Author Archive for Sarah Wengert

Hi, I'm Sarah Wengert, a creative content writer for the amazing Medical Solutions based in Omaha, Nebraska. While I'm not a Travel Nurse, I love to travel and I truly appreciate the hard, important work that nurses do. I'm very happy to represent a company that cares so much about its people. Thanks for reading!

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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.

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 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.”

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!

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Open Enrollment + New Voluntary Benefits Are Here!

open enrollment word abstract in wood type

Medical Solutions Open Enrollment will run October 30-November 10, 2017.

It’s Open Enrollment time for Medical Solutions employees and we have several exciting new additions and updates to share regarding this process. But just because we’re talking boring benefits doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun … Are you ready for some fun facts about Open Enrollment? You thought I’d never ask, right?!

Fun Fact: Medical Solutions Open Enrollment runs Monday, October 30, 2017- Friday, November 10, 2017.

Open Enrollment is the period of time during which you can make changes to your medical, dental, vision, and voluntary benefits elections. Medical Solutions offers passive enrollment — meaning that if you are enrolled with us already and you like your current benefits choices as-is, you do not need to take any action.

For those who do want to make changes or add voluntary benefits, you will make your new elections via your My Pay & Benefits tab at My.MedicalSolutions.com between Monday, October 30, 2017- Friday, November 10, 2017.

Fun Fact: Starting in 2018, Medical Solutions will offer you FIVE voluntary benefits!

In addition to the existing voluntary benefits we offer our Travelers — short-term disability and critical illness insurance — Medical Solutions will begin to offer pet, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance in 2018.

All five voluntary benefits will be available to employees and their dependents. When you go to make your elections this year, please consider whether to take advantage of any or all of these voluntary benefits! See page four of our Traveler Benefits Summary for more information about each of these voluntary benefits.

For critical illness, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance, you will be able to elect via your My Pay & Benefits tab at My.MedicalSolutions.com. For pet insurance, follow the link provided and for short-term disability, call the phone number provided.

Fun Fact: There will be a pharmacy change with our 2018 plan year.

Make sure to login to www.optumrx.com/CTRSS to review drug tier and formulary changes for 2018.

Fun Fact: This is the second Medical Solutions Open Enrollment period in 2017.

Why? Because beginning in 2018, Medical Solutions’ benefits plan years will run in agreement with the calendar year, as opposed to the April-March plan years we’ve had in the past. This is increasingly the standard and will also help our team members better align benefits choices with their spouse’s or parents’ plan, when applicable.

Fun Fact: It’s super easy to make your changes to your elections during Open Enrollment!

If you want to make changes to your elections for the upcoming plan year, you can first review your options in this Traveler Benefits Summary, and then follow these instructions to make your updated elections:

  • Log in at MedicalSolutions.com.
  • Click on “My Pay & Benefits” then click the “Elect” icon.
  • Click on “Menu” and select “Open Enrollment.”
  • Follow the steps to verify beneficiary & dependent information and make your new medical, dental, and vision benefits elections.
  • At this time, you should also consider if you’d like to enroll in any voluntary benefits, including: Short-term disability, critical illness, accident, hospital indemnity, or pet insurance.
  • Next, you’ll be able to see a side-by-side view of your current and new benefits elections. Once satisfied with your new elections, click “Submit.”
  • You must complete any changes by Friday, November 10, 2017.

Fun Fact/Reminder: Medical Solutions offers passive enrollment.

Medical Solutions offers passive enrollment — meaning that if you are enrolled with us already and you like your current benefits choices as-is, you do not need to take any action! Your benefits will carry over as-is into 2018.

That was a lot of fun! During Open Enrollment, be sure to carefully review your options and make the right choices for yourself and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Career Consultant.

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#NurseLaughLove Photo Contest Winners

As part of our Travel Nurses Day 2017 celebration, we hosted the #NurseLaughLove Photo Contest — and boy, did you Travel Nurses deliver! On Instagram, via the hashtags #NurseLaughLove and #MedicalSolutions, we saw nearly 450 amazingly picturesque submissions. So many great entries, in fact, that we decided to crown 10 winners, instead of the originally intended five, who each received their very own Amazon Tap Alexa-enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker.

But you know what they say — “Pics or it didn’t happen” — so here are the 10 winning images!

