The beginning of a new year is full of promise and excitement. As you settle into 2015, with awesome resolutions, goals, and hopes in tow, there is no better time to consider where you want your Travel Nursing career to take you this year. And I mean literally: Where do you want to go?
Start mapping your year out now, with our list of 8 great Travel Nursing locations for 2015:
California is a classic Traveler destination for good reason. Within the Golden State you can find everything from beaches to ski slopes, relaxation to pulse-pounding excitement. Hollywood, Napa Valley, Tahoe, Big Sur, Catalina Island, Redwood National Park, Yosemite, Golden Gate Bridge … plus world-class dining, shopping, museums, and so much more. Also relevant, as much of the nation shivers in their mittens: The amazing southern California climate.
So you wanna mess with Texas this year. Step right up! The Lone Star State has a lot of great jobs and so much to do that you’re sure to have an amazing time on your days off. Feast on authentic BBQ and Tex-Mex cuisine throughout the state. Lay back and relax on one of Texas’ gorgeous beaches. Check out Austin, the national capitol of weird, where breakfast tacos and live music reign supreme. Take a stroll on the famous San Antonio River Walk. Have an astronomical time at the Space Center in Houston. Oh, and don’t forget The Alamo!
If 2015’s got you in a New York state of mind, you’re in luck. Jobs for Travelers are almost as plentiful as the many awesome attractions. New York City is its own beautiful beast, featuring many of the nation’s most beloved attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Broadway, Museum of Modern Art, Radio City Music Hall, and so much more. Many vacationers feel like they simply can’t do it all in one trip, but as a Traveler in the area for a few months you’ll get the chance to do and see it all, while also getting to know the true, day-to-day beauty of The Big Apple. If cities aren’t your thing, there are also plenty of great job opportunities in gorgeous Upstate New York!
Most Travelers have Hawaii on their bucket list. Is 2015 your year to say Aloha to the islands? The 50th state is famous for its amazing beaches, dramatic volcanoes, exotic plants and trees, stunning landscape, and overall island appeal. Hawaii really is otherworldly, and even though you’ll be working, you can enjoy a more slow-paced existence here and soak it all in. But it’s not all ukuleles, leis, and luaus, the natives have strikingly deep and profound connection with the land — one you’re sure to adopt after spending a few months here. Since it is such a popular spot for Travelers, jobs can be less plentiful here than in other states, but you can still plan your way to a dream vacation — I mean, assignment — in this beautiful paradise of the Pacific.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Georgia’s on your mind … many Travelers want to explore job opportunities here. The Peach State is chock full of beaches, swamps, forests, parks, history, and Southern charm! Visit famous attractions like World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain, and Centennial Olympic Park. Take in a Braves, Falcons, or Hawks game. History buffs will love to check out the old-world feel and quaint architecture of cities like Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city and home of one of the largest National Historic Landmark districts in the U.S. And seriously, do eat a peach — there’s nothing like ’em!
Missouri is a great choice for an excellent Midwest adventure. With friendly folks and a laidback appeal, the Show-Me State has lots in store for Travelers. Kansas City is home to the Royals, Chiefs, Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Worlds of Fun, famous BBQ and other great dining, shopping, and culture. St. Louis boasts the Rams, Cardinals, Gateway Arch, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, the quirky City Museum, a thriving jazz scene, and tons more! Don’t forget Lake of the Ozarks, Silver Dollar City, Branson, and Missouri’s many other awesome spots.
This Washington D.C. neighbor is as unique as it wonderful. The Free State offers access to all of the history and excitement seated in “the District,” like The White House, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Museum, National Mall, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Madame Tussauds, Tidal Basin, Washington National Cathedral, National Zoo, and so very much more. Beyond that, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a great waterfront area with the National Aquarium, and tons of shops, restaurants, parks, museums, and more. Plus, Maryland is home to some historic and breathtaking State Parks, and you can explore other parts of the east coast on your days off.
