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State Spotlight: Pennsylvania

Rear view of woman wearing sports clothing, arms raised looking at city

Find out why Pennsylvania is the perfect location for Travel Nurse champs!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to phenomenal Pennsylvania! The Keystone State is loaded with exciting career opportunities for Travel Nurses as well as diverse terrain that includes farmland, forests, and mountains, historical cities, great food, and all kinds of fun stuff to do on your day off. Read on for some “major keys” on why Travel Nurse assignments in The Keystone State are amazing!        

Travel Nursing in Pennsylvania

State of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a phenomenal state for Travel Nursing!

Pennsylvania offers a steady inventory of Travel Nursing jobs for you to choose from. These are great job opportunities at Traveler-friendly hospitals that let you beef up your resume and build your healthcare skills. Plus, The Keystone State is a gorgeous blend of city and country, with all kinds of exciting adventures to partake in on your days off. 

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 250 hospitals — 27 of which meet high enough standards to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals list. That includes their #1-ranked Pennsylvania hospital, Philadelphia’s Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, which is nationally ranked in 11 specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in two more adult specialties and seven procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Pennsylvania are: Pittsburgh’s UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Philadelphia’s Jefferson Health-Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Hershey’s Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Allentown’s Lehigh Valley Hospital.    

U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” list ranked Pennsylvania #38 overall, as well as #16 for opportunity and #23 for healthcare.

As for licensing, Pennsylvania is not a walk-through state, a compact state, or a NURSYS state. Click here for more info on licensing in Pennsylvania. 

Pennsylvania Fast Facts

Independence Hall of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is home to tons of U.S. history!

State Nickname: The Keystone State or The Quaker State

Capital: Harrisburg

Largest City: Philadelphia

National Parks: 19

State Parks: 111

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 196

State Motto: “Virtue, liberty, and independence”

State Flower: Mountain Laurel

State Tree: Hemlock

State Animal: White-tailed Deer

State Dog: Great Dane

State insect: Firefly

Pennsylvania was the second state and one of the original 13 colonies.

For one season during World War II, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers combined to become the Steagles!

The movie theater, Zippo lighters, the Slinky, bubblegum, Crayola crayons, bifocals, lightning rods, revolving doors, the smiley face emoticon, matchbooks, packaged condiments, pencils with attached erasers, the polio vaccine, odometers, gas stations, soda pop, Jeeps, the toilet paper roll, Choco Tacos, Monopoly, the Ferris Wheel, and even The United States of America were all invented in Pennsylvania!

Backpacking West Rim Trail Pennsylvania

Hike the beautiful West Rim Trail in Tioga State Park. The 30-mile trail overlooks Pine Creek Gorge and is considered the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Pennsylvania was named in honor of William Penn’s dad, Admiral Sire William Penn, and the name means “Penn’s Woodland.”

Pennsylvania was famously once the seat of the federal government, from about 1776 to 1800.

Love them or hate them, Peeps are manufactured at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s Just Born Candy factory.

The first circulating library, The Library Company of Philadelphia, began in 1731. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin and partners.

Hershey, Pennsylvania is the Chocolate Capital of the U.S.

The world’s first commercial broadcast station, KDKA out of Pittsburgh, started daily broadcasts on November 2, 1920.

The United States’ first zoo was built in Philadelphia in 1876.

Betsy Ross created the first American flag in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania is home to the highest concentration of Amish in the country.

Pennsylvania is the only original colony that is not bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.

The first daily newspaper was published in Pennsylvania in 1784.

Famous folks from Pennsylvania include Meek Mill, Mister Rogers, Louisa May Alcott, Arnold Palmer, Taylor Swift, Tina Fey, Kobe Bryant, Grace Kelly, Kevin Hart, Amber Rose, Joan Jett, Jim Croce, Bret Michaels, Gillian Jacobs, Amanda Seyfried, Mac Miller, Bob Saget, Christine Taylor, Jack Palance, Kate Gosselin, Seth Green, Gene Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, Betsy Ross, Noam Chomsky, Billie Holiday, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Wilt Chamberlain, and Daniel Boone.      

Liberty Bell Detail

Crack goes the Liberty Bell!

Pennsylvania’s Indiana County has been dubbed the Christmas Tree Capital of the World.

Orefield, Pennsylvania is home to the oldest drive-in movie theater in the nation — Shankweiler’s Drive-In, which opened in 1934. 

Nazareth, Pennsylvania has been home to Martin Guitars since 1833. 

Hellam, Pennsylvania is home to the world’s largest shoe — which is also a house!

The first baseball stadium was built in 1909 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Rockville Bridge is the world’s longest stone arch bridge.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is home to the all-knowing Punxsutawney Phil who gets his annual 15 minutes of fame each Groundhog Day, whether he sees his shadow or not!

