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State Spotlight: Florida

Florida Travel NursingAs temps take a dive nationwide, December’s State Spotlight takes us to fabulous Florida! The Sunshine State is a perfect option for Travelers, with its excellent facilities, seasonal need for more healthcare staff, opportunity for professional development, and an amazing assortment of things to do, see, and experience on your days off. Read on to find out why Florida Travel Nursing is one of the hottest tickets around!

Travel Nursing in FloridaFlorida State Postage Stamp Greetings From America Retro Postcard Theme

Florida is a busy, lucrative state for Travel Nurses because of its super high number of hospitals and high population of elderly folks. Because of this, The Sunshine State consistently has lots of really great job opportunities for Travelers where they will learn new skills and have some amazing experiences on their days off. Florida offers a lot of geographic diversity — from big-city flair to quaint, rural communities to state and national parks, plus a famously gorgeous bunch of beaches, to boot.

Florida is home to 315 hospitals — seven of which are nationally ranked in various adult and children’s specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report. That includes Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, which U.S. News & World Report ranked the #1 hospital in Florida. Rounding out the top five overall hospitals in Florida are: Tampa’s General Hospital, Gainesville’s UF Health Shands Hospital, Orlando’s Florida Hospital, and the Orlando Regional Medical Center.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Massachusetts the #24 overall state on their first-ever “Best States” list, based on criteria including economy, education, government, health care, crime & corrections, infrastructure, and opportunity. The report also ranked Florida #7 among the top states for economy, #9 for government, and #11 for infrastructure.

As for licensing, Florida is not a walk-through state, but it is a NURSYS state, and, effective January 19, 2018, it will be a compact state under the new Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact! Stay tuned here for more info on the NLC to eNLC transition. Click here for more info on licensing in Florida.

Florida Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Sunshine State

Capital: Tallahassee

Largest City: Jacksonville

National Parks: 11

State Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites: 175

West Indian Manatees

Manatees rule!

National Historic Landmarks: 46

State Motto: “In God We Trust”

State Flower: Orange Blossom

State Tree: Sabal Palm

State Marine Mammal: Manatee

State Beverage: Orange Juice

State Pie: Key Lime Pie

State Gem: Moonstone

Florida was the 27th state.

Key lime pie, sunscreen, Famous Amos Cookies, Gatorade, frozen concentrated orange juice, the IBM personal computer, personal luxury submarines, bondo, air conditioning, Hooters, Red Lobster, and Rum Runner cocktails were all invented in Florida.

Saint Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuing European settlement in the North America.

Aerial view of Fort Lauderdale's skyline

Fort Lauderdale is known as “The Venice of Florida” for its many canals!

Orlando is the United States’ most-visited amusement park destination.

Niceville, Florida is home to the annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival — an important celebration of business in the front, party in the back!

Because necessity is the mother of invention, pharmacist Benjamin Greene invented the first suntan cream in 1944 in Miami Beach.

Key West, Florida is home to the highest average temperature in the United States.

Miami was the first city to install an ATM especially for rollerbladers.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida is dubbed “The Venice of America” due to its 185 miles of local waterway canals.

From any point in Florida, you are never more than 60 miles from the ocean!

Islamorado is the Sports Fishing Capital of the World.

TP

RIP to Florida native and rock legend Tom Petty!

Key Largo is known as the Dive Capital of the World.

Florida is the only U.S. state that has two separate rivers with the same name — Withlacoochee in north Florida and Withlacoochee in central Florida.

Greater Miami is the only U.S. metro area that’s borders encompass two national parks — Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.

Famous folks from Florida include Tom Petty (RIP!), Ariana Grande, Jason Derulo, Debbie Harry, Sidney Poitier, Rick Ross, Bob Ross, Wesley Snipes, Pitbull, Faye Dunaway, Marco Rubio, Norman Reedus, Jim Morrison, Eva Mendes, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Paulson, and, of course, Flor Rida!

Key West, Florida has the most bars per capita in the nation.

Florida has more golf courses than any other state in the U.S.

The Florida Everglades is the only place in the world where crocs and alligators coexist.

Florida’s St. Johns River is the state’s largest river and one of only a few major rivers that flows south to north.

Ocean Drive night scene at South Beach, Miami, USA

Sunset at Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami!

To Do & See in Florida

Florida is well-known as a paradise destination. There’s so much to do and see, and The Sunshine State is the perfect place to escape the deep freeze of winter!

On the urban tip, Florida’s largest cities include Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Tallahassee, Port St. Lucia, Cape Coral, and Fort Lauderdale. The region is home to all kinds of beaches, history, sports, theme parks, natural beauty, arts, and culture.

Popular destinations in Florida include Walt Disney World, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure, the Florida Keys, Everglades National Park, Miami’s South Beach, Kennedy Space Center, Dry Tortugas National Park, Jungle Island, Daytona International Speedway, and so much more!

Arts and culture enthusiasts will want to check out Key West’s Ernest Hemingway House and St. Petersburg’s Salvador Dali Museum.

Vegan Key Lime Pie Slice and KeyLimes

Mmmmm, Key Lime Pie!

Sports fan will delight in the many awesome college teams as well as pro sporting events with teams like the Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida Panthers, and Tamps Bat Lightning. Additionally, if you’re into NASCAR and/or golf — Florida is your jam!

A day at the beach can really work up an appetite and Florida delivers good eats! Some iconic Florida cuisine includes Stone Crab claws, Florida Rock Shrimp, fresh oranges and kumquats, Apalachicola oysters, gator bites, conch fritters, fish tacos, Cubano sandwiches — and all other kinds of Cuban delights, spiny lobster, and more. Key Lime Pie is what’s for dessert, of course, and you can wash it all down with a marvelous Mojito!

