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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5 Awesome States for Summer Travel Nurse Jobs

It’s finally here: Summer, summer, SUMMERTIME! The livin’ is easy, as is the ability to find a great travel nursing assignment in an awesome location. Here are 5 awesome states for summer travel nurse jobs:

California

Beaches abound, stunning scenery, and happening cities make California a great summer location. Click here for California assignments.

California

To those in other climate zones California seems to offer an eternal summer. While that’s somewhat true, actual summertime in California is truly amazing. The sun, the sand, the sights — what better way to spend your days off while on assignment?! From North to South, the Golden State offers an overstuffed grab bag of culture, nature, and so much more. Go natural with spectacular sights like Joshua Tree National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, or Redwood National Park. Foodies will love all of the top-tier California cuisine, which features some of the nation’s best dining. Something to drink with that? Wash it down with a tour through Cali’s famous Napa Valley wine country. Nearby San Francisco’s always a treat, with the landmark Golden Gate Bridge and more, as is a drive along the stunning Big Sur coastline; while Los Angeles offers amazing shopping, beaches, concerts, pro sports, Hollywood history, and even the chance to be a big kid at nearby Disneyland. Don’t forget beautiful, sunny San Diego, from which Mexico is just a day trip. With everything California offers, you may just need to sign an extension (or two) to even attempt to see it all! Click here to check out California summer jobs.

Lake Dock Dog

Thousands of lakes, beautiful north woods, and Midwestern charm make Wisconsin a fun, outdoorsy summer location. Click here for Wisconsin assignments.

Wisconsin

The Midwest is at its most beautiful in the summer months, and the Badger State is one of the best places to be. America’s Dairyland offers amazing opportunities for getting out in nature. Wisconsin’s north woods boast 15,000 gorgeous, natural lakes that are perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating. You may experience some of the best hikes of your life within the state’s gorgeous National Forests, not far off the Great Lakes. The Wisconsin Dells offer endless attractions, such as waterparks, casinos, scenic tours, museums, zip line tours, horseback riding, amusement parks, and tons more. Metro areas like Milwaukee and uber-cool Madison are chock full of dining, shopping, and all kinds of urban culture. What’s more, you could even explore neighboring hotspots like Chicago and Minneapolis on your days off. Click here to check out Wisconsin summer jobs.

NYC

From The Big Apple to beautiful upstate, New York is an excellent place to take a summer job. Click here for New York assignments.

New York

From upstate to The Big Apple, New York is an amazing summer destination for travel nurses. The warmer months facilitate travel around the region — and there’s tons to see in the Northeast in neighboring states likes Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and others. Everybody knows that New York City offers some of the world’s best opportunities for culture — pro sports, world-class dining, Broadway shows, amazing sightseeing and history, museums, Central Park, Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, and SO much more. But if you’re hankering to explore the rest of New York, you will be privy to amazing spots like the Hamptons, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, Saratoga Springs, Niagara Falls, and tons more! Click here to check out New York summer jobs.

Kite boarder4

Everything’s bigger and better in Texas, including awesome beaches, lakes, and water activities to beat the heat in this hot summer spot. Click here for Texas assignments.

Texas

The Lone Star State may be known for hot summer temps, but luckily it’s also known for super cool scenery and great travel nurse job opportunities. If you’re a summer person, Texas is a great place to embrace beating the heat with great beaches like well-known Galveston and South Padre, or more tucked-away spots like Boca Chica and Port Aransas. Texas also has some awesome lakes for swimming, watersports, boating and more, like Austin’s Lake Travis, Dallas’ Lake Lewisville, and the popular Lake Conroe near Houston. Tubing is huge in the state where everything’s bigger, especially down at the popular Guadalupe River. Don’t forget the many great urban opportunities of the state’s metro areas, which feature excellent dining, shopping, music, sports, sightseeing, and much, much more. And, even in these more urban areas you are very likely to find a waterpark where you can take a dip and venture down awesome waterslides. Click here to check out Texas summer jobs.

Seattle

With milder summer temps, Washington is a comfortable, chill place to explore beaches, mountains, islands, exciting cities, and more.

Washington

If you prefer a slightly less scorching summer experience, Washington State might be the right climate for you. Average daily temps in the Seattle area, for example, are usually in the mid-to-upper 70s, sometimes the low 80s. That makes for excellent weather in which to explore Seattle’s amazing art, botanical gardens, dining (especially for seafood lovers!), shopping and cool destinations like The Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, and the iconic Pike Place Market. Take a ferry or drive the scenic route through the famous Deception Pass for a perfect day trip to beautiful Whidbey Island. Washington offers endless opportunities for hiking and enjoying nature on your days off; from mountains to beaches and beyond, there is so much to see here! Click here to check out Washington summer jobs

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Congrats to April 2014’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Congrats to April 2014's Traveler of the Month, Roger W., and Rising Star, Nicole T.!

