Posts Tagged ‘travel nurse’

Karen Flaster

Our healthcare system must constantly meet the need of filling personnel vacancies with qualified individuals — for ensure patient welfare, and for efficiency’s sake. Demand for travel nurses as a strategic part of an organization’s chart is as critical as ever.

So what can a traveler nurse do to ensure that next opportunity is within reach? Karen Flaster, chief operating officer of HRN Services, and Melanie Douglas Major, recruitment manager for NursesRX have some thoughts.

Both explain the need to be adaptable to an employers needs is important, especially if you can demonstrate that you can fit into more than a single situation when it comes to assignments.

“Be open to possibilities and different experiences,” says Douglas Major.

That applies to a lot, including being agreeable to shift work, open to floating, and being flexible when faced with unexpected work requests. Not soft , but not rigid.

Flaster stresses that the ability to be flexible allows a traveler to glean the upside of a given situation.

“As an example, a RN states: ‘I only want/will work the day shift.’ The hospital offers the night shift. The RN refuses the assignment rather than using critical thinking skills to deduce ‘if I take the night shift and demonstrate my skills, competency, team player ability, and good attendance, they will ask me to stay for another assignment AND confirm me for day shift.’”

That’s important when weighing assignments also. Flaster chooses Healthcare Traveler’s base of Cleveland as an example.

“The RN who wants Cleveland, but the assignment he or she is qualified for and can be confirmed for, now is in Toledo,” Flaster says. “Rather than accepting and requesting a Cleveland facility for the next assignment, he or she declines. If (you) stopped to consider that if you have an Ohio license and the likelihood of another assignment being available as well as a obtaining a reference from the Toledo facility, you might not be so quick to say no.”

When on site always have your credentials current and together in a folder. This allows hospital providers to quickly respond to calls for assignments that have a quick turnaround.

To help guide you to the next job, Douglas Major recommends finding a recruiter who is aware and supportive of your travel nursing goals. However, you have to do your due diligence in finding the right recruiter.

“Referrals are the best way to go,” she says. “Also, look at their title and tenure.”

Finally, the knack for putting the needs of the organization before your own may not satisfy your personal goals at the time, but can open the door to more career opportunities down the road.  Doing it with a good attitude is all the more important, says Flaster.

Nurses need to thoughtfully consider if they are helping to fulfill the responsibilities of the facility or taking away. Nurses also need to consider how important good manners, civility, and being  approachable is in today’s patient care setting.”

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When it comes to travel nurse housing, the odds are good that the majority of the time you will be living in an apartment. This is true whether you go with your agency’s housing or take a stipend and set it up on your own. Although convenient, one of the drawbacks of apartment living is the temporary decor that usually accompanies an apartment. Most of the time, you can expect blank white walls, furniture you didn’t pick out, and a lack of decorating flexibility because you are a short-term renter.

Unless you take matters into your own hands.

There are ways to decorate your travel nurse housing so it feels more like home. You can make your temporary housing somewhere inviting that you look forward to coming home to, without spending an arm and a leg or taking a U-Haul to get from one assignment to the next.

A recent article at SmallNotebook.org listed five easy ways to decorate your apartment to feel less temporary and more like home. Here is an overview of some of the best advice:

  • Hang up pictures and art first. It’s a fast and easy way to make it feel more like home. Here are some tips for hanging art in travel nursing housing“Deck the halls…Don’t wreck your walls!”
  • Opt for baskets, linen baskets, and wood crates instead of plastic storage bins to create a more homey feel.
  • Make it green with plants and don’t worry if they die, you can always buy more.
  • Have a set of decorative items that you display all year instead of trying to rotate with the holidays.
Here are some other articles that you might find helpful for decorating travel nurse housing :

I would also love to hear what tips you have for other travelers who want to decorate their housing. Leave a comment below.

