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MSP vs. VMS: What’s the Difference?

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Both workforce solutions have their benefits. The right one for your facility depends on your staffing needs.

Both vendor management systems (VMS) and managed service providers (MSP) offer hospitals efficiency improvements in contingency staff management, but which one is best?

If your healthcare facility is currently considering a VMS or an MSP, we’ve created the below guide to help you determine which model is right for you:

So, what is a VMS?

A vendor management system (VMS) is a technology solution that provides a web-based application to help hospitals obtain and manage their contingency staff.  Since a VMS does not recruit candidates, it is considered vendor-neutral. Consequently, hospital administrators evaluate candidates on their own. This DIY model could be an asset to hospitals that do not have hard-to-fill vacancies or require direct communication from a staffing agency.

A VMS offers several benefits, including:

  • Order distribution
  • Consolidated billing
  • Detailed reporting capabilities

A VMS tends to be most effective when the supply of candidates outnumbers open jobs. Today, competition for quality candidates is increasing while the supply of labor is shrinking. Consequently, staffing challenges are more complex.

What’s an MSP?

In contrast, a managed service provider, (MSP) is a service solution that helps source and manage the short-term staffing needs of a facility through one central business partner. The MSP model can be a cost-effective tool for hospitals facing severe staffing shortages, fluctuations in its staffing needs, or an EMR/EHR conversion.

An MSP can help your facility:

  • Recruit and onboard quality candidates
  • Improve fill, completion and extension rates
  • Consolidate contracts into one master agreement
  • Eliminate inflated bill rates
  • Streamline and simplify inefficient workforce processes
  • Increase vendor visibility
  • Reduce staff turnover and overtime hours
  • Leverage data to drive the planning process

Many MSPs have developed their own in-house technology platforms or have even partnered with a VMS to create a “one-stop shopping” experience for their hospital partners. Many healthcare staffing experts agree that the MSP model is the wave of the future.

Which side of the VMS/MSP debate are you on? For more information, visit Medical Solutions Plus today.


Licensure and Specialty Certification Reimbursement

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Get where you want to go and save some cash along the way with our licensure and specialty certification reimbursement.

Licensure Reimbursement

One of the perks of a travel healthcare career is the ability to explore and work in new places, but this often means you will need a new license to practice in each new state where you plan to work.

Medical Solutions is happy to help you with the state licensing process, and once you’ve been placed on assignment with us, we will even reimburse you for the cost of one license per assignment!

Click here for licensing information for each state and info about the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

Specialty Certification Reimbursement

Your professional growth is important to us, so when you travel with Medical Solutions we will reimburse the cost for you to earn certification in your specialty or a new specialty. You must be a current Medical Solutions traveler upon successful completion of the certification program, at which point costs will be reimbursed to you.


Personalized Pay Package

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You deserve a pay package that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals! At Medical Solutions, we tailor your compensation to reflect what matters most to you.

Your compensation package should align with your unique needs and accomplish your unique goals. That’s why our pay packages are flexible and can be customized to fit your needs. We believe that every traveler is different and one inflexible program can’t fit everyone’s individual compensation goals.

Your personalized pay package is:

• Crafted specifically to meet your needs

• One of the best in the travel healthcare industry

• Clear and easy to understand

Your career consultant will take the time to find out what’s most important to you — whether it’s hourly pay, stipends, bonuses, per diem, etc. They will then use this information to put a package together for you that outlines each item clearly.

401(k) with Company Contribution

Medical Solutions offers travelers a 401(k) plan through Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, with auto-enrollment after your first 30 days of work and an employer contribution of 50% of your contribution up to 4%. That’s free money for you to plan for and achieve your retirement goals! Ask your career consultant for more information.

Loyalty Bonus

All Medical Solutions travelers earn a $600 loyalty bonus for every 600 hours worked. All you need to do is focus on what you do best — caring for patients — and we’ll take care of the rest. Each traveler is automatically enrolled in this program the second they start an assignment with us. We continuously keep tabs on your hours worked throughout the year and you can check the status of your loyalty bonus with your recruiter. While on call hours do not count toward the loyalty bonus, call back and all other hours do. Also, there is no limit to the number of times you can earn a loyalty bonus! Once you hit 600 hours and earn the $600 loyalty bonus, your hours count is reset and you start earning towards your next bonus. If you take a break from traveling with Medical Solutions, your hours we’ll keep your earned hours count and they’ll be here waiting for you when you return.