Nurse Laugh Love Winner

Nurse Laugh Love Winner

Nurse Laugh Love Winner Nurse Laugh Love Winner

Nurse Laugh Love Winner Nurse Laugh Love Winner Nurse Laugh Love Winner Nurse Laugh Love Winner Nurse Laugh Love Winner

Nurse Laugh Love Winner

Congrats to our #NurseLaughLove winners and a big THANK YOU to all who entered. We absolutely loved seeing pics from your exciting, fulfilled lives as Travel Nurses — and you’re all winners in our book!

Be sure to follow Medical Solutions on Instagram to keep tabs on us and our amazing, adventurous Travelers. And, if you’d like to check out all the fantastic #NurseLaughLove submissions, simply search the hashtag on Instagram and look for the ones paired with #MedicalSolutions.

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

Congrats to our August Traveler of the Month, Jackie G., and our Rising Star, Alana B. (pictured)

Many thanks and congrats to the August 2017 Traveler of the Month, Jackie G., and also our Rising Star winner, Alana B.!

Jackie G Travel Nurse Medical Solutions

Jackie gets down with some science stand-up at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Traveler of the Month Jackie is BSN, RN in Child/Adolescent Psych who’s been in nursing for seven years and traveling for about a year and a half. She works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Erin A. and her most recent assignment was in Denver, Colorado.

The Mile-High City has actually been Jackie’s favorite Travel Nursing location.

Denver is breathtakingly beautiful,” says Jackie. “There are so many cool things to explore, both in the city and beyond, and I have made some great friends. Plus, I got to reconnect with cousins living in Denver who I hadn’t seen in decades.”

Jackie Travel Nurse Dog

Jackie’s adorable pup, Mac, is a pro Traveler! Here he is in Arizona’s Painted Desert.

Jackie travels with her 10-year-old Japanese Chin dog, Mac.

“He is the best little Traveler —he actually packs his carry case with a toy and gets in when he sees me pull out a suitcase!”

Jackie, who’s traveled to all seven continents, says her favorite thing about Travel Nursing is “getting paid to explore the U.S. and meet new friends.”

She shared some great tips for new or aspiring Travelers:

  1. “Explore your new town and take advantage of new opportunities! I entered (and won!) a trivia contest in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and performed science stand-up in Denver, which I never would have had the opportunity or guts to do back home!”
  2. “Ask questions! As a Traveler, you’re not expected to know everything about a unit right away, and your co-workers will appreciate your asking questions rather than guessing. They are also your best resources for finding things to do in your new town.”
  3. “Practice self-care! It can be hard being far away from friends, family, and familiar surroundings. Make sure you take time to recharge your batteries between shifts by spending time outdoors, exercising, reading, calling loved ones back home- whatever brings you peace and happiness.”

Thank you for the excellent pointers and for being an awesome Traveler, Jackie!

Pike's Peak

Jackie took this great shot of the view from the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Alana Travel Nurse

Rising Star Alana enjoys the view with her pup, Reeses.

Rising Star Alana is a Home Health RN who’s been in nursing for seven years and has been traveling about a year and a half.

Alana works with Career Consultant Paul D. and is currently on assignment in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her favorite location so far has been Manchester, New Hampshire.

Alana travels with her husband, Armond, and toy poodle, Reeses.

Alana’s favorite thing about Travel Nursing is the travel and connections with others it affords her.

“[I love] going to new locations and states I would not normally be able to,” says Alana. “Meeting new people and making new connections is great.”

Alana shared some quick, helpful hints for new and aspiring Travel Nurses:

“Stay organized, flexible, and positive. Keep in connection with your recruiter.”

Alana Travel Nurse

Alana travels with Reeses and her husband, Armond.

Thank you for your commitment to patient care and great advice, Alana!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions August 2017 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Jackie and Alana, we are incredibly thankful for your dedication to providing superior patient care!

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!

Alana Travel Nurse

Happy travels, Alana!

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Clinical Corner: Nurse Licensure Compact Changes

"Changes ahead" traffic sign

Prepare yourself for upcoming changes to the Nurse Licensure Compact as it transitions to the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact!

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

Did you know the first and original Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) was drafted way back in 1998? It was later signed into law in 2000 and 25 states have joined since.