For the outdoorsy, Florida obviously offers and amazing array of beautiful beaches, but that’s not all. Adventurers can also take an Everglades airboat ride, swim with manatees, snorkel, kayak, scuba dive, go boating, ziplining, fishing, and so much more.

Ready for your adventure to The Sunshine State?!

Search now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Florida!

oung woman lying on the beach

Escape to Florida this winter for an amazing adventure!

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Medical Solutions Gives Announces 2017’s Say Thanks By Giving Winners

Medical Solutions Gives is donating $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

Medical Solutions Gives is donating $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

For the third year running, Medical Solutions Gives is donating $8,000 to some of our Travelers’ favorite causes … and we’re so excited to announce 2017’s Say Thanks By Giving Winners!

In November, we asked our amazing Travelers to nominate their favorite charity/nonprofit and express why the organization they love is so amazing and impactful. We sorted through about 100 incredible submissions and our team was so grateful to learn about all of these amazing charities and to read stories that mean so much to our Travelers.

Despite the outpouring of support for so many worthy organizations, we had to settle on just four deserving winners. Read on to learn more about the four charities that will each receive a $2,000 donation from Medical Solutions and the four Travelers who nominated them and got to take home a $100 Amazon gift card as an added bonus!

Medical Solutions give Sean CooleyLaura C., who works with Career Consultant Brad B., submitted Sean M. Cooley Citizen Soldier Nursing Scholarship Inc. as the cause she cares most about. Her submission had us all seriously misty-eyed. Laura wrote:

“This organization honors Sean M. Cooley, who was a member of the Army National Guard in Mississippi and was killed in action while serving in Iraq. Sean loved nursing and was a nurse in his local emergency room. He loved helping people in his community, and the scholarship is a way for him to keep on giving to his community. This non-profit is important to me because Sean was my husband and coworker. I have never met a more respected, kind, caring, and compassionate nurse and soldier.”

Thank you so much, Laura, for sharing your incredible story and letting us support this amazingly worthy cause in your name.

Medical Solutions Gives Rainbow House Barbara B., who works with Career Consultant Ava L., submitted Rainbow House, an organization that serves domestic violence survivors. In her submission Barbara wrote:

“Domestic abuse does not discriminate based on sex, age, income, education or race. It is prevalent in all geographic areas. Funds are always needed. It is more difficult to fundraise in rural areas with aging populations. Rainbow House serves a large geographic area and provides services to two Wisconsin communities and the adjacent Michigan county, which provides no funding for these services. This shelter believes in doing the right thing for all who suffer from abuse regardless of state lines or funding. They are near and dear to my heart. I was on the board of this organization until my Travel Nursing journey began and I found I was unable to fulfill my commitment. This funding would provide needed services to my home community.”

Thanks, Barbara, for your commitment to this important issue! We are elated to support this organization on your behalf.

Medical Solutions Gives Rainbow DSAWJennifer G., who works with Career Consultant Roy B., nominated Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin.

“The Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (DSAW) matters to me because I have had people with Down Syndrome affect my life in many ways. I had a brother who had Down Syndrome but died as a baby when I was five. Even as a small child, I loved when the physical and speech therapists would come to our house to do therapy with him and would help out. When I was in grade school, my school had a St. Coletta Day School for children with developmental disabilities within our school. I had the opportunity to volunteer as a classroom aid for the art classes they held. I enjoyed being able to work with these special children and I’ve continued to work with people with disabilities as an adult through Special Olympics. This past year I was given the opportunity to help support DSAW through my friend Kim’s daughter who has Down Syndrome. We were able to raise more than $10,000 for Kitty’s Krew for their annual walk at the Milwaukee County Zoo. This organization helps families who have children who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. They remind families and parents that they have been given a gift of a child and a community that will support them through all of their troubles and cheer them on for all of the triumphs their children make.”

Thank you for everything you do, Jennifer, and for helping us support this awesome organization in your name!

Medical Solutions Gives Rainbow Rally Foundation Jenny W., who works with Career Consultant Austin B., submitted Rally Foundation,  

“When I started my Travel Nursing adventures I never thought it would lead me to where I am today. After just one week at an assignment, I met my now-husband and three stepchildren. Thankfully, pediatric cancer has never been a thought in my mind, however, I quickly learned how desperately funding is needed for this cause.

My stepson is now eight years old, but at a mere three years of age he had to endure chemotherapy and a cadaver bone transplant for Ewing’s Sarcoma. This normally occurs in teenagers, but Jake, in true fashion, had to be the anomaly. The chemotherapy medications he received were outdated. My husband dedicated every ounce of energy he had into gathering donations, but pediatric cancer doesn’t receive funding like other cancers do.

Jake is a fun-loving kid with an infectious smile. He became the face for the Rally Foundation, and touched so many lives. As we sat down this past Thanksgiving, we couldn’t help but thank the Rally Foundation and all of the help that Jake received. Jake’s cancer returning is a fear that we all live with. No family should have to live that fear. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Pediatric cancer needs funding. It needs research. Jake and other children deserve more than a few years on this planet.”

Thank you, Jenny! We appreciate you sharing your story and giving us the chance to support this important foundation. We are all rooting for Jake and every kiddo with pediatric cancer!

Congratulations to the winners and all of the AMAZING Travelers who submitted the causes you care so much about and shared your stories! If your cause was not chosen this year, we hope to see you back again in 2018. Click here to learn more about Medical Solutions Gives.

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

Angie Travel Nurse

Congrats to October’s Traveler of the Month, Angela, pictured here with her dog, Athena.

Many thanks and congrats to the October 2017 Traveler of the Month, Angela C., and also our Rising Star winner, Bridgette D.!