The Evergreen State is very popular with Travelers, perhaps because of its combination of rural and urban beauty — in addition to great job opportunities. City centers like Seattle offers everything you could want in an urban oasis: amazing shopping, dining, art, history, music, and culture. Visit the famous Pike Street Market, the original Starbucks, Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle Great Wheel, The Fremont Troll, Gasworks Park, and more. Take an unforgettable ferry ride to other points around the Puget Sound. And, if you’re the outdoorsy type you’ll be happy as a clam here, with Olympic National Park, Mount Baker Highway, Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades Scenic Highway, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, and so many other great opportunities to revel in gorgeous Pacific Northwest nature.
Did these 8 great Travel Nursing locations for 2015 leave out your ultimate 2015 destination? No worries, there’s plenty more to choose from. Click here to search by state, specialty, and/or job title to find your perfect adventure.
Many congratulations to our November Traveler of the Month, Jon G., and also our Rising Star winner, Kristi R.
Traveler of the Month Jon is an RN specializing in ICU/ER who is currently on assignment in San Francisco, California. Jon’s been in nursing for two and a half years, and started his career as a Travel Nurse in April 2014.
“The best thing about travel nursing to me, is the friendships and connections made along the way with the staff and patients,” says Jon. “Being able to travel, see new cities, and meet new people is an added bonus I cherish.”
But, while he makes new friends, Jon also keeps the old. He travels with a friend/coworker whom he’s worked with for as long as they’ve both been nurses.
He can’t choose a favorite location because, he says, “Each location has made an impact on my life and I’m appreciative of the opportunity.”
“My advice to new travel nurses would be to accept each assignment as an opportunity to grow as a person and a nurse, to be confident in your passion to provide the best patient care no matter what, and enjoy each adventure,” he says.
Excellent advice, Jon!
Rising Star winner Kristi R. is an RN specializing in ER/Trauma and psychiatric nursing. She’s been a nurse since July 2012 and is currently working in a great facility in southern Minnesota — her very first travel job!
“I was planning on traveling for a while — I love it!” says Kristi.
But, when we got in touch with Kristi she and her “incredible” husband Matthew had just gotten the fabulous news that they’re expecting!
“So we will be taking some time off after this assignment,” says Kristi, who’d already extended her contract from two to five months. “My wonderful husband and my dog Bear Bear do come visit, but mostly I go home to Nebraska on the weekends to visit them.”
To Kristi, the best things about Travel Nursing are meeting amazing new friends, plus learning so much about nursing and herself.
“It’s amazing how much you can grow in a short time,” she says.
She also calls travel nursing a dream job with a dream schedule.
“You can take as much time off as you want and go wherever you want,” says Kristi.
Kristi advises newbies to find an affordable place to live so they can “maximize their amazing salary.”
“Hotels can get really expensive, so doing some sleuthing before you head out is a must,” she says.
Kristi also recommends that if you have a family you stay closer to home.
“You can have a family and drive only a few hours, and the financial gains are amazing,” she says. “You can travel with any situation and totally rock it!”
Finally, Kristi says, always keep a good, open communication with your recruiter, who should always be there to listen and take the best care of you. She says her “rockstar” recruiter Travis is her “BFF.”
“He is amazing and truly cares,” says Kristi.
Thanks so much Jon and Kristi, for being such amazing Travel Nurses and for providing excellent patient care nationwide. We truly appreciate everything you do!
Could you be the next Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect evaluation from their hospital are in the running to be awarded Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star! Click here to find out what’s it’s all about and if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa gift card.
By Joe Bryowsky RN, Alumnus CCRN
There are numerous online agencies that offer both initial certification as well as renewal of various healthcare certifications, however not all courses and certification cards are acceptable by Medical Solutions standards. The majority of hospitals also do not accept online certifications either. The reasoning for this is that online courses lack the hands-on portion of what would be considered an acceptable course, as they are conducted totally online. Acceptable certification courses can be completed partially online, but will also have a mandatory skills evaluation in front of a qualified instructor.
Why is the hands-on skills analysis with a qualified instructor so important? An instructor is able to observe, assess, and, if needed, correct the candidate at the very same time that skills are being practiced and performed. The instructor is also able to answer any questions as they arise. Online courses do not offer any of these important steps. Online courses can only offer feedback in the form of right or wrong answer.
Lastly, hands-on skills practice and evaluations also teach and promote the concept of teamwork. It is rare, if ever, that a healthcare worker will face a code or any other emergent situation alone.
