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Congrats to May 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star

Many thanks and congrats to the May 2019 Traveler of the Month, Ariane T. and also our Rising Star winner, Cheryll C.!

Ariane is an ICU RN with roughly 8 years of experience. She’s been traveling for almost a year now and she works with Career Consultant Katie Dick. She is currently on assignment in Boston, Massachusetts.  

Ariane loves that Traveling Nursing allows her to discover new places, meet new people, and try new food. With these benchmarks in mind, Boston has surpassed her expectations in every way.

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2019”s May Traveler of the Month is Ariane T.! Congratulations and thanks for all your hard work!

“I like to explore a new city by trying out the cuisine,” says Ariane. “Boston’s been wonderful—there’s so much to see and I’ve made some great friends!”

Her advice for first-time Travelers is simple and direct.

“Be open to new ideas and opportunities,” recommends Ariane. “And just remember, if it’s not the best assignment, it’s only 13 weeks!”

Thank you for your wise words and your dedication to patient care, Ariane! 

Meanwhile, Cheryll C., our Rising Star of the Month, is an RN, BSN and a case manager. Now on assignment in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Cheryll enjoys working with her Career Consultant Trista Farrens. She’s been a nurse for more than 25 years and has just recently dipped her toes into Travel Nursing. Here’s what her supervisor at her last assignment had to say about Cheryll:

“Cheryll has been amazing,” her boss wrote in a performance review. “She only needed a few days orientation and then was able to jump right in and carry a full caseload. Her work is excellent — we have received multiple compliments on her work and professionalism from staff, including the director of the hospitalist program.”

Trista, Cheryll’s recruiter, couldn’t agree more.

“Cheryll’s attention to detail, her patient advocacy, as well as her communication skills, make her a stand-out Traveler for Medical Solutions!” says Trista.

Thanks so much for all of your hard work and commitment to great patient care, Cheryll!

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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5 Traits All Travel Nurses in Long-Term Care Share

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Providing care in the senior care space can be a rewarding career.

Do you have what it takes to be in long-term care? As most post-acute RNs and LPNs know, providing long-term care isn’t for everyone. It requires a certain skill set and temperament to be successful. Consider the following 5 traits all Travel Nurses in long-term care share:

Patience:

Most long-term care patients are seniors. The care they need depends on their situation—they could be recovering from a stroke, an injury, or suffering from Alzheimer’s. Whatever their situation, you should remember that your patient may require more time to move around or process a conversation. That’s why great long-term care RNs and LPNs recognize the need for patience when caring for others.

Empathy:

Someone once said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It’s a good idea to keep these words in mind as you care for your post-acute patients. Ask yourself how you would want to be treated if you were in your patient’s shoes, and then act accordingly. And while many long-term care providers enjoy deep, meaningful relationships with their patients, you’ll need to manage the emotional stress that sometimes comes with this job. By its very nature, end-of-life care is different than acute care.

Strength:

While it’s no secret that nursing is hard work, this is especially true in the long-term care setting. You’ll need the physical stamina to occasionally lift patients or to assist them with various daily activities. Then again, you or your patient may have a bad day. When that happens, take a deep breath and draw from your inner, mental strength to help you carry on.

Dependability:

When someone needs long-term care, they’ve lost a bit of their independence. This loss of independence can be difficult to deal with, so keep that in mind as you care for your patient. After all, he or she depends on you to help them live life with dignity and respect.   

Flexibility:

In the world of post-acute care, situations can change in the blink of an eye. For example, your patient who was on the mend may suddenly fall ill. As such, the ability to be flexible is key. The most successful long-term care providers can remain flexible and easily embrace change.

Medical Solutions now offers long-term care job opportunities for both RNs and LPNs. If you are interested in applying for a long-term care travel assignment, contact your Career Consultant today or search for jobs here!

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Clinical Corner: Safety First!

By Phil Niles, Medical Solutions Clinical Manager

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Transportation safety is key while traveling to and from your assignment!

Healthcare professionals are not just patient safety advocates — they’re also public health and safety resources for the people in their communities. Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, according to the CDC. The good news is everyone can help prevent injuries and maintain a culture of safety. This month in Clinical Corner, we encourage you to learn more about important safety issues like preventing poisonings, transportation safety, and slips, trips, and falls.

