-­‐429-­‐3311 www.kbn.ky.gov/ 225-­‐755-­‐7500 225-­‐755-­‐7584 www.lsbn.state.la.us/ 207-­‐287-­‐1133 207-­‐287-­‐1149 www.maine.gov/boardofnur
sing/ 410-­‐585-­‐1900 OR 888-­‐202-­‐9861 410-­‐358-­‐3530 www.mbon.org/main.php 617-­‐727-­‐9961 617-­‐727-­‐1630 www.state.ma.us/reg/board
s/rn 517-­‐373-­‐9102 517-­‐373-­‐2179 612-­‐617-­‐2270 612-­‐617-­‐2190 Mississippi Board of Nursing 1935 Lakeland Drive, Suite B Jackson, MS 39216 Missouri Board of Nursing 3605 Missouri Boulevard P.O. Box 656 Jefferson City, MO 65102-­‐
0656 601-­‐987-­‐4188 601-­‐364-­‐2352 www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,
1607,7-­‐132-­‐
27417_27529_27542-­‐-­‐-­‐
,00.html www.state.mn.us/portal/mn
/jsp/home.do?agency=Nursi
ngBoard [email protected] www.msbn.state.ms.us 573-­‐751-­‐0681 573-­‐751-­‐0075 The Elite Traveler: The Lucrative Business of Travel Nursing
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State Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Address Montana State Board of Nursing 111 N Jackson Helena, MT 59620 DHHS, Public Health, Nursing Licensure Nebraska State Office Building 301 Centennial Mall South; rd
3 floor P.O. Box 94986 Lincoln, NE 68509-­‐4986 Nevada State Board of Nursing 1755 E Plumb LN: Suite 260 Reno, NV 89502 New Hampshire Board of Nursing 78 Regional Drive; Bldg. B P.O. Box 3898 Concord, NH 03302 New Jersey Board of Nursing th
124 Halsey Street, 6 Floor P.O. Box 45010 Newark, NJ 07101 New Mexico Board of Nursing 6301 Indian School Rd. NE Suite 710 Albuquerque, NM 87110 New York State Board for Nursing State Education Building nd
2 Floor Albany, NY 12234 North Carolina Board of Nursing 3724 National Drive Raleigh, NC 27602 North Dakota Board of Nursing Phone 406-­‐444-­‐2071 Fax 406-­‐444-­‐7759 Website/Email http://mt.gov/dli/bsd/licens
e/bsd_boards/nur_board/bo
ard_page.asp 402-­‐471-­‐2115 402-­‐471-­‐3577 www.hhs.state.ne.us/crl/crli
ndex.htm [email protected]
ov 775-­‐688-­‐2620 775-­‐688-­‐2628 www.nursingboard.state.nv.
us/ 603-­‐271-­‐2323 603-­‐271-­‐6605 www.nh.gov/nursing/ 973-­‐504-­‐6586 973-­‐648-­‐3481 www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/medi
cal/nursing.htm 505-­‐841-­‐8340 505-­‐841-­‐8347 www.bon.state.nm.us/ 518-­‐474-­‐3817 Ext. 120 518-­‐474-­‐3706 www.op.nysed.gov/nurse.ht
m 919-­‐782-­‐3211 919-­‐781-­‐9461 www.ncbon.com/ 701-­‐328-­‐9777 701-­‐328-­‐9785 www.ndbon.org/ 614-­‐466-­‐3947 614-­‐466-­‐0388 www.nursing.ohio.gov
405-­‐962-­‐1800 405-­‐962-­‐1821 www.youroklahoma.com/nurs
ing/
919 S 7th Street; Suite 504 Bismarck, ND 58504 Ohio Oklahoma Ohio Board of Nursing 17 South High Street Suite 400 Columbus, OH 43215-­‐
7410 Oklahoma Board of Nursing 2915 N Classen Suite 524 Oklahoma City, OK 73106 The Elite Traveler: The Lucrative Business of Travel Nursing
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State Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virgin Islands Virginia Address Oregon State Board of Nursing 17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd. Portland, Oregon 97224-­‐7012 Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing P.O. Box 2649 Harrisburg, PA 17105-­‐2649 Phone 971-­‐673-­‐0685 Fax 971-­‐673-­‐0684 Website/Email 717-­‐783-­‐7142 717-­‐783-­‐0822 www.dos.state.pa.us/bpoa/c
wp/view.asp?a=1104&q=432
883
