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10 Spring-tastic Spots for Your Next Travel Nurse Gig

Flowers Tulips

Where are you headed this spring? Check out these 10 spring-tastic spots for your next Travel Nurse gig!

Spring is generally chock-full of two things: Tulips and possibilities! You made it through another winter season and now you’re itching to shake of the dust and doldrums, hit the road, and find a new scene for spring. Maybe you’re a seasoned, veteran Travel Nurse, or maybe it’s your first time to spin the ol’ compass and go — either way, it’s high time to take a deep breath of the fresh spring air and get ready to choose your own adventure.

Read on if you’re ready to spring into a new Travel Nurse job in one of these top spring locations!

eating outside with friends

From world-class restaurants to food trucks to hole in the wall gems, California cuisine is killer!

California

The Golden State is perhaps THE number one Travel Nurse destination — and for good reason. Strict nurse to patient ratio rules and high populations mean that Travel Nursing jobs are always plentiful here! I probably don’t need to tell you about all of the state’s beautiful beaches, majestic trees, amazing attractions, or its perfect climate. And you’re likely already aware of California’s world-class shopping and dining, fresh produce, and bountiful wine … but just in case, check out our State Spotlight on California.

If you’re already sold, click here to scope out Travel Nurse jobs in Cali.

Georgia

Georgia Stamp

Sweet, sweet Georgia should be on your mind, Travel Nurses!

Springtime in Georgia is peachy keen and then some! Georgia is the birthplace of Coca-Cola and Lay’s Potato Chips, and home to more peaches, pecans, peanuts, and Vidalia onions than you can shake a stick at. If you’re still not hungry for Georgia, consider its reputation for hospitality and affordable living, wealth of interesting historical sites, and exciting attractions like Stone Mountain, the Georgia Aquarium, the Savannah Historic District, and the College Football Hall of Fame. Whether you prefer a small town like the offbeat Bavarian hamlet of Helen or exciting cities like haunted Savannah or Hotlanta, spring is a great time to hop that midnight train to Georgia.

Click here to explore Travel Nursing jobs in Georgia.

Illinois

Chicago Urban Cityscape along the Chicago River

Sweet home, Chicago!

I’m not sure if you heard, but Chicago Cubs fans had a pretty sweet time of it in 2016 and the word on the street is they are still celebrating! If you love a lively celebration, that’s just one reason why now is the perfect time to visit The Land of Lincoln for a spring Travel Nurse assignment. Chicago blends Midwestern friendliness with big-city appeal. The city’s a nonstop playground with its Magnificent Mile, iconic Field Museum of Natural History, Willis Tower, and so much more. The shopping, pro sports, cultural activities, and great Great Lake views are just the tip of the iceberg. From deep dish pizza and street vendor Chicago dogs to some of the finest high-brow cuisine in the nation, Illinois offers plenty to sink your teeth into.

Click here to look at Travel Nurse jobs in Illinois.

New Jersey

Board walk of Asbury Park

The iconic Asbury Park Boardwalk!

The Garden State is so much more than Zach Braff and Snooki would lead you to believe! New Jersey is perfectly situated for exploring the East Coast in general, especially considering that it is just minutes away from two of the nation’s top cities: Manhattan on the east and Philadelphia on the west. Not to mention the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk and boisterous Jersey Shore lie within its borders. It’s also home to one of the best American accents and is known as the Diner Capital of the World! There’s truly no better place to crank some Bruce Springsteen and be a total BOSS at Travel Nursing.

Click here to explore New Jersey Travel Nursing jobs.

From caves to jazz to barbecue and beyond, the Show-Me State has tons to show off!

Missouri

The Show-Me State is full of diverse experiences just ripe for the spring picking! From spelunking (seriously, Missouri has 600+ caves!) to high-end shopping in urban havens like Kansas City and St. Louis, there’s a lot of variety here when it comes to to-dos. Get kitschy in Branson, marvel at the Gateway Arch or get weird at the City Museum in St. Louis,  sail away on the Lake of the Ozarks, and pay tribute to Twain in Hannibal. If you’re near KC, make time for some jazz, barbecue (I recommend Joe’s!), and a trip to the stunning Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Click here to see Travel Nursing jobs in Missouri.

Florida

Get your beach on in sunny Florida!