Referral Bonus

Share your love for Medical Solutions with your friends and co-workers! Simply have them call 1.866.633.3548 or apply online — just make sure they mention your name and ask for your career consultant. For every nurse you refer who is a new candidate to Medical Solutions, accepts a travel nursing travel allied healthcare professional position with us, and works at least 30 days, you get a $500 cash referral bonus! So, your friend gets a great job and you get a bonus — total win-win! Plus, there is no limit to the number of people you can refer or the number of referral bonuses you can receive.


Voluntary Benefits for Travel Nurses

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In addition to standard medical, dental, and vision benefits, Medical Solutions offers seven voluntary benefits — including short-term and long-term disability — to help protect you, your family, and your pets.

Because we’ve always got your back, Medical Solutions offers seven voluntary traveler benefit options! Read on for more info on these voluntary benefits and how you can take advantage of them as a Medical Solutions travel nurse or travel allied health professional.

Short-Term Disability Insurance

We hope you always enjoy good health and freedom from catastrophe, but this benefit offers you important financial protection in case you’re ever in an accident and suffer a disabling injury. If you’re hurt and become unable to work, you’ll directly receive cash benefits that will help you cover medical costs and/or be able to continue paying your bills. In the event you need them and qualify, these benefits will be paid to you on a monthly basis, letting you use the money however you need!

Long-Term Disability Insurance

This benefit can help protect you financially should you ever need to recover from an illness or disabling injury for a long period of time. After a waiting period, our long-term disability insurance through Cigna provides income protection to age 65 with a reduced benefit duration after age 65, monthly payments to you, and the option to spend the benefit as you see fit.

Critical Illness Insurance

Again, we wish you eternal good health. But, life happens, and that can sometimes include illness. This benefit helps protect you financially should you be diagnosed with a critical illness. If you are diagnosed with a covered critical illness, you’ll be paid cash benefits and can use that money to cover your out of pocket costs however you see fit. These benefits are also available for your spouse and/or child(ren).

Accident Insurance

Accidents happen, but just because your body takes a hit that doesn’t mean your wallet should! Our accident insurance through Voya helps financially protect you and your dependents when unexpected accidents occur by providing gap protection to cover out-of-pocket expenses due to unforeseen events, a lump-sum payment made directly to you, and the option to spend the benefit as you see fit, whether that’s on medical equipment, daily expenses, bills, or caregiving assistance.

Hospital Indemnity Insurance

An unexpected hospital stay can really take a financial toll. Our hospital indemnity insurance through Voya helps reduce the financial impact on you and your dependents when unexpected health-related events occur by providing income and gap protection to cover out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages, a lump-sum payment made directly to you, and the option to spend the benefit as you see fit, whether that’s on medical equipment, daily expenses, bills, or caregiving assistance.

Voluntary Life Insurance

What would happen to your loved ones if you died tomorrow? With our voluntary life insurance through Cigna, you can rest easy knowing your loved ones will be financially protected in the event of your death. This life insurance policy provides income protection to help your family cover your lost future wages, a lump-sum payment made to your beneficiaries, and the option to spend the benefit however your loved ones see fit. Depending on the type and amount of coverage you select, you may need to provide evidence of insurability.

Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance Humans love our pets like children, so it’s important to be able to keep them healthy and happy! Our pet insurance through Nationwide helps you give your pets quality health care, no matter the cost, by providing access to any licensed veterinarian in the world, depending on the chosen vendor, and group rates and discounts for pet medical expenses like surgeries, lab fees, routine care, and treatments.

Want to enroll in any of these voluntary benefits or have more questions?

Like your medical, dental, and vision benefits, you have 14 days from the actual start date of your contract to make voluntary benefits elections. If you elect one of these benefits, coverage begins retroactively on the actual start date of your assignment.  

Contact your career consultant to enroll in voluntary benefits or if you have more questions!


Emergency Response Staffing Program

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Care can’t wait

Today’s world moves fast, and when you’re in the business of caring for people, time is everything. Our emergency response program is set up for speed because we know when you need clinicians, you need them now. Medical Solutions can quickly deploy experienced travel nurses and other healthcare professionals to your facility during an unforeseen crisis, like a flu outbreak. Plus, we’ll help your facility meet this increased demand for short-term staff in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

To learn more about our emergency response staffing program, please contact us today at 866.633.3548.


Interim Nurse Leadership Search Services

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Connecting you to the industry’s top interim nurse leaders.

At Medical Solutions, we know that your post-acute facility’s daily business operations don’t stop while you’re searching for your next healthcare leader. That’s why we provide interim nurse leadership search services. With our experienced team of recruiters, we can deliver the right interim leader who will support your organization’s culture and goals.   