Why have we waited so long to enhance and make the NLC better? Healthcare has changed dramatically since then and the nursing shortage only seems to increase as time goes on. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be more than one million registered nurse openings by 2024 — twice the rate seen in previous shortages. The industry is way overdue on making changes to the NLC so that more nurses can cross state borders resulting in less open nursing positions. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has made this change a priority and with this change comes the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Under the new eNLC, nurses will be able to provide care to patients in other eNLC states without having to obtain additional licenses.

As a Traveler, this is very important and impactful to the care that you provide — so listen up, because this may affect your license(s)!

Nurses who hold an original NLC multistate license will be grandfathered into the eNLC. The eNLC implementation date is currently set for January 19, 2018.

That said, it is important to know that while many of the original NLC states have passed legislation enabling them to be a part of the eNLC, not all of them have done so. Currently, there are four states — Colorado, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and New Mexico — that were a part of the NLC but have not passed legislation to be a part of the eNLC.

There are also several states that were not previously part of the NLC that have passed legislation enabling them to become a part of the eNLC. These NEW states include Florida, Wyoming, Georgia, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.

Additionally, there are several states — Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey — which currently having pending eNLC legislation. At this time, it’s likely that Rhode Island will not pass legislation in time, and that Colorado and New Mexico will introduce emergency legislation to become part of the eNLC before the January 19, 2018 implementation date. Wisconsin is likely to pass legislation by December 2017, as well.

Now that you know which states are affected with these new changes, how does this effect you?

If you hold a compact license in a state that was in the NLC and is now a part of the eNLC as well, you do not have to do anything. The exception to this rule is if you obtained your perm state compact license on or after July 20, 2017. If this applies to you, then you will be required to meet the new eNLC requirements. Contact your state BON to learn more on what you need to do to meet guidelines.

If you are licensed in a state that was not a part of the original NLC and will become a part of the eNLC then on January 19, 2018, you will automatically have compact privileges in the new eNLC states.

If you are licensed in a state that is a current member of the NLC but will not be a member of the eNLC, then you will lose multistate privileges. However, you will still hold privileges in the states that were a part of the NLC. For example, if you have a multistate license in Rhode Island you will lose multistate privileges but will still hold the NLC compact license that would allow you compact privileges in Colorado, Wisconsin, and New Mexico — if they do not pass legislation to become part of the eNLC. You will need to obtain a single state license to travel in any other state. Some states do not have a process set up for this yet.

Travelers will then lose privileges to practice in the NLC states that have not become part of the eNLC as well. For example, someone who has compact privileges with their Iowa license will still have compact privileges in the eNLC states, however they will lose privileges to practice in Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island — again, if they do not pass legislation.

The biggest takeaway from these compact changes is the importance of awareness of your licenses and the actions to take moving forward! It’s crucial to stay up to date with any changes to the eNLC and to be proactive with your licenses in these pending states. If you have any questions, contact your Career Consultant or the Medical Solutions Clinical Team and we would be happy to assist you in this process.

We’ve also put together these handy FAQs on the NLC to eNLC transition and will be sure to add any changing or updated information to this page as the transition nears.

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State Spotlight: Washington

Seattle Skyline and Mount Rainier at Sunset

Washington is a wonderland for Travel Nurses!

It’s apple-picking season, so this month’s State Spotlight takes us to wonderful Washington. The Evergreen State is a great choice for Travel Nurses year-round, but it’s especially magical in the fall. Just imagine yourself drinking fresh cider in the nation’s most prolific apple-growing state and ordering your pumpkin spice latte at the original Starbucks location in Seattle!

Travel Nursing in WashingtonWashington State

Washington is chock-full of the kind of stunning natural attractions that Travel Nurses tend to flock to. Even better, The Evergreen State consistently has TONS of great job opportunities for Travelers. Washington offers everything from urban excitement to quaint communities to serene scenery, pair that with an abundance of job opportunities and it’s no wonder Washington is favorite for so many Travel Nurses!

Washington is home to 110+ hospitals. That includes Seattle’s University of Washington Medical Center, which U.S. News & World Report ranked as the #1 hospital in Washington, and which is nationally ranked in 10 adult specialties. Rounding out the top five hospitals in Washington are: Spokane’s Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center, Olympia’s Providence St. Peter Hospital, and Everett’s Providence Regional Medical Center.