Orange you glad Travel Nursing gives you the opportunity to visit Florida?! The Sunshine State is an amazing destination for Travel Nurses — with the state’s large population of seniors, there’s a consistent need for increased staffing which means great opportunities for Travelers. The fact that it’s a gorgeous, beachy paradise absolutely brimming with nature’s beauty and urban excitement helps too! Iconic experiences abound — from Epcot to the Everglades, The Magic Kingdom to the Islands of Adventure, and Kennedy Space Center to the Florida Keys. Cuban sandwiches, Key lime pie, fresh tropical fruit, and the absolute best stone crabs are just a few more reasons why Florida is such a tasty destination.

Click here to check out Florida Travel Nurse jobs.

The Alamo, San Antonio, TX

Remember The Alamo … is just one of so many awesome things to do and see in The Lone Star State!

Texas

They say everything is bigger and better in Texas — and that includes opportunities for Travel Nurse jobs! Spring is just the right time to take an assignment in Texas, which sees an early spring and is a hotbed of outdoor activity and watersports from Lake Travis to South Padre to the beaches of Corpus Christi. Get weird in Austin, remember to learn your history at The Alamo in San Antonio, and aim for the stars at the Space Center in Houston. By the way, if you love barbecue, Tex-Mex, or margaritas, this is your Mecca!

Click here to mess with Texas Travel Nursing jobs.

Couple Hiking North Carolina

From the Great Smoky Mountains to some of the nation’s prettiest beaches, North Carolina’s got a little bit of everything.

North Carolina

The Tar Heel State is so seasonally appropriate that we featured it in our March State Spotlight! Spring is the perfect time to make your way to North Carolina, where you can explore this great state from the amazing mountains in the west to the world-renowned beaches and Outer Banks in the east. North Carolina is home to high peaks, fresh seafood, white sandy beaches, picturesque lighthouses, exciting sports, bluegrass, and all kinds of great history and culture just waiting for you to come explore it!

Click here to search Travel Nursing jobs in North Carolina.

Virginia

Virginia has the power to take you back in time AND help you discover your future!

It’s true. Virginia is for lovers of all things awesome! This state is perfect for those who love to explore and take day trips. Virginia is situated in a way that makes it a great gateway to the east coast as well as the south. Not that you’d need to leave the state to experience all kinds of awesome-ness! Virginia features the awe-inspiring peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including the exciting twisty-turns of the Blue Ridge Parkway. and the fascinating history of Williamsburg, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Jamestown, and Arlington National Cemetary, and other hot historical spots. And don’t forget, the state also has stellar stretches of beaches like the eponymous and most famous Virginia Beach.

Click here to check out Travel Nurse jobs in Virginia.

New York

Start spreadin’ the news … New York totally rules!

Folks immediately think of The Big Apple when considering jobs in New York. That’s because New York City is an amazing city to experience as a local without ever getting burnt out on the day-to-day city grind. While NYC is one of the best cities in the world, with its endless culture, cuisine, and sightseeing, don’t forget the beautiful upstate region! Explore the lush upstate region with trips to the Adirondacks, Niagara Falls, or Finger Lakes, or, take an assignment in one of its lovely towns and stay awhile. They did invent Buffalo wings, modern air conditioning, and those Little Tree air fresheners, so you know they’re good people!

Click here to explore New York Travel Nursing jobs.

Medical Solutions wishes you the best wherever you choose to land this spring! If you’ve already been there/done that or if these states just aren’t your jam, click here to search all Travel Nurse jobs. Happy trails!

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State Spotlight: North Carolina

North Carolina view

North Carolina is the place to be, Travel Nurses!

Since we’re all in the throes of March Madness, what better corner of the nation to highlight this month than the great state of North Carolina — whose Tar Heels have made the most Final Four appearances of any team in college basketball!

NORTH CAROLINA TRAVELSTravel Nursing in North Carolina

North Carolina is a great state for Travel Nursing — both in terms of days off and on the job! There’s tons to do and see here, as well as many great career opportunities.

The state is home to more than 126 hospitals, including the largest in North Carolina — Duke University Hospital — which is one of four university-affiliated academic medical centers in the state. Many Travel Nurses have reported that working in teaching hospitals are excellent for developing their skills and strengthening their resumes. The Raleigh-Durham “Research Triangle” region is particularly fertile ground for Travelers seeking opportunities at teaching hospitals.