Poisonings: Did you know that nine out of 10 poisonings happen right at home? You can be poisoned by many things, like cleaning products or another person’s medicine. Every year, poison control centers receive more than 2 million calls from people seeking medical help for poisoning. It is the leading cause of unintentional death, surpassing even motor vehicle crashes, and includes drug overdoses, inadvertent ingestion of drugs or chemicals, and exposure to environmental substances.

Meanwhile, drugs in the workplace have become a hot button issue in the healthcare industry. More than 100 people die every day from opioid overdoses, and 75% of employers say their workplaces have been impacted by opioid use, according to a recent National Safety Council poll. Only 17% of employers feel well-prepared to deal with the issue.

For the first time in U.S. history, the National Safety Council estimates that a person is more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash. In fact, workplace overdose deaths involving drugs or alcohol have increased by at least 25% for five consecutive years.

What you can do: Laws to fight opioid abuse are rapidly changing on the state level and may affect you as you accept traveling assignments in different states. Before your next assignment, make sure you have a full understanding of your soon-to-be state’s laws. You can regularly review the State Nurse Practice.

Risks of the Road: Summer brings out the orange. Orange cones, barrels, and signs reminding us all that road construction season has arrived. While almost everyone adjusts accordingly and knows that better roads are coming, there’s always someone who doesn’t plan ahead, slow down, or pay attention. In fact, distracted driving caused 3,166 deaths in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  

What you can do: Navigating unfamiliar roads and new cities is an occupational hazard for many traveling healthcare professionals. To help address this, you can always plan out your travel route beforehand, drive slow through work zones, and limit possible distractions while driving. After all, you won’t be able to care for others if you have a major accident.

Falls: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most safety incidents involve slips, trips, and falls. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. Additionally, more than one in four seniors fall each year. Many falls lead to broken bones or head injuries. Slips, trips, and falls extend to the patient in the hospital, and nurses must be vigilant in assisting all staff and patients with fall prevention. Risk factors for anticipated falls include an unstable or abnormal gait, a history of falling, frequent toileting needs, altered mental status, and certain medications. Among hospitalized older adults, about 38% to 78% of falls can be anticipated. Evidence shows that one-third of reportable falls with injuries in hospitalized older adults are linked to bathroom use. More than half are associated with medications known to contribute to falls, such as anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic drugs. Also, about 40% of falls occur within 30 minutes of an hourly rounding visit by healthcare providers.

What you can do: Nurses hold the key in a critical step in the fall prevention process by communicating the patient’s fall risk and required interventions to colleagues, the patient and family, and significant others who need to support the interventions. Using a systematic process to identify and address the fall risk can nearly eliminate anticipated falls, prevent unanticipated falls from recurring, and significantly decrease accidental falls.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility! A “culture of safety” describes the core values and behaviors that come about when there is a collective commitment by leadership, managers and health care workers to emphasize safety. All nurses, whether permanent or temporary, should be concerned with safety and should work as safely as possible. You should keep safety at the top of your mental checklist, no matter what task you are performing for yourself, your patients and your community. When safety is given top priority, everything else begins to “fall” into place.

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State Spotlight: New Hampshire

By Aubrey Schieuer

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Portsmouth, New Hampshire is bursting with fun for your next Travel Nursing assignment!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to nifty New Hampshire! The Granite State is known for its colorful foliage, independent spirit, and beautiful covered bridges. Read on to see why New Hampshire is the perfect place for your next Travel Nursing adventure!

Travel Nursing in New Hampshire

The Granite State is known for its plentiful tourism opportunities, as well as stable Travel Nurse jobs at many different hospitals. Travel Nurses in New Hampshire will appreciate how they can see the sights while gaining valuable experience in this lovely New England state!

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New Hampshire is home to about 31 hospitals — 3 of which meet high enough standards to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2018/2019 Best Hospitals list. That includes their #1-ranked New Hampshire hospital, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which is nationally ranked in 1 specialty, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in seven additional adult specialties and seven procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top three overall best hospitals in New Hampshire are: Catholic Medical Center in Manchester and the Concord Hospital in Concord.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best States” list put New Hampshire at the top as the #2 state in the country. Along with its high score overall, New Hampshire ranked #1 for opportunity, #4 for natural environment, and #5 for education!  Also, Livability.com ranked Concord, Exeter, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Dover, and Rochester as among the best places to live in Iowa.

