Congrats and thanks to the December 2014 Traveler of the Month, Barbara P., and also our Rising Star winner, Katie J.
Traveler of the Month Barbara was just settling in at a new assignment near the Seattle area when we caught up with her. Fun fact about Barbara: She was also the February 2014 Rising Star winner! (Click here to read the post featuring her for that win.)
“I have been traveling for about 14 months, so I am really still learning the ropes,” says Barb, who may be newer to traveling but has been a nurse for almost 35 years. “2014 was an incredible adventure, starting with New Year’s Eve in Times Square — so that has hard to beat.”
But, the adventures just kept coming!
“The Fourth of July in Flagstaff, Arizona was incredible as well,” she says. “My daughter came to visit and we watched a great parade, went hiking in Sedona, and after lots of begging from my daughter, I agreed to jump off a cliff into a mountain stream — pretty daring for me because I am afraid of heights.”
Barb travels with her retriever/lab mix, Gunner, and says she highly recommends Travel Nursing because of all the great places she’s fallen in love with that she might not have otherwise visited.
“When I tell my children that my new assignment is my favorite, they remind me that I say that about all the places I have been,” she says.
Barb says she was completely surprised to be honored again by Medical Solutions and remains grateful for the opportunities she’s been given. We are so grateful for you, Barb!
Rising Star winner Katie is and ICU RN currently on assignment in Montana. She’s been in nursing a little over 3 and a half years and has been traveling for just over four months.
Katie says she loves her first assignment!
“I was actually a little concerned that any future assignments would not be as enjoyable as this one has been,” she says. “Mostly, all the staff have been incredibly kind and friendly to me, although, some were leery of having a Traveler in their unit in the beginning of my assignment, but now I feel like one of the group and many have asked me to stay or come back in the future.”
Katie and her “other half” Mike have a 100-pound black Labrador named Trigger, who stays with Mike in Idaho, but comes to visit Katie on assignment as often as possible.
“I love meeting new people and exploring new areas, and Travel Nursing gives me the perfect opportunity for both,” says Katie.
She offers great advice for new or prospective Travelers about adaptability.
“Be flexible because the hospitals will not always be used to having temporary employees,” says Katie. “Be gracious about the opportunity they are giving you. Always think about the impression you are leaving with the patients and the staff, and how this will affect the hospital and your company. Remember why you enjoy nursing and traveling, even if you had a terrible day or shift.”
Katie’s got some pretty exciting stuff on tap for the future. First, she’ll be starting grad school this year. She’s excited, but says she’ll miss working with her Career Consultant, Renee. But that’s not the only exciting development…
“Mike just asked me to marry him last weekend, so yet another exciting future event!” she says.
“Thank you again for the award and making my traveling experience great,” says Katie.
Thank you, Katie, for your excellent patient care! Congrats on grad school and the engagement, and maybe we’ll see you again down the road.
What does it take to become a Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? All Travelers who receive a perfect evaluation from their hospital are in the running for these two monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Travelers! 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.
Would you like to land in Portlandia or otherwise embark on the Travel Nurse Oregon Trail? Of course, nowadays you don’t need a covered wagon to get there, but you do need Oregon licensure, and Medical Solutions wants to help you get it!
How about sweet-as-a-peach Georgia? Has it been on your mind? It’s been on ours too, and we’d like to help you get your Georgia licensure as well.
We are currently offering full reimbursement for Oregon and Georgia licensures to Travelers who’ve completed at least two assignments with Medical Solutions.
Yes, Medical Solutions always reimburses licensure fees for the state you’re about to take your next assignment in — but this offer is extra special! Even if you do not plan on taking an Oregon or Georgia assignment right now, we will still reimburse the full cost so you’re prepared in case you need it for future assignments.
We have lots of great Travel Nursing jobs available in Oregon and Georgia, and are the top provider for several outstanding facilities in these states. This special Oregon and Georgia licensure reimbursement offer gives you a competitive advantage if you do choose to apply for any of the excellent jobs at fantastic facilities that are available in these two gorgeous areas.
You can choose to get your Oregon licensure, get your Georgia licensure, or get both — and Medical Solutions will reimburse your costs.