A few years ago I was speaking with the CNO of a large Level 1 Trauma Center, and I asked him why accepting only certifications from courses that required hands-on skills testing was important and required for his nurses. His answer was quite simple yet very thought-provoking:
“Imagine your teenager comes to you and says, ‘I just finished learning how to drive a car through a course I took online. I passed all the tests with flying colors and even earned this certificate. Can I take your car for a spin now?’”
Then he asked me, “Would you hand him the keys?”
In 2014 Medical Solutions released a new video resource series for Travel Nurses — our How NOT To Travel Nursing Videos.
We think learning should be fun, so we’ve paired a brief, funny video that shows how a Travel Nurse should definitely not approach a specific part of Travel Nursing with an article that offers great tips on how you actually should proceed to excel in the industry and conquer that same situation in awesome, professional style.
This month we’re featuring “How NOT to Make Housing Requests.”
Housing is a super important factor of the overall success of your travel assignments. While you may be far from your hometown, you should still be able to find a pad that feels like home and allows you to enjoy your down time while on assignment. If you’re taking housing through your company, it’s very important to effectively communicate your needs in terms of furnishings, utilities, pets, size, safety, and other special requests.
As always, we love to hear from you! Please share any suggestions for future How NOT To Travel Nursing Videos in the comments.
A wise person once said, “Wherever you go, there you are.” At Medical Solutions we say, “Wherever you go, there your holiday spirit is!”
Click the image below to download and print three seasonal ornaments from your friends at Medical Solutions. You can print them in color if you like our palette, or, to personalize them, you can print in black & white and decorate them yourself.
And be sure to read our blog, How to Make Your Location Home for The Holidays, for more tips on getting into the holiday spirit while on assignment.
On assignment and far away from home this holiday season? Don’t let that make you any less merry. Check out these tips for Travel Nurses on how to make your location home for the holidays — and however you decide to celebrate the season, may your days be merry and bright, and may all your travel adventures be a delight!
Do As the Locals Do
Get out and experience the holiday traditions of your current location. Take in a parade, a tree-lighting ceremony, or a holiday lights tour. Find out what local museums, zoos, theaters, and other such cultural hotspots are doing to celebrate the holidays, and you are sure to find a bounty of fun (and sometimes even free) events. Buy gifts from local merchants and artists and export them to friends and family back home — they’ll love getting something so unique that’s not available in your hometown.
Get in the Spirit
Remember that even though you may be far from home, for the most part you can still indulge in your usual, favorite holiday activities — even if that means a little tweaking here and there. Do you always look forward to Aunt Sally’s annual cookie party? Buy a bag of flour, crank up the Christmas tunes, and bake up a big batch of cookies — then share them with your co-workers or neighbors. Love to decorate? Just because it’s not your permanent address doesn’t mean you can’t deck those halls! Even if no one will see it but you, don’t let that stop you from going on a tear with the tinsel or creating a masterpiece of pine. Click here to download and print your very own Travel Nurse tree ornaments. Not into Christmas trees? Hang them in your locker, on your front door, or rearview mirror to get in the spirit.
Whether you volunteer your time or money, getting out and giving to those in need is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. If you’re longing for home, volunteering can help get your mind off of that for a little while. And, while it’s true that you already give so much every day on the job, working with, giving to, or serving people in need is also a great way to gain valuable perspective and give even more to community you’re working in. Contact local shelters and charities, or visit VolunteerMatch.org to find the right opportunity for you.
Celebrate with Others
Just because you may be flying solo on assignment doesn’t mean you have to be alone for the holidays. You could organize a holiday meal or gathering for fellow Travelers. Model it after The Gypsy Nurse’s Thanksgiving gatherings for Travelers and use the power of social media to bring people together, or, simply post a notice at your hospital and/or others in the area and wait for local Travelers to come out of the woodwork.
You could also be a special guest star at someone else’s holiday gathering. Accept invitations from colleagues and new friends in the area. You may not be with friends or family from back home, but you can still feel like part of the family.
Another way to celebrate with others from afar is to have yourself Skyped or FaceTimed into your family and friends’ holiday shindig. Make them pass you around so you get a chance to see everyone — it’s the next best thing to being there.