Traveler of the Month Angela is an RN working in Surgical Services, and currently crossing over into Endoscopy, who’s been in nursing for 15 years and traveling about five years. The Tennessee native works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Ronnie E. and just started a new assignment in Port Angeles, Washington.

Angie Travel Nurse

In her time on the road Angie’s gotten to witness some pretty beautiful sights!

“The Pacific Northwest is quickly becoming a second home for me and my beautiful companion Athena, my Great Dane. We’ve completed several assignments and extensions in this area,” says Angela, who’s also traveled to New York, New Mexico, South Dakota, Idaho, all of which she calls “great areas with beautiful people.”

“I really enjoy being outside and hiking, so anywhere I could do that I’ve roamed … North Carolina, Virginia, I even followed my daughter to Kentucky throughout her freshman year of college at the University of Kentucky. You can’t get away from Mom if she’s a Travel Nurse!”

Angela’s top two remaining bucket list destinations are Hawaii and the Oregon coast. In addition to her faithful dog, Athena, Angela’s husband Kevin, an artist who can work from anywhere, joined her on the road in February 2017.

“The greatest thing about this career is that I meet literally hundreds of wonderful people and learn something every day,” says Angela.

“My advice to anyone who wants to do this: If you LIVE TO EXPLORE, do it. It’s definitely not easy being the new kid in town every time you blink, but if you’re flexible, open to learning, and love travel, then this is the job for you. I would also say that you definitely need experience before you get started. This is not a job for a weak spirit; it can be lonely but it’s also something I’ll never regret doing. And get a great company; I did. I went through at least two other companies in the beginning and almost stopped traveling all together until Medical Solutions.”

Thank you for the great advice, kind words, and for being such an awesome Traveler, Angela!

Rising Star Bridgette is an ER RN who’d been in nursing for about five years before completing her first travel contract in Texas, working with Career Consultant Kelly B. Bridgette recently took a staff position at her local hospital.

Kelly says she had the pleasure of working with Bridgette starting in March 2017, and adds, with caps and exactly this many exclamation points: “I LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Kelly describes Bridgette as sweet, funny, and great at her job, as well as very thorough and organized, which made her a dream to work with.

“She is so easy to work with,” says Kelly. “Compliance loved her too, she got all her paperwork done in record time.”

Thank you for your dedication to patient care, Bridgette, and we wish you all the best in your new adventure!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions October 2017 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Angela and Bridgette, we are incredibly thankful for your commitment to providing superior patient care and your strong 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: HCAHPS Scores

HCAHPS scores

It’s crucial for Travelers to grasp the importance of HCAHPS scores!

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

“If I had a nickel for every time I heard the term ‘HCAHPS scores’ when talking about healthcare, I would be rich.”

Do you find this statement to be true? Do you even know what HCAHPS stands for? I mean, let’s be honest for a minute, if you have not heard the term HCAHPS scores while working on a travel contract, then you might be living under a rock!

The term “HCAHPS” stands for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. This survey and assessment has become so important for hospitals all around the country because they drive reimbursement. Not only that, but they have a massive impact on a hospital’s reputation and the HCAHPS survey gives patients a chance to be heard. It is important for all nurses to have a deep understanding of what HCAHPS scores are, what they tell us, and how they impact your employment as a travel nurse. Let’s investigate the significance that HCAHPS scores has on your future and the future state of healthcare in the United States.

The U.S. government and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid mandates this patient satisfaction survey. The results are publicly reported on the internet for all to see and excellent survey results and hospital performance keeps the hospitals financially stable. The survey addresses the 10 HCAHPS measures including questions on nurse communication, doctor communication, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, cleanliness of hospital environment, quietness of hospital environment, overall rating of hospital, and willingness to recommend hospital.

The survey results are reported quarterly and there are four modes of administration to patients including mail, telephone, mail with telephone follow-up, and interactive voice response. About 4,000 hospitals participate in HCAHPS and over three million patients complete the survey each year.

The HCAHPS survey is also employed in the Hospital Value Based Purchasing Program as one of the measures that a hospital is scored on. It is scored within the patient care experience along with the other measures including clinical care, efficiency and cost reduction, and patient safety. The patient care experience score is calculated into the hospital’s Total Performance Score (TPS). This TPS score is correlated with the reimbursement that a hospital receives for the care they provide.

All of this is important to know as a Traveler because as our healthcare moves more towards this model of care, Travelers must understand the impact they have on these scores while on assignment. More and more facilities are hiring candidates based on their understanding of HCAHPS and VBP because their understanding converts to quality care. It is important that you know the implications of your care and the consequences that it has on the hospital and its ability to continue to provide healthcare to the people around you. It is your responsibility to understand our healthcare system and to be a change agent for these programs, and I encourage you to be an advocate for strong performance on all fronts within each healthcare organization!

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8 Wonderful Winter Locations for Travel Nursing Jobs

Portrait of a Young Woman in the Snow Next to a Snowman

8 Wonderful Winter Locations for Travel Nursing Jobs! Where will your winter adventures take you?!

As temperatures cool and the holiday season heats up, there are so many amazing places to venture to for your 2017/2018 winter wonderland!

Whether you seek a home for the holidays or a new start come January 2018, you should start your job search now. Many Travelers take time off around the holidays, so there’s always a mad rush to find a new travel job in early January. The smart move is to steer clear of the rush and increased competition by securing your winter job now.

To help inspire your search, here are 8 wonderful winter locations for Travel Nursing jobs!

Florida

Welcome to Florida USA

Fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder and find your winter paradise in The Sunshine State!

