January 23, 2015
History's Most Famous Nurses

History’s Most Famous Nurses

Believe it or not, the nursing profession as we know it, is less than 150 years old! Before that, hospitals/medical practice were relatively unsafe and many people just treated their sickness at home. It wasn’t actually until the 19th century that nurses even began having any formal training at all–it was typically just nuns or military personnel (during wartime) that treated people with injuries or illness. In the span of time that more modernized nursing practices have been in place, we’ve seen some notable nurses through the years. Some have faced adversity, others have just been straight-up innovators in the field, and some are just downright infamous.

 

Florence Nightingale

We all know Florence Nightingale—she’s essentially the mother of modern nursing education. Nightingale has several names that have been bestowed upon her such as “The Queen of Nurses” and “The Lady with the Lamp.” Her nicknames say it all–she was a revolutionary woman. After having treated countless British solider in the 1800′s, she realized her mission in life was to teach proper hygiene for patient-care.

 

Clara Barton

Clara Barton is perhaps the most widely-known American nurse of all time. After all, we all know about her main accomplishment of founding the American Red Cross in 1881 at the golden age of 60. However, she originally began working as a teacher before hitting the nursing profession during the Civil War where she was affectionately known as the “angel of the battlefield.”

 

Mary Breckinridge

Mary Breckinridge became an RN in 1910. During her career she practiced in Washington D.C., Boston, and France where she was part of the American Committee for Devastated France. While she was in France, Breckinridge decided that her new passion would be practicing midwifery. She started in London and eventually brought it into the United States. Today, she is credited with bringing the midwife practice to America. Breckinridge created the Frontier Nursing Service which brought prenatal/postnatal care to the people around eastern Kentucky. Her organization would provide care and transport newborn babies on horseback. For their services, they asked for little payment in return.

 

Mary Ezra Mahoney

Another memorable RN named Mary was Mary Ezra Mahoney. She was the very first African-American woman to become a nurse–or even finish nursing training at all. In fact, Mahoney was so good that she was one of the only 4 out of 42 people that ended up finishing the New England Hospital for Women and Children. She was allowed to attend nursing school as a black woman because they loosened their practices when they saw how talented she was. To combat discrimination that black nurses faced in that time, in 1908 she helped to found the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN).

 

Martha Jane Cannary (“Calamity Jane”)

I HAD to include Calamity Jane on this list of famous nurses in history. Although to be fair, she’s had quite a few other professions as well. She may be most known for hanging around Wild Bill around the time where she dressed like a dude and her favorite hobbies included swearing, drinking, and shooting. As she explored the Frontier, she worked as a miner, an oxen driver, a cook, a gold prospector, a prostitute, and a NURSE. When smallpox broke out in 1878, Jane apparently nurses 8 men. Legend has it, she saved 5 of them—perhaps due to Epsom salts and cream of tartar concoction.

 

Walt Whitman

Another famous nurse that was known more popularly for other professions was Walt Whitman. In addition to his time spent as a teacher, a journalist, and of course one of the best-known American poets–he was also a volunteer nurse for three years during the Civil War. Sure, he never received traditional nursing training but he was able to aid in healing wounded (both body and soul) by listening attentively to their stories and writing letters to their families back home.

 

Margaret Sanger

In the old days, contraceptive education was a total taboo. That is, until Margaret Sanger came onto the scene and completely led a fresh movement towards more progressive sexual dialogues. Born in 1916 to a large Irish-Catholic family, Sanger had seen the devastating effect 18 pregnancies had on her mother’s health. This may have been what inspired her to leave home for nursing school and ultimately open the very first birth control clinic in the U.S. (even though it was illegal….) Later in life Sanger would found both the American Birth Control League as well as the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. And, just six years before Margaret Sanger would pass away, the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive (“the pill”) in 1960.

 

 Florence Guinness Blake

In the 20th century, Florence Guinness Blake contributed to the advancement of education for nurses. Most of her career focused on caring for children and teaching nurses how to take care of pediatric units. She created the first ever advanced pediatric nursing program at the University of Chicago. Plus, she wrote several textbooks for RNs. She was a huge advocate for children and revolutionized the way we look at pediatric nursing.

