Travel Nursing Jobs

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Types of Travel Nurse Housing

Posted by travel | October 28, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

The ability to choose where you work is just one of the considerations you will have to make as a travel nurse. You will also have to choose where you are going to live, or you can choose to have someone else take care of the living situation for you. It is important to know the different type of living situations and how each one will have pros and cons. That way if you choose to take on the task of finding your own housing, you will know what to look for. If you choose to have someone else find your housing, at least you will know which questions to ask.

Private Housing for Free Most of the travel nurse agencies will offer private free housing, or at the very least shared housing. This is where they will basically set you up with something as far as housing that will more than meet your needs. It shouldn’t have that much of an affect on the take-home pay that you receive and is usually a small house or in most situations an apartment. The style and size of the living quarters is obviously going to vary. They are usually places that are close to your work assignment and that are in safe communities. This is a quick and efficient way to get your housing taken care of before you start your new assignment.

A Housing Stipend Another chose that you can make is to find your own living accommodations and then get a housing subsidy instead of having someone make your arrangements for you. The money that you would get for housing is of course going to be separate from the money that you make and any bonuses that you may get. The best thing about being able to have this option for housing is that you get to basically handpick where you live and get paid to live there.

A Concierge Housing Service Some travel nurse agencies are going to take the private housing option and basically combine it with the housing stipend option. Basically you get to still have the housing allowance that you want when you choose a housing stipend, and then you get to talk with a housing team or coordinator to help you find a living situation that fits the needs and wants that you have. They will then present you with a list of opportunities that fit your budget and criteria, and then you get to pick which one you want to move forward with. This is a great option if you are able to get it with your travel nurse agency and really makes things a lot easier.

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Different Nursing Careers

Posted by travel | October 15, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

Nursing is already a fairly rewarding field, both emotionally and financially. But, for those nurses looking to make even more and reach a higher level of gratification, there are specialized nursing fields that make great career options. I have put together some of the most common and rewarding types of nurses along with their requirements and earning potential that comes with that opportunity.


Nurse Anesthetist - Nursing Careers

The educational requirements to be a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) is far more than just a bachelor’s degree. You also need to have graduate education that is approved by the accreditation council of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. It starts with having to be a licensed RN (Registered Nurse). Once you have obtained your 4 year bachelor’s degree in some sort of science or nursing, you then need to commit to some kind of internship or work experience for at least a year. That experience should be in an acute care environment or an intensive care unit. Then you finally have to spend about 3 years obtaining your master’s degree in the education of anesthesia.

I am not going to sugar coat it, the training and education that you will need to become a nurse anesthetist is going to be rigorous and can take anywhere from eight to ten years before you complete it. Right now there is some talk and movements to require that only Doctors in Nursing Practice or Doctors of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree are able to become nurse anesthetists. This requirement is being put into place in the future by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Even if it were to be put into place, it still wouldn’t happen until 2015. But, once it is put in place, it will make it that much harder to get into this specialty.


The Skills & Work Environment for the Nurse Anesthetist

The simple definition of the job of a nurse anesthetist is the person that gives the anesthesia to the patients that will be operated on. It is a specialty that dates pretty far back in the United States, and it is so very important and specific that it requires an extremely high level of education and training. Many people are under the impression that nurse anesthetists only work in hospitals. That is just not the case, they can work in dental offices, outpatient surgery centers, and a few other places.

A lot of specialties with nursing aren’t very specific on what a nurse can and can’t do by themselves. It is no different when you are talking about this specialization. In a lot of states nurse anesthetists are not actually required to be under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist. However, in the majority of the states they are required to work under someone that is a licensed physician or healthcare provider. It would be abnormal to have a sort of situation where they are not supervised with such an important task. That is why the majority of hospitals have their own rule that requires an anesthesiologist to supervise them.

Usually if the nurse anesthetist is certified they are able to work fairly independently in situations that have a smaller community, such as small hospitals, pain clinics, and things of that nature. There are many public health organizations that they play a huge part in, including the military medical. There are just over 40,000 members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. There are also over 30 million anesthetics administered each year in the United States.


Nurse Anesthetist Salary

It is not an easy job being a nurse anesthetist, but the compensation is definitely going to be rewarding to say the least. In fact, it is one of the highest paying career fields in the medical industry besides being an actual doctor. The average salary annually is $155,000. Just under half of all of the nurse anesthetists are male.



Critical Care Nurse

If you are already an RN, than there really is no requirements that are specifically needed to become a critical care nurse. However, there are a lot of certifications that you can get in order to make it easier when applying to become a critical care nurse. These certifications can also make you a better all around nurse too. There is a certification by the AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses) in critical care nursing for adults, pediatrics, and neonatal care units. There are also a few other certifications offered by the AACN in cardiac care and surgery, along with critical nursing for adults and critical care of children.