Congrats to April 2014’s Traveler of the Month, Roger W., and Rising Star, Nicole T.!

Congratulations and a big thank you go out to our April Traveler of the Month, Roger W., and also our Rising Star winner, Nicole T.

Traveler of the Month Roger is an RN specializing in Cardiac Cath Lab who is currently on assignment in Florida. He’s been in nursing for nine years and has been traveling for two years.

Roger says the best thing about Travel Nursing is all of the awesome places he has seen and people he’s met. When asked his favorite location, he says he just can’t choose between all the great spots!

“I have been so fortunate in all of my assignments,” he says. “I’ve been to some of the greatest locations this country has to offer.”

Some of his travel highlights have been: The sandy beaches of Florida and San Diego, California, Zion National Park, and The Grand Canyon, as well as “big city life in places like Houston, Atlanta, and the DFW metroplex.”

Traveler of the Month, Roger W., at the Grand Canyon.

Traveler of the Month, Roger W., at the Grand Canyon.

And while Roger prizes his awesome travels, he holds the folks he’s met on the road just as dearly.

“The best part of all of these locations has been the people I have worked with,” says Roger. “I have met so many kind and compassionate people while traveling, and have made friendships that I will treasure the rest of my life.”

His advice for new Travelers? Be prepared to navigate a learning curve and be patient with yourself.

“Understand that you are taking an assignment because of a staffing shortage and people need your help,” says Roger. “You are not being asked to work at a location because they have an abundance of staff and everything is peachy. Be flexible and willing to work around others’ needs.”

One of Roger's gorgeous beach views!

One of Roger’s gorgeous beach views!

“Thirteen weeks is a very short period of time,” he adds. “If you are unhappy with an assignment, be patient. It will be over before you know it.”

Rising Star Nicole just completed an assignment in North Carolina. The RN/BSN has been a nurse for seven years and has been traveling for one and a half years.

“In my opinion, the best thing about travel nursing is seeing new places and meeting and working with lots of new awesome people,” she says.

Nicole’s favorite assignment was in Nome, Alaska.

“I enjoyed living and working in a unique place unlike anywhere I have ever been,” she says. “I also loved all the adventures that rural Alaska has to offer.”

Nicole recently adopted a five-month-old Dachshund/Beagle puppy named Cooper who went to North Carolina with her. She says Cooper is a great travel buddy!

Congrats and thanks again, Roger and Nicole! We truly appreciate your expertise and commitment to great patient care.

To learn more about Medical Solutions’ Traveler of the Month program, click here

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Earn Your BSN with Medical Solutions!

 

Get financial assistance for tuition and books through Medical Solutions' RN to BSN Program!

Get financial assistance for tuition and books through Medical Solutions’ RN to BSN Program!

Another excellent benefit Medical Solutions offers its Travelers is the RN to BSN Program. With this program we aim to help nurses with their associate’s degree or nursing diploma get their BSN online while they continue to work.

Your life is busy, and we get that. But we are serious about helping our Travelers with their professional development and would love to see you grow as a nurse and unlock greater earning potential by getting your BSN.

So, Medical Solutions has partnered with the University of Saint Mary to offer Travelers a flexible, two-year, completely online RN to BSN program that’s accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to earn your BSN, but weren’t sure how you pay for or make time for classes while working. If so, the RN to BSN Program is designed with exactly you in mind. Through this partnership we offer Travelers financial assistance that includes books and tuition while they’re traveling with Medical Solutions.

“A Travel Nurse can really benefit from being BSN prepared,” says Medical Solutions’ Clinical Director of Nursing, Amber Barna.  “There are additional courses and training which help prepare nurses to manage any type of scenario they may encounter. The BSN-prepared nurse will also have more job and earnings opportunity as we are seeing more hospitals that require a BSN to work in their facility, including Magnet and Non-Magnet hospitals.”

Traveler Melissa E. shared her story of taking advantage of the program in pursuit of her goals to eventually become a nurse educator or Nurse Practitioner. She urges other nurses to “go for it.”

“There is no other way to get your BSN and have your company foot most of the bill,” she says. “Perm jobs require you to work there at least six months before you can get tuition reimbursement and then usually only reimburse a few thousand a year. This program works out to almost $8000 a year and MS pays most of that!”