Maybe you are just more of a solo artist! If all you want for Christmas is some me time, create your own new, self-contained holiday tradition. Make a delicious meal for one (or treat yourself to take out), grab a bottle of wine, make an ultra-cozy blanket fort, and have a holiday movie marathon. Home Alone, anyone? Some other classics for marathoning include Scrooged, A Christmas Story, Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life, and, of course, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Medical Solutions!
Congratulations to our October Traveler of the Month, James C., and also our Rising Star winner, Nina O.
Traveler of the Month, James, whose specialty is ICU, has been a nurse for more than three years and a Travel Nurse for just under one year.
He is currently on assignment in the beautiful northern Bay Area of California, which is his favorite location so far in his travels.
“I’ll be renewing my contract because I love the nurses that I work with there,” he says. “Feeling like I’m part of a team really matters to me.”
Aside from loving his location and colleagues, James says he grown a lot as a nurse and as an individual in his time as a Traveler.
“The best thing about Travel Nursing is that it’s really taught me how to adapt to nearly any situation,” says James. “Even though it’s been a short time, I feel like I’ve grown so much while learning how different hospitals and regions operate.”
James offers three great tips for succeeding in a career in Travel Nursing: “Always communicate with your recruiter, travel light, and make sure you have time for fun and exploration wherever you are.”
Rising Star, Nina, has been working as a Certified Surgical Tech for what she calls “eight wonderful years,” and is about 6 months into her career as a Traveler. She travels with her cat Roxy, who makes an excellent travel companion.
“The changing people, places, and experiences are what I love about traveling,” says Nina.
Her favorite location thus far has been in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The amazing people I worked with were why I liked it there so much,” she says.
Nina’s tips for new or prospective Travelers?
“Go in with a positive attitude every day,” she says, adding, “It is only three months, so spend it wisely.”
Thanks so much James and Nina, for being such excellent travelling healthcare professionals and for providing awesome patient care across the nation. We truly appreciate everything you do!
Could you be the next Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect evaluation from their hospital are in the running to be awarded Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star! Click here to find out what’s it’s all about and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa gift card.
One of the most rewarding things for our internal team at Medical Solutions is being able to interact with all of our excellent Travelers. We love it when Travelers stop by one of our offices to say hi and we get the chance to shake their hands and thank them — like when Barb H. visited us in Omaha and we got to surprise her with the Traveler of the Month award.
Aside from face-to-face meetings, it’s also super fun to be able to follow the adventures of our Travel Nurses via social media, and we really enjoy the chance to connect via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. We love getting to know you all in this online way, and when you hashtag your posts #medicalsolutions it’s even easier for us to see your posts and live vicariously through your many amazing adventures. For three great examples, check out the posts from Medical Solutions Travelers that we’ve included in this blog.
It’s a well-known fact that Medical Solutions Travel Nurses provide excellent patient care across the nation, so we love it when you send pics or share statuses about your very important work. Outside of the unit, it’s also really cool to get to know that so many of you are not only talented healthcare pros, but also mountain climbers, scuba divers, foodies, sports fans, pet lovers, and so much more — and that very often you’re out there sharing the fun with friends, family, and coworkers.
Want to share your Travel Nurse adventures and get to see those of your peers? Be sure to follow, friend, fan, and like us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. In addition to tales of adventures in Travel Nursing, you’ll also find awesome tips, tidbits, memes, and news across our social media channels.
Whatever social media platform you’re on, check the #medicalsolutions hashtag to get to know some of your fellow Travelers — and don’t forget to file your posts with #medicalsolutions to share all the fun from your exciting Travel Nurse assignments.
As the Holiday season approaches, we could all use a little extra cash to spend on gifts, travel, snow tires … whatever floats your boat!
With that, we thought it was a good time to remind you of a couple bonus opportunities offered by Medical Solutions. Read on to find out how you could make extra Holiday cash with Loyalty and Referral bonuses as a Medical Solutions Traveler.
Our Loyalty Program makes it super easy to earn your $600 Loyalty Bonus. Medical Solutions Travelers are automatically enrolled when they begin their first assignment. We keep track of all of your hours worked, and when you hit 600 hours, we pay you $600! Simple as that. Even better, every 600 hours worked with Medical Solutions is good for another $600 bonus. Lather, rinse, repeat — as many times as you like!