There is no doubt that these certifications are hard to get, but what is life without a little challenge. Plus, like we said before, it is going to make you a better overall nurse as well. These certificates are needed in order to make yourself stand out as a candidate for the specialty. One note that I wanted to touch on real quick, is that you still need to contact the state nursing board to get registered in your specialty, even if you have already gotten these certificates.


The Skills & Work Environment for a Critical Care Nurse

Intensive care nurses can be another name for critical care nurses, and they have to help patients that are having an emergency, or patients that are either very sick or dealing with a hard surgery. They are going to be working in either emergency rooms or intensive care units. When you are helping critical care patients, you have to understand that they are going to need a lot of attention. They are going to need the attention of a nurse that has extensive experience with many life saving technologies.

There isn’t much that critical care nurses don’t do, they are really a jack of all trades. They can be monitoring vitals, dressing wounds, or administering medications. There are also a variety of other tasks that they must complete should they be called upon by superiors to do so. Not only do the critical care nurses need to stay focused and work on these small tasks, they also need to be able to work under extreme pressure when an emergency arises with a patient.


Critical Care Nurse Salary

There is a really short supply usually for great critical care nurses. This is why there are incentives, like a sign on bonus, relocation assistance, and other types of bonuses. The annual salary can fluctuate however depending on where in the United States you live. It can range anywhere from $50,000 to over $80,000.


Informatics Nurse

Informatics nursing is one of those specialties that can really be done all on its own or you could add it to your nursing repertoire that you already have. If you are one of the nurses that wants to really only deal with informatics nursing, than you are going to want to get a master’s degree in informatics nursing. They can be obtained from both online schools and campus based schools. If you are just looking to add this as one of your many skills as a nurse, than you may want to check out many of the certificates that are available.


The Skills & Work Environment for a Informatics Nurse

This is one of the most popular specialties within nursing at the moment, simply because people are starting to pay attention to health care insurance a lot more than they used to. There is a lot of pressure that is put on the informatics nurses in order to deliver efficiently when it comes to outcomes and health insurance. The government paid healthcare is only going to make that pressure even worse in the years to come, starting in 2014.

What is nice about this specialty is that you get to have a hand in technology and still work with patient care as well. The bigger places that provide health care services also have a whole different set of needs when it comes to technology. There are plenty of places to get involved with training, helping with the creation of future technology, and things of that nature. There is also a need for informatics nurses at places that do research as well. They need someone that can handle the data and have it make complete sense. There is no doubt that you will learn a variety of skills in this specialty that can be applied to just about anything in life.


Informatics Nurse Salary

This specialty also has one of the widest ranges of annual salaries that we have seen, coming in at an average of anywhere in between $55,000 and $90,000 a year. The average salary in the United States comes in at about $75,000 a year.


Oncology Nurse

There really is no requirement for a nurse to specialize in oncology nursing. That being said, you still need some kind of training in this specialty if you want to work at some of the best hospitals in the country. They will expect you to have this training when you are presenting yourself as a candidate. Where are you going to find this training? Well one of the groups that provides training and certificates for this specialty is the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, also known as the ONCC. They provide a variety of courses that range within the specialty from certified breast care nurse to certified pediatric oncology nurse.

If you want to actually practice as an oncology nurse, your best bet would be to get one of those certifications offered by the ONCC. The certification will last for 4 years before you need to renew it and take continued education classes. Some of the requirements to become certified may vary, and a few of them will even require that you have a master’s degree in nursing.


The Skills & Work Environment of the Oncology Nurse

There are quite a few things that cancer patients are going to have to deal with, they include surgeries, treatments, medications, and the issues that they may face with recovery as well. It is the job of the oncology nurse to help that patient get through the process and through the recovery. An oncology nurse needs to be able to communicate well with others, as there will be communication with family of patients as well. This is an area of nursing that is never going to be easy, and it can be extremely hard to maintain your emotions when you are trying to help someone through one of the toughest battles of their life.

A lot of the time nurses within this specialty are going to be working with patients that are enduring outpatient procedures. These can be chemotherapy, radiation therapy, discussions with the team about treatment moving forward, and procedures for diagnostics. Those cancer patients that have come to the hospital because they have a surgery or because they have become ill are going to be will have all of their needs met by specialized oncology nurses and doctors.


Oncology Nurse Salary

The demand for oncology nursing has greatly increased as the age of American’s as a whole increases. Usually it is going to be the older generations that are diagnosed with cancer. It really depends on if you are working at a small hospital or a larger one, but the salary can range from $60,000 to $80,000 a year.



Perioperative Nurse

You definitely have to be a licensed RN to become a perioperative nurse. Although, you don’t have to have any other certification technically. A majority of the hospitals out there either have or are developing programs that help to guide people that are looking to get into this specialty. You will usually need a bachelor’s degree in nursing if you want to be a competitive candidate at the larger medical facilities. The AORN, or Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, does give a test that will allow you to collect some sort of certification in perioperative nursing. Nurses in the perioperative field usually have sub-specialties in fields like cardiac, pediatrics, or dental to name off a few.