James Buchanan was the only president to hail from Pennsylvania.

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is the Mushroom Capital of the World.

The world’s first computer was used in Philadelphia in 1946.

To Do & See in Pennsylvania

Allegheny National Forest

Allegheny National Forest is just one of Pennsylvania’s gorgeous great outdoors spots.

The Keystone State has tons for Travelers to do and see. There are the calm rolling hills, dramatic mountains, and several city centers offering excitement and history. Pennsylvania is a truly phenomenal place for your next adventure in Travel Nursing!

On the urban tip, Pennsylvania’s largest cities include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie. Each of these cities represents what makes Pennsylvania such a great place to live, work, and play — with various bits of unique history, scintillating sports, divine drinks and eats, and so much more.

Yo, Adrian! Philadelphia is so much more than just Rocky’s hometown. Pennsylvania’s largest city is a wonderful place to brush up on history. You can tour Independence Hall (the birthplace of the United States), check out the Liberty Bell, jog up the “Rocky steps” and pose with the bronze statue of Balboa at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, check out the many awesome museums on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, visit the vendors at Reading Terminal Market, explore South Philly’s Italian Market, kayak down the Schuylkill, and so much more!

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

The Keystone State is known for its famous Philly cheesesteaks and many other delicious eats!

You will, of course, want to snag a famous Philly Cheesesteak while in the city of brotherly love. Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks, Jim’s Steaks, Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies, John’s Roast Pork, Steve’s Prince of Steaks, and Sonny’s Famous Steaks are some of the city’s best. (More on Pennsylvania food below!)

Some of the state’s other must-sees include Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater home south of Pittsburgh, Hershey’s Hersheypark — a chocolate-themed amusement park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Museum of Natural History Museum, and more.

Pennsylvania is also home to rich rolling hills dotted with farms and some bucolic small towns that make great day trips, including New Hope, Lititz, Doylestown, Strasburg, Wellsboro, Mars, and Boiling Springs. These towns offer quaint scenery, rich heritage, fun activities, great food, and more.

Pennsylvania’s York County has been dubbed the Snack Food Capital of the World thanks to the many popular snack brands made there. But whether you just want a nibble or a more substantial nosh, Pennsylvania is known for some delicious eats.

Valley Forge Sunset

Beautiful sunset at Valley Forge National Park!

In addition to snacks from the likes of Utz, Snyder’s of Hanover, Herr’s, and others, Pennsylvania is known for its soft pretzels, pierogies, Whoopie pies, scrapple, Peeps, Hershey’s chocolate, Lebanon bologna, apple butter, Tastykake, dippy eggs, pot pie, Old Forge-Style pizza, Stromboli, wedding soup, red beet eggs, mushroom strudel, Shoofly pie, Primanti Bros. sandwiches,  and, of course, famous Philly cheesesteaks. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Arnold Palmer or Yuengling beer and you’ll be living like a true Pennsylvanian!

Sports fans will cheer for assignments in Pennsylvania as you’ll get the chance to root for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia 76ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Union, and tons of other great pro, semi-pro and college teams.

For lovers of the great outdoors, Pennsylvania does not disappoint. The Keystone State is a great place to hike the Allegheny Mountains, bike the Great Allegheny Passage, kayak the Susquehanna River, ski the Poconos Mountains, beach it up on Lake Erie, explore the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, and so much more.

Ready for your adventure to Pennsylvania?!

Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Pennsylvania!

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2018 Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest Winners

The judges have conferred over hundreds of truly amazing submissions and the 2018 Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest Winners have been crowned!

Last month we challenged our amazing Travelers — past, present, and (we hope!) future — to share their best snapshots of what it means to them to be rocking the nurse life. We offered up four $100 Amazon gift cards as prizes to motivate all the nurse shutterbugs out there to really bring their photographic A-game — and guess what? You guys brought it so hard that we had to add a fifth winner!

It was stiff competition and we are grateful to everyone who shared their snapshots with us, but want to say a special thanks and congrats to our wonderful winners. Without further ado, check out the incredible winning pics below!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Caitlyn B.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Kattie B.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Erin, T.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Sabrina G.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Kalley K.!

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Roundup River Ranch 2018: Katie’s Story

Roundup River Ranch

Medical Solutions Traveler, Katie, shares her Roundup River Ranch camp story this month!

In 2018, Medical Solutions partnered once again with Roundup River Ranch, a Serious Fun camp in Gypsum, Colorado, that offers a free camp experience to children with serious illnesses. Part of our contribution to Roundup River Ranch includes helping recruit talented healthcare professionals to support campers’ medical needs. That’s also good news and a great opportunity for Medical Solutions Travelers who’ve always wanted to do good and go back to camp!