Additionally, Seattle Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked in 10 children’s specialties.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington #5 overall 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 Washington #9 among the top states for healthcare, #2 for infrastructure, and #11 for economy.

As for licensing, Washington is not a walk-through state, nor is it a compact state, but it is a NURSYS state! Click here for more info on licensing in Washington.

To Do & See in Washington

U.S. News & World Report has called The Evergreen State “an outdoor enthusiast’s dream with its geological diversity, ranging from mountains to deserts, rainforests, and a Pacific coastline.”

Bridge of the Gods

The Colombia River Gorge is totally gorgeous!

First, let talk mountains. Washington is home to two major ranges — the Cascades and Olympic Mountains. Mount Rainier is famously visible from the state’s largest city, Seattle, so it’s great eye candy even from afar. But if you’re the type who wants to do more than just look, you’ll be filled with glee considering all of the options for climbing, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and more. They don’t call it The Evergreen State for nothing, and the state’s old-growth forests are stunning places to find yourself a memorable and peaceful moment. (PS, all these mountains mean great skiing for all levels, if you’re into that kind of thing!)

Another major player in Washington’s natural beauty is water — from the Puget Sound to the Colombia River to an abundance of glaciers and beyond, it’s a force to be reckoned with in Washington in many forms.

Some major hotspots for outdoors majesty you won’t want to miss out on include Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, Colombia River Gorge, North Cascades National Park, Hoh Rainforest, Deception Pass, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Lake Chelan, the San Juan Islands, and so much more.

Chihuly Sculptures and Seattle's Space Needle

Chihuly Garden and Glass plus a visit to The Space Needle make up a great day of sightseeing in Seattle!

Outdoors activities here are boundless, including biking, hiking, skiing, whale watching, kayaking, boating, ziplining, river rafting, golfing, climbing, horseback riding, parasailing, and so much more!

On the urban side of things, Washington largest cities include Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Kent, Everett, and Renton.

Seattle, known as The Emerald City for its 6,000+ acres of parks, is the state’s most well-known city, and for good reason. Seattle is hip and smart with boundless natural beauty and urban activities. The city has amazing opportunities to shop, dine, see art & theater, and so much more.

Check out the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Olympic Sculpture Park, Gas Works Park, the Seattle Great Wheel, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Aquarium, Washington Park Arboretum, Fremont Troll, Volunteer Park, Lake Union, and so many other wonderful spots!

You can get out of the city for a bit by catching a ferry over to some of the nearby gorgeous spots like Bainbridge Island or Whidbey Island.

Waterfront of Seattle on a sunny day

Ride the Great Wheel and check out the waterfront!

Sports fans will enjoy access to the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, and Seattle Sounders, among many other professional and college teams. Seattle’s also a city that loves its intramural and recreational sports, so while you’re on assignment you can always take that route to join in the athletic fun.

Is all that activity making ya hungry? Well, you’re really in luck, because when it comes to food and drink, Washington knows what’s up! The food here is divine and there’s something for everybody.

In addition to being the country’s greatest producer of apples, Washington is also famous for its Rainier cherries, artisan chocolate, berries (blueberries, raspberries, huckleberries, blackberries), Walla Walla sweet onions, and seafood.

Beecher's Cheese

The mac & cheese at Beecher’s is a Seattle MUST!

Wild salmon, geoduck, oysters, mussels, clams, Dungeness crab and just about any other seafood you can imagine is fresh and absolutely delicious in Washington — from sushi to fish & chips to chowder and beyond!

In Washington’s largest city of Seattle, you can experience true foodie nirvana. Here you will find tons of fresh, farm-to-table options, artisanal breads and cheeses, great bakeries, microbreweries, vegan/vegetarian fare, and cuisine from all around the world! The city’s famous Pike Place Market is a great place to see, smell, taste, and pick up all kinds of regional goodness, including fruits & veggies, pastries, jams, tea, spices, and so much more. Some hometown faves here include Pike Place Chowder, Biscuit Bitch, Ezell’s El Gaucho, Dick’s, Il Corvo, Maneki, Matt’s, Pagliacci Pizza, Thai Tom, Dahlia Bakery, and, of course, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.

Leavenworth, WA

A day trip to Leavenworth, Washington will transport you to Bavaria!

And, while you can find food from every corner of the world in Seattle, the pan-Asian cuisine scene here is tops! Thus, you’ll find some of the nation’s best Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian food there.