Florida is full of fun and excellent Travel Nurse jobs! With the sunniest winter climate in the nation’s east and the highest January temps in the country, this is a great place to land if you’re just not that into the whole winter thing. The Sunshine State has it all — gorgeous beaches, toasty temps, and tons to do and see. Explore Epcot, the Everglades, Dry Tortugas National Park, Disney World, the Florida Keys, Kennedy Space Center, Islands of Adventure, Miami Beach, and so much more. Orange you glad you’re a Travel Nurse, so you can go explore Florida this winter?!

Click here to search Florida Travel Nurse jobs.

California

California Wine

California wine country is just one of The Golden State’s gorgeous locales.

Cali is king when in comes to Travel Nursing. The Golden State always has lots of great Travel Nurse opportunities due to its ahead-of-the-curve staffing laws. Plus, it’s a gorgeous, diverse place that many Travelers quite enjoy calling their home for a few months at a time. From geography to activities, California really has wide range of options. From skiing, surfing, and climbing to shopping, spas, and wine tastings, this state is a true crowd-pleaser. Learn more about this magnificent state in our California State Spotlight.

Click here to find California Travel Nurse jobs.

Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, USA

Georgia’s a peachy keen place for Travel Nurses!

If Georgia’s on your mind, I like the way you think! The Peach State is another place where Travel Nurse jobs are lucrative and many. Its mild climate makes it a fabulous choice for winter, and there’s tons to do is this state that’s simply chock-full of history, natural beauty, sporting events, theme parks, outdoors activities, and scrumptious southern food. From beaches to swamplands to mountaintops, Georgia has something for every Traveler and it’s always a hit! Learn more about the sweet Peach State in our Georgia State Spotlight.

Click here to find your dream Travel job in Georgia.

Texas

The Alamo, San Antonio, TX

Remember, in addition to The Alamo, there’s tons to do and see in Texas!

They say everything’s bigger and better in Texas — and many Travel Nurses know this to be true! From Travel Nursing job opportunities to activities for your days off, Texas is a pretty great place to be. The temps in winter typically stay pretty warm, so if winter’s not your thing, Texas just might be! Don’t forget The Alamo — not to mention wonderfully weird Austin, the San Antonio boardwalk, Houston Space Center, Padre Island, and hoppin’ urban spots like Houston and Dallas. Shopping, pro sports, museums, history, and dining are all on point in this great state as well!

Click here to mess with Texas and find your perfect Travel Nurse job there.

New York

Winter holiday at Rockefeller Center

New York is a festive place to embrace winter and the holiday season!

Winter is a fine time for Travelers to take a bite out of the Big Apple! From world-class cities to idyllic small towns, concrete jungles to Finger Lakes, New York is a great destination — particularly for those who enjoy winter and may be vying for a White Christmas! With the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, holiday festivals and markets aplenty, Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular, ice skating in Bryant Park Winter Village, and more, New York is a lovely place to embrace the season, get cozy, and make merry. And I probably don’t have to tell you that New York is packed with exciting sightseeing, culture, world-class theater, dining, shopping, sports, and pretty much anything else you could ever want to do. Click here to learn more about The Empire State in our New York State Spotlight.

Click here to check out New York Travel Nursing jobs.

Massachusetts

Alleyway view of a Boston winter

Boston’s Beacon hill is perfectly picturesque during winter!

Much like New York, Massachusetts is an absolutely idyllic place to spend the winter season. The Bay State is also home to some of the nation’s top healthcare facilities, so there are always tons of Travel Nurse jobs at great facilities where you can expand your skills and enhance your resume. And when you’re off the clock, Massachusetts is a true charmer with its abundance of delicious food, incredible historical sites, and breathtaking natural beauty. In the famed capital city of Boston, you’ll be very busy with so many spots to check out, like the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Boston Common & Public Garden, and New England Aquarium, as well as quirkier spots like the original Cheers and Boston Mapparium. Architecture and history buffs will be in heaven here! Learn more about magnificent Massachusetts in our Massachusetts State Spotlight.

Click here to explore Massachusetts Travel Nursing jobs.

North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn and winter

As falls gives way to winter, North Carolina is a beautiful place to be!

From the majestic mountains in the west to the beautiful beaches in the east, North Carolina is a diverse, beautiful state — and a wonderful choice for your next Travel Nursing adventure. From scenic spins on the Blue Ridge Parkway to endless U.S. and Native American historical sites, there’s plenty to do and see statewide. The Appalachian Mountains are a breathtaking sight, which many Travelers flock too, and there are tons of other chances for outdoor fun in this state that stays pretty mild through winter. The more urban-inclined will be right at home in one of the state’s larger cities, which have tons of culture, sightseeing, sporting events, and so much more. And, in addition to drinking in the southern hospitality, you’ll love to gobble up the delicious southern food! Learn more about the great state of North Carolina in our North Carolina State Spotlight.

Click here to find your perfect Travel Nurse job in North Carolina.

Arizona

Horseshoe Bend (Arizona)

Arizona’s the best of both worlds in winter since it stays mild but also has opportunities for skiing and other winter activities!

The Grand Canyon State is a popular destination for wintertime Travel Nursing due to its abundant natural beauty, mild winters, and awesome job opportunities. One of the nation’s most marvelous sights, The Grand Canyon, is a huge draw year-round, and there are plenty of other gorgeous sights to see and exciting things to do in this southwestern state. Check out Horseshoe Bend, Cathedral Rock, Red Rock Scenic Canyon, Desert Boatanical Garden, and, even though it does remain mild in winter, Arizona offers skiers plenty to do in the snowy peaks of Flagstaff’s Snowbowl.

Click here to explore Travel Nursing jobs in Arizona.

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

 

 

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State Spotlight: Georgia

State of GeorgiaThe temps are getting cooler, which has a certain southern state on our minds and November’s State Spotlight taking us to gorgeous Georgia! The Peach State is a sweet choice for Travel Nurses, with its warm temps, abundance of Travel Nursing jobs, and wealth of activities and experiences to enjoy on your days off. Read on to find out why Georgia should definitely be on your mind when it comes to Travel Nursing opportunities!