 

Through history, we’ve seem some pretty interesting famous nurses.  (Maybe one day, you’ll even become one!)

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January 9, 2015
nurses voted most trustworthy profession

Nurses Voted “Most Trusted Professionals”….AGAIN

When you think about the types of careers held by people with high standards for ethics and honesty, it’s no surprise that the care-giving and health fields are at the top of the list. However, once again, Gallup’s 2014 poll found that Americans view nurses as the most trustworthy profession—a higher ranking than given to medical doctors and pharmacists which tied for second.

Periodically since 1976 and annually since 1990, Gallup has asked Americans to rate their perception of both ethics and honesty in different types of careers. Nurses were first included in the survey in 1999. For most of the new millennium, nurses have been rated at least “very high or high level of ethics and honesty” by 80% of individuals surveyed. In fact, in 2012 an applause-worthy 85% of Americans said they viewed nurses as at least a high level of trustworthiness. The only exception to this was in the early 2000′s when firefighters were included in the survey and it was in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

If nurses were voted extremely high on levels of trustworthiness, it was pretty predictable which professions Americans considered very unethical or dishonest. You may have guessed that car salesman and members of congress were among the bottom two trusted professions, respectively. People in fields like advertising, banking, business, and law also performed relatively low in their survey findings for trustworthiness. Nurses has consistently lead the pack in ratings of moral perceptions even beating out other professions like grade school teachers, daycare staff, and elder caregivers.

It seems that none of the ratings significantly changed from their ratings in the previous few years. One interesting development that has emerged from the survey, however, is the drop law enforcement has seen in the past year. It seems that due to a lot of the media coverage in 2014 and events that unfolded have caused decreased levels of perceived honesty and ethics in police. Fewer nonwhite respondents were saying that they felt police officers had high levels of trustworthiness. Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 3.03.17 PM

Additionally, perhaps because of the Ebola scare that occurred this fall, there was a slight decrease in levels of overall trust this year as compared with last year’s results. And overall, there have not been any improvements in trustworthiness in any fields. Nurses even were a few percent down from 2013′s results.

The survey was conducted December 8-11, 2014. The sample size was random and consisted of 805 adults (over age 18) citizens in all the 50 states and was a phone interview (50% cellphones, 50% landlines dialed randomly.)

This 2014 survey, and the other surveys conducted in previous years, continue to remind us how respected and beloved nurses are.

 

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January 7, 2015

 

travel nursing destinations

What to Consider to Find Your Perfect Winter Travel Nurse Assignment

January is known as the busy season in the travel nursing industry. And, there’s lots of reasons why. If you think about it, this is the time of the year when temperatures reach their lowest points and severe weather can make some summer-souls want to run for the hills! Luckily, when you’re a travel nurse, you literally can make a run for any destination you desire and whenever you feel like it. But, when father winter strikes—how does a travel nurse know where to go to?

The first step is to think about what kind of place you’d like to be climate-wise. Are you looking into an assignment that will come in like a lion and out (in spring) like a lamb? Then choose a temperate location. Maybe Baltimore, MD or Williamsburg, VA. Or, maybe you want to embrace the extreme temperatures of the seasons—for better or for worse.

If you’re someone who hates being cold and especially hates shoveling, salting, and slipping on ice; you clearly want a warmer place. Think like, Sacramento CA or Miami, FL. Also, Texas is always super warm and there’s a huge market for travel nursing there. Pretty much anywhere where flip-flop season is every season is the place to be for nurses that crave the sunshine all year round!

If you’re someone who actually LOVES the cold, then choose a destination where you can indulge you’re inner snow-bunny. Consider Salt lake City, UT or Denver, CO. Or, perhaps Montpelier, VT! Picking an assignment where you can both work in your rewarding healthcare field AND hit the slopes on your down time is seriously a paradise for winter-loving travel nurses.