According to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, North Carolina has a cost of living that’s below the national average. That’s a good sign for Travelers looking to get the most buck for their bang-up work!

As for licensing, North Carolina is not a walk through state but it is a compact state and a NURSYS state. Temporary licenses generally come through in approximately one to two weeks and are good for six months. Click here for more info on licensing in North Carolina.

To Do & See in North Carolina

Linn Cove Viaduct

The Linn Cove Viaduct. Part of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina.

As North Carolina is known for its gorgeous landscapes and pleasant climate, many of the most famous points of interest in the state involve the great outdoors. There’s the famous Blue Ridge Parkway — known for some of the nation’s most scenic drives as it cuts a winding path through the mystical Great Smoky Mountains. The Appalachian Mountains are simply a breathtaking must-see when you take an assignment in North Carolina! On its coastal side, North Carolina is known for 300+ miles of some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, plus the amazing Outer Banks. Here you can go-go-go — experiencing activities like world-class golf, fishing, shopping, lighthouses, and shipwreck chasing — or you can simply lay on the beautiful beach and relax.

North Carolina’s climate is perfect for those who’d just as soon pretend winter doesn’t exist. Winters here are mild and lovely, spring and fall are generally long and beautiful, and although summers here often get quite warm, that’s what the amazing beaches are for, right?

Board Walk on the Beach

North Carolina is home to 300+ miles of beautiful beaches!

North Carolina’s unofficial state motto is “First in Flight” — coined for the famous site near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first “controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft” in 1903. History buffs will enjoy a trip to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, as well as attractions like the Biltmore Estate, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the State Capitol. If you’re into planes, trains, automobiles — and boats — check out the North Carolina Transportation Museum, the Battleship USS North Carolina, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Urban areas in North Carolina have all the southern charm of the rural areas, plus intriguing cultural activities and all the spoils of big city life. Larger cities like Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Fayetteville, and Winston-Salem have tons of great art, history, and cultural opportunities, as well pro sports (Panthers, Hornets, and Hurricanes — oh my!), shopping, historical sites and attractions, and all kinds of other urban excitement. Asheville is kind of like the Austin of North Carolina — with its hip, Bohemian vibe, aces farm to table restaurant scene, ample craft beer community, dozens of art galleries, thriving live music scene, and breathtaking views and hiking opportunities.

By the way, we’d be remiss to discuss North Carolina without mention of the state’s down-home, delicious cuisine. Come for the Travel Nurse job, stay for the distinct North Carolina BBQ, famous fried chicken and a biscuit (those in the know go to Chapel Hill’s Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen for theeee best in the state!), and low country shrimp & grits. Wash it all down with a Cheerwine and you’ll be living like a true local!

North Carolina Fast Facts

Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city.

State Nickname: The Old North State or Tar Heel State

Capital: Raleigh

Largest City: Charlotte

National Parks: 10

State Parks and Recreation Areas: 38

State Motto: “Esse Quam Videri” meaning: “To Be Rather Than to Seem”

State Vegetable: Sweet Potato

North Carolina is the 12th state.

Mount Mitchell is the highest point in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville, North Carolina on March 7, 1914.

2012’s The Hunger Games was filmed throughout North Carolina — with Pisgah National Forest acting as the fictional District 12.

Upper Catabwa Falls

Upper Catabwa Falls is a 50-foot waterfall that leads to another amazing lower waterfall!

Famous North Carolinians include Sugar Ray Leonard, James Taylor, Roberta Flack, Cecil B. DeMille, Howard Cosell, Dolley Madison, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Wolfe, Charlie Rose, Clay Aiken, John Coltrane, and Billy Graham.

The first Pepsi was made and served in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898.

The Biltmore Estate, just outside of Asheville, is the largest private home in the United States. It has 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, and sprawling gardens!

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest U.S. lighthouse.

The first mini-golf course was built in Fayetteville.

During Prohibition, Wilkes County was known as the Moonshine Capital of the World. Nowadays, North Carolina is home to 140+ breweries and brewpubs, plus 160 wineries.

Click here to find your dream job in North Carolina!

Been there, done that, looking for something new? Click here to search all Travel Nursing jobs!