This summer we helped recruit three amazing Travel Nurses to spend the summer at Roundup River Ranch, and over the next few months, we’ll share their camp stories with you. First up, here is Katie’s story.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from?

My name is Katie! I’m originally from New York and currently live in Arizona. I have been working in the Emergency Department for the last five-and-a-half years and have been traveling for the last two years with my adorable dog, Acey!

What inspired you to work at Roundup River Ranch this summer?

My entire nursing career has been in the Emergency Department. I see people on one of the worst days of their lives. Sometimes we get to medical issues in the ER, but many times we just stabilize our patients and don’t get to see them cured and healthy. When I saw the opportunity to work at Roundup River Ranch it was the only thing I could think of for days. The idea of working with kids with serious illnesses, but outside of the hospital, and seeing them on one of the BEST days of their lives sounded like exactly what I needed in my life! I read all about Roundup River Ranch — their mission, vision, and guideposts, and along with seeing pictures and YouTube videos from camp, it literally brought me to tears! Applying to work here was definitely the easiest decision I’ve ever made!

How has your camp experience at Roundup River Ranch changed your personal and professional outlook? Would you say you’ve become a better nurse? 

Working at Roundup River Ranch has not only made me a better nurse but also a better person! Camp has changed my life in so many ways; it has made me a happier person and so grateful for what I’ve been blessed with. These campers are truly my heroes. They face so many obstacles in their daily life, but never let it get them down. At camp there are no obstacles for them — at Roundup there is NOTHING they can’t do!

At camp we have 10 guideposts that remind the campers and staff what Roundup is all about, and my favorite two that will always stay with me are “embrace joy” and “give 110%.” When I leave camp, I want to always remember and live by those two guideposts for the rest of my life! I want to find the joy in every situation and everywhere I go and I want to always give my all, and then some — both at work and personally!

What types of memories from this camp will you take back to your life as an RN? Which ones stand out as the most rewarding and why?

I have learned so much as a nurse working at Roundup! Some of our campers require special treatments while at camp, many of which were new to me. I had wonderful professors in school, but I have to say my favorite teachers were those campers! They weren’t concerned that I’ve never done their specific procedure before. They taught me what to do and by the end of the week I was a professional — just like them!

I have so many amazing memories from camp! Watching our campers who are paralyzed and in wheelchairs climb the rock wall with only their upper arm strength, seeing campers who are shy and reserved come out of their shell at stage night (AKA, the talent show), camp dancing, campers riding a horse for the first time, catching a fish, no hands spaghetti, bedtime cabin chats … the list goes on and on.

One memory that will remain with me long after camp is over, would be the goodbyes, which are never fun. Having these kids come running up to give you a hug goodbye and telling you how much they are going to miss you, after only knowing you for a week, was so special. The bond we created and the trust we built with our campers in such a short period of time was truly remarkable, and definitely unlike anything I get to experience while working in the ER!

What would you tell other nurses about this camp and would you recommend going back?

GO! If you ever get the opportunity to go, GO! It will be the best decision of your life! I’ve never worked at a summer camp before; didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into, but I had the absolute best time I could imagine! You need to see just how life-changing this place is — for the campers and for you!

What will you miss the most when camp is over?

I’ll miss the friendships! Living in close quarters with about 60 other nurses, program leaders, cabin leaders, and volunteers for three months straight, we all became a family real fast! We all worked together to create the best week possible for every camper!

I’ll miss the smiles. Every day you’d be hard pressed to find someone not smiling and not having an amazing day.

I’ll miss the costume closet. Having lunch with a camper dressed like a princess to your right, and someone else dressed as a hotdog to your left was just normal meal time for us!

I’ll miss the scenery. It’s picture perfect up here! The mountains look like a backdrop, and the stars really are so much closer and brighter here!

Mostly I’ll miss the campers, the pure joy on their faces every day, the carefree attitude, and their strength! They are truly what makes the magic of this camp come alive!

Roundup River Ranch

Everybody loves camp!

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Clinical Corner: Marijuana Law

Marijuana leaf and stethoscope.

Can a nurse or healthcare professional be fired for using recreational marijuana on his or her day off when recreational use is legal in that nurse’s state? The answer is yes.

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

The public is becoming more supportive of marijuana law reform every day, with new polls showing that more than half of the country is in favor of legalizing marijuana. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana. Since then, 23 other states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and supporters are commending the ability to regulate, tax, and test marijuana. Even though there’s much support for legalization, in all states where medicinal and recreational use is allowed, employers may still enforce and comply with a drug-free workplace. So, what does this mean for hospitals and other companies in states where marijuana use is legal?