Travel Nursing in Georgia

GeorgiaGeorgia is a fabulous state for Travel Nurses because of its many excellent facilities and great job opportunities.

Georgia is home to about 175 hospitals — 13 of which are ranked based on high standards from U.S. News & World Report. That includes Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, which U.S. News & World Report ranked #1 among top hospitals in the state of Georgia. Rounding out the top six overall hospitals in Georgia are: Atlanta’s Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital, Macon’s Navicent Health Medical Center, Gainesville’s Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Augusta’s University Hospital, and Marietta’s WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Georgia the #36 overall state on their first-ever “Best States” list, based on criteria including economy, education, government, health care, crime & corrections, infrastructure, and opportunity. The report also ranked Georgia #14 among the top states for economy and #15 for government.

As for licensing, Georgia is not a walk-through state, but it is a compact state and a NURSYS state! Click here for more info on licensing in Georgia.

To Do & See in Georgia

Centennial Park

The sun rises on Atlanta’s Centennial Park.

Georgia has everything from beautiful beaches to spooky swamps to wonderful waterfalls to magnificent mountains!

On the urban tip, Georgia’s largest cities include Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Athens, and Sandy Springs. “Hotlanta” as it casually known for its steamy temps and exciting attractions is an amazing place to take a job or a day trip to! Fun things to do and see here include the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Botanical Garden, CNN Center, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Centennial Olympic Park, Six Flags Over Georgia, High Museum of Art, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta History Center, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Underground Atlanta, the College Football Hall of Fame, Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, and so much more!

In addition to these attractions and the city’s amazing dining, shopping, and cultural scene, sports fans will love the chance to check out Atlanta’s five major league teams: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta United FC, and Atlanta Dream.

Shrimp and Grits

Georgia’s home to all kinds of delicious southern fare like shrimp & grits!

Georgia is also an amazing hub for history buffs with loads of Civil War sites, history and heritage museums, tours, trails, and historic homes. You’ll want to check out the Cumberland Island Dungeness Ruins, Augusta Canal, Madison’s Heritage Hall, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood Home, the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Pebble Hill Plantation, Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site, and the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site — where the Confederate President was arrested in May 1865.

Okefenokee Swamp

The Okefenokee Swamp is an enchanting ecosystem and a great place to go adventuring.

In addition to serving up southern hospitality, Georgia knows how to serve up some delicious food! Although they’re perfect right off the tree, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a Georgia peach cobbler! Other popular Georgia fare includes fried chicken, shrimp & grits, pecan pie, cornbread, Brunswick Stew, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, BBQ, pimento cheese, boiled peanuts, chicken & dumplings, deviled eggs, and biscuits & gravy.

Wash it all down with some sweet tea or a Coca-Cola and you’ll be living like a true Georgia native!

Wanna walk all of that southern-fried goodness off? Georgia is home to 76 miles of the Appalachian Trail as well as famous outdoors spots like Stone Mountain, Lookout Mountain, and Okefenokee Swamp.

Amicalola Falls State Park, Indian Springs, Arabia Mountain, Springer Mountain, and Providence Canyon State Park are a few well-known places to absorb all of Georgia’s scenic glory! Throughout the state you’ll find ample opportunities for hiking, biking, golf, climbing, golfing, whitewater rafting, ziplining, boating, water sports, rowing, skiing, and much more.

Georgia Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Peach State (also known as The Goober State or The Empire State)

Coke

Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca-Cola.

Capital & Largest City: Atlanta

National Parks: 11

State Parks: 47

National Register of Historic Places Listings: 2,128

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 60

State Motto: “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation.”

State Flower: Cherokee Rose

State Fruit: Peach

State Vegetable: Vidalia Onion

State Song: “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles

State Insect: Honeybee

TWD

The Walking Dead films and is largely set in Georgia.

Georgia was the last of the 13 original colonies and the fourth state.

Coca-Cola, the Girl Scouts, Waffle House, Chik-fil-A, and anesthesia, were all invented in Georgia.

Georgia is the country’s #1 producer of “the three Ps” — peanuts, pecans, and peaches.

Saint Marys, Georgia is the second oldest city in the nation.

Georgia is the namesake of England’s King George II.

The Masters Golf Tournament is held annually at the Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia each April.

Cordele, Georgia fancies itself the watermelon capital of the world.

Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River.

Atlanta-area Stone Mountain is one of the largest single masses of exposed granite in the world.

ray-charles-002

Peach State native, Ray Charles, famously sang “Georgia on My Mind.”

Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp encompasses more than 400,000 acres of canals, mossy cypress trees, and lily pad prairies which offer sanctuary for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife, including several endangered species.

In Gainesville, Georgia, which considers itself the Chicken Capital of the World, it’s illegal to eat chicken with a fork.

As we learned on “The Walking Dead,” which is filmed and largely set in Georgia, the Center for Disease Control has its headquarters in Atlanta.

Famous folks from Georgia include Marla Maples, Jimmy Carter, Kanye West, Future, 2 Chainz, Luke Bryan, Cam Newton, Kim Basinger, Jeff Daniels, Julia Roberts, Hulk Hogan, Chris Tucker, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Charles, Sugar Ray Robinson, Dakota Fanning, Spike Lee, Bill Hicks, Kenan Thompson, Jackie Robinson, Clarence Thomas, Jason Aldean, Little Richard, Ryan Seacrest, Ty Cobb, Alice Walker, Michael Stipe, Sally Yates, and so many others!

Big Oak in Thomasville, Georgia is one of the largest Southern Love Oak Trees east of the Mississippi with a limb span of more than 165 feet.