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Medical Solutions Sponsors Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24 for World Water Day 2017

Medical Solutions Sponsors Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24 for World Water Day 2016

Nurses are well aware of the importance of clean water in treating and preventing illness, but may still be shocked by statistics like the fact that 50% of all hospital beds in the world are occupied by people with easily preventable waterborne diseases. Or the fact that a whopping one in eight people on Earth do not have access to safe, clean water!

Unfortunate stats like these are why Medical Solutions will sponsor Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24 again in 2017. In celebration of World Water Day, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, this initiative will bring clean water to 24 communities in just 24 hours by installing school-based water filtration systems within villages in need.

Planet water project 24 ranca asem

Villagers in Ranca Asem will benefit from a clean water tower and water health & hygiene education.

The Medical Solutions team sponsors this annual effort because we are consistently inspired by the hard work and compassion that our Travel Nurses display every day in their quest to save lives. YOU are the inspiration for our company to support this amazing cause!

This year, the Medical Solutions-sponsored water filtration tower will go up at 9 p.m. EST at SDN Cikasungka IV School on the border of Tangerang and Bogor in the Indonesian village of Ranca Asem. The community’s main water source is a deep well that often runs dry, causing people to use unsafe water from a nearby river for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing. The lack of accessibility of clean water has caused frequent skin issues, diarrhea, typhoid, and other issues, as well as creating an obstacle to learning for the village’s children.

Planet water project 24 ranca asem

People in Ranca Asem routinely use questionable water sources that create sickness and barriers to education.

“At home we do not have clean water,” says 9-year-old villager Muhamad Fadli Rizky. “To meet the need of drinking water every day, my mother fetches water from the well. When I go to school I bring water from home, but if I forget to bring it, I ask a friend. Sometimes I drink tap water directly, but as a result of drinking water from the faucet, sometimes I feel stomach pains. I have to ignore them because there is no other choice.”

There is a general lack of knowledge in the area regarding water health and hygiene. As a part of Project 24, Planet Water will not only erect the Medical Solutions-sponsored clean water tower, they will also provide crucial water health and hygiene education! Just as Medical Solutions’ sponsorship helped thousands of villagers in 2012, 2015, and 2016, our 2017 effort will benefit Ranca Asem’s population of 2,400 people — including 380 students throughout 600 households.

Please join the Medical Solutions team in taking a moment to be grateful for the easy access to clean water that most of us enjoy in the United States and to learn more about Ranca Asem, Project 24, and Planet Water Foundation.

Thank you for constantly inspiring us, Travel Nurses!

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Congrats to January 2017’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Travel Nurse Star

Congrats to the January 2017 Rising Star, Michelle H.! She’s joined in victory by Traveler of the Month, Tiffany D.

Many thanks and congrats to the January 2017 Traveler of the Month, Tiffany D., and also our Rising Star winner, Michelle H.!

Traveler of the Month Tiffany is a Stepdown/Tele RN, BSN who works with Career Consultant Rob B. She’s been in nursing for six years, Travel Nursing for three years, and is currently working in beautiful Georgia.

“Tiffany is a great person — professional and dependable!” says Rob. “She’s the ideal Traveler and always represents herself and Medical Solutions well. We are lucky to have such a great nurse and wonderful person on our team.”

Tiffany says her favorite location so far has been San Leandro, California.

“California is a beautiful place with lots of things to explore,” says Tiffany. “It’s like working and vacationing at the same time.”

“The best thing about being a Travel Nurse is the freedom to choose where you want to work and to change scenery and hospitals whenever you want,” she says. “Also, meeting new people and being a Travel Nurse has given me such a strong knowledge base and confidence in my skills.”

Tiffany’s awesome tips for new Travelers are:

  • “Every hospital and state is different, so use this opportunity to learn as much as you can. Be teachable!”
  • “As a new Traveler, choose a place where you know someone so you won’t feel alone. It’s always nice to have a familiar face.”
Michelle Rising Star Travel Nurse

Here’s Michelle with her life AND travel partner, Mark.

Rising Star Michelle is an RN of 34 years and a Traveler for one year with experience in Critical Care (ICU, CCU, CVICU, and transplants) and, more recently, Home Health & Hospice. She works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Shane M. and is currently on assignment in wonderful Virginia with her travel partner and husband of 30 years, Mark.

Michelle’s favorite location thus far has been Lynchburg, Virginia.

“I love Virginia — the mountains are beautiful, the people are friendly and warm, and it is a very family-oriented environment. There is always an adventure within a 60-mile radius,” says Michelle.