Rhode Island Board of Nursing 3 Capitol Hill; Room 105 Providence, RI 02908 South Carolina Board of Nursing Synergy Business Park; Kingstree Bldg 110 Centerview Dr., Suite 202 Columbia, S.C. 29210 (mailing address) P.O. Box 12367 Columbia, S.C. 29211-­‐2367 South Dakota Board of Nursing 4305 Louise Avenue; Suite 201 Sioux Falls, SD 57106 Tennessee Board of Nursing 227 French Landing, Suite 300 Nashville, TN 37243 Texas Board of Nursing 333 Guadalupe #3-­‐460 Austin, Texas 78701 Utah State Board of Nursing 160 East, 300 South Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Vermont State Board of Nursing National Life Building; N Floor 2 Montpelier, VT 05620-­‐3402 Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure PO Box 304247 Veterans Drive Station St. Thomas, VI 00803 Virginia Board of Nursing Perimeter Center 9960 Mayland Drive; Suite 300 Richmond, VA 23233-­‐1463 401-­‐222-­‐5700 401-­‐222-­‐3352 [email protected]
www.health.state.ri.us/hsr/pr
ofessions/nurses.php
803-­‐896-­‐4550 803-­‐896-­‐4525 www.llr.state.sc.us/pol/nursin
g/
605-­‐362-­‐2760 605-­‐362-­‐2768 http://doh.sd.gov/boards/nur
sing/
615-­‐532-­‐5166 615-­‐770-­‐7441 http://health.state.tn.us/boar
ds/nursing/
512-­‐305-­‐7400 512-­‐305-­‐7401 www.bon.state.tx.us/
801-­‐530-­‐6628 801-­‐530-­‐6511 www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/
nursing.html#
802-­‐828-­‐2396 802-­‐828-­‐2484 www.vtprofessionals.org/opr1
/nurses/
340-­‐776-­‐7397 340-­‐777-­‐4003 www.vibnl.org/
804-­‐367-­‐4515 804-­‐527-­‐4455 www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing
/
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State Washington West Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Address Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (mailing address) P.O. Box 1099 Olympia WA 98507-­‐1099 (physical address) 310 Israel Road Turnwater, WA 98501 West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses 101 Dee Drive, Suite 102 Charleston, WV 25311-­‐1620 West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses 101 Dee Drive Charleston, WV 25311 Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing 1400 E Washington Avenue P.O. Box 8935 Madison, WI 53708 Wyoming State Board of Nursing 1810 Pioneer Avenue Cheyenne, WY 82002 Phone 360-­‐236-­‐4700 Fax 360-­‐236-­‐4818 Website/Email https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/h
pqa1/hps6/Nursing/default.ht
m
[email protected]
304-­‐558-­‐3596 OR 877-­‐743-­‐6877 304-­‐558-­‐3666 304-­‐558-­‐3572 304-­‐558-­‐4367 www.wvrnboard.com/
[email protected]
www.lpnboard.state.wv.us/
[email protected]
608-­‐266-­‐2112 608-­‐267-­‐0644 http://drl.wi.gov/boards/nur/
307-­‐777-­‐7601 307-­‐777-­‐3519 http://nursing.state.wy.us/
[email protected]
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Appendix D:
Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) States
(RN and LPN/LVN)*
Participating State
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Delaware
Idaho
Iowa
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Wisconsin
Implementation Date
07/1/2002
07/1/2000
10/1/2007
07/1/2000
07/1/2001
07/1/2000
06/1/2007
07/1/2001
07/1/1999
07/1/2001
06/1/2010
01/1/2001
01/1/2006
01/1/2004
07/1/2000
01/1/2004
07/1/2008
02/1/2006
01/1/2001
07/1/2003
01/1/2000
01/1/2000
01/1/2005
01/1/2000
* Table adapted from https://www.ncsbn.org/158.htm retrieved 10-19-2009. NCSBN
list of participating states was last updated in June 2010. Contact your state board of
nursing for specific information (see Appendix C).