The Skills & Work Environment of the Perioperative Nurse

The perioperative nursing department is really in charge of patients before, during, and after their surgeries. They will make sure that all of the important information that is needed, such as allergies, patient history, diagnostics, and things of that nature are ready to go. There are two different types of nurses when it comes to perioperative nursing. There are those that actually scrub in and get involved, then there are those that take on more of a managerial role throughout the operating room.

You have to have good physical stamina in order to work in this specialty. You will often have to stand through long surgeries and you might have to move equipment around that is heavier than expected. You also need to be able to work well with other doctors and nurses in order to successfully do your job. The recovery of the patient is also something that is managed by the perioperative nurse as well.

Perioperative Nurse Salary

The perioperative nursing field has an average annual salary of $82,000 a year, and is one of the higher paying specialties within the nursing field.



Nurse Practitioner

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and The American Nurses Credentialing Center both offer certification as a nurse practitioner. It is a requirement to have this certification in every single state. In addition, you are going to have to have a master’s degree at the very least in order to become certified, and some certifications also require that you have a doctoral degree. There are also a wide variety of other certifications that are used to narrow down the specialization even further when it comes to nurse practitioners.

The licensing can be a bit less straight forward. The state provides the license for the nurse practitioner to practice. Since the level of care that is given to patients is so close to that of a doctor, the states tend to keep a very close eye on nurse practitioners. The requirements to become licensed in your state may vary from other states.


The Skills & Work Environment of the Nurse Practitioner

We really only saw the nurse practitioner as a specialty in the United States since the 1960s. It was basically to fill the gap, we had more people that needed basic medical care than we had actual physicians. Since then the specialty has seriously grown and now has many sub-specialties of its own. They can have their own practice, although many choose to work in hospitals and nursing homes that are of the high-end variety. Most of the time when a patient has a basic medical issue you will see that the nurse practitioner is the one that handles it. That way the doctor is a little more available for more serious conditions that require more attention.

The day to day jobs of a nurse practitioner are going to vary obviously, but usually include diagnostics like looking at lab results, high blood pressure, and helping in various surgical duties and with basic medical care with patients. There are even some states that allow the nurse practitioner to prescribe drugs in certain situations too.


Nurse Practitioner Salary

On average a nurse practitioner will earn about $90,000 annually in the United States. There are many sub-specialties though that allow easily for a six figure income.


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The Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse

Posted by travel | October 10, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

The shortage of nurses worldwide has caused travel nursing to become a lucrative business. If you are a registered nurse looking for a little variety in your career or to make more money, here is what you need to know about travel nursing and how it can help you accomplish your career objectives or financial goals.

Have Family Can Travel - Nurses who have spouses and/or kids may feel that they can’t be travel nurses, particularly if they have very young children. However, travel nursing isn’t just for the single and childless. A travel nursing career can benefit a family greatly with the primary advantage being the ability to see different parts of the world for free. Most recruiting companies will furnish nurses with appropriate housing so they don’t have to worry about finding short-term living spaces on their own.

If traveling with your family is not something you want to do, you can still become a travel nurse. Many recruiting companies allow nurses to accept assignments close to home. In addition to staying close to the family and working in areas that are familiar to you, you’ll make about ten to fifteen percent more than you would if you worked in a regular nursing position.

Pick Your Assignment  - One advantage that many nurses like is the ability to pick and choose where they will work. For example, if you worked in a large metropolitan hospital, you can take assignments at small clinics in rural areas and vice versa. It is an excellent way to try out different working atmospheres, particularly for those looking to make a change in their careers. ( plus you get to travfel to some amazing places)

It is also a great way to try out different nursing specialties without getting stuck in a long-term commitment. If things don’t work out, you can just move onto the next assignment. Typically, the travel nursing company you sign up with will place you with a recruiter. This person will talk to you about your needs and preferences and then work hard to place you in assignments that match them. This is a great opportunity to design the career you want.

Build Your Skills – Travel nursing is the perfect industry for learning new skills and building on existing ones. You will work in a variety of job settings and specialties that will provide you with tons of work experience and knowledge. This, in turn, will open the doors to numerous opportunities. It is well worth the time and effort to research this career path.


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How To Pick A Travel Nurse Agency

Posted by travel | October 10, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

A travel nurse agency can sound so appealing with those awesome travel work assignments that you have heard of or perhaps have had a friend work on. Before you are able to pick which travel nursing agency is going to be right for you, you have to understand how they work, what each one can offer you, and how you are going to fit into the big picture. The whole idea of a travel nurse is to fill a demand that many health care facilities have for nurses around the country. Therefore they contract with travel nurse agencies to get qualified nurses to work short-term assignments, usually a 3-4 month period, and then the travel nurse will move on to another assignment.