Another thing to explore when you’re choosing a winter travel assignment is your other life priorities and how the location may affect them. For example, would choosing a warm climate perhaps take you much further from family than you would hope for? Or, which locations are more interested in filling winter positions than others. Because of that, which facilities will offer the best pay and benefits? You also want to consider how far from your work your travel housing will be. If you’re choosing a colder place during the winter, it may cause some issues traveling during severe snow and ice conditions. And nurses can’t take snow days.

Regardless of what your winter goals are, considering new locations to travel can be a hard decision no matter what season we’re in! The best way to get started is to really think about what your motives are. After all, in the profession of travel nursing, we do it so that we can get the opportunities to see what we wish to see and lead the lives we wish to live.

Most important of all though for travel nurses this season? Just enjoy and love every single minute of it. Get browsing for your next travel nursing assignment today with Travel Nurse Source.

No Comments | Tags: Destinations, Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse Destinations, Travel Nurse Housing, Travel Nurse Tips, Travel nursing jobs

December 29, 2014
best nurse characters on TV

TV’s Best Nurses Ever

TV has always had it’s share of healthcare professions in the spotlight. From “ER” to “Scrubs”, we’ve allowed some seriously awesome nurse characters into our living rooms over the years. But, some depictions of nurses put the profession in a better light than others and some TV nurses are downright crazy. Regardless, it’s still a treat to see our beloved career flash across screen. As nursing continues to be one of the hottest career options out there in 2015, it’s a good time to reflect on some of our favorite fictional RNs.

“Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan” on MASH

Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan (Loretta Swit), M*A*S*H

CBS/Landov

For over a decade, Loretta Swit played both humorous and series roles in her portrayal of “Hot Lips” on the show MASH. Not only that, but her character posed as a supreme role model for women as she spoke out against sexism in her male-dominated platoon.

 

“Carla Espinosa” on Scrubs

Carla Espinoza (Judy Reyes), Scrubs

Bob D’Amico/ABC

Judy Reyes played the ultimate sweet yet sassy nurse on the hilarious show Scrubs. It may have helped that Reyes had a real life RN for a sister. Either way, Carla Espinosa delighted us from 2001-2009 as the sensible colleague, wife, and friend to the other stars on the show.

“Nurse Jackie” on Nurse Jackie

Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco), Nurse Jackie

Ken Regan/Showtime

Despite the many qualms regarding the morals of Nurse Jackie on the hit Showtime series by the same name, the stellar plots and writing make her character strangely loveable. Sure, she may have been addicted to drugs and having an affair–but, Edie Falco’s talented onscreen presence was hard to turn away from.

“Carol Hathaway” on ER

Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies), ER

NBC

Besides the absolute jealousy most of womankind felt over Carol Hathaway’s on-again off-again romance with George Clooney’s character; her dynamic presence as ER’s head nurse helped make this long running medical drama a total hit with audiences worldwide.

 

“Ann Perkins” on Parks and Recreation

Ann Perkins, Parks and Recreation

NBC

Ann Perkins is probably the most sensible character in a hilarious ensemble of characters on NBC’s hit show Parks and Recreations. The right-hand woman to Ann Poehler’s eccentric “Leslie Knope”, Ann is always there to lend excellent friendship AND medical advice.

“Helen Rosenthal” on St. Elsewhere

Helen Rosenthal (Christina Pickles), St. Elsewhere

Herb Ball/NBCU Photobank

Christina Pickles played the more than competent senior nurse on the popular 80′s drama St. Elsewhere. On the show, her character showed strength against more than personal turmoils, but also a strong comradery between herself and staff at the fictional St. Eligius Hospital.

“Veronica Callahan” on Mercy

Mercy Nurse NBC

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Despite this nurse’s post traumatic stress disorder battles, the character of Veronica Callahan was a fierce lady leading a pack of young Jersey nurses. However, even with the fresh script and realistic dialogue, the show only lasted one season before it got the axe.

 

“Julie Baker” on Julia

Julia Baker (Diahann Carroll), Julia

NBCU Photobank

From the last 60′s until the early 70′s Diahann Carroll portrayed one of the small screen’s first African-American leading ladies in a non-stereotypical role. In addition to Julie’s strong role as a female of color, she also maintained a strong role as a single mother and Vietnam War widow.