Search now to find your dream job in gorgeous Georgia!

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Last Call for Say Thanks By Giving 2017!

Medical Solutions is giving away $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

Medical Solutions is giving away $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

The holiday season is all about celebrating gratitude and giving freely to others, that’s why Medical Solutions wants to help you support your favorite cause with a $2,000 donation — plus a little something for you to boot!

Our third annual Say Thanks By Giving event lets you nominate a nonprofit you hold dear for the chance to win a $2,000 donation from Medical Solutions made in your name. As an added bonus, if your charity is chosen you’ll also win a $100 Amazon gift card for yourself.

Nominations are open here through December 1, 2017 — so you have to act fast!  

In the past two years Medical Solutions has helped our Travelers support the following charities through Say Thanks By Giving:

  • Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Program — nominated by Traveler Michael C.
  • Puppies Behind Bars — nominated by Traveler Karen G.
  • Team Jack Foundation — nominated by Traveler Frances B.
  • CASA of Ohio Valley — nominated by Traveler Kathy G.
  • Remote Area Medical — nominated by Traveler Leigha C.
  • Cattaraugus County SPCA — nominated by Traveler Jennifer G.
  • The Cure Starts Now Foundation — nominated by Traveler Erica P.
  • Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey — nominated by Traveler Gabriel T.

So, tell us: What nonprofit and/or charitable organization matters most to you — and why? It could be a place you’ve personally volunteered or one that has helped you personally!

Just imagine, if you could help support any charity or nonprofit organization that makes the world a better place, who would it be? Got your answer? Great! Now be sure to submit your cause for consideration before December 1, 2017!

In December, we’ll announce four winners — each of whom will receive a $100 Amazon gift card for themselves AND get $2,000 donated to the cause they nominated!

Click here now to share what you care about!

 

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Clinical Corner: Sentinel Event Alert #58 on Proper Hand-off Communication

JC Sentinel Alert

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

According to The Joint Commission (TJC), a sentinel event is defined as any unanticipated event in a healthcare setting that results in death or a serious physical or psychological injury to a patient or patients that is not related to the natural course of a patient’s illness. Healthcare professionals take a lot of pride and are very diligent in their work to avoid any sentinel events. Recently the TJC released a Sentinel Event Alert that identifies specific types of events and high-risk conditions as well as corresponding underlying causes and recommendations to reduce risk and prevent future occurrences of these sentinel events. The purpose of the alert is for health professionals and organizations to consider designing or redesigning processes to prevent or minimize the effects of sentinel events.

The focus of the most recent Sentinel Event Alert released by TJC was inadequate hand-off communication. While it sounds simple to achieve a successful hand-off, in reality, the hand-off communication is much more complex than it seems. In 2010, after hand-off communication was addressed in the National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG), it became a Joint Commission standard that “an organization’s process for hand-off communication provides the opportunity for discussion between the giver and receiver of patient information.” This standard is important because hand-offs are becoming too casual and can be very disjointed and unclear. This creates a large gap in communication which leads to a huge safety risk and concern for patients. It can ultimately contribute and lead to sentinel events in the healthcare setting.

To combat the disconnect in hand-off communication it is important to know the contributing factors to hand-off communication breakdown. These factors include insufficient or misleading information, absence of safety in culture, ineffective communication methods, lack of timing, poor timing, interruptions/distractions, insufficient staffing, and lack of standardizing the hand off process. The Joint Commission offers the following suggestions on implementing successful hand offs:

  1. Demonstrate leadership’s commitment to successful hand-offs and other aspects of safety culture.
  2. Standardize the critical content communicated between caregivers using verbal and written hand-offs and standardize tools and methods using forms, templates, checklists, etc.
  3. Conduct face-to-face hand-off communication in locations that are free from interruptions or distractions.
  4. Standardize the training on how to conduct a successful hand-off from both the standpoint of the sender and receiver of the communication.
  5. Use the EHR (Electronic Health Record) and other technologies to enhance hand-offs.
  6. Monitor the success of interventions to make continuous improvements to hand-off communications.
  7. Sustain and spread best practices and make high-quality hand-offs a cultural priority for the department and healthcare facility.

Information reprinted with permission from The Joint Commission. To learn more about this Sentinel Event Alert, click here.

 

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

Kayla P Tahoe

September 2017 Traveler of the Month, Kayla P., gazes out over Lake Tahoe!

Many thanks and congrats to the September 2017 Traveler of the Month, Kayla P., and also our Rising Star winner, Kim B.!

Kayla P 300x300 - Congrats to September 2017’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Congrats Kayla P.! (left)

Traveler of the Month Kayla is an ICU Stepdown BSN, RN who’s been in nursing for nearly three and a half years and traveling a little more than two years. She works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Tiffanie H. and is currently on assignment was in Newark, New Jersey.

Kayla currently travels solo, but for her first five contracts she traveled with her friend, Dara, who she had also worked with at her first nursing job out of nursing school.

Kayla’s favorite location so far has been Carson City, Nevada.

“I worked as an overnight float nurse and loved everyone I worked with — the hospital was out of this world, set away in the mountains with sunrises like you’d never imagine,” says Kayla. “The hospital was also a quick drive to Lake Tahoe, where I spent the majority of my time off. The views, hikes, microbreweries, and eats have my heart forever.”

Kayla P and Dara

Kayla (left) and her friend Dara on their Nevada adventure!

Interestingly, Kayla never planned to become a nurse!

“I just kind of transferred into the major in college, got my BSN, and took my career places I never thought imaginable when I became a Traveler,” she says.

Her favorite thing about Travel Nursing is the people she’s met along the way.