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is a mutual recognition agreement that allows
nurses licensed in their state of residence to practice in other participating states
in accordance with the participating state’s regulations. Participating states are
required to establish legislation or regulations for mutual recognition, to enact rules for
implementing the NLC, and to identify an NLC administrator. The National Council of
State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators
(NLCA) have adopted model legislation and rules for reference and guidance
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Appendix E:
States with No State Income Tax
Seven states have no personal state income tax and two states tax only
dividend and interest income.
State
Alaska
Florida
Nevada
South Dakota
Texas
Washington
Wyoming
New Hampshire*
Tennessee*
State Department of Revenue Website
www.revenue.state.ak.us/
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/
http://tax.state.nv.us/
www.state.sd.us/drr2/Revenue.html
www.window.state.tx.us/taxes/
http://dor.wa.gov/Content/Home/Default.aspx
http://revenue.state.wy.us/
www.nh.gov/revenue/
www.state.tn.us/revenue/
*tax dividend and interest income
For more information contact each state’s department of revenue and your
tax professional. Additional information is also available at:
www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=130684,00.html
www.govspot.com/know/incometax.htm
www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/ind_inc.html
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Appendix F:
The Agency Structure
JCAHO
Health care staffing agencies have been dealt an expensive hand with
the new JCAHO requirements for certification. In order to place travel nurses
into hospitals with JCAHO certification, they too must be certified. For larger
agencies, the expense can be covered by the sheer volume of contracts they
process. The smaller agencies may face financial hardships ensuring their
agency meets the certification requirements.
The purpose behind the requirements ultimately protects not only the
hospitals and agencies, but the travel nurse. The travel nurse will be supported
in their efforts to continually improve skills and knowledge in their specific
specialty. This is a huge benefit as medical advances continue to improve the
care for the patients and the quality of education of nurses fresh out of nursing
school. As a travel nurse, you will be able to maintain and improve your skills
to keep you in high demand.
NATHO
Another organization whose focus is to raise the standards of excellence
in the travel nurse industry is National Association of Travel Healthcare
Organization. NATHO is a non-profit organization of travel nurse agencies
purposed to bring a higher and consistent level of quality, benefiting agencies,
hospitals and travel nurses.
NATHO provides access to information unique to travel healthcare:
uu
Insurance and risk management resources
uu
Public relations
uu
Shared marketing resources
uu
Federal and state legislative issues
uu
Ethics and arbitration guidelines
uu
Credentialing standards
uu
Standards of practice
uu
Industry benchmarking and stats
uu
Group purchasing
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What makes NATHO unique? Their non-profit organization is managed by
an independent third party allowing for the travel healthcare agencies to focus
on their purpose.
The NATHO connection
The National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO) is a
nonprofit association founded in 2008 to promote ethical business practices in
the travel healthcare industry, setting the standard for conduct that is aligned
among member agencies on behalf of travel healthcare candidates and clients.
According to staffing industry professionals, NATHO’s overall role is to
promote the travel-staffing industry. A staffing agency that is a NATHO member
is held to a strict code of ethics developed specifically for the travel healthcare
industry.
The organization primarily serves in these capacities:
uu
Educate the healthcare industry on the benefits of travel healthcare
staffing.
uu
Establish a set of service standards among travel healthcare companies.
uu
Share resources among member organizations.
uu
Offer a formal dispute resolution process through an arbitration committee.
uu
Aid all members in cultivating market growth.
A recent NATHO initiative is collecting data on job orders and the number
of travelers in the marketplace. This will help provide those companies that
participate in the benchmarking with critical data concerning how they’re
doing relative to other companies. This type of information was not previously
available.
Another NATHO initiative is an effort to find ways to educate hospital
clients about the value that travelers bring to their organization. There is often
a misconception on the true economic value a traveler brings to a facility as
compared with the cost of a full-time nurse.
The Application Process
The application process to be a travel nurse is very simple; once you
decide which agency to join forces with. You can call to request an application
be sent to you. If you prefer, you can download a copy of the application, print
it out, complete the application and mail or fax it to the agency. If you are
computer savvy and want to move the process along quickly, you can apply
online.
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The application begins with your basic information: name, address, phone
numbers and then requests licensure and certification information. You will be
asked pointed questions; has your license or certification been investigated or
suspended, and have you been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic
violation. You will also be asked if you have ever been named as a defendant
in a professional liability action and for information about your employment
history including times of unemployment.