 

“Peter Petrelli” on Heroes

Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), Heroes

Mitch Haaseth/NBC

Male nurses are largely underrepresented in our media, even today. Therefore, Milo Ventimiglia’s role a a supernurse (literally…he had superpowers) was almost a metaphor for nurses everywhere, regardless of gender. Because, when you think about it, all nurses are sort of like superheroes.

 

Did your favorite TV nurse make the list?

 

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December 22, 2014

how nurses can shed holiday pounds

Temptation lurks around every corner between Thanksgiving and New Years. Overindulging and breaking the diets are just part of the holiday culture. The best to combat the inevitable weight gain of the season is to take preventative measures such as pacing yourself and not arriving to any holiday shindigs with an empty stomach—but, let’s be real. Where’s the fun in that? Travel nurses are even more susceptible to the allure of seasonal snacking than others. Being in a different place during the holidays can stir up a lot of emotions and cause us to over indulge. So in order to repent all of our face-stuffing sins, we can take a few easy steps to melt away those extra couple lbs from all that eggnog, gingerbread men, and holiday ham.

Nurses: Ways to Shed the Holiday Weight

Make realistic goals

Naturally, this is the time of the year where a lot of us decide to lose like twenty pounds or so. But, impatience ensues and our desires and pressure to quickly meet your goals backfire and it causes you to actually abruptly quit your routine. Weight loss doesn’t just happen overnight and unfortunately you can’t just ask Santa for your beach bod back. Think one or two pounds a week, not 5. If you deprive yourself, you’re likely to quickly gain back anything you lose.

Stay hydrated

As nurses, you’d think we would know something as simple as the difference between thirst and hunger. But, even still, we can mistake our need for H2O with a need for that extra doughnut. Make sure to always have a bottle handle and try to drink more than you usually do. Whether or not you’re aiming to lose weight, drinking water frequently through your shift is important in nursing. All the running around we do causes thirst and chance of dehydration anyway!

Eat frequently

Eating small filling and nutritious snacks throughout the day will do more good than fasting all day and then binging on a huge meal. Plus, the little healthy snacks will do good to boost your energy levels for a long shift at the hospital. If you only eat huge meals after a day of deprivation, you’ll end up feeling burned out and perform worse at work.

Don’t clean your plate

If you’re going out to eat, set aside a portion of your meal (about 1/3 of it) and ask for it in a doggy bag. Instead of consuming all those calories at once and then spending more money on lunch; save both money and calories by using the leftover portion as your next meal.

Add light-calorie flavor to your food

Instead of using condiments high in calories, substitute your flavor by adding salsa, garlic, or red pepper flakes to your food. The burst of flavor will satisfy cravings for tasty foods but won’t add those empty condiment calories like mayo does.

Put the bottle down

After all the drinking that you may do during the celebrations of the season, you should cut the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is extremely heavy in empty calories and will lower your will-power to keep a healthy eating routine. Tasty cocktails are the worst offenders and one drink alone can pack as many cals as a rich dessert. Bottom line, if you want to lose weight, drink water instead.

Additionally, you should stay away from soda. Soda is a source of unneeded calories. In fact, according to a study conducted by Perdue University, subjects who consumed 450 calories of soda a day actually gained substantially more weight than people who consumed 450 calories of jelly beans a day. Weird!

Schedule splurges

If you have only 2 over-indulgent meals for every 21 you eat, you can still have “naughty” meals without sabotaging your commitment to your diet. Allowing yourself treats can make you feel less deprived and give yourself rewards for all your hard work.

Leave your self motivational messages

If you’re struggling to fight the urge to head to the fridge whenever you’re bored, leave yourself notes to keep yourself on the right path. You can do a lot to remind yourself of your goals by leaving positive messages for yourself. You can be your biggest supporter while becoming your smallest size!

 

Travel nursing can be difficult during the holidays, but losing the weight can be easier when you take small steps to make changes. Just remember that the biggest thing you can do to be healthy is to think positively!