As for licensing, New Hampshire is not a walk-through state, but it is a NURSYS and a compact state. Click here for more, up-to-date info on licensing in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Fast Facts

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The purple lilac is New Hampshire’s beautiful state flower.

State Nickname: Granite State

Capital: Concord

Largest City: Manchester

National Parks: 1

State Parks: 93

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 11

State Motto: “Live free or die.”

State Flower: Purple lilac

State Tree: White birch

State Bird: Purple finch

State Rock: Granite

New Hampshire was the 9th state.

New Hampshire is bordered by Quebec, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Of the thirteen original colonies, New Hampshire was the first to declare independence from England – a full 6 months before the Declaration of Independence was signed!

The first free public library in the United States was built in Petersborough, New Hampshire in 1833.

Famous people from New Hampshire include stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman, poet Robert Frost, former president Franklin Pierce, author Dan Brown, actor Adam Sandler, astronaut Alan Shepard, actress Mandy Moore and late night host Seth Meyers.

New Hampshire is the only state where you aren’t required by law to wear a seat belt.

The world’s largest arcade, Funspot Family Fun Center, has over 300 classic arcade games.

The first alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins in Concord, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire has the second highest concentration of vanity plates, second only to Virginia. The people here love self-expression and personalization!

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Mountain views like this one await you in New Hampshire!

Born in Newport, New Hampshire, Sarah Josepha Hale is widely known for two things. One, she wrote the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” And two, she’s responsible for the nationwide celebration of Thanksgiving. She wrote letters to five presidents advocating for Thanksgiving to become a national holiday. Her letter to President Abraham Lincoln succeeded.

The movie “Jumanji”, starring Robin Williams, was filmed in Keene.

Long, long ago there were over 400 covered bridges throughout New Hampshire. Nowadays, there are fewer than 75, but they’re as memorable as they are beautiful. Some of these cute covered bridges have been there since the 1800s. So charming!

New Hampshire has the shortest coastline in the United States, with just 18 miles of coast.

The snowmobile was invented in 1913 by Virgil White in Ossipee, New Hampshire. The inventor was a Ford dealer who created a conversion kit for Model T cars, by adding a set of wooden runners.

The motto of New Hampshire, “Live Free or Die” comes from the Revolutionary War General John Stark. This Hero of Bennington also wrote, “Death is not the worst of evils.”

The famous Clydesdales horses of Anheuser-Busch hail from Merrimack, New Hampshire.

There’s no sales tax in New Hampshire – perfect for a shopping spree or picking up some souvenirs!

To Do & See in New Hampshire

For such a small state, there’s a ton of things to do in New Hampshire! From history to nature to food, you’ll love every moment of your Travel Nursing assignment in New Hampshire.

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Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth is a must-see attraction!

Take a trip to Strawberry Banke, a 400-year-old village in Portsmouth. Stroll through this outdoor living history museum of 32 houses and 10 gardens, preserved from centuries ago. Is air-conditioned history more your style? Check out the Rochester Opera House and the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts in, you guessed it, Rochester.

New Hampshire is big into tourism, so you’ll have plenty to keep yourself busy while off the clock. The White Mountains are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and mountain-climbing. In fact, New Hampshire got the nickname, “Switzerland of America” when early visitors saw how beautiful the White Mountains were and thought of Switzerland. All in all, New Hampshire has 48 mountains that are taller than 4,000 feet. Don’t forget to catch your breath!

Rumney is the site of the Polar Caves, where you can explore rocky chasms that were formed during the last Ice Age. Rumney is also a great place to go rock climbing. At the crag called Waimea, there’s a unique rock type called shist, giving the rock a grainy quality. Rumney, New Hampshire has over 30 different crags for you to test your mettle on. Climb on!

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New Hampshire is full of vibrant colors and natural beauty!

New Hampshire has a history of tapping trees to make maple syrup. There are over 150 sugarhouses there, meaning you’ll have lots of opportunities to sample some tasty syrup! Speaking of trees, New Hampshire practically invented the term “leaf peeper.” Every fall, the beautiful autumn foliage attracts lots of leaf-loving lookers! The colors are truly remarkable at Lake Winnipesaukee.

Close to the White Mountains is Mount Monadnock, which has the honor of being featured in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s and Henry David Thoreau’s writings. Around 125,000 hikers climb Mount Monadnock every year, making it the second most hiked mountain in the world. The views from this easy hike are marvelous. You can even see the Boston skyline glimmering in the distance.