When you get thirsty there’s plenty of amazing coffee and craft beer to go around, depending on the time of day! Wash all those delicious eats down with an ice-cold Rachel’s Ginger beer, bubble tea, or coffee (choose Seattle legend Starbucks or any number of independent, local coffeehouses) and you’ll be living like a true Washingtonian.

Leavenworth, Washington is a fun trip for when you to feel like you’ve just been transported to Europe. This charming little alpine Bavarian Village is nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range foothills. In addition to quaint, Bavarian architecture, a 96-foot traditional Maipole, European-style murals, and great German restaurants, they put on one heck of an Oktoberfest!

Washington Fast Facts
State Nickname: The Evergreen State

Capital: Olympia

Largest City: Seattle

National Parks: 15

State Parks, Recreation Areas, and Forests: 215

Woman hiking outdoors

The humble backpack was invented in Washington. Also pictured, the gorgeous Olympic National Park!

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 42

State Motto: “Alki” — meaning, “bye and bye.”

State Flower: Coast Rhododenron

State Animal: Steelhead Trout

State Vegetable: Walla Walla Sweet onion

Washington was the 42nd state.

Backpacks, Pictionary, Father’s Day, the electric bass guitar, bread bag clips, the modern shopping mall, the whammy bar, grunge, Almond Roca, wireless telephone, water skis, down-filled parkas, the portable heart defibrillator, the Kindle, Microsoft’s operating systems, and whole bunch of software were all invented in Washington.

Washington is the only state named for a United States president.

The oldest, currently operating gas station in the U.S. is located in Zillah, Washington.

Washington is one of just a handful of states that does not levy a personal income tax.

The first soft-serve ice cream machine in the world was in an Olympia, Washington Dairy Queen.

Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the country.

The Starbucks store at 1912 Pike Place, Seattle, Washington, US

The original Starbucks in its second location at 1912 Pike Place in Seattle.

Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, was founded in Seattle.

The largest fleet of ferries in the country serves the Puget Sound area.

The highest elevation in Washington is Mount Rainier at 14,410 feet above sea level.

The most rain to ever fall in Washington in one day was 14.26 inches at Mt. Mitchell in 1986.

As part of the Cascade Range, Washington has five major volcanoes: Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Mount Adams, and Mount St. Helens.

In its May 1980 eruption, Mount St. Helens lost 1,131 feet of elevation.

Seattle’s Space Needle is 605 feet tall.

Photo of Jimi HENDRIX

Jimi Hendrix is just one famous Washingtonian.

Famous Washingtonians include Jimi Hendrix, Chris Pratt, Bob Barker, Rainn Wilson, Sir Mix-a-lot, Chrissy Teigen, Hope Solo, Tom Robbins, Neko Case, Macklemore, Kurt Cobain, Craig T. Nelson, Bing Crosby, John Elway, Bill Gates, Quincy Jones, Gary Larson, Gypsy Rose Lee, Dave Matthews, Blair Underwood, Adam West, Eddie Vedder, Kenny Loggins, Kenny G, and so many others!

Washington has more glaciers than any other state on the U.S. mainland, with about 80% of all glacial ice in the nation located within its borders.

Everett, Washington is home to the world’s largest building — the final assembly plant for Boeing.

Seattle was the first city in the United States to play a Beatles song on the radio.

In 1974, Spokane became the smallest city to host a World’s Fair.

Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nursing gig in Washington!

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Save The Date: Travel Nurses Day 2017 is Coming!

Travel Nurses Day 2017

Save the Date, Travel Nurses!

Once upon a time, back in 2013, Medical Solutions was so continuously inspired by our AMAZING arsenal of Travel Nurses, that we decided there ought to be a holiday to recognize them. So, we created Travel Nurses Day, a day when traveling healthcare professionals are exalted and celebrated as the heroes they are!

It’s almost that time again, so save the date for Travel Nurse Day 2017, Friday, October 13th! We’ll be celebrating at TravelNursesDay.com, with quizzes, activities, music, photos, and, best of all PRIZES for Travel Nurses!