No Comments | Tags: Travel Nurse Career, Travel Nurse Tips, Uncategorized

December 16, 2014

common holiday injuries

Every season, emergency rooms treat countless Americans for injuries sustained from the hazards of the holiday. People hurting themselves around Christmas time is about as traditional as singing carols. But, it only makes sense considering the basic ingredients for disaster are totally afoot from November until January. Folks are going overboard with the eggnog and the Christmas lights leaving them vulnerable to harm. Nurses, beware, ’tis the season for some of the craziest accidents. And, the worst thing about this somewhat-silly injuries that pour in the ER each year is that they all begin with very plausible scenarios, that really could happen to anyone.

Holidays in the Hospital: Most Common Holiday Hazards

Falling while Decking the Halls.

The US Consumer Safety Commission reported over 13,000 injuries sustained in 2010 from decorating-related mishaps. Unfortunately, that’s the most recent statistic so it is hard to say whether that has changed over the last few years or not. Either way, YIKES!

According to CNN, there’s 3 main types of holiday fall groups:

  • Older people hurting their necks or heads putting up lights outside.
  • Intoxicated middle aged men hurting their wrists or shoulders.
  • Children trying to help decorate and ending up with head injuries or concussions.

Falling can happen from something as silly as slipping on black ice when putting up lights or losing balance on a ladder.

Decoration-related Fire Ho,Ho,Hazard.

The national fire protection association says Christmas trees are highly dangerous. Roughly $990 million dollars of damage happens in the U.S. annually from fires annually. And, 400 lives are taken from fires each year according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Prevention of holiday fires include:

  • Buy fresh trees- Check for green color; not brown. Also, make sure the needles are strong still by seeing that they don’t break when bent.
  • Look for fire resistant fake trees
  • Place trees away from heat sources- make sure that they are not near fireplaces or vents
  • Use fake candles- especially when you have children or pets in your home
  • Place candles in safe areas

Alcohol-related Holiday Accidents.

And then of course, the source of so many oopsie-daisies; regardless of what time of year it is–ALCOHOL. During the season, people are more likely to indulge in over consumption of the hard stuff.  It makes sense, everyone is off from work and attending those booze-fueled holiday shindigs. No matter the other ingredients (operating vehicles, having family altercations, falling, or cooking knives), drunks are always the main part of a recipe for disaster.

“New Toy” Injuries.

Believe it or not, a large bunch of people that end up taking a trip to the ER during the holidays, are because of accidents that occur with presents they just received. For instance, anything new with wheels has the potential to cause a major spill. Like when Uncle Jim gets new Harley and gets just a little too excited about hopping on the hog and crashes immediately. Let’s just hope that people start gifting more helmets with these kinds of gifts.

 

Each year, nurses wait quietly as mice, waiting for both the silly and sad holiday accidents to pour in. Let’s just hope that these holiday hazards don’t ever happen to us!

No Comments | Tags: nursing issues, Uncategorized

December 12, 2014

a nurse resume

The new year is almost here! It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since we were all worrying about Y2K and hoarding bottled water. As we all strive to think of our new year resolutions, there’s one you may not think to add to the list. All nurses should be resolving to revamp their resumes for the modern age. Even in one of the most traditional fields of work, there’s always competition and a need to keep relevant in the job market. Why not use the new year as the time to modernize your resume?

How to Make Your Nursing Resume Relevant in 2015

Add a splash of color.

Traditionally, resumes all were in black and white. Boring used to be the ticket to a “safe” resume. However, with competition being fierce these days, employers expect more than just typical in their potential hires. It only costs a few dollars to print your resume in color and it adds a world of difference.  It brings eyes to your talents and shows a creative spirit that sets yourself apart from many others. However, despite the advantages to adding color to your resume, it must be done tastefully. You don’t want it to turn tacky. Stick to one color theme and the less like a bowl of fruity pebbles, the better.

Include a photo.

Picture this: your resume with a photo! Along with the concept of adding color to your resume, you should be adding a head shot of yourself, too. A small and professional picture of yourself is a good way to make yourself more personable. Be careful to use a tasteful photo and keep it small. Sure, a registered nurse is not a model, but having a photo makes your credentials on paper matched to a real person. The sense of “human” adds a benefit to your resume.