With three start dates left in 2014, there’s no better time for you to begin your BSN journey to better qualifications, more job opportunities, and higher earnings!

Click here to learn more about Medical Solutions’ RN to BSN Program.  

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Medical Solutions: Best Places to Work

Medical Solutions is one of the "Best Places to Work" for the sixth time in seven years!

Medical Solutions is one of the “Best Places to Work” for the sixth time in seven years!

As you may know, Medical Solutions’ flagship Omaha office recently won one of Omaha’s “Best Places to Work” for the sixth time in seven years.

We are so honored by this award, as our company really works hard to cultivate a great internal culture as well as a wonderful extension of this culture to our Travelers. We believe this all adds up to a great customer experience for our hard-working Travelers!

We wanted to share a story done by the Omaha World-Herald on Medical Solutions and our sixth of seven wins for Best Places to Work.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Discussing benefits such as the company concierge, Medical Solutions President and CEO, Craig Meier, said, “It doesn’t make sense when you have work Craig and personal Craig, and they are completely different people. “Work is our vehicle to reach personal goals.”

This is something that Medical Solutions definitely considers about our Travelers as well. We see Travelers as whole people and care about their quality of life both on and off the job!

  • Medical Solutions Career Consultant, Joel Pilka, commented on Medical Solutions commitment to hiring the right folks: “What really helps is the way they hire,” he said. “They hire just the right people.”

We know that this translates to our Travelers being able to build important with relationships with friendly, trustworthy Career Consultants.

  • Meier also touched on Medical Solutions’ commitment to volunteering with charities in the community, such as the Nebraska Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, The Siena/Francis House, and The Hope Center for Kids. Each Medical Solutions employee spends an afternoon out of the office and helping at a charity twice per year.

“We think that’s an important part of being in the community — making a difference. They love doing it, and it’s a responsibility that we all have, as companies, to really try and make a difference,” he said.

As a company we would only hope to give back even a fraction of what our Travelers contribute each and every day on the job!

Click here to read the full OWH story.

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Third Annual Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship

Nurses-Week-Scholarship-2014-300x200As part of Medical Solutions’ annual celebration of Nurses Week, we happily present the third annual Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship competition!

In order to ensure excellent patient care for future generations, and to help offset the nursing shortage, it is crucial that the nurses, nurse leaders, and nurse educators of tomorrow are getting excellent education and training today. Through the Nurses of Tomorrow scholarship, three lucky winners will each receive $1000 to put towards their educational costs.

The contest runs from May 6 (starting at midnight CST) to June 6 (ending at 11:59 p.m. CST). Applicants should be enrolled full time and in good academic standing, with a GPA of 2.75 or more.

This year’s essay question for the contest is: What will you do as a nurse to ensure you always provide exceptional patient care?

If you are a nurse of tomorrow who could use a little extra financial help, simply click below to enter. And, be sure to share this contest information with any friends or family who are aspiring nurses in need of a scholarship as well.

Click here to read all about and to enter this year’s Nurses of Tomorrow scholarship competition!

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Happy Nurses Week!

Happy Nurses Week from Medical Solutions!

Happy Nurses Week from Medical Solutions!

At Medical Solutions we embrace every possible chance to honor and celebrate our Travelers and hard-working nurses all over. Because of that, Nurses Week is always a REALLY BIG DEAL around here.

The annual week-long observation of Nurses Week is every year from May 6-12, ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

This year as we started brainstorming for ideas to honor, celebrate, entertain, and reward our Travelers during Nurses Week, we realized that the one person we should really be asking was YOU. So, through social media and survey, we asked you, other nurses, and Medical Solutions Travelers how they would to celebrate.

We wish we could shower you with extra PTO and vacations (these were replies we heard a couple times!) … but beyond that here is the slate of activities based upon your feedback for YOUR Nurses Week:

Medical Solutions’ “Your Nurses Week” 2014 celebration will include:

  • The Real Nurses of Nurses Week Gallery — This is a place where Nurses can share a brief bio and a picture explaining how and why they decided to get into nursing, why it’s rewarding, why it’s fun, future career plans within healthcare, why all the hard work is worth it, and more!
  • Share Your Best Nursing Stories — We know our Travelers have some incredible stories! We want to hear them all: the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, and the sad. Each contribution will automatically enter the storyteller into a drawing for a grand prize 1-year membership to Massage Envy that includes one massage each month (a $720 value) or a second place prize $250 gift card to Scrubs and Beyond. The most up-voted stories will later be included in an e-book of great nursing stories.
  • #yournursesweek — C’mon get happy and social by sharing and searching this hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Nurses Week eCards — Choose from these four awesome eCards to honor your Nurse friends and colleagues — or post them to your own social media page!
  • Third Annual Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship Essay Contest — In support of the Nurse leaders of tomorrow, three lucky undergraduate or postgraduate Nurse Scholars will each win $1000 to help out with education costs.