Since the demand and pressure is being put on these travel agencies to deliver qualified nurses time after time, the nursing agencies are starting to amp up the perks and benefits that you would get as a travel nurse if you consistently stay with their travel agency. The travel nurses are 100% aware of the fact that they need to have not only qualified nurses, but nurses that are willing to really step up to the mark and provide outstanding patient care and service. That is why these travel nurse agencies are willing to pay for excellent nurses that are consistent.

Things To Think About When Selecting A Travel Nurse Agency

There are a lot of travel nurse agencies out there, and it is extremely important to pick one that you know is going to be the right fit for you. You want a travel nurse agency that will work with you to accomplish your goals as a nurse and to provide you with the compensation and benefits that you deserve as a professional.

One of the best ways to see how a travel nurse agency is going to work for you is to figure out how they have handled problems that they have had in the past, or how previous nurses with this company would say their experience was. You can ask the travel nursing agency for some of the references that they have from nurses that have worked there in the past. They will usually be able to provide you with a phone number or an email address of the reference that you need to make an informed decision about the company.

It’s Good To Shop Around!

This is a piece of advice that is really good to use when it comes to just about anything in life. There are always going to be people competing for something, and that should benefit the person that they are competing for. The same can be said for travel nurse agencies, they are always going to be looking for the right nurses. Therefore you should be able to check out quite a few of them and compare what each one of them has to offer. Don’t be shy about telling them that you are shopping around either. It may get them to up the ante a bit more.

Getting Along With Your Recruiter

The recruiter is someone that you are going to want to become close friends with. They are the person that will help you get to the assignments and personal/professional goals that you have. This same recruiter should also be able to tell you all about the business and the company, which includes the bad, the good, and the ugly. You basically just want to ensure that there is some kind of communication connection with you and your recruiter, since they are really a big part of your success.

The Contracts

When you are out and about on your travel assignments you are going to have a contract in which your relationship between yourself and your employer is laid out. Please make sure that you fully understand this contract before you sign it. Ask whatever questions are on your mind and make sure that you are fully informed on every part of the contract before you move forward. I can’t tell you how important this is, and so many nurses just try to get through it as fast as possible.

Your Temporary Living Situation

The housing accommodations are almost just as important as the amount you get paid as far as most travel nurses are concerned. Obviously if you are able to get a permanent residence somewhere, you are not going to have to pay rent. It is important to know what the accommodations are going to be that are provided by the travel nurse agency before you get involved with them. A majority of the time a housing coordinator that works with the travel nurse agency has the job of finding a suitable place for you to live while you are taking on the assignment.

There are important questions that you will have to ask in order to get the information that you need. For instance, how many rooms will be in your apartment? Are you going to be sharing an apartment with anyone else? A lot of agencies will give you the option to live privately, but it is going to be an upgrade. There are very few that still use shared housing, but they are out there. In that case it would be good to get to know your roommate as soon as possible.

Some other important questions to ask are if you will have your own washer and dryer inside the apartment. You can also ask if anything else is going to be furnished besides the actual furniture, like a television or some of the kitchen appliances. You also need to ask about the utilities, and which ones you will have to either pay for or get hooked up ahead of time. You also want to know the move in and out dates, along with the crime rate of the area. Basically any questions that will help you get a feel for what is expected of you, what you will have to pay for, and about the community around you are important.

Health Insurance & Travel/Licensure Reimbursement

Health insurance is a big topic that you want to have covered ahead of time. You need to find out when their coverage starts. Also, you are obviously going to have to get to your travel assignment each day, and you want to be able to go places while you are in your new environment as well. It is your job to find out what the travel agency has to offer as far as travel reimbursement. Finally, you need to find out about license reimbursement. You will have to talk with your specific travel nurse agency, as it is different with each one.

Let’s Talk Bonuses!

There is traditionally a completion bonus that you will get once you have completed the assignment at the hospital you were sent to work at. It is important to note though that not ever assignment and hospital you go to will have these completion bonuses, and those that do will probably have stipulations put in writing to get them. If they decide that they want to keep you longer on your assignment, you may get to talk about an extension bonus. Last but not least, often times travel nurse agencies will give bonuses to those that refer other nurses to work with the same agency.

Long-term Perks

One of the nice things about the competition among agencies to keep nurses long-term is that they are offering some serious perks that come with working for them. There are things such as 401K plans, nice travel benefits, and a variety of other discounts and benefits. You might at first think that staying with one company is not going to be much fun since you probably won’t get the variety of assignments you want, but some of these perks are just too good to pass up if you ask me.

While travel nursing is not for everyone, it is interesting how frustrated some nurses become with the profession. Either they are not getting the assignments they want, dealing with long placement times, or wondering why the agency is not providing the assistance required to secure employment. The frustration is understandable; especially considering that finding opportunities that match goals, skills, and preferences can take a while.