Share your LinkedIn.

RNs are expected to be more than caregivers; they need to be tech-savvy these days, too. Let’s face it, software has replaced the paper and pen. I’m always an advocate for boasting a great LinkedIn page, because they are basically like a resume on steroids. If your LinkedIn is full of recommendations from former colleagues or employers as well as showing your endorsements, experience, and personality; an employer will be impressed. Share a link your page and employers will get a side of your talents that you can’t get from your resume alone.

Keep it short and sweet.

A lot of us have it drilled in our heads still from college to cram as much as we can onto our resume. But, more important than filling our resumes to the brim is to embrace the space. Show off your skills and expertise, but format it in a concise and easy to digest format. Brevity is a blessing for employers who basically just want you to get to the point. The more wordy your resume is, the less anyone is going to want to read it.

Convert it to a PDF.

A lot of nursing jobs get applied to online these days. Travel nurse jobs, for example, are solely applied to digitally. Since most of use Word to create our resumes, take a moment to convert your file to PDF format. The reason for this is because it will be the best quality when it reaches the screen of the employer. Sometimes there’s strange conversion issues so the safest way to get all your things read as you designed it, is to make it in a format that won’t get changed.

Write an awesome description.

In real life conversations, we don’t just scream out first, “I attended So & So University Class of whenever and worked here these years and look at all my skills.” We start it off with an introduction. You should consider adding a brief introductory statement about you. Again, doing this adds personality to your resume which is great to any potential employer. Creativity lands interviews.

After your nursing resume is flawless, browse travel nurse jobs and find your perfect job.

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December 2, 2014

xmas list for nurses

The end-of-the-year holidays are quickly approaching and Santa better start saving money! Remember when you were little and the holidays were a glorious time of year when most of us got everything you wanted– Keyword being wanted because for quite some time now, I only ask for items I need (and they usually aren’t fun to play with, cute to wear or very luxurious). If you’re reasonably scatter-brained this time of year, like most of us, you may forget to ask your loved ones for some essentials & accessory “must haves.”

To ease a little bit of stress, and lighten the mood, we’ve compiled a list of some common “must haves” for travel nurses, like yourself. [Not in any particular order]

1. Contigo Autoseal Kangaroo Water Bottle

This is the perfect water bottle for busy nurses! It has patented autoseal technology; no cap to remove. It’s convenient and small enough to hold with one hand, spill-and leak-proof! The coolest part about this 24 oz. water bottle is that it features a built-in compartment- store your ID, money, key and more!

You can purchase this water bottle, in blue or purple, on Amazon.

2. Reliable Laptop/Tablet

As a travel nurse, a huge part of your career is, well, traveling. While traveling, it’s extremely important to keep in touch with family and friends you won’t see while on assignment. It’s best to purchase a laptop/tablet that is WiFi compatible and has a lot of memory space.

For some good deals and options check out Best Buy.

3. GPS

Since you are traveling, usually through unfamiliar places, a GPS would be very helpful. Yes, your smart phone most likely has a “maps” app, but your phone may not always work while on the road, especially if you lose service.

You can find reliable GPS devices at Best Buy.

4. Credit Card (without high interest fees)

Traveling and charging go hand in hand. Lucky for you, you’ll most likely be getting reimbursed for certain spendings. However, that may take a little while so in the meantime you don’t want to be paying an arm and leg in interest.

For an idea of some low interest credit cards that come with some added benefits check out CompareCards.

5. AAA

Investing in AAA or another roadside assistance program could potentially save your sanity down the road (pun intended). The last thing you want is to get a flat tire, run out of gas or break down in the middle of the road on your way to work or another assignment, especially when you have all of your belongings packed throughout every inch of open space within your vehicle.

Learn more about a AAA membership HERE.

6. Stethoscopes

It’s unbelievable how easy it is to misplace these things. Having an extra pile of stethoscopes in your car, office, cubby or where ever could save your butt one day! If you have a stash already, then think about investing in some of these cool stethoscope covers to be sure nobody ‘accidentally’ takes yours!