We conduct searches for a wide variety of leadership positions in long-term care, including:  

·       Clinical Leadership   

·       Clinical Reimbursement Leaders   

·       Directors of Nursing (DON)  

·       Assistant Directors of Nursing (ADON)  

·       Clinical Consultants  

·       Registered Nurse Assessment Coordinators (RNAC) and MDS Coordinators  

·       Nursing Home Administrators (NHA) and Executive Directors (ED)  

To learn more about our interim leadership program, please contact us today at 866.633.3548.


Thank You COVID-19 Healthcare Heroes!

By Sarah Wengert and Jennifer Stewart

Medical Solutions is SO lucky to employ talented, highly skilled, dedicated travel nurses and other healthcare travelers. With our high-quality standards, we hire only the best in our mission of connecting care countrywide. So, of course, we are not at all surprised to see our travelers showing up in incredible ways for patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you, COVID-19 healthcare heroes!

To celebrate you, and the thousands more like you on the frontlines, we are highlighting some of your stories.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Erin is an ER nurse in northern California who is steadfast in everything she does. Her recruiter says she is “strong, smart, capable, and confident in a way that still portrays humility. She knows what she wants and she doesn’t hesitate to work hard for it.” Erin was recently recognized at her hospital for fostering a patient’s dog while he sought the care he needed. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Heather is a travel nurse working in South Dakota. She has made a ton of sacrifices to help fight the pandemic, especially being a single mom of twin daughters. Much like most of us, she has to figure out how to juggle homeschooling her kids, staying healthy, and working in an environment that exposes her daily. Healthcare hero by day and supermom by night!

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Bianca is a travel nurse in an observation unit in Arizona. Bianca’s recruiter says she admires Bianca greatly! “She is who I want to be when I grow up,” says her recruiter, Jennifer Stewart. “She is classy, well-spoken, caring, and makes the most of her travel. Her Instagram page is full of amazing adventures and pictures you would see in a travel ad. She truly knows the meaning of work hard/play hard. Bianca has been asked to extend at every hospital I have had her work with me at which speaks to her positive attitude and on-point clinical skills.”

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Tonya is a travel nurse working on a unit designated for caring for COVID-19 patients. In addition to providing patient care, she has been researching the characteristics of COVID, how it affects iron levels, and feels like she has started to be able to predict when someone is on the upswing in their recovery. Tonya’s recruiter says she “takes nursing to a whole new level. She looks at every patient as a whole. She puts so much effort, care, and love into each person she comes across. She never fails to amaze me.”

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Celeste is a travel respiratory therapist helping out in New Hampshire. She is a very easy-going personality who seems to find the silver lining in everything. The start to her travel career had a few pretty big bumps in the road but she persevered, had a successful contract, and was even asked to stay longer than expected.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Lisa’s recruiter says Lisa is one of her favorite people in the world. She is currently working in Los Angeles, California, maintaining her constant focus on other people, her selfless mindset, and her dedication to hard work.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Connie is a long-time employee and a lifelong learner, currently on assignment in Pennsylvania with her next assignment cued up in Arkansas. She first started traveling with us as an LPN and has since worked her way up as an RN who can flourish in just about any unit, including rehab, med-surg, tele, ICU, and more.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Elizabeth is currently working an ER travel job in Nebraska to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s sacrificing time away from her kids and family to help fill in the staffing gaps where she is needed. Liz continually has an attitude of gratitude no matter her circumstances.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Rebecca is currently working in an ER in Newton, Massachusetts. To help herself destress she’s making time for hiking on her days off, re-watching her favorite movies, and indulging in the occasional long nap. Rebecca says she’s been deeply touched by “all the help coming in from the general public — mask donations, face shields, meals sent for the department … The last shift I worked, the day shift charge brought in a whole mess of scrub caps someone from her church had made, and each and every one had a little piece of paper saying ‘Thank you for choosing to be a nurse. Never doubt your patients truly appreciate the care, compassion, and comfort you provide. God bless you and keep you healthy.’ It just about brought me to tears.”

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Christy is an ER travel nurse working in Oregon. Her picture shows the toll a 12-hour shift in PPE can take on a person — but nothing keeps her down! Christy’s recruiter says that Christy is a great nurse, a loving mother and grandmother, and has proven that she’s incredibly adaptable and able to roll with every single punch that’s been thrown her way over her years of traveling.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Charlotte is a travel ICU RN working in Virginia. What we love about Charlotte is her giant heart. Even when she’s facing her own troubles, she always takes the time to ask how others are doing, and she genuinely cares about their answers. Her recruiter says that “she is a great nurse with a ton of ICU experience. I would trust her with my own family any day!”