However, travel nurses must understand that they play a major role in their success.  An investment of time and effort is required to get the placement, wage or other perks preferred. Here are a few tips to help nurses be more proactive in their placements so they can get the best job assignments.

Preparation is Essential Nursing placement agencies need copies of the licenses and certifications acquired including nursing, allied health professional, and operating room technician licenses. To get assignments that match your skills, you must prove you have obtained the required education and experience. You must be prepared to furnish the required documents to the requesting party at any time. This means digging out certifications, degrees, resumes, and other documentation from the dusty box in the attic. Nurses who are not prepared typically get positions that are less than desirable.

Communicate Preferences Placement agencies can’t give you the assignments you want if they don’t know what your preferences are. Take time to educate them on the types of places you prefer to work. Would you rather work in a large hospital or a small clinic? Slow rural areas or busy cities? If you notify the placement staff at the beginning about what you like, they will typically make an effort to place you in assignments that match your desires.

Plan Ahead The typical travel nurse assignment lasts 13 weeks. Some assignments are shorter and some are longer. Be aware of how long the assignment is make plans for the future. You should know within the first few weeks if you would want to stay at the facility or move on to the next assignment. Let the placement agency know as soon as possible so they can make the appropriate arrangements to extend your current assignment or place you in a new one.

Live in the Real World We all have dreams and ideals about how the world should work and then there is the real world. Travel nursing wages vary according to the job and there are various reasons for this. It is important to look at the big picture before accepting any particular assignment. One assignment may pay top dollar but there are disadvantages such as low nurse/patient ratios or long work hours. Another assignment may offer a low salary but the cost of living in the area is lower. Conducting research about a particular job before accepting it will help you make a more informed decision and avoid disappointment later on.

Read the Contract One of the biggest jokes in the tech industry is the end users’ propensity for signing user and license agreements without reading them. One company’s customers inadvertently signed away their souls because they did not read the license agreement which contained the provision. While this was obviously done for comedic affect, failing to read a travel nursing contract is no joke.

To avoid problems and legal fallout from misunderstandings, it is critical to read your contract before signing it. Take any questions you have to your recruiter and make sure any verbal promises or agreements are written in the contract. Don’t be afraid to ask for changes to be made if something is not clear or you don’t agree with a provision. Being proactive in this regard can prevent lots of problems in the future.

While you probably won’t get the perfect job every time, using these tips will increase the probability of getting the assignments you want. Take time to nurture your travel nursing career and it will take good care of you.


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Registered Nurse Salary

Posted by travel | September 28, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

There has been a significant shortage in the amount or nurses around the United States, and because of this we have really seen a large demand and people are starting to take notice and consider different aspects of the career field. The nurses that are active currently are able to take advantage of the shortage and get paid exactly what they deserve. We are also seeing that entry-level pay has definitely gone up over the last decade as well, way more than the normal inflation rate. I have put together some of the career options and statistics for nurses in one article.

Most of the time those that become a registered nurse go through an associate’s degree program and then they take the the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) and pass it. There are also other diploma programs that you can consider as well. These are the programs that are given out by hospitals a majority of the time rather than colleges. Some of these programs though can take even longer than an associate’s degree program. Those diploma programs also are typically specialized in a certain area such as cardiology or one of the other specialization’s.

After most of the students become a RN, they are usually found wanting to further their educational experience and take everything to the next level. That is where they will find a bachelor’s degree program in which they can use it to become an educator or nursing administrator. They can also just get the bachelor’s to work higher up than where they are currently or in a specialized position. In 2011 the average salary for RN’s was just over $65,000 annually in the United States. Usually entry level RN’s can expect to earn about $20 an hour and move up with experience and skill set.

APNs (Advanced Practice Nurses)

An APN is someone that has earned a master’s degree in the area that they want to put their focus on. They are working very closely with patients, much like doctors. Some times they will be under the supervision of a physician and some times they will be under their own direction. There are CRNAs, or Certified Nurse Anesthetist, who make a starting salary of close to $100,000 a year. Then there are the CNSs, or the Clinical Nurse Specialists, who start at an average salary of $65,000 to $85,000 annually. Finally there is a certified nurse midwife, that starts at a little over $75,000 a year.


Registered Nurse Salary Factors

Level of Nursing The different levels of nursing are all going to require different levels of training and education. Not to mention the different licenses and certificates that one has to get at each of those levels. Obviously those nurses that get a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree are usually going to make significantly more and work in a specialized higher level of nursing.

Level of Education I have already touched on this briefly, but the education level that a nurse has is going to directly affect how much money they make. Usually you will see a nurse that has a master’s degree make more than the nurses with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees.