As a coastal state, New Hampshire is known for boiled dinner, che casserole, lobster pound, American Chop Suey, poutine, farmhouse pâté, clam chowder, oysters, steak bombs, and fluffernutters. What was that last thing? A fluffernutter is two pieces of bread, covered in peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Other popular desserts include maple sundaes and cider donuts. Wash it all down with mead, an apple cider cocktail, or apple wine and you’ll be living like a true New Hampshirite!

Ready for your adventure to noble New Hampshire?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in New Hampshire! Or, search all jobs here.

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Congrats to April 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Many thanks and congrats to the April 2019 Traveler of the Month, Allana C. and also our Rising Star winner, Kristin W.!

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Traveler of the Month Allana C. loves her job and the flexibility that comes with it.

Traveler of the Month Allana, an RN who specializes in Interventional Radiology, has more than 11 years of experience in nursing and one year of travel nursing. She works with Career Consultant Elise Phillips, and she is currently on assignment in Boston, Massachusetts.

So far, Boston tops her list of favorite assignments. Plus, Allana thinks the best part about the travel nursing gig is that it gives her the flexibility and freedom to live her life.

“When I’m not working, I take time off to volunteer all over the world,” she says. “[Travel nursing] allows me the freedom to pursue my passion projects without interruptions.”

Allana has the following advice for first-time Travelers.

“Be open-minded and flexible,” she says. “Every place has a different culture and rhythm. Take the time to get to know the people and places. Also, the first couple of weeks are always a little tough while you are learning the ropes, so don’t get discouraged. It gets better and becomes so very rewarding!”

Great advice, Allana, and thank you for all that you do in the name of patient care!

Rising Star of the Month Kristin W. is a Physical Therapy Assistant. She is currently on assignment in Rome, Georgia. Her Career Consultant Rachel Myers thinks Kristin really knocked her first travel assignment out of the park.

“She will be extending her current contract since they [the facility] love her so much!” Rachel says. “Kristin is kind, has a great sense of humor, and is a great professional. We are so lucky to have her representing Medical Solutions!” 

Thanks so much for all of your hard work and commitment to great patient care, Kristin!

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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7 Summer Locations for Travel Nursing Jobs

By Aubrey Schieuer

Sweet summertime! Lots of incredible Travel Nursing jobs open up around the country this time of year. With farmers markets aplenty, music festivals galore, and plenty of sunshine, this is the perfect season for Travel Nurses to start a new adventure.

Check out these 7 Summer Locations for Travel Nursing Jobs to start a summer you’ll never forget!

Minnesota

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Just one of the 10,000 reasons to land in lovely Minnesota!

Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes filled with summertime fun. You can go fishing for walleye, northerns, muskie, and the Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily — a species unique to Minnesota! Paddle away with a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, or take it easy with a guided tour on a boat cruise.  If you’re looking for an urban vibe, be sure to visit the Mall of America in Minneapolis. Also in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis are must-sees like the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Guthrie Theater, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. And nothing says summer like a baseball game — you can catch the Twins at Target Field or the Saints at CHS Field. You’ll be blown away by all the things you can enjoy spending the summer in Minnesota!

Learn more about this awesome state in our Minnesota State Spotlight.

Find your Minnesota Travel Nursing job here!

Virginia

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You won’t believe these Virginia summer views!

With mountains and beaches, Virginia is the perfect summer spot for outdoorsy Travel Nurses. The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Mountains are world-famous for their breathtaking beauty. One fourth of the entire Appalachian Trail is situated in Virginia, giving you so many miles of hiking you’ll never be bored! You have to see the beautiful Atlantic beaches of Virginia for yourself, like Buckroe Beach, Colonial Beach, and Chesapeake Beach. Treat yourself to Buckroe Beach’s Sunday summer concerts and Tuesday outdoor movies. If a stroll through a vineyard is more your style, surround yourself with almost 300 wineries and dozens of beautiful wine trails. Some wine trails incorporate American history with their gorgeous vineyards— like the Monticello Wine Trail of President Thomas Jefferson’s family home.

Check out our Virginia State Spotlight to learn more about this great state.

Click here to explore Travel Nursing jobs in Virginia!

California

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California in the summer is a dream come true!