Here are a few things you can look forward to this Travel Nurses Day:

  • A #NurseLaughLove Photo Contest
  • Two quintessentially cool quizzes — Where Should I Travel Next? and What’s Your Ultimate Source of Bliss?
  • Two sets of fantastically fun Photofinds
  • Two sets of terrifically tremendous Travel Libs
  • A custom-made Find Your Bliss Playlist to keep you rocking through your special day
  • 35 wonderful prizes, including Amazon Tap Alexa-enabled Speakers, WonderWink scrub sets, North Face Recon backpacks, $100 Amazon gift cards, Alegria shoes, LeSport Sac bags, and so much more!

Right now at TravelNursesDay.com you can see all the lucky winners from last year, but very soon we will unveil the 2017 website and invite you to join in the fun. So be on the lookout for Travel Nurses Day updates in the coming weeks — and prepare to treat yo’self to some Travel Nurses Day fun!

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$750 New Traveler Bonus is Here!

There are TONS of reasons to try a career in Travel Nursing, but right now at Medical Solutions there are an additional 750 more reasons than ever! That’s because now through January 10, 2018, Travelers who are new to Medical Solutions are eligible for our limited time $750 New Hire Bonus once they complete a full assignment!

If you’ve ever considered trying Travel Nursing, or even if you’re a veteran Traveler looking for a new company that better fits your needs, now is the perfect time to make the leap — and Medical Solutions will have your back every step of the way.

To receive the $750 New Hire Bonus, you must:

  • Have not previously worked a standard assignment with Medical Solutions
  • Sign and start an assignment with us anytime from August 21, 2017, through January 10, 2018
  • Complete your full assignment

It’s that easy! Travel Nursing is already like the fudge sundae of careers, so go ahead, put that cherry on top with Medical Solutions’ $750 New Hire Bonus.

Click here to learn more or to apply now!

Not a Medical Solutions newbie? No worries, you can still get in on the bonus fun by referring a friend or co-worker and earning a $500 referral bonus! Just imagine, you get $500, your friend gets $750, Medical Solutions gets a great Traveler, patients get great care … it’s win-win-win-win — so many wins you’ll lose track!

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

Travel Nurse Melanie

Congrats and thanks to Traveler of the Month, Melanie M., pictured here with her husband, Phil.

Many thanks and congrats to the July 2017 Traveler of the Month, Melanie M., and also our Rising Star winner, Karen H.!

Traveler of the Month Melanie is an L&D RN who’s spent a total of 15 years in nursing — five as an RN, seven as an L&D OR tech, and three as a post-partum clerk/CNA. She works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Geri K. and has worked as a Travel Nurse for about a year and a half.

When we caught up with her, Melanie, a Utah native, she was on assignment in Nephi, Utah.

“Between the two places I’ve been — Gillette, Wyoming and Nephi, Utah, I’d say Gillette was my favorite experience because it was a new adventure,” says Melanie.

Melanie traveled solo, although she and her husband, Phil, would travel to visit one another frequently.

In addition to being a rockstar RN, Melanie has also conquered the world of bodybuilding!

“I spent my 30th birthday on stage, in my first bodybuilding competition,” she says. “I was in the best shape of my life after 10 months of training and preparation … and I placed first!”

Melanie says the best thing about Travel Nursing to her was being employed by Medical Solutions. Awwww, thanks, Melanie!

Here are Melanie’s words of wisdom for new and aspiring Travelers.

“Be good to your new co-workers, offer to help, and in turn they will be happy to help you when you inevitably have a bunch of questions,” she says. “Renegotiate pay if offered an extension. Be good to your recruiter and submit your timecard on-time.”

Thank you for being an awesome Traveler, Melanie!

Karen H Travel Nurse

Rising Star winner, Karen H., took this gorgeous pic during the sandhill crane migration in Kearney, Nebraska.

Rising Star Karen is a NICU RN who’s been in nursing since 1985 and has been traveling since January 2016.

Karen works with Career Consultant Austin B. and is currently on assignment in Kearney, Nebraska. Karen has something in common with Melanie, because her favorite location so far throughout her Travel Nursing career has also been Gillette, Wyoming. Wow, way to impress, Wyoming!

“Gillette is a great little town with wonderful people,” says Karen. “It’s also fairly close to so many great places to visit when you’re not working. There are the Black Hills of South Dakota which are filled with great things so see and do. There are the Bighorn Mountains close by in Wyoming; so beautiful. The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are an easy drive, and Sheridan, Cody, and Cheyenne are fun cities to visit, too.”