Many employers are navigating how state laws affect employment and have policies stating that a positive drug screen is grounds for termination. Whether or not an employer can test employees for drugs is controversial and laws on this vary from state to state. Industries like transportation and nuclear energy are heavily regulated by the federal government and don’t give much say to the employer. Local and state governments, on the other hand, may have different regulations and leave much of the decision up to the employer. If the employer chooses to drug test employees, they must follow their state’s rules and procedures, which are intended to prevent discrimination and inaccurate collection of samples. Many states allow testing based on the following guidelines:

  1. The applicant knows that testing will be a part of the screening process.
  2. The employer has already offered the applicant the job, contingent on passing the drug test.
  3. All applicants for similar jobs are tested in the same way.
  4. The tests are administered by a state-certified lab.

Today, most companies that conduct drug testing will have their applicants submit an agreement to the testing.

As a Traveler and healthcare professional, you are agreeing to drug testing under federal law. This poses a question that many may not know the answer to: Can a nurse or healthcare professional be fired for using recreational marijuana on his or her day off when recreational use is legal in that nurse’s state? The answer is yes. It is still illegal to use marijuana under federal law even if it is legal in your state. The take-home message is that you should never want to risk your career and the federal law trumps any state laws.

Legalizing marijuana will have many ramifications in the workplace. The biggest and most influential ramification is patient safety. The best way to ensure quality care and to make sure patients are safe is to keep the workplace drug free.

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Congrats to May 2018’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Traveler Marsha T

Congrats to May Traveler of the Month, Marsha, (pictured) and Rising Star, Marisa.

Many thanks and congrats to the May 2018 Traveler of the Month, Marsha T., and also our Rising Star winner, Marisa F.!

Traveler of the Month Marsha is a Special Procedure Tech for Cath/EP/EV/IR — certified as a RT(R) — currently working in Maine. She’s been traveling for nearly a year and works with Career Consultant Stephanie Weeden.

In addition to her current Maine assignment, Marsha also did an assignment in Chicago, Illinois, with several extensions.

“My favorite assignment has been Chicago, due to the amazing staff and physicians.  I learned a lot there,” she says. “But location-wise Maine would be the best. It is beautiful here. I had the most uplifting and freeing hike in the woods of Maine alone and it was invigorating!”

Travel Nurse Marsha

Some of the gorgeous scenery Marsha’s seen on her Travel Nurse journey.

Marsha travels solo, but makes a point to have visits from her 19-year-old son so the two of them can explore new areas together.

“We are very close and he loves the experience,” says Marsha.

Marsha is very satisfied in her profession and says that drives her to do her best work.

“I love what I do. I work a lot and take a lot of call,” she says. “I believe anything worth doing is worth doing correctly and with all your heart. Outside of work I am just a family person that would rather be with family than anyone else.”

Travel Nurse Marsha

More gorgeous scenery!

Marsha loves to learn and see new places, which makes her a perfect fit for Travel Nursing.

“The best thing about traveling is that I get to see new places while making good money,” she says. “It is also awesome that I get to learn new things and learn how to do the same things in a new way.”

Marsha shared some great tips for new and aspiring Travel Nurses.

“My recommendation for a new Traveler is to always be willing to lend a hand, even when it isn’t ‘your room or your case,’” says Marsha. “Second recommendation is to stay off your phone and stay busy stocking, cleaning, or visiting with your coworkers — you can learn a lot about the area you are in and how to be better at what you do. My third recommendation is something I am just learning and that is to explore. I didn’t venture out much my first location because I was alone, but in Maine, I have been exploring and it is amazing. Just because you are alone, don’t let it hold you back. It’s an amazing, beautiful world out there and you have the great privilege of being able to explore it while getting paid. Have fun and grow as a person and a healthcare professional. Explore and enjoy being a Traveler!”

Thanks for your insightful advice and awesome work ethic, Marsha! We appreciate you.

Rising Star Marisa is an Oncology RN, BSN, currently on assignment in Massachusetts, who’s been in nursing for six years and traveling for two years. She works with Career Consultant Tom Huber.

Travel Nurse Marisa F

Congrats to May Rising Star, Marisa! She’s been collecting animals along her way, including this handsome guy, Otis, whom she describes as a “65-pound brown and tan mutt — part husky, part trash compactor, part Houdini, part your guess is as good as mine.”

Marisa is a natural fit for Travel Nursing, as she’s been moving around the country for the past 15 years even prior to becoming a Travel Nurse.

“I’ve almost seen all 50 states, and I’m working on getting to the last two — North Dakota and Hawaii,” says Marisa.

With all the places she’s traveled, Marisa’s favorite assignment so far has been in Fort Collins, Colorado.