Again, taking advantage of this special Oregon and Georgia Licensure reimbursement offer puts you under no obligation to take an assignment in Oregon or Georgia — next month, next year, or ever — but if you ever do decide to journey to Georgia or to hop on the Travel Nurse Oregon Trail, you’ll be as covered as an old-school pioneer wagon!
Act quickly to take advantage of this special opportunity — it won’t be around for long!
Have you ever wanted to be a famous designer? Now’s your chance! Enter the Super Awesome Nurse T-shirt Slogan Contest, now through March 3rd, and you could be the genius who creates the new Medical Solutions T-shirt, which will be featured on our website and given to Travelers for the next year.
You like T-shirts and you love Travel Nursing. What could be more super awesome than combining the two? Not much, especially if you throw in the chance to become a bona fide t-shirt designer, and to win a $100 Visa gift card, plus 25 t-shirts emblazoned with your very own slogan to share with friends or coworkers on your floor!
The Super Awesome Nurse T-shirt Slogan Contest is as super easy to enter as it is super awesome. Here’s how it works:
1. Enter Your Genius T-shirt Slogans
You can submit your idea(s) February 12th through March 3rd. If you have multiple flashes of brilliance, feel free to enter as many times as you like! Be creative, original, and unique — and make sure your ideas are somehow related to Nursing, Travel Nursing, and/or the medical field. Click here to enter now!
2. The Best Rise to the Top
A team of Medical Solutions’ top experts in matters of both t-shirts and awesomeness will gather to choose the top five most super awesome submissions.
3. The People Have Their Say
The top five slogans will be posted for a public voting round, from which one will emerge the victor! Voting will be open March 5-13. Be sure to have all of your friends and coworkers vote for your slogan if it makes the final round!
4. The Winner is Crowned
The Super Awesome Nurse T-shirt Slogan Contest Champion will be announced on March 17th. This lucky individual will win a $100 Visa gift card, 25 t-shirts with their triumphant slogan on them, and bragging rights that they are indeed the super awesomest. The winning slogan will also be featured on Medical Solutions t-shirts, which will be given to our Travelers for the next year and featured on our website!
We can’t wait to see your clever feats of creativity and style! Need some inspiration? Check out some of the funny t-shirts we offer at our online store, Stitches, to get your brain juices flowing.
Good luck to all of you aspiring t-shirt artists!
Congrats to Medical Solutions’ 2014 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award Winners!
Medical Solutions is very lucky to have lots of amazing Travelers and Recruiters working with us. So when one of our internal or external team members wins recognition, you know they are truly the best of the best.
With that said, we want to say a HUGE thanks and congrats to Medical Solutions’ 2014 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award Winners! Here’s a little bit about each of our winners:
Traveler of the Year
James “Jimmy” C. is our amazing Traveler of the Year! Jimmy was the October 2014 Traveler of the Month, and he was chosen from the best of the best — our 11 other Traveler of the Month winners from 2014. (Travelers who receive a perfect hospital eval are eligible to win a Traveler of the Month award, and Traveler of the Year is later chosen from that pool of 12 monthly winners. Click here to learn more about the Traveler of the Month program.)
Jimmy is an ICU RN currently on assignment at a facility in the Bay Area — where we recently surprised him by announcing his win and catering in lunch for him and his team to celebrate. He was also awarded an iPad Air and a $50 Amazon gift card.
Jimmy’s Career Consultant Mike Leising has tons of great things to say about him and is his work, but in summary he says that “Simply put, Jimmy is the man!”
“I have been a recruiter for many years and I can honestly say Jimmy is one of the best of I have had the pleasure of working with,” says Mike. “We have come to know and trust each other, which is extremely important in this industry. He is a fantastic RN and gets rave reviews from patients and the staff! He is reliable, professional, hardworking, passionate, and has about a dozen other positive attributes that I could add to the list.”
Click here to read more about Jimmy.
Service That Inspires Award Winner
Jenna H. is Medical Solutions’ first-ever Services That Inspires Award winner! This award is meant to honor a Traveler who exemplifies our mantra — Service That Inspires — by providing superior patient care and overall inspirational service within their field. Career Consultants nominated Travelers for this award and it was so difficult to choose from the many excellent and deserving contenders.