Skills Checklist
You will need to complete skills checklists. Each specialty requires their
own skills checklist: cath lab, critical care/ICU, dialysis nursing, emergency
room, intermediate care/PCU/Stepdown/Telemetry, labor and delivery,
medical/surgery, NICU, operating room, PACU, pediatric emergency room,
pediatric unit, PICU, post-partum/nursery skills, psychiatric unit, urgent care/
clinic skills, wound/ostomy/continence.
Assignment Selection
The next step is to begin the assignment selection. You are able to
make a desired assignment profile based on location, specialty, professional
discipline, preferred shifts, and type of facility. It is crucial that you make your
needs, wants and desires known.
Travel Nursing Agency Roles
After selecting your travel nurse agency, you may wonder who makes up
the internal staff. Each person has a specified role within the agency set from
JCAHO requirements for certification. Each person plays an integral part in
the success of your travel nursing career.
Recruiter
The recruiter is your lifeline to the agency and to the facility in which you’ve
selected. It is the recruiter’s responsibility to find prospective nurses to work
with their agency. It is also their job to facilitate the hiring process of the nurses.
The recruiter develops relationships with the nurses, the facilities and brings
the best qualified nurses to the facility of their choosing.
Clinical Liaison
The clinical liaison is there to answer any questions you may have before
and during your assignments with regards to clinical practice and facility
related issues. The clinical liaison is a Registered Nurse, but may even be
a Nurse Practitioner that will help you adapt to new facility procedures and
protocols. This is a huge asset at the traveling nurse’s disposal.
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Account Managers
Account managers work with facilities across the country to develop
relationships and provide nurses to work in their facilities. Their responsibility
is to bring in the assignments travel nurses want to work.
Payroll
Payroll manages the travel nurse’s income, taxes, benefits and ensures
paychecks are direct deposited or sent to you on time.
Housing Coordinator
The housing coordinator locates high quality, safe housing for travel
nurses. They care for the leases, furnishing and other details necessary to
make your stay in your chosen location all that you expect and more.
Customer Care
The Customer Care Line offers 24 hour clinical support and emergency
assistance for travelers in need while on assignment or those who simply
have questions.
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APPENDIX G:
Hospital Interview Guidelines
When you choose a location, the process is not yet over. During the
interview process, the facility is going to talk with you about the nature of the
assignment all while gathering information to decide whether or not you are a
good fit for the facility. This is your chance to find out if this is the assignment
for you. By asking key questions, like the ones in the following form, you will
find out if the management style and the flow of the unit will fit well with your
personality and clinical expertise.
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Health Care Professional INTERVIEW GUIDELINES
UNIT
1. Number of beds
Patient demographic
2. Nurse-to-patient ratio: Days
Evenings
Nights
3. Specialized Equipment used:
4. Type of electronic charting/documentation
5. Special procedure/medication system in use
6. Is a uniform required?
Yes
No
Provided by:
If scrubs are needed, is there a required color?
7. Patient Care Model
Traveler
Yes
No
Primary Nursing
8. Have travelers been used previously in your unit?
Facility
Color:
Team Nursing
Yes
No
If yes, how often?
SCHEDULE
1. Available date to begin work
Length of assignment
2. Shift to be worked:
Single Shift:
Rotating Shift:
How will it rotate?
3. Split shifts policy: On a 12 hour shift, will traveler float elsewhere for 4 hours?
4. Weekend shifts policy?
Yes
No
How Often?
5. Will travelers be in a charge nurse position at any time?
6. Is overtime available or mandatory?
Yes
Yes
No
No
7. Policy on requesting time off or schedule changes:
8. Policy on working holidays:
9. On Call policy, if required:
FLOATING
1. Floating policy?
Yes
No
How Often?
2. Will travelers float first or in rotation with permanent staff?
3. Will travelers float to similar units?
Yes
4. Do travelers float to more than one unit per shift?
No
Which Units?
Yes
No
5. What is the length of orientation for units floated to?
FIRST DAY/ORIENTATION
1. Orientation length:
Hospital
Unit
2. Where do I report to?
At which time?
3. Who do I ask for?
Should I wear a uniform?