The Golden State is your golden opportunity to hit a ton of major attractions. Always wanted to go to Disneyland or Universal Studios? Now’s your chance! Do you dream of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the famed Hollywood sign, or Venice beach in Los Angeles? California has it all! Along with a ton of urban hotspots, nature abounds in the awe-inspiring Redwood National Park and Sequoia National Park. And of course, there are countless beaches in California that are perfect for swimming, whale watching, hiking, snorkeling, and surfing. Wind down in wine country by traversing Napa Valley and Sonoma County for fabulous food, stunning views, and world-famous wine.

Check out our California State Spotlight to learn more about The Golden State.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in California!

Massachusetts

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Cape Cod, Massachusetts is one-of-a-kind!

The Bay State is full of historical sites you can’t miss, like the Freedom Trail, the JFK Presidential Library, Adams National Historical Park, and the Plimoth Plantation. Also, you know that summertime means movie time! Every Friday, the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf and the Hatch Shell offer free outdoor movies. For a far-out destination, get yourself to Cape Cod. Filled with quaint little villages, lighthouses, seafood shacks, island ferries, and ocean beaches, this laid-back, near-island has something for everyone. No matter where you go in Massachusetts, there’s plenty to do and see!

Learn more about The Bay State in our Massachusetts State Spotlight.

Click here to find a magnificent Massachusetts Travel Nurse job!

New York

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Iconic moments await you in New York!

Is a whole summer enough to see all of New York? It’s worth a try! First of all, there are monuments everywhere in the Big Apple: you can’t miss the Statue of Liberty, Charging Bull, and Fearless Girl. Central Park and Times Square are so much more than what you see in the movies. And of course, you’ve got to fill up on all the flavors of NYC. Explore Chinatown, eat around the Chelsea Market, and grab yourself a slice of authentic New York pizza. Just don’t forget about upstate New York! Niagara Falls is a destination in its own right. Beer-lovers will rejoice at Buffalo’s more than 35 craft breweries and 5 distilleries. If you go far enough north, you can even drive right into Canada!

Learn more about this great state in our New York State Spotlight.

Click here to find your next Travel Nurse job in New York!

Texas

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Don’t miss out on Travel Nursing in Texas!

Along with vast deserts, mountains, and lakes, Texas is home to significant cultural sites. Take a trip to San Antonio to tour the Alamo, sample incredible food while you meander along the San Antonio Riverwalk, or see a video art installation at the San Fernando Cathedral. Are you itching to make a splash? Check out SeaWorld, Schlitterbahn, or Six Flags for a day of wild water rides. If you’d rather have a day of sun, sand, and seashells, you’d be better off to venture out to South Padre island or San José. Texas is also filled with incredible museums: ponder Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso and more at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, see sculptures and pieces from African-American, Chinese, and Native American cultures at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, or witness real dinosaur skeletons and gorgeous gemstones at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Check out our Texas State Spotlight to learn more about the Lone Star State.

Click here to find your next Travel Nurse job in Texas!

Colorado

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Gorgeous natural scenery abounds in Colorado!

The best time to see Colorado is definitely the summer. Enjoy the crisp mountain air of the Rocky Mountain National Park, which is full of trails to hike, lakes to fish, and mountain animals to watch. If you love being among natural beauty, but don’t want to get yourself lost, see the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs! There are easy-going, paved trails for you to explore. For road-trip enthusiasts, there’s the San Juan Skyway, the Alpine Loop Byway, Phantom Canyon Road, Santa Fe Trail Scenic Byway, and Trail Ridge Road to drive around. Want to sing along to your favorite songs in the fresh mountain air? Catch a concert at the Red Rocks Theatre in Denver. No matter what you like to do, don’t forget to eat! Classic Colorado summer treats include Palisade peaches, Olathe sweet corn, and Rocky Ford cantaloupe.

Learn more about the Centennial State in our Colorado State Spotlight.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in colorful Colorado!

Did we miss your dream summer location? Click here to search Travel Nursing jobs by job title, specialty, and/or state!

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Clinical Corner: Love the Skin You’re In!

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Summertime is almost here! So before you head out to enjoy the sunshine, refresh your memory with these top sun protection tips!

By Phil Niles, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

It’s spring! The long-awaited sun is shining, flowers are blooming (along with allergies), and our sun-starved winter skin is soaking up the rays! Feeling the glorious warmth of the sun is not just a welcome gift, it’s also beneficial to our health. For example, sunlight can alleviate sensitivity reactions to some autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, according to the National Institute of Health. Sunlight also stimulates Vitamin D production, increases our serotonin levels, and causes our bodies to release endorphins. In other words, the sun makes us all feel good!