Happy Nurses Week! And thanks so very much for everything you do!

Please come visit us at WeLoveOurNurses.com to learn more about and to participate in all of Medical Solutions’ Nurses Week festivities.  

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Congrats to March 2014’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

A big thumbs up to Nina C. and Thomas C.!

A big thumbs up to Nina C. and Thomas C.!

Congratulations and a big thank you go out to our March Traveler of the Month, Nina C., and also our Rising Star winner, Thomas C.

Traveler of the Month for March, Nina C., has been in Travel Nursing for four years. Her RN specialty is Cath Lab.

“I love my job and I love traveling, therefore, four years ago I combined my two loves,” she says.

Nina touches on why Travel Nurses must be adaptable when she says that Travel Nursing “not only requires knowledge in nursing, but also an ability to assimilate with other people and organizational structures.”

Nina’s favorite place to work is the east coast, and she’s currently working in a facility just north of New York City.

“I am with a great group of people who truly give exceptional care to their community,” she says. “This gives me a great deal of satisfaction to work with people I can admire and trust.”

Nina loves Travel Nursing and advocates it as an excellent option for many nurses.

“My career as a Traveling Nurse has given me a whole new life, one that I highly recommend for others,” she says.

March’s Rising Star winner Thomas C. was a Nurse Aid for three years and has now been an RN for three years. He’s been Travel Nursing for two years and his specialty is ICU.

So far Thomas’ favorite location has been Evansville, Indiana, where he encountered great people and really enjoyed the general attitude and feel of the city.

Besides getting to experience great, new favorite places Thomas really enjoys how Travel Nursing allows him to grow professionally.

“I like the new techniques I learn at each place and how the job never seems to get boring,” he says.

His advice for Travel Nurses who are just starting out?

“Find out how the facility you’re working at does things, and never speak badly of a place you work at no matter what,” he says.

Thanks so much again to Nina and Thomas for your hard work and dedication to providing great patient care!

To learn more about Medical Solutions’ Traveler of the Month program, click here.  

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Smoked Out: How Recent Changes to State Marijuana Laws Affect Travel Nurses

Drug Test

How do new state marijuana laws affect your travel nurse employment?

By Lalah Landers, BSN, RN Clinical Nurse Manager

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington State and Colorado, we’ve been getting more questions recently regarding the use of recreational marijuana and how it affects mandatory employer drug testing and your Travel Nursing job prospects. There is a common misconception that people can smoke marijuana anywhere in Colorado and Washington State without consequence.

Although it is now legal to recreationally use cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, in Washington and Colorado, a recent Denver Post article cautions that employers can still fire or elect not to hire employees who indulge in legal use.

According to the Post, “State law gives employers full authority to impose any drug prohibitions they wish, despite it being legal in Colorado for adults to possess and consume marijuana.

Colorado law prohibits employers from terminating employees for engaging in lawful activities (such as marijuana possession and use) off of the employer’s premises during nonworking hours. However, the Colorado law expressly states that marijuana legalization does not affect the right of employers to maintain a drug-free workplace. [1]

The Washington law is silent on this matter. But the state Supreme Court of Washington issued a decision in 2011 upholding the right of an employer to terminate an employee who violated the company’s drug policy through medical marijuana use that was lawful under state statute. [2] This has also been backed up by other states, such as California, Montana, and Oregon, with medical marijuana laws that allow for legal medical use.

It’s also important for employees to note that THC, the primary active element in marijuana, can linger in a user’s system for weeks or months after ingestion. This means that partaking of marijuana in a legal fashion may still show up in the results of an on-duty drug test, which could have consequences regarding your employability. The rights of employers to terminate employment or to not hire on the grounds of marijuana usage are not likely to undergo any change unless and until there is a federal law that legalizes marijuana use in all 50 states — much the same way that alcohol is currently controlled in employment situations.

We ask that Medical Solutions Travelers remember that we do maintain a drug-free workplace policy, and for their actions to remain consistent with this policy.

Footnotes

[1] Amendment 64 to Article 18 of the state constitution. Amendment 64 includes the following sentence: “Nothing in this section is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace, or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.”

[2] See Roe v. TeleTech Customer Care Mgmt. LLC, 257 P.3d 586 (Wash. 2011).