4. Hospital/Unit Examinations:
Is there a study guide available?
5. Is free parking available?
Yes
No
Yes
No
If no, what is the cost?
6. Where can I find adequate parking?
Notes:
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Appendix C: State Boards for Licensure and Endorsement
State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
California
Colorado
Address
Phone
Fax
Alabama Board of Nursing
RSA Plaza, Suite 250
770 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130-3900
Alaska Board of Nursing
Dept. of Commerce, Community &
Economic Development
Division of Corps., Business &
Professional Licensing
th
550 West 7 Ave.; Suite 1500
Anchorage, AK 99501
334-242-4060
OR
800-656-5318
334-242-4360
Website/Email
907-269-8161
907-269-8156
Arizona Board of Nursing
4747 North 7th Street, Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85014
Arkansas State Board of Nursing
University Tower Building
1123 South University; Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204
602-889-5150
602-889-5155
www.azbn.gov
501-686-2700
501-686-2714
[email protected]
www.arsbn.org
California Board of Registered
Nursing
(mailing address)
P.O. Box 944210
Sacramento, CA 94244-2100
(physical address)
1625 North Market Blvd; Suite N217
Sacramento, CA 95834-1924
California Board of Vocational
Nursing
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive; Suite 205
Sacramento, CA 95833
916-322-3350
916-574-7697
www.rn.ca.gov
Colorado Board of Nursing
1560 Broadway; Suite 670
Denver, CO 80202
303-894-2430
www.abn.state.al.us
[email protected]
www.nursing.alaska.gov
[email protected]
[email protected]
916-263-7800
916-263-7859
www.bvnpt.ca.gov
[email protected]
303-894-2821
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State
Connecticut
Delaware
District of
Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Address
Connecticut Dept. of Public Health
RN/LPN Licensure
410 Capitol Ave., MS #12 APP
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
Delaware Board of Nursing
Cannon Building; Suite 203
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dover, DE 19904
Department of Health
Professional Licensing
Administration
Board of Nursing
717 14th Street, NW; Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Florida Board of Nursing
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3257
Georgia Board of Nursing
(mailing address)
P.O. Box 13446
Macon, GA 31208
(physical address)
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217-1640
Hawaii Board of Nursing
DCC-PVL
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
Idaho Board of Nursing
th
280 North 8 Street; Suite 210
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0061
Phone
Fax
860-509-7624
860-509-8457
Website/Email
www.state.ct.us/dph
[email protected]
302-744-4500
302-739-2711
www.dpr.delaware.gov/boards/nursing
[email protected]
877-244-1689
202-727-8471
http://hpla.doh.dc.gov/hpla/cwp/view,A,1195,
Q,488526,hplaNav,%7C30661%7C,.asp
[email protected]
850-488-0595
www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/nursing
478-207-2440
877-588-0446
808-586-2695
808-586-2689
208-334-3110
208-334-3262
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[email protected]
www.sos.georgia.gov/plb/rn/
http://hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/pvl/boards/nursi
ng/
[email protected]
www2.idaho.gov/ibn
[email protected]
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State
Address
Illinois
Illinois Dept. of Professional
Regulation
James R. Thompson Center
100 W Randolph Street; Suite 9-300
Chicago, IL 60601
OR
320 West Washington St
Springfield, IL 62786
Indiana Board of Nursing
Professional Licensing Agency
402 W. Washington Street, Room
W072
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Iowa Board of Nursing
RiverPoint Business Park
400 S.W. 8th Street, Suite B
Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
Kansas Board of Nursing
Landon State Office Building
900 SW Jackson Street
Suite 1051
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1230
Kentucky Board of Nursing
312 Whittington Pky., Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40222
Louisiana State Board of Nursing
17373 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Maine State Board of Nursing
161 Capitol Street
158 State House Station
Augusta, Maine , 04333-0158
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Phone
Fax
312-814-2715
312-814-3145
OR
OR
217-785-0800
217-782-3414
317-234-2043