Experience This is just about true with any job, but those that have more experience typically are going to get paid more. Usually you will have an increase in pay after your first year, and then the next pay increases will come every other year or every five years.

Where You Are Working The location in which you work is also going to have a lot to do with how much you get paid. The nurses that work in cities that are larger in the United States are going to earn more than nurses in rural areas most of the time. But, the drawback is that usually the cost of living is higher in those larger cities. Who employs you may also be a factor in the salary that you make annually.

Your Specialization Depending on your specialty, you can usually earn more or less than other nurses. Obviously those specialties that have a high demand are usually going to pay more than those that are more common. The type of working conditions can also play a big role.


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The Best Travel Nursing Jobs

Posted by travel | September 26, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

Helping patients get well and working with great people are only a few reasons many travel nurses love their jobs. The reason that tops them all, however, is the ability to visit many different places. For those with wanderlust or who just love visiting different places, travel nursing offers great opportunities to do a bit of glob-trotting. Based on feedback from nurses, weather, cost of living, and available local activities, here is a list of the ten most popular travel nursing destinations to consider for the next assignment.

Hawaii Of course Hawaii would be at the top of the list. Besides the beautiful tropical weather, the Aloha state offers a wide range of activities that will keep a travel nurse very busy between shifts. Well known for its sandy beaches, Hawaii also has hiking trails through the mountains where visitors may encounter snow or lava. There are also numerous secret beaches that provide the right amount of seclusion for brief romantic getaways, trails for mountain biking, river rafting, and extravagant golf courses. A nurse can’t go wrong getting an assignment in Hawaii.

Alaska Although Alaska has been part of the United States since 1867, most people in the mainland don’t know much about this state. It is the largest state in the union area-wise and basically a vast wilderness that offers nurses plenty of beautiful scenery to look at, wildlife to interact with, and lots of outdoor activities such as canoeing, kayaking, skiing, and hiking. Be aware, though, the sun hits the Earth at a different angle up there which means six months of long days followed by six months of very long nights. The outside temperature can get below freezing at times, so pack lots of long-johns.

Maine Maine’s beauty and mysteriousness has inspired artists and writers for centuries including Georgia O’Keefe and Stephen King. Often described as charming and quaint, there are lots of activities in this New England state to keep a travel nurse busy. Antiquing is a popular pastime as is snowmobiling, skiing, horseback riding and walking on the beach. Best of all, nurses can enjoy fresh lobster straight from the ocean.

South Carolina Rich with heritage, South Carolina is a history buff’s dream. The state has numerous historical sites to explore including Civil War and American Revolution memorials and exhibits. When not learning about the role this southern state played in America’s history, nurses can golf at any of the 330 courses in the area. Beautifully landscaped gardens offer lush and fragrant places to take tea or adventurous nurses can go traipsing through some of the marshy wetlands. Just don’t track mud through any of the historical mansions.

California Next to Hawaii, California is another favorite among travel nurses. It’s easy to see why. The state has a little something for everyone. Movie and television lovers can head out to Hollywood to catch a glimpse of their favorite movie star. Disneyland, Six Flags, Universal Studios and other theme parks are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Fashionistas can take a stroll down Rodeo Drive and pick up the latest fashions or have a great meal at any of the hundreds of five-star restaurants. Whether nurses visit northern or southern California, they will not want for things to do.

Montana This state was made for lovers of the outdoors. Montana boasts wide open spaces that beg to be explored. Even city lovers will appreciate the slower pace and quietude that allows people to relax and hear themselves thinking for once. In the Big Sky Country, travel nurses can go on trips down the river, camping, fishing, skiing or hiking in the mountains, or simply explore the state’s many historical sites. With so much to do and see, it’s no wonder nurses return year after year.

Washington State The Pacific Northwest is a draw for many travel nurses, especially Washington State. Home of Microsoft, the Space Needle, and Starbucks, the Evergreen State is the place to be for laid-back fun. For those that don’t mind the rain, Washington has a wide assortment of parks, botanical gardens, museums, and the famous Pike’s Place Market. The state is a ferry ride away from Victoria and few hours’ drive from British Columbia for nurses interested in visiting our neighbors to the north.

Tennessee Nurses who relocate to Tennessee should put on their blue suede shoes and visit Elvis’ Graceland and other well-known Tennessee attractions like the Grand Ole Opry, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Jack Daniel’s distillery. Night life is always hopping in this state especially on Beale Street where talented musicians sing the blues all night. If Tennessee doesn’t hold enough interest, the state is located near a number of interstates and highways that will take the traveling nurse to any other state he or she wants to visit.

Arizona Whether you are a photographer, painter, or just love stunning landscapes, then Arizona is the state for you. Besides the Grand Canyon, Arizona has mountain ranges, grasslands, cactus forests, and rivers just waiting to be captured on film or canvas. Other things to do in Arizona include visiting Old West reformations, the numerous golf courses, resorts and spas, and the Native American nations.