 

Enjoy reading our Clinical Corner? Please complete the survey below by telling us which nurse-related topics you would like to see for future Clinical Corner posts. Click here for survey. 

 

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Shine On, Brian H.!

Congrats to Medical Solutions Traveler, Brian H.!

Congrats to Medical Solutions Traveler, Brian H.!

We’re always saying Medical Solutions Travelers are the best, and we know that it’s indubitably true. We love to recognize our hard-working Travelers with awards like Traveler of the Month and Rising Star, but it’s also so cool when Travelers are recognized by their facilities for exceptional performance.

Case in point: Medical Solutions Traveler Brian H., who in April won the STAR (Service & Teamwork Achieve Results) Award while on assignment at a facility in New York State. The award recognizes “exemplary service” and a “commitment to providing a higher level of patient care and customer satisfaction.”

A patient said of Brian: “Brian helped calm my nerves before m cesarean in the OR. He provided me with calming feedback and me through a very difficult surgery. He took photos for me and even visited me the next day to check on me. He went above and beyond to make me feel safe and cared for. He deserves special recognition for his outstanding kindness and bedside manner.”

Excellent work, Brian! That kind of personal, compassionate care and attention to follow-up with patients is exactly why we are so proud to be able to call you a Medical Solutions Traveler.

Despite the relatively close proximity to The Big Apple, Brian notes the cool, quaint, country vibe of his assignment, adding that his award came with a handmade chocolate “gold star” from a regional dairy farm. Yum!

“I am happy that I was able to represent Medical Solutions in a very kind light once again,” says Brian, humbly, of the award.

Thank you, Brian, for your consistent delivery of excellent patient care on Medical Solutions’ behalf! You really are a Travel Nursing superstar.

If you’ve been recognized while on assignment for Medical Solutions, we would love to hear about it! Email sarah.wengert@medicalsolutions.com to tell us all about it.

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Congrats to February 2014’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

And the trophies go to ... Lee Ann S. and Barbara P.!

And the trophies go to … Lee Ann S. and Barbara P.!

Many thanks and congrats to our February Traveler of the Month, Lee Ann S., and also the February Rising Star winner, Barbara P.!

February Traveler of the Month, Lee Ann, is a PACU RN who has been in nursing for nearly 30 years and has been traveling almost 7 years.

Her favorite assignment/location was her first time in Fairbanks, Alaska — where she says the scenery was “breathtaking.”

Lee Ann enjoying the breathtaking scenery of her adventure.

Lee Ann enjoying the breathtaking scenery of her adventure.

 

 

“The adventures and scenery [there] were awesome,” she says. “I had such cool and exciting experiences up there!”

While Lee Ann is super dedicated to nursing and providing great patient care, she’s also definitely in Travel Nursing for the adventure.

“The best part of traveling is all the new and exciting places I get to see,” says Lee Ann. “It’s like a working vacation for me and I love it.”

“Thanks to Medical Solutions and, of course, my awesome recruiter Sarah K.!”

The February Rising Star, Barbara, is an RN who has been in nursing almost 34 years. She began traveling in December 2013, when her first assignment took her to Connecticut.

“My first assignment was very fun and exciting,” she says. “It was a short train ride from New York City and I spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square.”

Barbara (at left) and her sister, at Rockefeller Center on New Year's Eve.

Barbara (at left) and her sister, at Rockefeller Center on New Year’s Eve.

Barbara is currently on her second assignment, in Arizona, while also taking online classes to earn her Bachelor’s degree. And, she has a new pal along for the ride this time around.

“I didn’t travel with my dog, Gunner, [the first] time because I was unsure how he would acclimate,” she says.

But, Barbara was able to bring Gunner on her current Arizona assignment and he turned out to be quite the Traveler, just like her!

“I am so happy he is with me on this trip. Turns out he is a great travel companion and it’s dog heaven here,” she says.

Barbara loves the variety and adventure of traveling.

“The best thing about Travel Nursing is the freedom to choose what and where you would like to work,” says Barbara. “I have lived and visited places I never would have been able to afford without Medical Solutions. The diverse group of people I have met is incredible.”

And even though she’s off adventuring, Barbara still gets to enjoy time with her loved ones on a regular basis.

“I was blessed with four children and two grandchildren in the Midwest, and I travel back between assignments to spoil them. However, my family has been very supportive and also travel to see me often,” she says.

As a Christmas gift, Barbara’s children even gave her a large wall map to place pins in to document her locations as she travels!

Thanks so much again to Lee Ann and Barbara for providing an excellent example when it comes to being pros at both nursing and adventuring! We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to patient care.

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