Jeff Long is the Marketing Manager at Medical Solutions, one of the leading travel nursing companies in the industry. He has never been a nurse and is not a recruiter; his goal is to help you meet your career goals by sharing information, advice, and the benefits of travel nursing with you. He also blogs regularly at TravelNursingBlogs.com.

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Most of the time, travel nurses make more than they would in a permanent position (depending on specialty and location, of course), but still, who wouldn’t want to save money on their bills? That is when a site like BillShrink.com comes in handy.

BillShrink.com uses a simple four-step process to assess how much you’re spending on five key areas:

  • Credit Cards
  • Wireless Service
  • Television Service
  • Gas Stations
  • Savings & CDs

Then, it takes that information and finds you a better deal. It couldn’t be simpler. Plus, the savings help doesn’t end there. It will constantly track changes in the market and send you email alerts when better savings are available. Pretty cool.

I tried out the Gas Station tool and got back ten recommendations along my commute so I could compare the best places to fill up. Using the website is much better than driving my whole route thinking that the next gas station is bound to be the cheapest only to get to the end of the line and find out I should have stopped two stations back.

The online resource even has a new television service tool, so you can scope out the best price for cable or satellite before you get to your assignment.

Be sure to read the blog for other money-saving tips, and also checkout the live feed to see how much people all over the country are saving.

Money Magazine named BillShrink.com one of the 20 best money websites, and it’s definitely a site that is a real help for any travel nurse who is always looking for the best deals and ways to make their paycheck go further.

Jeff Long is the Marketing Manager at Medical Solutions, one of the leading travel nursing companies in the industry. He has never been a nurse and is not a recruiter; his goal is to help you meet your career goals by sharing information, advice, and the benefits of travel nursing with you. He also blogs regularly at TravelNursingBlogs.com.

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Although it may only happen every three months or so, one of the coolest parts of travel nursing is the road trip to your assignment. The best way to enjoy it is to first and foremost make sure you plan ahead to give yourself time to see all the cool places along the way.

With that in mind, here are four great planning resources to help you get the most enjoyment possible out of your next road trip.


The goal of MyScenicDrives.com is to help you discover great drives. Each one includes a detailed overview, an interactive map, weather forecasts, and GPS directions.

The site is easy to use and offers differing levels of interaction, from simply clicking “Find a Drive” to creating an account where you can track and tag your drives.

Currently MyScenicDrives.com seems focused on western parts of the U.S., but new drives are always being added so you need to check it regularly. If you sign up for the newsletter and subscribe to the blog you can get the latest updates sent to you.

You can read more about MyScenicDrives.com for travel nurses here.


RoadTripAmerica.com is an awesome site for planning your travel nursing road trip. In addition to its great Road Trip Map Wizard it also offers cool tools and resources for your road trip planning, including sections that cover:

  • Routes & trips
  • Destinations & attractions
  • Fun stuff & inspiration
  • Dashboarding
  • Tips for roadtrippers
  • Maps
  • On the road

Use the site’s three different RSS feeds to subscribe to:

  • RoadTrip America’s Articles and Funny Signs
  • RoadTrip America’s Funny Signs (only)
  • The Great American RoadTrip Forum

You can also subscribe via email for RoadTrip America’s Articles and Funny Signs and RoadTrip America’s Funny Signs.

You can learn more about how useful Road Trip America.com is for travel nurses here.


RoadtripPlanning.com is not as big as the previous two sites, but it does offer informative articles and some fun stuff like route planners and road trip games.

You can read a little more about RoadtripPlanning.com here.


Cost2Drive.com is a great planning site that does one thing, but that one thing is so useful for a travel nurse planning a drive that I had to include it; telling you how much the drive will actually cost you.

All you do is enter the start and end points of your trip and the kind of car you drive. Then Cost2Drive calculates:

  • How much you will spend on gas
  • Your Carbon Footprint
  • How much it would cost to fly
  • Where you will need to stop for gas

Learn more about Cost2Drive.com for travel nurses here.