“I have friends and coworkers across the country and back,” she says. “Not only have I made friends at each institution I’ve worked in, but also other Traveler friends along the way, and not even just Travel Nurses, but also other ‘wanderlusts’ traveling our U.S. of A. I’ve had the pleasure of taking care of people amongst a large spectrum of cultures.”

Kayla shared these awesome tips for new and aspiring Travelers:

1). “ALWAYS BE A TEAM PLAYER! Don’t let the fear of being the ‘newbie’ shy you from joining the team. Introduce yourself and put yourself out there as the ‘newbie’ so they know to have your back. Let them know you’re new to the unit, but not to nursing and you will return the help as much as it’s provided.”

2). “BE OPEN! Just because you don’t land your dream assignment every contract, be willing to try new places and sign up for contracts you’d never expect you’d get into. Carson City was not on my list, it just kind of landed in my lap, and seven contracts later, it’s still my favorite!”

3). “GET OUT THERE! Take every opportunity with your free time in your assignments to explore, talk to people, and let them know what you’re doing there. You’d be surprised how interested everyone is in your journey. Everyone has a story to tell, but I promise, Travel Nurse stories take the cake!

Thank you for the great advice and for being such an awesome Traveler, Kayla!

Rising Star winner for September, Kim B., gets her hike on!

Rising Star winner for September, Kim B., gets her hike on!

Rising Star Kim is and RN, BSN, CMSRN who’s been in nursing for eight years and started traveling in May 2017.

Kim works with Career Consultant Lynda G. and is currently on assignment in Sunnyside, Washington. Her favorite location so far has been Spokane, Washington.

“I’m from Florida but love the northwest, so I headed to Washington for my first travel assignment this past May in Spokane,” she says. “I loved the location and the beautiful lakes in that area.”

Kim is a self-proclaimed “Disney fanatic” and lover of all things Disney.

Kim B

Kim B. enjoys the view!

“I’m a Disney World passholder in Florida and excited to be on the west coast and making a trip to Disneyland soon,” she says.

Kim loves Travel Nursing chiefly because it gives her “the opportunity to experience such a wide variety of settings both geographically and in nursing.”

She also shared a few great tips for new or aspiring Travelers.

“My tips for new Travel Nurses are to be flexible and open-minded when you enter into a new assignment, to take time to get to know your coworkers, and to network with other Travel Nurses whenever possible as they can be such a great resource for tips, support, even housing connections — it’s a unique and special community of nurses,” says Kim.

Thank you for your dedication to patient care and for sharing this great advice, Kim!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions September 2017 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Kayla and Kim, we are incredibly thankful for your commitment to providing superior patient care and your strong 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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State Spotlight: Massachusetts

State of Massachusetts

Could the state known for its famous Boston Tea Party be your cup of Travel Nursing tea?

Because of its iconic New England fall colors and spooky city of Salem, October’s State Spotlight takes us to magnificent Massachusetts. The Bay State is a lovely choice for Travel Nurses, with some of the best facilities in the nation, tons of opportunity for professional development, and an abundance of things to do on your day off. Read on to find out why the state known for its famous Boston Tea Party might just be your cup of tea!

Travel Nursing in Massachusetts

Boston's beautiful Harborwalk.

Boston’s beautiful Harborwalk.

Massachusetts is a fabulous state for Travel Nurses because of its many state-of-the-art, high-ranking facilities. Because of this, The Bay State consistently has oodles of great, lucrative job opportunities for Travelers where they will learn new skills and sharpen existing ones. Massachusetts also offers big-city excitement alongside quaint communities and a gorgeous coastline, to boot.

Autumn in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts

Fall foliage in the beautiful Berkshires region of Massachusetts!

Massachusetts is home to 100+ hospitals — 10 of which are ranked based on high standards from U.S. News & World Report. That includes Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, which U.S. News & World Report ranked #4 on the 2017/2018 Honor Roll of Best Hospitals and #1 in the state of Massachusetts. Boston Children’s Hospital, also ranked #1 on the 2017/2018 Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. Rounding out the top five overall hospitals in Massachusetts are: Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Springfield’s Bay State Medical Center, Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Worcester’s UMass Memorial Medical Center.

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Swan boats in Boaston’s Public Garden.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Massachusetts the #1 overall state on their first-ever “Best States” list, based on criteria including economy, education, government, health care, crime & corrections, infrastructure, and opportunity. The report also ranked Massachusetts #2 among the top states for healthcare, #1 for education, and #5 for economy.

As for licensing, Massachusetts is not a walk-through state, nor is it currently at the time of this writing a compact state, but it is a NURSYS state! As for Massachusetts’ compact status, stay tuned as the NLC to eNLC transition continues, because it is one of a handful of states that hopes to pass legislation to join the eNLC in time for implementation on January 19, 2018. Click here for more info on licensing in Massachusetts.

To Do & See in Massachusetts

Cheers sign outside the Bull and Finch bar Boston

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, like original Cheers bar!

Massachusetts has everything from beautiful beaches to magnificent mountains and bustling cities like Boston to quaint enclaves like Rockport.

On the urban tip, Massachusetts’ largest cities include Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, and Lowell. The region is rife with history, arts, and culture, particularly in the capital city of Boston, where you’ll want to explore the famed Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, New England Aquarium, National Historic Park, Newbury Street, Boston Harborwalk, Boston Common & Public Garden, Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Harvard Square, Boston Public Library, Massachusetts State House, and so much more!

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Parker House, where the divine dessert was first served!

A couple of quirky Boston must-dos include riding the swan boats in the Public Garden pond, visiting the Mapparium where you can go inside a gigantic glass globe, and grabbing a barstool at the original Cheers in Beacon Hill!