Jenna is a CST (currently working as a CVOR Tech in Kentucky) who’s been with Medical Solutions since 2011 and is very passionate about working with us. She’s been in the medical field for 15 years and a Traveler for nearly seven years. We surprised Jenna with balloons, flowers, and a tray of sweets for her and her team, in addition to an iPad Air and a $50 Amazon gift card.
Jenna travels with her “wonderful” husband Adam and their “spoiled rotten” mini pinscher, Dixie. She loves getting to see new places and meet new people, and her favorite location so far has been Colorado.
“The hospital was wonderful, with great surgeons and co-workers,” she says. “My husband and I made life long friends there and can’t wait to go back someday. We also have family there as well.”
When it comes to Travelers who are just starting out, Jenna has some great tips for how they can succeed.
“Well, I work by the saying ‘When in Rome’ or do as they do,” she says. “I go into every new assignment with a completely open mind and willing to learn anything and everything.”
She also advises fellow Travelers to make a point to get out and see the area their assignment is in.
“When I find out where I’m going I look up fun facts and things to do in the area or state, and at least try to do one or two of them,” she says, adding, “Let each assignment be a chance to grow as a person and as a medical professional.”
Jenna’s Career Consultant Melissa Kersten says she is an exemplary employee, who is well-spoken and has a pleasant demeanor.
“Jenna has always been extremely professional, dependable, and someone I can count on to do anything that I ask of her,” says Melissa. “She even reaches out and acts as a mentor to other Travelers to make sure they are doing alright and offers encouragement, guidance, or feedback to hospital management if needed.”
Facilities she’s worked at have called her a hard worker, dedicated to her craft, extremely reliable, positive, attentive to detail, and one even said they’d clone her to fill all of their tech positions if they could!
Recruiters of the Year
Medical Solutions’ two Recruiters of the Year for 2014 are Stephanie Balkovec and Geri Koehler. We let our Travelers’ nominations help determine who would win these honors and we received 226 Recruiter of the Year nominations, which just goes to show how much Travelers love
We let our Travelers’ nominations help determine who would win these honors and we received 226 Recruiter of the Year nominations, which just goes to show how much Travelers love all of our awesome Career Consultants!
Check out these videos of Geri and Stephanie being surprised with their Recruiter of the Year awards:
Thanks so much to ALL of the 2014 winners and nominees. Travelers, your hard work and dedication to superior patient care is absolutely inspirational to us! And Career Consultants, thanks so much for everything you do to help our Travelers find amazing jobs and build great careers.
Whoa, that’s a lot of zeros and a lot of awesome Medical Solutions Travelers. What can we say, your loyalty makes us feel like 3 million bucks!
Medical Solutions has reached a major milestone — hitting 3 million dollars paid in Travel Loyalty Bonuses since the program’s inception in 2012.
Such a huge number can be hard to wrap your head around, but we totally get how it got so big. Medical Solutions Travelers are the best of the best. Your hard work, excellent patient care, and willingness to travel where you skills are needed the most make you worth every single million. We love to celebrate and reward your work ethic, and the Loyalty Bonus Program is just one way to recognize you!
The best thing about the Loyalty Program is how easy and straightforward it is. For every 600 hours worked with Medical Solutions, you’ll receive a $600 bonus. That’s it — no red tape, no muss, no fuss!
You don’t even have to sign up or keep track of your own hours. All of our Travelers are automatically enrolled in the Loyalty Program and your hours toward the Loyalty Bonus are tracked throughout the year. Of course, you can “keep score at home,” so to speak, via your weekly pay statements.
Another factor in how Traveler Loyalty Bonuses reached 3 million dollars since 2012: There is no limit to the number of Loyalty Bonuses each Traveler can claim! Again, for every 600 hours you worked with us, you get $600. So once you reach 600 hours and get your bonus, the clock resets putting you back on track to get your next bonus.
Three million adds up to a lot of loyalty from our Travelers. It thrills us to know that so many of you are happy to work with us again and again. We are perpetually honored to serve you. Here’s to the next 3 million dollars paid in Traveler Loyalty Bonuses!
Click here to read more about Medical Solutions Loyalty Program, and to find out how you can make easy, extra money just by being one of Medical Solutions’ amazing Travel Nurses.
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.