Browse some cute covers on Pinterest!

7. Large Enough Car

Traveling every couple of months, or weeks depending on your assignments, can get frustrating especially if you don’t have the space in your car to easily pack all of your essential belongings. A decently sized car, preferable all-wheel drive for bad weather and lots of travel would be ideal. You may be able to find a great holiday deal on a versatile vehicle that allows you to put the seats down to make room for boxes and everything else from now until a little after the new year!

8. A Travel Buddy

Traveling on your own all of the time can get a bit lonely, however if you have a travel buddy you can ease this feeling. Your travel buddy can either be a loved one, friend or pet! Puppies and dogs may be a bit harder to maintain with your work hours, but it is feasible. Sharing your traveling experiences with a companion can make them even more exciting and enjoyable!

 

Whether you’re able to make it home for the holidays or not, this wish list is guaranteed to get you through any travel assignment and make your upcoming holiday worthwhile!

No Comments | Tags: Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Tips, Uncategorized

November 24, 2014

thanksgiving for travel nurses

If you’re like me you are preparing yourself for next week, aka the fattest holiday of the year– Thanksgiving. You might already be having dreams of your mom’s pumpkin pie recipe, stuffing, cheesy mashed potatoes, juicy turkey and all the other trimmings. It never ceased to amaze me how all aspects of the meal were prepped, cooked and ready by the time dinner came around; which for some reason is always before 3 p.m. (at least in my household on Thanksgiving). By 4 p.m. everyone feels full to the point of explosion and swears they can’t eat another bite! But then, the pumpkin pie timer goes off and you smell the deliciousness of it and all of a sudden you have room for a piece, or five. Then, you go take a glorious nap and eat another meal when you wake up–this really is the greatest holiday.

But, while most people have “stationary” jobs and are able to spend their free-time with loved ones this season; however, if you’re completing an assignment away from home during this upcoming holiday season you may not be blessed with the same opportunity. Sure, travel nurse jobs have their perks, but it can be difficult for anyone to feel lonely this time of year, don’t fret–we’re here to provide you with some ideas on how to make your Thanksgiving feel at home!

Thanksgiving Away From Home: Tips for Travel Nurses

 

Have a virtual dinner with your family

Since you can’t spend your holiday dinner physically sitting around the table with your family, set up your computer, FaceTime, tablet or whatever else that has a webcam, have your family do the same and have a virtual dinner! This will allow you to join in on conversations around the table–tune out when things get heated, like at any family gathering– and not feel lonely! Also, you get to share your creative version of Thanksgiving dinner.

Have a ‘friends-giving’

Having a ‘friends-giving’ is actually quite great, it’s kind of like a potluck. You invite all of your friends over, and everyone prepares (or buys) their favorite dish and you all enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner together! This is especially nice because of two things: 1) you don’t have to deal with the family drama like at home and 2) you only have to cook (or buy) one thing!!

Create a new tradition

Spending the holidays away from family can actually be less stressful. Think about it: when you’re stuck with traditions that you have been doing since the dawn of time, there’s a lot of pressure to keep them going as good or better than the year before. There’s a laundry-list of things to do like baking 12 dozen cookies for the neighbors, picking out the best tree, etc. Do something new to rock-out this holiday season away from home. Maybe go to a hip Asian-fusion restaurant instead of slaving over a hot oven prepping the old-fashioned holiday bird. Then, for dessert, why don’t you swing by a martini bar or karaoke lounge? Being alone for the holidays may be different than you’re used to, but there’s no reason it should be any less fun!

Chain-Restaurants Open on Holidays:

  • Denny’s
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Starbucks
  • Waffle House
  • Boston Market
  • Panda Express
  • Taco Bell
  • Subway
  • IHOP
  • Burger King
  • McDonald’s
  • Baskin-Robins
  • Jack in the Box
  • Chipotle
  • PF Chang’s
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Arby’s
  • Red Robin

Distract yourself.