“It’s a pretty town with beautiful mountains and through my patients I got to meet a lot of interesting people,” says Marisa. “People who still do cattle ranching on spreads thousands of acres big, farriers, former rodeo cowboys, retirees from the coasts who came chasing the western life dream, scientists, students, engineers, professors, smoke jumpers, sheriffs, folks who were ‘diverted’ to our hospital from six hours away in South Dakota and Wyoming — imagine driving six hours through open country with no cell service to see your doctor, members of Native American tribes and descendants of people who originally came to that part of the country in covered wagons. Their stories made for a very interesting experience. That and the fact that one day on my drive into work I had to stop and call the police station because there were a bunch of cows loose in the road. (All cattle were safely rounded up later.) I loved my commute, pretty mountain vistas, you could watch thunderstorms sweep across the landscape from miles away, all the pretty horses in the fields, and the staff was great to work with there.”

Marisa says her favorite part about traveling is “the people you meet, the places you go, and what you learn from both,” but she also travels with a great crew of her own — which she describes quite humorously.

“I travel with my 65-pound brown and tan mutt, Otis — part husky, part trash compactor, part Houdini, part your guess is as good as mine — whom I found in Colorado, and with my orange cat whom we simply call ‘Orange Cat,’ whom I found in Mississippi (part foot warmer, part paperweight),” says Marisa. “I found my significant other in Louisiana and he wanders the nation with me as well. His duties include dog and cat wrangling and being the voice of reason so that we don’t pick up a stray animal in each state.”

Marisa offered this great advice for fellow or future Travelers: “Travel light. Roll with the punches. Be flexible. Realize how much you’re appreciated by coming in and helping out and the huge impact you can make on the patients and staff. Remember to get out and enjoy each area while you can, it’s unique and you may never be there again. Eat healthy, exercise, and enjoy. Master the art of saying hello and goodbye, and don’t be surprised when leaving is bittersweet for both you and the people you meet.”

Thanks for the great advice and for being such a wonderful Traveler, Marisa!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions May 2018 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Marsha and Marisa, we are so thankful for your solid commitment to excellent patient care and your amazing sense of adventure!

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 April 2018’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

gold medal travel nurse

Eleonora and Kendra, you guys win the gold for April 2018!

Many thanks and congrats to the April 2018 Traveler of the Month, Eleonora D., and also our Rising Star winner, Kendra D.!

Traveler of the Month Eleonora is an Medsurg/Tele RN who has been working with Career Consultant Jenny Groen for about a year and a half. Eleonora just completed a travel assignment at in Mammoth Lakes, California and now she’s home for the summer and taking a break from traveling.

“El is a delight to work with and has become a friend,” says Jenny. “She makes every place she travels to her home. She always fits in perfectly with other Travelers and the perm staff and steps up to help in every way she can. El likes to travel to see the country and experience adventure — she takes advantage of making the best of every situation!”

Jenny says she truly enjoys her time with El and admires her personally and professionally.

“When I talk to El, it is like talking to one of my friends,” says Jenny. “She is passionate about what she does, and I am passionate about making sure she gets an amazing experience out of every travel assignment with Medical Solutions. I have her back in every situation and am thankful for the opportunity to have a nurse and friend like her in my life!”

Thanks for your hard work and for everything you do in the name of delivering great patient care, Eleonora!

Rising Star Kendra is an RN, BSN currently on assignment in Louisville, Kentucky. She works with Career Consultant Jennifer Heese and has been with Medical Solutions since January 2018.

“Kendra is a fantastic nurse,” says Jennifer. “She is very flexible and always willing to do what is needed to make sure her patients are taken care of. She even floats to other units where she is needed and is always willing to do so without question. She truly understands that we are a team in this. If she needs something from me she is a priority and she 100% does the same for me. I hope to be working with her for many assignments to come. I am excited to get her started on her next assignment on the west coast!”

Jennifer says she is continuously impressed with how Kendra represents Medical Solutions and serves her patients.

“Kendra is a great representation of Medical Solutions and has been so wonderful to work with,” says Jennifer. “She has had great feedback from patients she has taken care of and from the hospital staff as well. She got a perfect evaluation from her manager! I know she goes in every day and gives it her all. I am so lucky to have her on my team.”

Jennifer says even aside from Kendra’s amazing nurse prowess, Kendra is someone she truly admires as a person.

“Not only is she a great nurse, but I just love the way she talks about her grandkids,” says Jennifer. “She is a great role model for them and they are lucky to have her. I hope they truly see what an inspiration she is.”

Thanks for being such an amazing Traveler, Kendra! We appreciate you.

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions April 2018 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Eleonora and Kendra, we are so thankful for your incredible commitment to superior patient care and your amazing sense of adventure!