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Laorence is a travel ER nurse working in the heart of Los Angeles, California. His recruiter says he is probably the busiest man she knows. This husband and father to fur babies works full time, goes to school full time, and does his NP clinicals. His recruiter nicknamed him “Sunshine” because she says that’s the feeling he gives off every time she talks to him. “I’m sure his patients are grateful to have such warmth in this cold and difficult time,” says his recruiter.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Emily is a travel nurse working in Washington. Like many others, she’s faced periods with a shortage of protective personal equipment. Despite the tough circumstances, Emily always finds a way to make light of a situation. Her recruiter says Emily has a talent for always making her laugh. We thank Emily for her hard work, dedication, and ability to laugh no matter what!

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Keydi is an ICU RN working in northern California. This is her first travel contract and she has really had to roll with the punches. Despite recently recovering from the flu, she’s been ready to do whatever it takes for quality patient care. Keydi has a positive attitude at all times and continues to impress everyone with her adaptability and flexibility.

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Sierra is a travel respiratory therapist working in Oklahoma. She has pushed through the challenge of being exposed to COVID-19 positive patients and has kept a positive attitude throughout the process. Some feedback we got from the hospital from her most recent assignment was: “Sierra has been an invaluable asset and is welcome back to work with us anytime.”

Travel nurse fighting COVID-19

Wanda is a travel CNA currently working in Iowa. She gave up a dream vacation to stick around and help the hospital in its time of need. Wanda’s recruiter says that Wanda has gotten an incredibly high amount of praises and extensions on her first travel assignment. Wanda is a wonderful CNA and her recruiter says she’d trust Wanda to care for any one of her own loved ones. “I know that every patient she interacts with feels the warmth she gives,” says her recruiter.

A major, heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to these healthcare heroes and the thousands more out there putting themselves on the line to protect public health and heal their patients. We appreciate all of you, and are especially grateful to those out there representing Medical Solutions so well.

If you’re ready to join Medical Solutions in the fight against COVID-19, apply now and get started!


Compact State Guide for Travel Nurses

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Get out the map! Read on to learn the ins and outs of the Nurse Licensure Compact and how it can benefit you as a travel nurse.

By Kerrey Brennan and Sarah Wengert

As a travel nurse, you can be placed in assignments all over the nation, which means you’ll often be crossing state lines! Prior to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), travelers often had to acquire a lot of different licenses on a state-by-state basis in order to be able to practice in each state where they took a new assignment. While you may still need to get a specific state license in some states, the NLC is an amazing way to avoid that in the majority of states by getting your compact license.

As you may already know, the NLC is an agreement that allows nurses to practice reciprocally across state lines. It serves to increase access to care while also maintaining public health protection at the state level. The most recent major changes to compact state statuses occurred on January 19, 2018, when the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact went live. While a bundle of state-level updates were introduced then, the premise remains the same: If you are a licensed nurse in a member state (known as a compact state), you are eligible to get your compact license, making you licensed to practice in any of the other states that are also members.

Minor changes and updates to the Nurse Licensure Compact are typical throughout each year, so it can be a dynamic situation, but let’s explore some current and common compact info! 

Which States are Compact States for Nursing?

As of March 2020, there were 34 compact member states. All of these states share the same nursing requirements and recognize an NLC license:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (implementation on July 1, 2020)
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey (partial implementation)
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

There are also some states that will join the compact pending NLC legislation, including California, Minnesota, Alaska, and several others. For an always-current list of compact states, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website is an amazing resource. In fact, if you’re serious about travel nursing far and wide, I’d suggest you bookmark that bad boy!

Four Important Things About Your NLC License

Travel nursing can take you all over the country, which can lead to big changes in your living arrangements — for example, say you fall in love with a new city while on assignment and decide to move your permanent address there. Here are a few quick facts to remember about the Nurse Licensure Compact: 

  • You must be a primary resident of a current compact state in order to obtain an NLC license.
  • If you move and set up residency in a different compact state, you are required to obtain compact licensure in your new state.
  • In the same vein, if you acquire your license in a compact state but you are not a resident, you are not mutually recognized by the other NLC states.
  • The Nurse Licensure Compact includes RNs, LPNs, and LVNs, but not advanced practice nurses.

Updated Nurse Licensure Compact Info for the COVID-19 Era

Now, that’s our quick guide to compact states for travel nurses, but as with most things these days, COVID-19 may cause changes in the “normal” NLC process.