Moderate sun exposure benefits our well-being, but, as anyone who has suffered from a sunburn before knows, too much sun exposure can be problematic. May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and with summer fast approaching, it’s more important than ever to know how to protect your skin.

Just look at these stats:

  • Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • More than 90 percent of all skin cancer is caused by sun exposure.
  • 1.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • One in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. 
  • Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
  • A blistering sunburn during childhood DOUBLES the risk of melanoma as an adult.  
  • Men are twice as likely to develop skin cancer as women, and it is more common than prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer in men over 50.
  • Nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma every day.

How to protect yourself:

The good news is that most cases of skin cancer are preventable. We just need to be more sun savvy and properly protect our bodies. Fortunately, we have sunscreen to protect us when we want to be out and about, smelling the flowers and feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin.

It’s important to separate sun protection facts from fiction and the first step is often understanding your sunscreen label. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one important part of a complete sun protection regimen. If you see “broad spectrum” and an SPF of 15 or higher on the label, you can be confident in the sunscreen’s ability to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Generic brands are okay — you don’t need to buy the most expensive sunscreen for it to work. However, sunscreen alone is not enough. Whenever possible, you should stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and wear hats and sun-protective clothing to limit your chances of too much sun exposure. You should also avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.

Travel Nurses may find themselves in different climates and may be misled about how much sun exposure they may be getting in their new environment. For example, states with higher elevations tend to have higher levels of ultraviolet radiation. Additionally, sun exposure can still occur with cloud cover and even when it isn’t warm outside. To be prepared, apply at least a shot glass full of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. The key to preventing a burn is to reapply every two hours. Keep small bottles of sunscreen with you to encourage reapplication. Keep some in your car, purse, backpack, etc. so you always have a ready supply for use just in case the sunshine is calling your name.

Yearly skin checks with a licensed dermatologist and doing your own skin checks can also help identify skin cancer or precancerous cells that can be dealt with early on and are considered highly treatable. Things to look for when checking your skin: a small lump, spot or mole that is shiny, waxy, pale in color, and smooth in texture, a red spot or mole that is firm, a sore or spot that bleeds or become crusty or doesn’t heal, rough and scaly patches on the skin, flat scaly areas of the skin that are red or brown, any new growth that is suspicious. Any of these should be examined by a doctor as soon as they are discovered.

Be a sun care role model:

Traveling healthcare professionals can use this month to raise awareness about skin cancer and help their patients act to prevent or detect it, both at home and in the community. As the most trusted profession, nurses are in an ideal position to be sun care role models and spread good habits to those around them. While encouraging sunscreen use, nurses can also partner with a local hospital, state fair, or similar organization to host or volunteer at a skin cancer screening event. Educating yourself and others will do everyone’s skin a favor. And that means we can fully enjoy the sun, knowing we have taken the appropriate steps to prevent overexposure.

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State Spotlight: Iowa

By Aubrey Schieuer

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The dramatic, beautiful Loess Hills are just one part of Iowa’s appeal for your next Travel Nurse gig!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to incredible Iowa! The Hawkeye State is known for the bike enthusiasts of RAGBRAI, the quirkiness of the Iowa State Fair, and some remarkably affordable places to live. Read on to see why Iowa is a fun destination for Travel Nurses of all backgrounds.

Travel Nursing in Iowa

Travel Nurses will appreciate how living in Iowa balances practical things like affordability, safety, and stability with amazing opportunities to see unique landscapes and places. Iowa is home to about 125 hospitals — 6 of which meet high enough standards to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2018/2019 Best Hospitals list. That includes their #1-ranked Iowa hospital, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, which is nationally ranked in 7 adult specialties and 4 children’s specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in four additional adult specialties and four procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Iowa are: Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids, UnityPoint Health-Iowa Methodist in Des Moines, and Genesis Medical Center in Davenport.

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U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” list put Iowa at the very top as the #1 state in the country. Along with the coveted best spot, Iowa ranked #1 for ultra-fast internet access, #2 for housing, #3 for affordability, and #3 for health care! How’s that for the cream of the crop? Also, Livability.com ranked Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ames, Marion, Waterloo, Sioux City and Iowa City as among the best places to live in Iowa.