Michelle Rising Star and Family

Michelle with Mark and their two beautiful children, Morgan and Matthew, who Michelle calls “the joys of our life.”

“The best things about Travel Nursing are new places, new faces, new ways of doing things, and wonderful benefits and pay,” adds Michelle.

Here is Michelle’s excellent advice for new Travel Nurses: “Be positive, look at every new assignment as an adventure, embrace your new job, and become part of the team. Give every assignment your all!”

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions January 2017 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Tiffany and Michelle, we are so thankful to you for your amazing skill and commitment to awesome patient care!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!

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United Healthcare’s Health4Me App

Woman using mobile phone

Managing your healthcare concerns … there’s an app for that!

Steady, affordable healthcare is a more important concern than ever before these days. That’s why Medical Solutions offers Travelers medical insurance starting at just $15 per week for a single, basic policy through United Healthcare — as well as the option to maintain benefits for up to 21 days (recently increased from 14 days!) in between assignments as long as you’ve already signed your next contract with us.

So, having great, affordable healthcare benefits is one part of the battle — but what about being able to easily access your benefits once you’re signed up?

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! United Healthcare’s got you covered with their awesome Health4Me app, which lets you access all your healthcare info, even when you’re on the go.

The Health4Me app is available for free to both Apple and Android customers. You simply need to register at MyUHC.com to enable both mobile and online services.

According to UHC, here’s some of the helpful stuff the app allows you to do:

  • Search for physicians or facilities by location or specialty
  • Locate urgent care clinics and ERs
  • Estimate medication costs, manage prescription claims and find pharmacies
  • Skip the phone prompts and have a service representative contact you to answer questions about claims and benefits
  • View and share member health plan ID card information
  • Find hospital quality information to help make an informed decision about the best place to get care
  • Contact a registered nurse 24/7 for advice about medical questions
  • Check the status of deductible and out-of-pocket spending
  • View, sort, and pay claims
  • Check your health reimbursement and flexible spending and health savings account balances.
  • Collect, track, and share past and current personal health records.
  • Estimate costs of common procedures and conditions

So, wherever your Travel Nurse adventures may take you, you can still keep tabs on everything health-related! Click here to learn more about the Health4Me app.

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Clinical Corner: Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert 57 — Role of Leadership in Safety Culture

Safety First

The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert 57 concerns the importance of adequate leadership to safety in healthcare facilities.

Hospital leadership has the crucial responsibility of protecting the safety of patients, staff, and visitors. That’s the inspiration behind The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert 57, which aims to help establish and improve safety culture in health care.

The Joint Commission periodically — though somewhat rarely — releases Sentinel Event Alerts about issues they find to be of concern.

This recent alert was spurred by the finding that within The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Database that “leadership’s failure to create an effective safety culture is a contributing factor to many types of adverse events — from wrong site surgery to delays in treatment.”

Additionally, Sentinel Event Alert 57 gives a few examples of adverse events that can be caused by inadequate leadership, including:

  • Insufficient support of patient safety event reporting
  • Lack of feedback or response to staff and others who report safety vulnerabilities
  • Allowing intimidation of staff who report events
  • Refusing to consistently prioritize and implement safety recommendations
  • Not addressing staff burnout

Whew — that’s a lot to address! Thankfully, as far as staff burnout goes, Travel Nursing can be of help when it comes to that issue. So, if you’re a Travel Nurse: Thank you — you are part of the solution!

Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert 57The Joint Commission defines a “Safety Culture” as follows: “Safety culture is the sum of what an organization is and does in the pursuit of safety. The Patient Safety Systems (PS) chapter of The Joint Commission accreditation manuals defines safety culture as the product of individual and group beliefs, values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the organization’s commitment to quality and patient safety.”