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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Clinical Corner: Sentinel Event Alert #59 — Violence Against Healthcare Workers

Stop Violence

The Joint Commission’s recent Sentinel Event Alert #59 focuses on physical and verbal violence against healthcare workers.

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers in healthcare settings are four times more likely to be victims of workplace violence than workers in other industries. Workplace violence includes disruptive, violent events as well as the verbal abuse that many healthcare workers face daily.

In April 2018, The Joint Commission issued Sentinel Event Alert #59, which deals with physical and verbal violence against healthcare workers. This alert focuses not just on violence, but also serves as an aid to help organizations to recognize and acknowledge violent behaviors, better prepare staff to handle the threat and risk to safety, and more effectively address the aftermath.

Effective management of violence starts with an investigation of the contributing factors that may exist to precipitate violent situations or behaviors. One of the biggest factors is the setting in which healthcare workers operate. It comes at no surprise that the emergency department and inpatient psychiatric settings have the most recorded incidents. The home care setting presents unique challenges because of the disorganized and uncontrolled environment the patient care occurs in. Sixty-one percent of home care workers report workplace violence each year. The LTC setting for cognitively impaired patients also presents special challenges to managing violence and the most common characteristic exhibited by perpetrators of violence is altered mental status associated with underlying dementia, delirium, substance abuse, or other mental impairments.

Such elements associated with the perpetrators and the healthcare setting in which they exist are just a few of the contributing factors to violence. Other factors associated with violence are stressful conditions, long wait times, lack of organizational policies and training, domestic disputes amongst patients and families, inadequate security, understaffing, staff working in isolated areas, lack of access to emergency communication, unrestricted access to hospital rooms and clinics, and lack of community mental health care. These contributing factors can lead to low staff morale, lawsuits, and high worker turnover which leads to burnout. To combat the factors associated with workplace violence, The Joint Commission suggests several actions to take to look beyond solutions that merely increase security presence.

The first suggestion is to clearly define what workplace violence is and to put systems into place across the organization that enable staff to report the violence. The goal in establishing systems and procedures within an organization is zero harm to patients and staff, create a culture of reporting all events of physical and verbal violence, encourage conversations about violence, develop protocols, guidelines, or tools that make identifying potential perpetrators simple and easy. Another key step to reducing these incidents is tracking them and keeping records of the incidents. Gathering information on the different incidents and keeping a centralized database will be extremely beneficial to analyze and track worker injury and workplace violence.

Tracking each event will help to look for trends in the contributing factors associated with the violent act. It is also important to remember that follow-up should occur with the victims associated with the act. This follow-up is necessary to provide support to the victims but also the witnesses and this may include psychological counseling, debriefing, and trauma-informed care if necessary. Once a follow-up or debriefing has taken place it is always essential to analyze the contributing factors to the incident. According to OSHA, this includes a worksite analysis and hazard identification but furthermore, it is a demonstration on the value that reporting plays in communicating to staff the risk assessment and interventions taken in similar situations. Once the data has been analyzed and the problem has been identified implementation of cost-effective, evidence-based solutions specific to the problems identified at the local or unit level should be initiated.

Launching a new solution is more complex than just putting the procedure in place. Training all staff including security personnel on de-escalation, self-defense, and response to emergency codes is the next step in improvement with workplace violence. Self-defense training may include de-escalation techniques, alarms, security support, safe rooms, escape plans, and emergency communication procedures. The emergency response codes should be practiced with a variety of mock violent situations so that staff are adequately prepared to react in any types of violent events. Amidst the adoption of new strategies, keeping abreast of any changes will help to establish quality and an evidence-based practice approach in preventing any violence within the healthcare setting.

Click here to learn more about The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert #59.

 

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2018 Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest

Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest

Calling all nurse shutterbugs! Enter the Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest for the chance to win one of four $100 Amazon gift cards.

A career in nursing can be a real roller coaster ride — but at least that means you’re never short on adventure! We are constantly inspired by our Travel Nurses, their hard work on the job and their zest for life after hours, so we adore seeing photographic evidence of their fabulousness.

For our 2018 Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest, we want to see your best images of what it means to be living that nurse life! It could be a cute scrubs selfie, pics of the family or furry friend you come home to after a long day, photos of your amazing day off, or the large coffee (or glass of wine!) that help you conquer it all in style — anything that depicts what inspires you personally or professionally.

Want to hear about the cherry on top? You could be one of four lucky folks to win a $100 Amazon gift card!

Ready to Share Your Snapshot? Here are the details:

  • Submit your entries at photos.medicalsolutions.com. You can share as many photos as you like but will be limited to your first 10 entries for contest purposes.
  • Submissions will be accepted June 25th through July 11th.
  • Our panel of judges will choose four lucky winners, each of whom will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Winners may be asked to provide proof that they’re employed as a healthcare professional.