317-233-4236
Website/Email
www.idfpr.com/dpr/WHO/nurs.asp
www.in.gov/pla/nursing.htm
[email protected]
515-281-3255
515-281-4825
www.state.ia.us/nursing/
[email protected]
785-296-4929
785-296-3929
www.ksbn.org/
502-429-3300
OR
800-305-2042
225-755-7500
502-429-3311
www.kbn.ky.gov/
225-755-7584
www.lsbn.state.la.us/
207-287-1133
207-287-1149
www.maine.gov/boardofnursing/
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State
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
Address
Phone
Fax
Maryland Board of Nursing
4140 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland, 21215-2254
Massachusetts Board of Nursing
239 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
Michigan Board of Nursing
Ottawa Towers North
th
611 W Ottawa 4 Floor
Lansing, MI 48933
Minnesota Board of Nursing
2829 University Ave SE Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55414
410-585-1900
OR
888-202-9861
617-727-9961
410-358-3530
Website/Email
www.mbon.org/main.php
617-727-1630
www.state.ma.us/reg/boards/rn
517-373-9102
517-373-2179
www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-13227417_27529_27542---,00.html
612-617-2270
612-617-2190
www.state.mn.us/portal/mn/jsp/home.do?age
ncy=NursingBoard
Mississippi Board of Nursing
1935 Lakeland Drive, Suite B
Jackson, MS 39216
Missouri Board of Nursing
3605 Missouri Boulevard
P.O. Box 656
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0656
Montana State Board of Nursing
111 N Jackson
Helena, MT 59620
DHHS, Public Health, Nursing
Licensure
Nebraska State Office Building
rd
301 Centennial Mall South;3 floor
P.O. Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
Nevada State Board of Nursing
1755 E Plumb LN: Suite 260
Reno, NV 89502
601-987-4188
601-364-2352
[email protected]
www.msbn.state.ms.us
573-751-0681
573-751-0075
http://pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp
[email protected]
406-444-2071
406-444-7759
http://mt.gov/dli/bsd/license/bsd_boards/nur_
board/board_page.asp
402-471-2115
402-471-3577
www.hhs.state.ne.us/crl/crlindex.htm
[email protected]
775-688-2620
775-688-2628
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State
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Address
New Hampshire Board of Nursing
78 Regional Drive; Bldg. B
P.O. Box 3898
Concord, NH 03302
New Jersey Board of Nursing
th
124 Halsey Street, 6 Floor
P.O. Box 45010
Newark, NJ 07101
New Mexico Board of Nursing
6301 Indian School Rd. NE
Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87110
New York State Board for Nursing
State Education Building
nd
2 Floor
Albany, NY 12234
North Carolina Board of Nursing
3724 National Drive
Raleigh, NC 27602
North Dakota Board of Nursing
th
919 S 7 Street; Suite 504
Bismarck, ND 58504
Ohio Board of Nursing
17 South High Street Suite 400
Columbus, OH 43215-7410
Oklahoma Board of Nursing
2915 N Classen Suite 524
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Oregon State Board of Nursing
17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97224-7012
Phone
Fax
603-271-2323
603-271-6605
www.nh.gov/nursing/
973-504-6586
973-648-3481
www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/medical/nursing.htm
505-841-8340
505-841-8347
www.bon.state.nm.us/
518-474-3817
Ext. 120
518-474-3706
www.op.nysed.gov/nurse.htm
919-782-3211
919-781-9461
www.ncbon.com/
701-328-9777
701-328-9785
www.ndbon.org/
614-466-3947
614-466-0388
www.nursing.ohio.gov
405-962-1800
405-962-1821
www.youroklahoma.com/nursing/
971-673-0685
971-673-0684
www.osbn.state.or.us/
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Phone
Fax
Pennsylvania
State
Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
717-783-7142
717-783-0822
Rhode Island
Rhode Island Board of Nursing
3 Capitol Hill; Room 105
Providence, RI 02908
401-222-5700
401-222-3352
[email protected]
www.health.state.ri.us/hsr/professions/nurse
s.php
South Carolina Board of Nursing
Synergy Business Park; Kingstree Bldg
110 Centerview Dr., Suite 202
Columbia, S.C. 29210
(mailing address)
P.O. Box 12367
Columbia, S.C. 29211-2367
South Dakota Board of Nursing
4305 Louise Avenue; Suite 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
803-896-4550
803-896-4525
www.llr.state.sc.us/pol/nursing/
605-362-2760
605-362-2768
http://doh.sd.gov/boards/nursing/
Tennessee Board of Nursing
227 French Landing, Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37243
Texas Board of Nursing
333 Guadalupe #3-460
Austin, Texas 78701
Utah State Board of Nursing