If anything, temporary changes due to COVID-19 and the corresponding need to ramp up staffing in certain specialties and regions may mean more flexibility in where you can work via means like emergency licensing waivers, expedited licensing protocol, and temporary licenses. But, changes to nurse licensing protocol and the NLC are even more dynamic and ever-evolving right now, so here are some handy ways to keep yourself in the know on nurse licensing and the NLC as the COVID-19 pandemic continues:

  • The NCSBN, as always, is a great resource here. They’ve established a COVID-19 news page, kind of a central command for related info that includes a bundle of helpful resources for nurses. You can also visit this regularly updated COVID-19 state response PDF, where you can search info state-by-state.  
  • This is also a great time to lean on your recruiter for current, relevant info. At Medical Solutions, we support your recruiter in this area with a large, in-house clinical team and licensure specialists. Our entire team has been receiving daily (sometimes even multiple times a day!) updates on licensing requirements and changes in the era of COVID-19. Please contact your recruiter with any licensing or NLC questions — you can be confident that they have access to the most up-to-date info!
  • Subscribe or continue to follow the Medical Solutions blog for updates on this topic and other major COVID-19 developments, wellness resources for our travelers, and tons more great content for travelers that has nothing to do with the pandemic — like becoming a travel nurse to begin with! 

We hope this quick compact state guide for travel nurses is helpful on your journey! As always, please contact your recruiter or our team with any questions, or, feel free to shout ’em out in the comments. Ready for your next adventure? Explore current job opportunities now


Five Nurse Leadership Tips During a Crisis

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Leading your healthcare team during a crisis requires empathy, emotional understanding, and validation.

In the war against COVID-19, nurse leaders are facing daily challenges like never before. Even as you heroically care for your patients, the safety and emotional wellbeing of your team are understandably one of your many concerns. With that in mind, here are a few tips for how you can help take care of your frontline staff during a crisis:

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst: If your facility is not currently in a hotspot, you and your team can prepare for the unexpected. Now is the time to create your plan to mitigate whatever situation may arise, such as a lack of equipment, a surge in census, or several team members falling ill at once.

Communicate: Timely and accurate information is essential in any kind of crisis. That’s why you should consider holding pre-shift and post-shift huddles. Along with the critical information you need to pass on to your team, you can also use this time to speak a few words of encouragement and support.

Get everyone on board: Every team is different, but there’s usually someone who tries to take on too much. Other times, a team member may only do what he or she is asked to do or may even not know how they can help. As a nurse leader, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your individual team members and act accordingly. Relieve your overachievers when possible, encourage everyone to unite for the fight, and assign tasks to the people who aren’t sure how they can contribute.

Take breaks when possible: Long hours, stress, and fatigue take a toll on everyone, and a 12-hour shift can be grueling even during normal operations. That’s why you should incorporate rest cycles, team rotations, and half-days into your staffing schedules during a crisis. While this might be difficult to achieve, it’s still important that you and your team are allowed to take the time to recharge. When you do, you can more easily avoid mistakes and burnout.

Appreciate your team: In the days and weeks ahead, you and your team will be going into a tough fight, and there will be trauma. You’ll need to handle these situations with compassion, emotional intelligence, and validation. Praise your team members whenever you can, help turn any mistakes into learning opportunities, and try to create some good memories for your team. In all this uncertainty, it’s easy to forget that Nurses Week (May 6 – 12) is coming up soon. Fortunately, there’s no better time to celebrate your team and recognize their amazing efforts.

While these tips are likely just a quick reminder for most nurse leaders, we want you to know that Medical Solutions is here to support you and your team now and in the future. If you need help finding temporary staff or just want to talk with someone, please contact us. Thank you for caring for our communities, and good luck!


What is a Healthcare MSP?

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Using the services of a healthcare managed service provider can make staffing one less thing you need to worry about.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the world, healthcare leaders face significant staffing challenges. In response, U.S. hospitals may want to consider using the services of a managed service provider program or MSP. An MSP can help your facility recruit experienced clinical talent and simplify your workforce processes with just one point of contact and one invoice.

At Medical Solutions, our managed services program can help meet your facility’s staffing needs so you’re best able to serve your patients and your community. As you know, when you’re in the business of caring for people, time is everything. Our team is set up for speed because we know when you need caregivers, you need them now.

Is it time for you to partner with an MSP?

Still unsure if your facility is ready for an MSP partner? Then you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you know how many contingent employees are on the floor right now?
  • Do you know how many and what types of staffing resources you need at your facility?
  • Are you confident your entire contingent workforce is compliant with all regulatory standards?
  • How much time do you spend managing your facility’s temporary workforce?

If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, we would love to start a conversation with you. In the meantime, simply watch our video and learn how our service-based MSP can help your facility during this critical time.