Boston also has some incredible whale watching that will take you out into the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary and you don’t want to miss the Italian cuisine and cannolis in the city’s famous North End, an iconic “Little Italy” neighborhood that houses incredible historical sites as well as an abundance of delicious food.

Whale Watch

Massachusetts offers some great opportunities for whale watching.

If you’re craving pizza, look no further than the amazing Pizzeria Regina, a North End institution that I still crave on a daily basis! The Daily Catch offers the perfect combination of Italian and fresh seafood. And, when it comes to cannolis, the public is pretty well split between Mike’s Pastry and Modern pastry. I tried both — just to make sure I did my due diligence, and I would just say you can’t go wrong with either!

Sports fans will want to flock to Boston’s legendary Fenway Park to take in a Red Sox game. Massachusetts also offers the chance to see the Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Boston Bruins, and nearly 20 other minor league and semi-pro teams. And, fun sports fact: both basketball and volleyball (originally called mintonette) were invented in The Bay State!

Mike's Pastry #2

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

If all that sightseeing has worked up your appetite, good, because the food in Massachusetts is spectacular. From seafood to cider donuts, dining in The Bay State is done right. State favorites include clam chowder (no tomatoes allowed!), fish ‘n’ chips, oysters, Boston Baked Beans, grilled blueberry muffins, fluffernutters, lobster rolls, fried clams, scallops, and baked stuffed scrod. For dessert, consider the aforementioned North End cannolis or Boston Cream Pie, originally served at Boston’s Parker House (now the Omni Parker House) where you can still order it to this day. Fun fact if you do visit the Omni Parker House: The restaurant there is where JFK proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier!

Fenway

A trip to iconic Fenway Park is a Massachusetts must!

Wash it all down with some Dunkin Donuts coffee, an ice-cold Sam Adams, or a tall glass of cranberry juice and you’ll be doing it like a true Bay Stater!

For the outdoorsy, Massachusetts offers 91 miles of the Appalachian Trail and is home to Mount Greylock, which reportedly inspired Herman Melville to pen Moby Dick. Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and Nantucket are all notoriously stunning stops. Western Massachusetts’ beautiful Berkshires are a treat at any time of year, and throughout the state you’ll find ample opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, golfing, whitewater rafting, ziplining, boating, rowing, skiing, and much more.

Salem Witch House

Spooky Salem makes a great location or day trip!

Massachusetts has some incredibly quaint small towns that are well worth a visit, like Newburyport, Rockport, Marblehead, Nanhant, Lexington, Concord, Amherst, Stockbridge, and Great Barrington.

Of course, The Bay State is also infamous for the Salem Witch Trials, which saw several folks executed for witchcraft in the 1690s. The town of 40,000 is just 45 minutes north of Boston and makes a great day trip, especially around Halloween time! In addition to a trip to the Salem Witch House, make time for a stop at the Peabody Essex Museum and The House of the Seven Gables.

Massachusetts Fast Facts

Cranberry bog 300x193 - State Spotlight: Massachusetts

Cranberry bogs light up The Bay State landscape.

State Nickname: The Bay State

Capital & Largest City: Boston

National Parks: 15

State Parks, Recreation Areas, Trails, and Forests: 151

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 200

State Motto: “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” — meaning “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.”

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Clam chowder is an institution in Massachusetts. no tomatoes allowed!

State Flower: Mayflower

State Tree: American Elm

State Insect: Ladybug

State Beverage: Cranberry Juice

State Dessert: Boston Cream Pie

Massachusetts was the 6th state and one of the 13 original colonies.

Chocolate chip cookies, disposable safety razors, Bose speakers, microwaves, rubber tires, Tupperware, The Iron Lung, the World Wide Web, basketball, volleyball, computerized spreadsheets, the birth control pill, and the country’s first subway system were all invented in Massachusetts. Heck, some even say that America itself was invented in Massachusetts!

Folk hero Johnny Appleseed is typically associated with the Midwest, but he was born in Leominster, Massachusetts.

Boston Public Garden

Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

The first-ever telephone call was made in Boston, on March 10, 1876, between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson, who was in the next room.

Boston Latin, the oldest school in America, was established in 1635 — one year prior to the launch of a little institution of higher ed known as Harvard.

The world’s first digital, real-time computer, the Whirlwind I, was created at MIT in 1951.

Boston Common is the nation’s oldest public park.

The Fig Newton was not named after Sir Isaac Newton, but rather the town of Newton, Massachusetts.

USA, Massachusetts, Nantucket Island, View of Great Point lighthouse

Nantucket makes a great, picturesque excursion.

Dunkin Donuts was launched in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Worcester’s WORC radio station was the first frequency to play The Beatles.

During the ice age, glaciers formed the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in 1621 in Plymouth.

The first zip code in the United States was given to Agawam, Massachusetts. It is 01001.

Rockport, Massachusetts has a house made entirely of newspaper.

Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation.

The Bay State is home to the lake with the longest name on the planet: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

Amy Poehler

Funny lady Amy Poehler is from Newton, Massachusetts.

Famous folks from Massachusetts include Frederick Douglass, Amy Poehler, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Seuss, Conan O’Brien, Norman Rockwell, Edgar Allen Poe, Timothy Leary, John Cena, Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, W.E.B. Du Bois, John F. Kennedy, Lizzie Borden, Matt Damon, Steve Carell, Mindy Kaling, Jay Leno, Uzo Aduba, Denis Leary, Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg, Barbara Walters, Leonard Nimoy, Geena Davis, Uma Thurman, Rob Zombie, Meghan Trainor, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and so many others!

Happy Hours have been banned in Boston since 1984.

The colorful Green Monster at Fenway Park is so iconic that The Red Sox actually patented the hue “Fenway Green.”

Boston is known as “Beantown” because of how much its early residents loved baked beans in molasses.

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