Colorado If traveling nurses can only visit one place during the year, it should be Colorado. Well-known for its wonderful ski resorts, there are numerous other activities available for those that may not have the interest or skill to tackle the slopes. The state has tons of state and national parks, hiking and biking trails, mountain climbing, rivers for kayaking and canoeing, several ancient Native American sites, historical towns, and the Grand Junction. For nurses that prefer city life and activities, there is shopping, sports, and performing arts in cities like Boulder and Denver.

The possibilities are endless for nurses looking for fun and adventure. While traveling to different places is a perk of the profession, make the most of the experience and visit the thousands of unique cities and towns found in our fair nation.


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Travel Nursing Contract

Posted by travel | September 26, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

A travel nurse is basically an independent contractor who bounces around to different medical facilities to fill in where an extra pair of nursing hands is needed. Getting into the profession and finding jobs requires working with a travel nursing agency. Many nurses new to the industry have voiced concerns about signing a contract with an agency. Here is a list of things that should be addressed in a contract between you and the agency.

Guaranteed Assignments Travel nursing requires you to relocate to a new area for a period of time. When you uproot your life to move to another city or state, you want to make sure a job is there waiting for you. Occasionally, however, a travel nurse will arrive at a medical facility only to find out the position is no longer available. Make sure the contract has a clause that states the agency will pay you if this happens until they can find another position.

Guaranteed Hours and Pay Another thing that can go wrong is having the pay or hours be adjusted unexpectedly. A travel nurse will arrive at his or her assignment expecting one pay rate only to be told the wage promised is only for working a certain shift or floor. Additionally, since travel nurses are paid more than regular staff, they are usually the first ones sent home on slow days. To guard against these problems, make sure the contract guarantees the hours and pay you will receive for the assignment.

Pay There are two ways to get paid as a travel nurse: by the agency or by the facility. Most nurses prefer to receive their pay from the travel nursing agency because it is generally easier than setting up payment arrangements with individual medical facilities. Additionally, if there is a problem with the check, they know who to contact. The contract should state how you will be paid and who will be cutting the check. It is important to note that agencies typically only pay nurses when they receive payment from the facilities. In this case, the contract should note when you will receive your wages.

Additional Expenses Nurses may incur additional expenses while working on assignment. For example, they may be required to pay for parking. The contract should note who is responsible for paying for these work expenses, and if you are required to pay them whether you will be reimbursed. Any fees charged by the agency should also be noted in the contract.

These are just a few things that should be included in a travel nurse contract. It is critical that everything be written in a contract. While it is easy to come to a verbal agreement about matters, it can be difficult to enforce the verbal agreement should a problem arise. In addition to that, travel nursing agencies experience personnel changes all of the time. The person who made the verbal agreement made leave and you will be at the mercy of his or her replacement. Avoid problems by getting everything in writing.


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Top 10 Medical Bags for Home Healthcare Nurses

Posted by travel | September 17, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

The job of a home health nurse requires a great deal of equipment. A home health nurse has to be prepared for a wide range of situations, including basic physical examinations, collecting samples, cleaning and bandaging wounds, replacing splints and providing necessary medications.

This means that home nurses need a bag that can hold everything they need, and not just hold all of the medical equipment and supplies, but keep everything organized and easy to find when needed.

#1: Modular Nurse Bag from

Modular Nurses Bag from

This modular nurses bag has been designed from the ground up with home health nurses in mind by The exterior of the bag is made of tough, medical grade nylon and is 100% waterproof and bedbug proof. The interior of the bag can be divided into multiple sections by the use of modular insert panels which are installed using plastic buckles and metal snaps. This means every user can custom design different pocket variations to configure the bag to their own specific needs. The walls and the insert panels of the bag are also padded with cell foam to provide rigidity and protect delicate tools and medications.

#2: Ultimate Nursing Bag from Nurse Mates

Ultimate Nurses Bag

This bag has a sturdy construction and multiple pockets, and also meets the needs of home health nurses very well, but it is a notch below the No. 1 choice in several areas, notably infection control and interior space design. These nurses bags are made of nylon, but are only water-resistant, not 100% waterproof, and most importantly are not bedbug-proof. This means home nurses with this type of bag can inadvertently spread bedbugs from the home of one client to another. (You can get it here)

#3: Deluxe Nurses Bag from

Delux Nurses Bag

Deluxe Nurses Bag – This classic nurses bag has been in use all across North America since 1985. These nurses bags are rugged and lightweight, with padded sides and special pockets for sharps containers and other equipment. Note that this bag is also not 100% waterproof or bedbug-proof. (You can get it here)

#4: EZ View Med Bag from HopKins

EZView Med Bag

EZ View Med Bag – The EZ View Med Bag is a briefcase style med bag for the home health care professional. The bag features 12 see-through, zippered pouches, including one for sharps and one for cell phones. This bag weighs around three and a half pounds. (You can get it here)