So before your next assignment think about how much fun your road trip could be, plan accordingly, and check out these sites to make it happen.

Jeff Long is the Marketing Manager at Medical Solutions, one of the leading travel nursing companies in the industry. He has never been a nurse and is not a recruiter; his goal is to help you meet your career goals by sharing information, advice, and the benefits of travel nursing with you.

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Anyone who has ever been a traveler or heard of travel nursing knows that one of the best parts of travel nursing is the chance to experience new locations. But here’s the challenge; if you have never been to a location before how do you know what’s going on in the area? Well here are five websites that will help you figure that out.


Goby is basically a search engine built to help you find things to do in your spare time. All you do is answer three simple questions:

  1. What would you like to do?
  2. Where?
  3. When?

Then the results come back with a list of events and locations for you to check out. For example, I entered “museums, Omaha, NE,” and I got back 111 results happening this weekend. Just to see if it is useful for travelers in smaller communities, I also entered “Fremont, NE,” and found 18 museums to go to this weekend. It is certainly worth checking out on your next travel nursing assignment.

It also has a login feature that can tie into your Facebook account and apps for iPhones and android based smart phones.

Click here to read more about how Goby can help travel nurses.


Upcoming is a Yahoo owned site similar to Goby, but it’s based more around events like concerts, festivals, and sporting events, which are a great way to experience a new city. It’s also easy to use and offers the ability to create an account using a Yahoo login. So, if mingling with locals at festivals and events is something you enjoy doing during your assignments, then be sure to add Upcoming to your Favorites list.

Click here to read more in-depth about the uses of Upcoming for travel nurses.

Yahoo Trip Planner

Yahoo Trip Planner is a great tool that helps you not only find cool stuff to do during your assignment, but actually lets you schedule all the things you want to do during your assignment. It even lets you post journal entries about your experiences and upload your photos to share with your friends and family. It’s also a great way to make your perm nurse friends jealous and maybe even recruit a few to come with you on your next assignment.

Click here to learn more about how Yahoo Trip Planner is a cool tool for travel nurses.


Foursquare is a location-based social networking site that is basically one part friend finder, one part city guide, and one part game. Between these three aspects it really offers a lot of uses for travel nurses.

The premise is pretty simple, after you make an account, you log in, you:

Go to a cool place. Check in.

Go to a new place. Check in.

Go somewhere a lot. Check in.

Go somewhere popular. Check in.

Go somewhere late. Check in.

You get the idea.

All your check-ins are tracked within your profile and the more cool places you go and the more stuff you do the more “Badges” you get attached to your profile. The Badges are for things like checking in on a boat or checking in to 50 different places.

Plus, many companies use Foursquare to give discounts to their loyal customers, so be sure to check for those too.

It is meant to work with your smart phone, but you can also use your laptop or text your location if you haven’t taken the smart phone plunge yet.

Click here if you want to read more about the uses of Foursquare for travel nurses.


Gowalla is a location-based social network similar to Foursquare, that not only helps you find new places to checkout while you are traveling, but also allows you to create an account and turn your travels into a game by checking in when you are in cool locations.

The biggest difference between the two is that Gowalla is more game like than Foursquare with the use of “Items” that you can get when you check in at a location.

The advantage of Gowalla for travel nurses is that you are also able to build “Trips” for your friends and followers, and Gowalla is also available in more places, which may make it overall more useful for travel nurses.

You can read more about Gowalla’s uses for travel nurses here.

(*Editors note: As of March 10, 2012, Gowalla ceased operation.)


Not every one of these sites may be for you, but they are each worth a look. So, the next time you find yourself in a new city during an assignment checkout one of these sites and see where you end up.

Jeff Long is the Marketing Manager at Medical Solutions. He has never been a nurse and is not a recruiter; his goal is to help you meet your career goals by sharing information, advice, and the benefits of travel nursing with you.

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