As for licensing, Iowa is not a walk-through state, but it is a NURSYS and a compact state. Click here for more, up-to-date info on licensing in Iowa.

Iowa Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Hawkeye State

Capital: Des Moines

Largest City: Des Moines

National Parks: 2

State Parks: 87

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 35

State Motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

State Flower: Wild Rose

State Tree: Oak

State Bird: American goldfinch

State Rock: Geode

Iowa was the 29th state.

American.Gothic 1 - State Spotlight: Iowa
This iconic painting, American Gothic, was inspired by an Iowan home.

Remember that famous painting, American Gothic? The artist, Grant Wood, lived and painted in Iowa, and most of his work was based on typical Midwestern scenes. You can even visit the house that inspired the iconic painting in Eldon and get your picture taken while wearing the same clothes as the painting. 

Iowa is bordered by Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Inventions from Iowa include sliced bread, the trampoline, the radio, and the digital computer!

More than 25% of Iowa’s electricity comes from wind power.

Iowa’s state flag is patterned after the national French flag, since before statehood, Iowa used to be part of French Louisiana.

Think Iowa is just farmland? Think again! Iowa’s urban population outnumbers its rural population 61.1% to 38.9%.

Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers.

Famous people hailing from Iowa include James Dean, Johnny Carson, Donna Reed, Gene Wilder, Andy Williams, Ashton Kutcher, Shawn Johnson, Elijah Wood, and President Herbert Hoover. Iowa is also the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.

Iowa has more golf courses per capita than any other state.

At a concert in Des Moines in 1982, the famous singer Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of a bat. Yes, really! A fan threw the bat onstage and Ozzy thought it was a rubber toy. He went to the hospital immediately after the show to get treated for rabies.

Field.Dreams - State Spotlight: Iowa
Add the Field of Dreams movie site to your bucket list!

The Field of Dreams film was shot in Dyersville. You can visit the movie site yourself and participate in Ghost Sundays. Other movies filmed in Iowa include Children of the Corn, The Bridges of Madison County, and Twister.

Sabula is Iowa’s only island city. With a small population of 576, Sabula boasts beaches and a campground, and is a popular tourist destination for the people of Chicago.

The number of chickens in Iowa outnumbers the human populations of California and Texas combined!

There’s a National Hobo Convention that meets the second week of August every year. Since 1900, the town of Britt has hosted this unique gathering of people. Annual traditions include a Saturday morning parade and the crowning of the Hobo King and Queen.

To Do & See in Iowa

Iowa has so much more than you might think! There are lots of fun places to go and things to do in a state full of opportunities and adventure.

Butter - State Spotlight: Iowa
Sculptures made of butter? You bet!

The first Iowa State Fair was held at Fairfield in 1854, at a cost of just $323. Nowadays, over 1 million people come every year to Des Moines to listen to music, ride the Ferris wheel, and see lots and lots of well-bred animals. And you can’t miss the annual butter sculpture – the quirkiest tribute to art and butter you’ll ever see. Previous butter sculptures include the Peanuts gang, The Last Supper by Da Vinci, Star Trek characters, and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Adventureland is a fun amusement park located outside Des Moines. There are roller coasters for thrill-seekers, a water park called Adventure Bay, and live entertainment from magic shows and circus acts to live music and juggling. With over 100 rides, shows, and attractions, you’re sure to have a great time!

On the eastern side of the state, you can explore natural formations at the Maquoketa Caves State Park, which contains more caves than any other state park. There are walk-in caves to explore, as well as caves that you need to crawl through on your hands and knees. Journey on over to the western side of Iowa to see the Loess Hills, a unique landscape of prairie and forest-covered steep bluffs. Don’t forget your camera! The Loess Hills make for some beautiful hiking and breathtaking scenery.

Do you love to bike? RAGBRAI is the largest bike touring event in the world. The full name, Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, is a bit of a mouthful. RAGBRAI has been going on since 1973 and thousands make the week-long bicycle trek across the state. Usually held in July, the event is limited to 8,500 riders. And beyond one-time biking events like RAGBRAI, there are 1,800 miles of bike trails for you to explore across the beautiful state.