#5: 21st Century Plus Bag from HopKins

21st Century Plus Bag

This bag has three separate compartments and an internal zippered pouch, as well as an executive organizer feature. This nursing bag includes also has a one quart sharps pouch and an adjustable padded shoulder strap. This model comes in at 3.4 lbs. (You can get it here)

#6: Original Home Health Shoulder Bag from HopKins

Original Home Health Shoulder Bag

These popular nursing bags come with one fold down compartment and two zippered compartments, a lockable file folder pocket and two large end compartments to store frequently used items. This lightweight bag only weighs 1.85 lbs. (You can get it here)

#7: Padded Medical Bag from HopKins

Padded Medical Bag

This classic black padded home health care bag is a slightly more basic model, but still highly functional. It features a large main compartment (with three zippered sub-compartments) and a spacious front pouch. This ultralight weight waterproof polyester bag weighs 1.4 lbs. (You can get it here)

#8: Ultimate Nursing Tote Bag

Nurse Mates Sport Pink

This mid-size nursing tote bag is also designed to meet the needs of the home health care profession. These nurses bags feature multiple pockets and compartments, and are made of water-resistant fabric. They also come with heavy-duty zippers and seams, and a non-skid padded bottom. (You can get it here)

#9: Canvas Medical Bag

Medical Canvas Bag

This basic medical bag has a zippered main compartment with two outside snap pouches. It weighs only 1.2 lbs. (You can get it here)

#10: Pink Ribbon Ultimate Nursing Bag from Nurse Mates

Pink Ribbon Ultimate Nursing Bag

This nursing bag offers many features, but is a little pricey. It includes multiple compartments, heavy duty zippers, and a non-skid padded bottom. (You can get it here)

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Tips for Passing the NCLEX-RN Test

Posted by travel | September 7, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

Although you’ll take many tests during your tenure as a nursing student, the most important exam you will ever take is the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse or NCLEX-RN. This test consists of primarily multiple-choice questions on a variety of topics including coordinated care, safety and infection control, and pharmacological therapies. To obtain your license to practice nursing, you are required to pass this exam.

To help you pass this very essential test, here are few tips to motivate you and maximize your study time and effort.

Write Down Your Goal

Before you open a study guide, you need to write down why you want to pass the NCLEX-RN test. Are you doing it so you can get a job in nursing? Are you trying to prove to yourself that you know your stuff? Do you want to have something to brag to the neighbor about when he or she starts talking about their adult kids?

It doesn’t matter what the reason is. The important thing is that it motivates you to keep going when things get rough. Write your goal on a piece of paper and stick it where you’ll see it. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on why you are pursuing your nursing license.

Prepare to Study

As a nursing student, you should know that you must assess the situation before you do anything. Likewise, you should take a self-assessment test to determine which areas you are strong and which ones you need to brush up on. You can purchase NCLEX-RN practice tests from a bookstore or download free ones from the Internet.

Although you want to review everything, concentrate on the areas where you make the most mistakes. Test yourself again at regular intervals to make sure you are getting a good handle on the information.

Stick to One Study Resource

This advice may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll want to pick one study guide and use it exclusively. The primary reason is because things can get confusing very quickly. Each of the books and study guides will say essentially the same thing, except they will use different words and examples. One book may define the heart one way while another book says the same thing using different words.

Sticking with one book allows you to focus more on learning the information rather than trying to decipher and synthesize data from multiple sources. Also, get a book that is easy for you to read and use. If it takes reading a section three or more times before you understand the underlying concepts, that book is not for you. Exchange for something friendlier.

Chart Your Studying

A good way to stay on top of your studying is to chart it. Make a schedule of your activities, and then write in the chapters you want to study each day. Be certain to write it in a time slot just like an appointment. You are much more likely to stick to the schedule if you treat like any other appointment that is important to you. When you have completed a study task, mark it off with a highlighter or place a smiley face sticker on the day. The sense of accomplishment will spur you to keep going.

Avoid Memorization

Though you will have to memorize measurements and formulas, avoid memorizing information. Instead, analyze the information and try to figure the rationale behind the data. You are far more likely to retain what you are studying if you know the why behind the what. Another benefit to learning the underlying teachings is that it makes it easier to guess the right answers when you don’t know them.

Hit the Books, but Not Too Hard

Study everyday for as long as you can. At the same time, don’t over study. Be sure to take frequent breaks to let your mind absorb the information you are feeding it. The day before the exam, pamper yourself. Get a massage, go to the spa, do something to help you rest and relax. This will do far more to prepare you to take the test than staying up all night cramming.

When taking the test, go with your instincts. Usually your first answer is the right one, so avoid second guessing yourself. Focus on the task at hand, take your time and you’ll be rewarded with a passing grade.