Again, Medical Solutions keeps track of your hours logged towards a Loyalty Bonus for you, but if you want to check your progress just review your weekly pay stub to see how close you are to your next bonus! Click here to learn more about Medical Solutions’ Loyalty Program.
The Holidays are a great time for giving, so why not give a friend or colleague the gift of working with Medical Solutions — and get yourself a $500 bonus while you’re at it! If you have friends or colleagues you think might be interested in Travel Nursing, send them our way! For each nurse you refer who takes a job with Medical Solutions, and works at least 30 days, you get your choice of one of the following:
- $500 Cash
- A PC Laptop
- A $500 Apple Gift Card
There is no limit to the amount of people you can refer, and you are eligible for a bonus for each successful referral you send us. So, say you successfully refer 5 awesome Travelers, that adds up to 5 happy new Medical Solutions Travel Nurses, 1 very happy you (now $2500 richer!), and a whole lot of great patient care delivered across the nation.
Many congrats to our September Traveler of the Month, Joe D., and also our Rising Star winner, April B.
Joe has been in nursing for 21 years, with stints in ICU, Surgery, Oncology, and ER, the latter in which he worked as night shift supervisor for 4-5 years.
“I have been a Travel Nurse for two years, all with Medical Solutions, and it has been a good move for me now that my son is grown and on his own,” says Joe.
His last assignment was in beautiful Vermont, where Joe says he spent lots of time “hiking, fishing, riding my motorcycle and taking 1-day to 3-day excursions.”
“I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, it really is just a beautiful part of the country,” he says.
Joe says he’s thoroughly enjoyed his time traveling and plans to continue for many years.
“I plan to see as much of this country as I can,” he says. “I’ve always liked to explore and see new things and that’s why this job fits me so well. I can see and experience new places and people, and make a living while I am doing it.”
Joe has the work and play sides of Travel Nursing covered, adding he’s “never had a bad assignment.”
“I have always felt accepted at my assignments and the people I have met along the way have been great,” says Joe. “Shane, my [Career Consultant] at Medical Solutions, has always been there for me when I have had questions, and has helped make traveling enjoyable.”
Joe’s philosophy for a successful career in Travel Nursing?
“Always be accountable both professionally and personally, give 100% to whatever setting you are placed in, and conduct yourself in a way that gives a positive experience for your patients and allows for a positive reflection on the hospital,” he says. “Take into account that different hospitals have their own work culture and adjust accordingly. I have found that, no matter what the hospital or unit, if you show that you are professional, patient-oriented, and easy to work with, the staff are generally very accepting.”
And, above all, Joe says: “HAVE FUN. The great thing about being a Traveler is experiencing so many different places. Dive in and take advantage of the travel part of Travel Nursing!”
September Rising Star, April, is a NICU RN. Her Career Consultant Jim was not at all surprised when she was honored as Rising Star.
“April has done a tremendous job giving great patient care,” says Jim. “She really cares about her patients. I knew when I first started working with April and her references only had wonderful things to say about her.
Jim says he hopes “to have the chance to work with April for a long time.”
We also caught up recently with the August Rising Star, Ashley C.! She’s worked as a Certified Surgical Tech for almost nine years, just under two years as a Traveler. While she loved and Oregon and Tucson, her favorite assignment has been in San Jose, California, where she enjoyed “such love and support, and no drama” from her co-workers.
“We worked as a team, and I got along great with staff and doctors,” says Ashley. “I have a second family there that truly cares about my success and well-being, plus there’s so much to do in San Jose and the surrounding Bay Area.”
She loves traveling because, she says, “You get to see different ways to do things, meet many new people, and do and see things you may not do or see any other time!”
Ashley shares Joe’s advice to “have fun,” also adding: “Be open to new people and adventures. Keep learning no matter what your experience level is.”
Thanks so much Joe, April, and Ashley, for being awesome examples of Travel Nurses and for providing excellent patient care nationwide!
If you get a perfect evaluation from your hospital, it’s possible that YOU could be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star! Click here to find out what’s it’s all about and if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa gift card.