Oh, and it goes without saying that you won’t be disappointed with Iowa’s food offerings. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a Maid-Rite, a loose meat sandwich that was first made in Iowa. Scotcharoos, rhubarb pie, and puppy chow are unique Iowan dessert experiences you can’t find anywhere else. Wash it all down with a Boone Valley IPA or some Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey and you’ll be living like a true Iowan!

Ready for your adventure to incredible Iowa?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Iowa! Or, search all jobs here.

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Congrats to March 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Many thanks and congrats to the March 2019 Traveler of the Month, Elizabeth O., and also our Rising Star winner, Chera L.!

Traveler of the Month Elizabeth is an RN, BSN, specializing in ER, who is currently on assignment in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s been in nursing for three and a half years, traveling for one year, and works with her Career Consultant Melissa Barks.

IMG 2143 copy 768x1024 - Congrats to March 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Elizabeth O. and her furry friend, Suzie Q. kayaking on Lake Powell. Congrats, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth’s favorite part about Travel Nursing is the experiences she has along the way.

“Travel nursing is a great way to explore the country while doing what you love,” she says. “Traveling has allowed me to develop new interests and meet new people. A new location almost certainly brings about a love for a new hobby, fun activity, or budding friendship that you never expected.”

Elizabeth, who travels with her fur baby, Suzie Q, says her favorite assignment to date has been Colorado.

“Colorado has an absolutely magnificent natural landscape,” says Elizabeth, “I love the outdoors and staying active. Climbing, biking, hiking, and kayaking; you name it! Just about any outdoor activity can fit in right at home in Colorado.”

Elizabeth has a few wonderful pointers for new Travelers:

1. “Be adaptive. As the new nurse in the health care facility, you will have to make additional efforts to adapt to the new environment. It will be easier once you are acquainted with the rest of the staff. A good attitude and a positive approach can be helpful.”

2. “Get to know your destination.”

3. “Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun and make friends! Working in new places 3 to 4 times a year means you’ll experience new cultures, new sights, and new people.”

Thanks so much for your hard work and great advice, Elizabeth!

Rising Star of the Month Chera is a Cath Lab radiology technologist who is now on assignment in Bakersfield, California. She has more than 14 years of experience in her specialty — three of which she has spent traveling — and she works with Career Consultant Jackie Sleddens.

Chera - Congrats to March 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Rising Star of the Month Chera L. enjoys meeting new people and seeing new places while on assignment!

As a Traveler, Chera has enjoyed living and working in several different cities across the U.S. In fact, seeing new places and meeting new people is why she loves her job so much. However, so far, San Francisco remains her all-time favorite assignment.  

“I absolutely loved the city, the job, and the people I worked with,” says Chera.

While Chera has downright magical clinical skills, she’s not particularly interested in who’s finally going to sit on the Iron Throne.

“I have never watched Game of Thrones,” she says proudly. Instead, this awesome tech prefers to play games and puzzles with family and friends.

Chera’s advice to new Travelers is simple.

“Just be yourself, be open to new ways of doing things, and enjoy your experiences,”

Thanks so much for all of your hard work and commitment to great patient care, Chera!

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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Congrats to our 2019 Nurses Week Winners!

Recruiter E Cards Nurses are Magic Email - Congrats to our 2019 Nurses Week Winners!
Congrats to our 2019 Nurses Week winners!

Thank you to all the hard-working nurses out there who celebrated Nurses Week with Medical Solutions! We love our Travel Nurses and their magical nurse skills. Accordingly, we had 19 awesome prizes ready for the taking over at WeLoveOurNurses.com. Without further ado, here are the lucky winners:

$50 Amazon Gift Card Winners

Tocinda J.

Cathy S.

Stephanie G.

Jill C.

Debra S.

Shannon E.

Brittney G.

Genie G.

Rachael H.

Robb S.

Karen A.

Kendra F.

Brittany N.

Audrey R.

$300 Amazon Gift Card Winners

Siham A.

Farida L.

Liz O.

Amory M.

Jordan C.

Again, a huge congrats to the winners and thanks to ALL the nurses everywhere who helped make this Nurses Week so special.

We hope to see you at next year’s Nurses Week festivities, but why wait until then? We’d love to keep in touch with you. Our monthly newsletter can keep you in the know and offers a variety of clinical articles, Travel Nurse career advice, job location highlights, Medical Solutions news, and more! You can subscribe here.

Also, if you’re ready to expand your horizons and your clinical experience, check out our open positions here. 

Many thanks for all that you do in the name of excellent patient care!