We can’t wait to see all of your amazing images and we wish you the best of luck! If you need some inspiration, be sure to check out our Instagram or peruse our website to see some of the sweet pics our Travel Nurses have shared with us in the past.

And if you’re raring to go now, click here to submit your entry to the 2018 Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest!

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Top 7 Spots for Summer Travel Nursing Jobs

Top 7 Spots for Summer Travel Nursing Jobs

Discover your destiny with these Top 7 Spots for Summer Travel Nursing Jobs!

Summer’s almost here and that means two things: the livin’ will be easy and tons of great Travel Nursing jobs will be at your fingertips!

This fair season means the whole world comes alive from coast to coast, and there’s no better time to spin your compass, pack your bags, take the leap, become a Travel Nurse, and explore the nation.

May we suggest one of these Top 7 Spots for Summer Travel Nursing Jobs as you embark on your next adventure?

Ready, set, go!

Couple in canoe on tranquil sunny summer lake

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, making it a great summer location for Travelers!

Minnesota

Summer is the absolute best time of the year to visit the Land of 10,000 Lakes! Minnesota summers are all about lakes, camping, festivals, fresh food, and fun. Canoe the boundary waters, shop the Mall of America, take in a Twins game, visit Minnehaha Falls, do a pilgrimage to Prince’s former home Paisley Park, rock out on First Avenue, kayak Lake Harriet or Lake Minnetonka, meet the famous Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox — and so much more. From exciting city streets to the majestic great outdoors, Minnesota is full of thrills for your next summer adventure!

Click here to find your dream job this summer in Minnesota!

travel in LA

The Golden State is a hotspot for Travelers, whether you’re into rural or urban vibes!

California

California is on everyone’s bucket list for LOTS of reasons. California is such a popular Travel Nursing destination because there’s so much to see and do. You could learn how to surf in the ocean one day and then walk amongst the impressive redwoods in the Redwood National Park the next day. California also offers the best of both urban and rural settings, with tons of great city perks like the arts, concerts, shopping, pro sports, dining, and more as well as an abundance of picturesque towns. Everything from the Hollywood Hills to the wide-open Pacific Ocean to the Northern Cali mountains awaits. What are you waiting for? California is the perfect place for a summer adventure!

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

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in California now!

Boston Boating

Spend your Massachusetts summer boating, whale watching, touring historic places, cheering at a Red Sox game, and so much more!

Massachusetts

The Bay State is home to an incredible coast which makes it a fabulous location for a summer Travel Nursing assignment! The state offers some of the best whale watching in the world and there’s no better time than summer to check that out. Enjoy Cape Cod, see a Red Sox game at historic Fenway Park, stroll The Freedom Trail, dine on fresh seafood ’til your heart’s content, visit spooky Salem, have cheers at the original Cheers bar, and explore all of the state’s amazing history. In addition to lots to do on your days off, Massachusetts is home to some of the nation’s top facilities, so there are professional development opportunities galore here!

Check out our Massachusetts State Spotlight to learn more about The Bay State.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in Massachusetts now!

Atlantic City Boardwalk

New Jersey’s Atlantic City Boardwalk is the longest in the world! Atlantic City is also known for its casinos, great nightlife, delicious food, and beautiful beaches!

New Jersey

Come summertime you want to get the Jersey Shore faster than you can say “Cabs are here!” The rumors are true: The Boss’ home state is totally boss! The Garden State is great place for Travelers to adventure and explore. Jersey offers lots of beautiful nature, including 127 miles of coastline and 72 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a great jumping off point for exploring the East Coast, and it’s no surprise that there’s an abundance of great eats throughout “the diner capital of the world.” There’s also a ton of great museums and truly intriguing history to check out in Jersey.

Check out our New Jersey State Spotlight to learn more about The Garden State.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in New Jersey now!

Tourist inside slot canyon, Arizona, USA

Arizona’s Slot Canyon is a sight to be seen!

Arizona

Some like it hot, and for them, Arizona is just the ticket in the summertime! The state has tons of great opportunity with its high aging population. In addition to a great selection of jobs, there is so much natural beauty to explore here, like happening Havisu Falls, amazing Antelope Canyon, mystical Sedona’s Cathedral Rock, Page’s majestic Horseshoe Bend, the iconic Grand Canyon, spectacular Saguaro National Park, magnificent Monument Valley, and so much more. After you work up an appetite in the great outdoors, relax with some of the stat5e’s awesome native and Tex-Mex food and have cheers with a fine prickly pear margarita!

Check out our Arizona State Spotlight to learn more about The Grand Canyon State.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in Arizona now!