If an altered Thanksgiving still can’t satisfy your holiday cheer, then consider removing yourself from the celebration completely. Head out for a hike or run and enjoy the benefit of not consuming 12 times the “daily recommended” calories you would have otherwise consumed. If you don’t want to think of the holiday at all, avoid watching television that will be loaded with food specials and gobble-themed commercials. Instead read the book you’ve been dying to open or binge watch you favorite series on Netflix. It’s your choice whether to celebrate or not; if you don’t like the idea of having a holiday without your family, then don’t!

Reschedule.

If you just can’t get your family to bring Thanksgiving dinner to you and you’re unable to make it to them, celebrate it on a day that you actually can. It will be just as special and focus solely on the main reason for the season: family.

No Comments | Tags: New Nurse, Travel Nurse Blogs, Travel Nurse Tips, Uncategorized

November 20, 2014

how nurses should use linkedIn

LinkedIn is more than merely a social network. It’s a tool that can help you build a strong professional contact list, showcase your skills and experience, and find a job. But, this tool only benefits you if you know how to use it. Like all professionals, it’s crucial for nurses to keep their professional edge sharpened. Surpriseingly, however,  a lot of nurses are forgetting to capitalize on free career-boosting opportunities like focusing on cultivating an excellent LinkedIn page. Apparently 225 million+ professionals are logged on…are you?

 

How Nurses Should Use LinkedIn

1. Develop thoughtful messages for your profile.

Ask yourself, “If I was an employer, what would I want to see in a prospective hire?” Edit your LinkedIn profile to reflect both your expertise and your individuality. Nursing is one of the most popular fields to study these days, so young tech-savvy grads can be a seasoned-nurse’s biggest competition in the job market. For inspiration, visit the pages of healthcare colleagues you highly respect and see what they have to say on their profiles. A brief but comprehensive summary is an easy way to “sell” yourself as a talented nurse.

2. Make your page public to use for your resume.

When you have a great LinkedIn profile, you absolutely should make it a public URL so that you can put the address on your resume. If you have a lot of recommendations, experience, and endorsements; it can really add a lot to your chances of landing a job. Plus, you can customize the URL, too (just make sure to keep it professional…stray away from one such as “www.linkedin.com/bbygrl1988″)

3. Make sure your resume and your profile are consistent with one another.

Be careful to ensure that the dates and information on your resume and LinkedIn have the same information. Even if there are accidental discrepancies, an employer might interpret it negatively.

4. Solicit recommendations and endorsements.

Asking colleagues and former co-workers to speak positively about you and your skill-set is a great advantage. The more people that vouch for you and the more diverse the skills, the better. The best nurses are flexible and talented in many different areas.

You can send messages and specifically ask for certain things to be recommended, as well. Example: Perhaps you want employers to know your passion for “timely documentation.” Simply ask connections to recommend you for that particular attribute.

5. Follow relevant groups.

Don’t clutter your page up by following any old group. Be selective and follow pages that are best suited to your career goals. If you follow good pages, you’ll receive valuable opportunities to see jobs and be seen by employers.  Search medical and healthcare related groups then find pages of hospitals, clinics, etc. that you would want to possibly work for. Ask yourself which groups you most want to target and follow them.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness of your page.

  • Look at your friends list. What percentage of them are valuable professional connections? Less than 50%? Do something about it.
  • How often are you getting views? And what type of people are looking at your profile? This can say a lot.
  • Check the network statistics. Go to the drop-down menu of your contact list and pay attention to the medical specialties in your geographic location.

7. Use a great photo.

A high quality, friendly, and professional photo is a must on LinkedIn. Your personality will definitely be judged by an employer so using a picture that captures you dressed professionally with a positive facial expression is crucial. (For example, seriously do not post a picture of yourself and your girlfriends holding cocktails!!)

 

Although making a top-notch LinkedIn profile is a very smart thing to do when looking to expand your nursing opportunities, another great thing to do is to explore through the Travel Nurse Source job board. Here you can find opportunities in exciting temporary healthcare jobs all over the country. (Just think about all the professional connections you can meet through Travel Nursing!)

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