The Sentinel Event Alert 57 details these 11 steps that health care leaders can implement in order to properly address safety culture:

  1. Transparent, non-punitive approaches to reporting and learning from adverse events, close calls and unsafe conditions.
  2. Clear, risk-based processes for recognizing and separating human error and error arising from poorly designed systems from unsafe or reckless actions.
  3. Adoption of appropriate behaviors and championing efforts to eradicate intimidating behaviors.
  4. Establishment, enforcement and communication of all policies that support safety culture and the reporting of adverse events, close calls and unsafe conditions.
  5. Recognition of care team members who report adverse events, close calls and unsafe conditions or who have suggestions for safety improvements.
  6. Establishment of an organizational baseline measure on safety culture performance.
  7. Assessment of safety culture survey results from across the organization to find opportunities for improvement.
  8. Development and implementation of unit-based quality and safety improvement initiatives in response to information gained from safety assessments and/or surveys.
  9. Implementation of safety culture team training into quality improvement projects.
  10. Proactive assessment of system (such as medication management and electronic health records) strengths and vulnerabilities, and prioritizing them for enhancement or improvement.
  11. Organizational reassessment of safety culture every 18 to 24 months to review progress and sustain improvement.

Click here to see The Joint Commission’s infographic on 11 Tenets of a Safety Culture.

You can view the entire publication here.

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State Spotlight: California

travel in LA

This month’s State Spotlight shines on the gorgeous “Golden State” of Californ-I-A!

Travel Nursing opportunities in California are as abundant and varied as the state’s many things to see and do, making it a favorite destination among Travelers. That’s why we picked Cali to kick off our new State Spotlight series, which will focus on one of the 50 nifty United States every month in our newsletter! In this series you can find out what Travel Nursing opportunities and licensing requirements exist, what there is to see and do, and learn some fun facts about each state.

With that, California here we come!

California t-shirt with grizzly bear. T-shirt graphics, designTravel Nursing in California

Several factors make California a hotbed state for Travel Nursing. The state has a population north of 38 million as well as one of the lowest numbers of nurses per capita in the U.S. Additionally, it’s a really great state to travel to, so it maintains consistent popularity among Travel Nurses.

If you think you want to work in California, you should start to pursue your license by endorsement immediately, as the state is known for one of the lengthier licensing processes. But not to worry, just talk to your recruiter and he or she will be able to help you navigate the process.

The cost of housing can run high in some California locations, however, wages tend to be dictated accordingly so they run high too. The Central Valley is often considered a great zone for net pay, as it generally has a lower cost of living but bill rates remain higher. That said, when it comes to pay and housing costs — as in any state — every assignment and offer is different and may buck general trends.

Santa Monica California sunset on Pier Ferrys wheel

A gorgeous Santa Monica California sunset!

California has very progressive nurse-to-patient ratio laws that cap the number of patients assigned to each nurse, which many nurses are pleased to report is helpful in providing quality patient care and combatting nurse burnout. The state also has very stringent rules regarding meal breaks and rest breaks for hospital staff, which greatly benefits nurses.

To Do & See in California  

The only problem with what to do and see in California is where the heck to begin! No other state can really quite say that it has something for everyone on the level of this great state. California offers everything from beaches to skiing, as well as some of the country’s most cosmopolitan urban centers and some it’s most unspoiled nature.

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge!

Exciting cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and others offer all the hubbub of urban life, including amazing art and culture museums like L.A.’s Griffith Observatory and Getty Center, San Francisco’s Exploratorium and Museum of Modern Art, San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and so many more. World class shopping (Rodeo Drive, anyone?) and dining are also hallmarks of California’s cities, where the produce is fresh and abundant and foodies can easily achieve a state of dining nirvana.

eating outside with friends

From world-class restaurants to food trucks to hole in the wall gems, California cuisine is killer!

There are also plenty of attractions, like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, Chinatown, Pier 39, Golden Gate Park, and who could forget the cities iconic cable cars. Los Angeles is home to   the Hollywood sign, La Brea Tar Pits, Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and, of course, famous theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios. San Diego is known for Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Sea World, Old Town San Diego, Point Loma, and more. All of these locations also have an abundance of professional sports teams and amazing weather in which to take yourself out to any kind of ball game!

Sunset in Sonoma

Sunset in the vineyards of Sonoma County!

Outside of its major city centers, California is dotted with adorable little towns like Truckee, Arcata, Grover Beach, Nevada City, Sausalito, Pismo Beach, and Sonoma, for those who’d prefer a slower pace and less density.

Speaking of Sonoma, California wine country is a must-visit destination for vino enthusiasts. From huge, time-tested winemakers to quaint, under the radar wineries, there’s plenty of gorgeous scenery and scrumptious spirits to drink in. Napa and Sonoma are among the most famous wine destinations, but there are great wineries and wine regions throughout the state.