160 East, 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Vermont State Board of Nursing
National Life Building; N Floor 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3402
615-532-5166
615-770-7441
http://health.state.tn.us/boards/nursing/
512-305-7400
512-305-7401
www.bon.state.tx.us/
801-530-6628
801-530-6511
www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/nursing.html
802-828-2396
802-828-2484
www.vtprofessionals.org/opr1/nurses/
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Address
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Website/Email
www.dos.state.pa.us/bpoa/cwp/view.asp?a=
1104&q=432883
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State
Virgin Islands
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Address
Phone
Fax
Website/Email
Virgin Islands Board of Nurse
Licensure
PO Box 304247
Veterans Drive Station
St. Thomas, VI 00803
Virginia Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive; Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23233-1463
Washington State Nursing Care
Quality Assurance Commission
(mailing address)
P.O. Box 1099
Olympia WA 98507-1099
(physical address)
310 Israel Road
Turnwater, WA 98501
West Virginia Board of Examiners
for Registered Professional Nurses
101 Dee Drive, Suite 102
Charleston, WV 25311-1620
West Virginia State Board of
Examiners for Licensed Practical
Nurses
101 Dee Drive
Charleston, WV 25311
Wisconsin Department of Regulation
and Licensing
1400 E Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708
340-776-7397
340-777-4003
www.vibnl.org/
804-367-4515
804-527-4455
www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/
360-236-4700
360-236-4818
https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/hpqa1/hps6/Nursi
ng/default.htm
608-266-2112
608-267-0644
http://drl.wi.gov/boards/nur/
Wyoming State Board of Nursing
1810 Pioneer Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002
307-777-7601
307-777-3519
http://nursing.state.wy.us/
[email protected]
304-558-3596
OR
877-743-6877
304-558-3666
304-558-3572
304-558-4367
www.wvrnboard.com/
[email protected]
www.lpnboard.state.wv.us/
[email protected]
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APPENDIX G:
Hospital Interview Guidelines
When you choose a location, the process is not yet over. During the interview process, the facility is going to talk with you about the nature of
the assignment all while gathering information to decide whether or not you are a good fit for the facility. This is your chance to find out if this is the
assignment for you. By asking key questions you will find out if the management style and the flow
of the unit will fit GUIDELINES
well with your personality and
INTERVIEW
clinical expertise.
Health Care Professional UNIT
1.
Number of beds
Patient demographic
2.
Nurse-to-patient ratio: Days
3.
Specialized Equipment used:
4.
Type of electronic charting/documentation
5.
Special procedure/medication system in use
6.
Is a uniform required?
Yes
Evenings
No
Provided by:
If scrubs are needed, is there a required color?
7.
Patient Care Model
8.
Have travelers been used previously in your unit?
Nights
Traveler
Yes
No
Facility
Color:
Primary Nursing
Team Nursing
Yes
No
If yes, how often?
SCHEDULE
1.
Available date to begin work
2.
Shift to be worked:
Length of assignment
Single Shift:
Rotating Shift:
How will it rotate?
3.
Split shifts policy: On a 12 hour shift, will traveler float elsewhere for 4 hours?
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4.
Weekend shifts policy?
Yes
No
5.
Will travelers be in a charge nurse position at any time?
6.
Is overtime available or mandatory?
7.
Policy on requesting time off or schedule changes:
8.
Policy on working holidays:
9.
On Call policy, if required:
Yes
How Often?
Yes
No
No
FLOATING
1.
Floating policy?
Yes
No
How Often?
2.
Will travelers float first or in rotation with permanent staff?
3.
Will travelers float to similar units?
4.
Do travelers float to more than one unit per shift?
5.
What is the length of orientation for units floated to?
Yes
No
Which Units?
Yes
No
FIRST DAY/ORIENTATION
1.
Orientation length:
Hospital
Unit
2.
Where do I report to?
At which time?
3.
Who do I ask for?
Should I wear a uniform?
4.
Hospital/Unit Examinations:
Is there a study guide available?
5.
Is free parking available?
6.
Where can I find adequate parking?
Yes
No
Yes
No
If no, what is the cost?
Notes:
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