Ice cream lady

Ohio is a rocking place to enjoy great lakes, great food, and so much more!

Ohio

OH boy is Ohio a great destination for Travel Nurses! Great job opportunities, Great Lakes, and great activities for your days off. Into sports or music? Get your hall of fame game on fleek with a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland or the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Explore the state’s 70+ unique Native American burial mounds, the most famous being the Serpent Mound, treat yourself to some pierogis and kielbasa, and hop on some of the country’s craziest roller coasters at Cedar Point! Outdoor enthusiasts will for sure want to make a stop at the otherworldly Hocking Hills State Park, which has dramatic waterfalls, cliffs, and gorges galore.

Check out our Ohio State Spotlight to learn more about The Buckeye State.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in Ohio now!

Virginia is for Lovers, state motto and welcome sign

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

Virginia

In addition to always having a lot of excellent job opportunities for Travel Nurses, Virginia has mountains, beaches, and lakes, which make it a great state to explore come summertime. Hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway for some of the best driving views in the nation, raise a glass of some of Virginia’s amazing home state wine, or jog on over to D.C. to visit the nation’s capital. History lovers will be totally thrilled with the abundance of historical sites this state has to offer as well, like Historic Jamestown and Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Arlington National Cemetery, and so many more destinations.

Check out our Virginia State Spotlight to learn more about The Old Dominion State.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in Virginia now!

BONUS LOCATION! Did you know that Wisconsin is home to 14,000-plus lakes?! Check out this month’s State Spotlight on Wisconsin for another great summer location!

Wanna head somewhere else this summer? Click here to search all locations to find your perfect summer Travel Nursing job!

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Congrats to March 2018’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Traveler of the Month, Laura L

Congrats to our March Traveler of the Month, Laura L. (pictured here with her dog, Oakley) and Rising Star, David F.!

Many thanks and congrats to the March 2018 Traveler of the Month, Laura L., and also our Rising Star winner, David F.!

Laura Traveler

Laura’s canine crew!

Traveler of the Month Laura is an ER RN, BSN currently working in Iowa. She’s been a nurse for six years and has been traveling since November 2017. Laura works with Career Consultant Jennifer Seay.

Laura’s been to assignments in Iowa and Colorado and she says she can’t pick a favorite.

“I’ve had amazing experiences at both places!” she happily reports.

Laura has three dogs and she took her oldest, Oakley, a seven-year-old Collie/Shepard mix, with her on her first assignment.

“He loved it,” Laura says of Oakley. “He’s very independent compared to the younger two!”

On her current assignment, she’s flying solo, but her pups aren’t very far away.

“The pups are home with my boyfriend, but I am much closer to home this assignment, so I get to see them often,” she says.

Laura loves the people she gets to me through Travel Nursing.

“My favorite part about Travel Nursing is the experiences with the people you meet along the way,” she says. “I’ve met some pretty awesome people whom I know will be around for many years to come!”

Laura shared some awesome advice for new and aspiring Travelers:

  1. “Trust in your recruiter! A lot of the information on the blogs and Facebook groups you read is FALSE! Just ask my recruiter, Jen, I contacted her panicking a few times after reading some of the things people post out there! When in doubt, ask and trust your recruiter! They’ve got your back!”
  2. “Be flexible! Your schedule might not be ideal, but remember, you’re here to help out! Trade shifts, pick up extra, do what you can to help the team you’re working with! Trust me, they’re probably tired and burnt out, they’ll appreciate it!”
  3. “Smile and have a positive attitude! Have a thick skin and don’t take things too personally. Always being the new kid is hard. It’s not fun, nobody likes it. Just remember, to smile, do your job the best you can, and stay positive! Not every assignment is going to be great 100% of the time, but if you can stay positive and learn from your experience, you will come out with much more in the end!”
Laura Traveler

Oakley enjoys the view while on assignment in Colorado.

Thanks for your hard work and for everything you do in the name of delivering great patient care, Laura! We appreciate you sharing this great advice. 🙂

Rising Star David is an OR RN currently on assignment in Michigan. He works with Career Consultant Sharon Hetrick.

Sharon has been working with David since December 2017 and says he is a wonderful Travel Nurse.

“David is awesome! He scrubs and circulates, he’s flexible, and he is always willing to pitch in and help others,” says Sharon.

In addition to his great work in the hospital setting, Sharon really likes working with David.

“David is always upbeat, humble, does a great job for the hospital, completes paperwork in a timely fashion, returns calls and texts promptly … he is a great all-around Traveler,” says Sharon.

Thanks for being such an amazing Traveler, David!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions March 2018 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Laura and David, we are incredibly grateful for your solid commitment to superior patient care and your amazing sense of adventure!

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!