Giant Sequoia Tree Canopy, The Senate Trees

California is famous for its epic redwood and sequoia trees!

When it comes to nature, California is just as varied as everything else in the state — from the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, to the nation’s lowest point in Death Valley. See the famous Redwoods, Joshua Trees, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Mount Shasta and the surrounding lavender fields, China Beach, Point Reyes, Lake Tahoe and its gorgeous Emerald Bay, Glacier Point, Muir Woods, the Big Sur coastline, Bishop Creek, Crystal Cave, Fossil Falls, Glass Beach, the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, General Sherman (the largest tree in the entire world!), more amazing beach and hiking trails than you can imagine, and so much more.

And that’s just scratching the tippy-top of the surface of the many amazing wonders that await in The Golden State! When you decide to take an assignment in California you’re signing up for boundless amounts of fun and adventure on your days off — whether that’s road tripping to a nearby natural wonder or simply enjoying the landscape of your neighborhood.

California Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Golden State

Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway One

California is chock full of scenic drives!

Capital: Sacramento

Largest City: Los Angeles

National Parks: 10

Nationals Forests: 18

State Parks and Beaches: 278

State Motto: Eureka! (I have found it!)

State Flower: Golden poppy

California is the 31st state.

Richard Nixon is the only California-born president to date.

California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year!

One out of every eight music festivals in the U.S. is hosted by California.

Fortune cookies, skateboards, Apple computers, Frisbees, blue jeans, and Barbies were all invented in California.

There are enough steel wires in The Golden Gate Bridge’s cables to circle the Earth three-and-a-half times.

California is the only state that’s hosted the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics.

Click here to find your perfect job in the great state of California!
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Medical Solutions Benefits Open Enrollment Has Started!

Cheerful spring woman

Spring is almost here, and with it: Medical Solutions’ Benefits Open Enrollment period, February 20-March 3, 2017!

It’s the perfect time of year to “spring clean” your benefits elections! Medical Solutions’ benefits Open Enrollment period for medical, dental, and vision will run February 20-March 3, with an effective date of April 1, 2017.

Once again this year we will offer passive enrollment — meaning that if you do not wish to make any changes to your current benefits elections, you will not need to take any action during open enrollment. But, for those who do wish to update their elections, they will be able to do so during Open Enrollment. Medical Solutions will also continue to offer basic, single medical insurance coverage starting at just $15 per week!

New enhancements for 2017 include:

  • Lower deductibles on our silver and bronze categories of medical insurance
  • Lower copays on specialty visits
  • Plan rates staying the same or slightly lower in cost — depending upon the tier of coverage chosen
  • Enhanced dental coverage with a raise in maximum coverage from $1,000 to $1,500 for in and out of network services, orthodontia, and the allowable rollover amount

Medical Solutions is committed to consistently offering our Travelers and internal employees the best in benefits, as we greatly value their health and happiness.

Current Travelers will receive more information on how to update their benefits very soon.

Happy (almost) Spring!

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Clinical Corner: Pain Assessment and Management

Pain Management

Pain assessment is crucial to providing quality patient care, but not every patient judges their pain equally!

By Chris Vinton, Medical Solutions Quality Assurance Specialist

Patient pain can be one of the more difficult aspects to manage when it comes to complete patient care. Pain can’t be measured or objectively found, and it is often reported by patients based on how they have experienced pain in the past. Other times, patients have no experiential basis for rating or conveying the pain they are experiencing.

As with just about everything in the nursing field, pain assessment and management will differ depending on the unit and the hospital. The most common way to assess pain is the numerical measurement scale. Patients rate on a scale from 1-10, but this does have its issues. Patients may come in for an ear ache and they may rate the pain as a 10. To the patient, this may be the worst pain he or she has ever been in, but their condition might not require some of the more serious pain meds. Hospitals do have their own protocol in place on what pain medicine to use and, as always, ask your supervisor if your patient’s pain has not been alleviated after administering medicine.

Pain rating scale chartThe 1-10 scale is just a baseline for a patient’s pain. To get a full view of the patient’s pain, there are several things nurses can do — such as observing the patient’s behavior. A patient’s facial expressions may be anything from clenching of teeth or a grimace. They could favor a certain body part or try to protect it with their arms. The pain could cause the patient to experience disorientation or withdraw socially. Use your best judgement when observing for pain and if you aren’t entirely sure, get some guidance from your supervisor.