Karen travels with her cat, who doesn’t love riding in the car but always settles in easily wherever the pair lands. Her daughter has also come out to stay with her in the summertime while she was on assignment.

“We went lots of places on my days off work, camping at Keyhole State Park, Glacier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Springs, and Cheyenne Wyoming for Frontier Days just to name a few,” says Karen.

And while Karen loves having the chance to travel on her days off, she’s also grateful for the professional enrichment Travel Nursing has offered her.

“To me, the best thing about Travel Nursing is not only all the places I’ve been able to see but all the things I’ve learned,” she says. “I’ve learned about how other places do things in the hospital, cultures and values of different people in different parts of the country, and so much more!”

“I love what I do and it shows,” Karen continues. “I began Travel Nursing because I want to see the country and to be able to pay as much as I can for my daughter’s college education. I’m just a mom who loves being a mom more than anything else in this world.”

Here are Karen’s tips for new and aspiring Travelers:

“To be successful as a Travel Nurse I’ve found that you need to be open-minded,” she says. “There is often more than one way to do things and just because you did it one way does not mean that is the only way to do something. There are different ways that are not wrong, just different. Just go with it.”

Being helpful is another key to Traveler success, according to Karen.

“Always offer to do things. If another nurse is busy and says, ‘I have to run to the lab,’ offer to go for them — even if you don’t know where it is. You’ll find it; I did! Also, keep your mouth shut. Don’t tell what your hospital always did, no one wants to hear that. Don’t get involved in politics or gossip. Just let it go, mind your own business, and treat people the way you would like to be treated — ALL people, from housekeeping to patients to patient families to doctors.”

Thank you for your great work and advice, Karen!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions July 2017 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Melanie and Karen, we are incredibly thankful for your dedication to providing superior patient care!

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: Adaptability in Travel Nursing

Girl doing yoga

Adaptability and flexibility are key qualities for Travel Nurses!

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

What is the key to success in Travel Nursing? This question is frequently asked when nurses or other healthcare professionals decide to embark on a contingency staffing career. Although there are many different qualities that make a Traveler successful, there is one trait that will directly impact your progress throughout your journey. The quality central to success is adaptability. Embracing change can be a challenge, however, if you become accustomed to this process you will possess a skill that is highly sought after by many potential employers.

To become someone who is adaptable you must learn to seek out opportunities for growth and development. Adaptable nurses and Travelers will challenge what they know to be right or correct and then mold that thinking into a new process or idea. By doing this they can investigate their habits to determine what leads to success and what does not. Examining their behaviors and processes will help them to make changes to what may or may not become the new normal and this directly reflects adaptability.

Another key characteristic of adaptability is being inventive and knowing what or who is available to you as a resource and asset. These resources can include other nurses, managers, physicians, ancillary staff, etc. Recognizing the individuals of your department that can assist you in adapting to a change in environment, policy, or process will help you to achieve the flexibility that is needed to be deemed an adaptable nurse. And never forget, your Career Consultant is always here for you as a very valuable resource as well!

Living in the moment is a mentality that’s prevalent in individuals who possess adaptability. What this translates to is the ability to take things one day at a time and to not focus on the what-ifs or what might happen. Being present in the moment allows nurses to stay centered on their job and avoid any complaints and bad attitudes. Nonetheless, adaptable nurses maintain the competency and capacity to look ahead. This pertains to discovering and uncovering opportunities for improvement.

The last few characteristics that define adaptability are acceptance and positivity. When it comes to positivity it is not just having a good attitude. It’s much more than that! Positivity is the ability to think positive about yourself and the situation. Taking a moment to breathe in a stressful situation will help to refocus your attention and energy and to shift your thoughts from anger, aggression, and frustration to patience, harmony, and confidence in your ability to handle the situation. This influence on your mind will advance to comprehensive control and long-term acceptance. Acceptance means that you do not place blame on others or seek out revenge when something goes awry. By accepting your part in the situation, you are taking responsibility and homing in on your ability to be adaptable.

Adaptability is important for Travel Nurses because it leads to success and it makes you more marketable to potential employers. The characteristics that I mentioned today will all help you as a nurse to achieve flexibility and to adapt to your surroundings. Travel Nurses that blend in will go unnoticed by other hospital staff because, to them, they are one of their own. This is the ultimate outcome to achieve when striving to become adaptable.

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