Pain assessment skills are essential to nurses when it comes to providing quality patient care. Doctors may assist you in pain assessment and will provide the medication for pain management, but ultimately nurses know their patients the best. Your judgement on your patient’s pain is crucial to complete patient care. Your judgements can help alleviate a patient’s pain or even save a patient’s life.

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Adventures in Travel Nursing: Ryan’s Travel Nurse Takeover

Travel Nurse Takeover Ryan S

Medical Solutions Traveler Ryan S. helps unite the Travel Nurse community through his social media project, Travel Nurse Takeover.

Travel Nurses may be scattered across the globe, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t unite. In fact, Medical Solutions Traveler Ryan S. is bringing Travel Nurses together in a truly awesome way via his Travel Nurse Takeover — which can be found on Snapchat — @travelnurseto, Instagram — @travelnursetakeover, and Facebook.

Through February 25th, Ryan and some other awesome Travelers are taking his concept to Medical Solutions’ Snapchat account — @MSMedStaffing — where they’ll be guest posting.

So, what exactly is Travel Nurse Takeover and how did it start? Ryan, an RN, BSN working in Behavioral Medicine/Chemical Dependency, says it was originally inspired by Tastemade’s Snapchat channel.

“For those unfamiliar with Tastemade, it’s a digital food and travel video network that curates and distributes content primarily on food,” says Ryan, who travels with Career Consultant Roy B. “Last summer, they had a takeover in Chicago in a food truck festival. They were sharing all these delicious entries and sidekicks that an idea popped into my head — Could I get Travel Nurses to takeover and recommend restaurants on location?”

Ryan says that while the project began as “a foodie’s dream of creating a food channel with Travel Nurses as the food critics” its objectives quickly expanded in scope as Ryan realized the exciting possibilities of Travelers using Snapchat as a platform to share each other’s adventures in real-time.

Travel Nurse Takeover Logo

Travelers can follow Travel Nurse Takeover on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

“Travel Nurse Takeover is something I like to call ‘community vlogging’ — a single Snapchat account shared by a community of Travel Nurses that share their travels and adventures with each other. We just make sure the channel runs smoothly,” says Ryan. “We first proposed the idea on our channel at the Golden Gate Bridge last summer and since then have had about 30-35 takeovers ranging from one day to one week of Travel Nurses sharing their adventures. We’ve been all over the country and the world — from parasailing over Lake Tahoe to jet skiing in the glaciers of Alaska, seeing active volcanoes in Hawaii to getting tattoos in Thailand — the list goes on. We think it’s an incredible way to connect and make the world feel a little smaller in the process. It’s a goal of ours to surround people who understand each other’s commitment and lifestyle as a Travel Nurse.”

Ryan’s been in nursing for four years and traveling for about a year-and-a-half. His most recent assignment was in Tacoma, Washington, which he loved.

“I’m envious of everyone who gets to commute to work with the beauty of Mt. Rainier in the background,” he says.

Ryan says the list is long in terms of why he likes Travel Nursing but he especially appreciates the flexibility and opportunity to travel.

“Being able to take time off in between contracts and seeing the country for long periods of time are two of the reasons why I enjoy being a Traveling Nurse,” he says. “The way I see it, if you’re fortunate enough to find a job that compensates you well and allows you to travel at the same time, congratulations, you’ve made it.”

Ryan’s shared some excellent advice for new or aspiring Travelers:

“Make sure your needs and wants are written in the contract. Be flexible. Communicate well. Be a team-player. Double down on learning the first couple weeks. Have fun and explore the area.”

Travel Nurse Takeover Ryan S

Ryan and other Travelers will be taking over Medical Solutions’ Snapchat through February 25th. Follow us at @MSMedStaffing to see their stories.

When he’s not working, Ryan, who is the youngest of five in a close-knit family, enjoys photography and trips to Cold Stone. He also delights in his work with Travel Nurse Takeover.

“Creating a platform where Travelers can network with each other and find others who have the same zest for life and travel has been fulfilling and drives us to work on this channel,” says Ryan.

You can find Ryan’s awesome Travel Nurse Takeover concept on Snapchat — @travelnurseto, Instagram — @travelnursetakeover, and Facebook.

Also, be sure to follow @MSMedStaffing on Snapchat, where Ryan and other awesome Travelers will be taking over our account through February 25th!     

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