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!


Medical Solutions Sponsors Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24 for World Water Day 2017

Medical Solutions Sponsors Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24 for World Water Day 2016

Nurses are well aware of the importance of clean water in treating and preventing illness, but may still be shocked by statistics like the fact that 50% of all hospital beds in the world are occupied by people with easily preventable waterborne diseases. Or the fact that a whopping one in eight people on Earth do not have access to safe, clean water!

Unfortunate stats like these are why Medical Solutions will sponsor Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24 again in 2017. In celebration of World Water Day, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, this initiative will bring clean water to 24 communities in just 24 hours by installing school-based water filtration systems within villages in need.

Planet water project 24 ranca asem

Villagers in Ranca Asem will benefit from a clean water tower and water health & hygiene education.

The Medical Solutions team sponsors this annual effort because we are consistently inspired by the hard work and compassion that our Travel Nurses display every day in their quest to save lives. YOU are the inspiration for our company to support this amazing cause!

This year, the Medical Solutions-sponsored water filtration tower will go up at 9 p.m. EST at SDN Cikasungka IV School on the border of Tangerang and Bogor in the Indonesian village of Ranca Asem. The community’s main water source is a deep well that often runs dry, causing people to use unsafe water from a nearby river for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing. The lack of accessibility of clean water has caused frequent skin issues, diarrhea, typhoid, and other issues, as well as creating an obstacle to learning for the village’s children.

Planet water project 24 ranca asem

People in Ranca Asem routinely use questionable water sources that create sickness and barriers to education.

“At home we do not have clean water,” says 9-year-old villager Muhamad Fadli Rizky. “To meet the need of drinking water every day, my mother fetches water from the well. When I go to school I bring water from home, but if I forget to bring it, I ask a friend. Sometimes I drink tap water directly, but as a result of drinking water from the faucet, sometimes I feel stomach pains. I have to ignore them because there is no other choice.”

There is a general lack of knowledge in the area regarding water health and hygiene. As a part of Project 24, Planet Water will not only erect the Medical Solutions-sponsored clean water tower, they will also provide crucial water health and hygiene education! Just as Medical Solutions’ sponsorship helped thousands of villagers in 2012, 2015, and 2016, our 2017 effort will benefit Ranca Asem’s population of 2,400 people — including 380 students throughout 600 households.

Please join the Medical Solutions team in taking a moment to be grateful for the easy access to clean water that most of us enjoy in the United States and to learn more about Ranca Asem, Project 24, and Planet Water Foundation.

Thank you for constantly inspiring us, Travel Nurses!


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

Travel Nurse Star

Congrats to the January 2017 Rising Star, Michelle H.! She’s joined in victory by Traveler of the Month, Tiffany D.

Many thanks and congrats to the January 2017 Traveler of the Month, Tiffany D., and also our Rising Star winner, Michelle H.!

Traveler of the Month Tiffany is a Stepdown/Tele RN, BSN who works with Career Consultant Rob B. She’s been in nursing for six years, Travel Nursing for three years, and is currently working in beautiful Georgia.

“Tiffany is a great person — professional and dependable!” says Rob. “She’s the ideal Traveler and always represents herself and Medical Solutions well. We are lucky to have such a great nurse and wonderful person on our team.”

Tiffany says her favorite location so far has been San Leandro, California.

“California is a beautiful place with lots of things to explore,” says Tiffany. “It’s like working and vacationing at the same time.”

“The best thing about being a Travel Nurse is the freedom to choose where you want to work and to change scenery and hospitals whenever you want,” she says. “Also, meeting new people and being a Travel Nurse has given me such a strong knowledge base and confidence in my skills.”

Tiffany’s awesome tips for new Travelers are:

  • “Every hospital and state is different, so use this opportunity to learn as much as you can. Be teachable!”
  • “As a new Traveler, choose a place where you know someone so you won’t feel alone. It’s always nice to have a familiar face.”
Michelle Rising Star Travel Nurse

Here’s Michelle with her life AND travel partner, Mark.

Rising Star Michelle is an RN of 34 years and a Traveler for one year with experience in Critical Care (ICU, CCU, CVICU, and transplants) and, more recently, Home Health & Hospice. She works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Shane M. and is currently on assignment in wonderful Virginia with her travel partner and husband of 30 years, Mark.

Michelle’s favorite location thus far has been Lynchburg, Virginia.

“I love Virginia — the mountains are beautiful, the people are friendly and warm, and it is a very family-oriented environment. There is always an adventure within a 60-mile radius,” says Michelle.

Michelle Rising Star and Family

Michelle with Mark and their two beautiful children, Morgan and Matthew, who Michelle calls “the joys of our life.”

“The best things about Travel Nursing are new places, new faces, new ways of doing things, and wonderful benefits and pay,” adds Michelle.

Here is Michelle’s excellent advice for new Travel Nurses: “Be positive, look at every new assignment as an adventure, embrace your new job, and become part of the team. Give every assignment your all!”

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions January 2017 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Tiffany and Michelle, we are so thankful to you for your amazing skill and commitment to awesome 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!


United Healthcare’s Health4Me App

Woman using mobile phone

Managing your healthcare concerns … there’s an app for that!

Steady, affordable healthcare is a more important concern than ever before these days. That’s why Medical Solutions offers Travelers medical insurance starting at just $15 per week for a single, basic policy through United Healthcare — as well as the option to maintain benefits for up to 21 days (recently increased from 14 days!) in between assignments as long as you’ve already signed your next contract with us.

So, having great, affordable healthcare benefits is one part of the battle — but what about being able to easily access your benefits once you’re signed up?

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! United Healthcare’s got you covered with their awesome Health4Me app, which lets you access all your healthcare info, even when you’re on the go.

The Health4Me app is available for free to both Apple and Android customers. You simply need to register at to enable both mobile and online services.

According to UHC, here’s some of the helpful stuff the app allows you to do:

  • Search for physicians or facilities by location or specialty
  • Locate urgent care clinics and ERs
  • Estimate medication costs, manage prescription claims and find pharmacies
  • Skip the phone prompts and have a service representative contact you to answer questions about claims and benefits
  • View and share member health plan ID card information
  • Find hospital quality information to help make an informed decision about the best place to get care
  • Contact a registered nurse 24/7 for advice about medical questions
  • Check the status of deductible and out-of-pocket spending
  • View, sort, and pay claims
  • Check your health reimbursement and flexible spending and health savings account balances.
  • Collect, track, and share past and current personal health records.
  • Estimate costs of common procedures and conditions

So, wherever your Travel Nurse adventures may take you, you can still keep tabs on everything health-related! Click here to learn more about the Health4Me app.


Clinical Corner: Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert 57 — Role of Leadership in Safety Culture

Safety First

The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert 57 concerns the importance of adequate leadership to safety in healthcare facilities.

Hospital leadership has the crucial responsibility of protecting the safety of patients, staff, and visitors. That’s the inspiration behind The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert 57, which aims to help establish and improve safety culture in health care.

The Joint Commission periodically — though somewhat rarely — releases Sentinel Event Alerts about issues they find to be of concern.

This recent alert was spurred by the finding that within The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Database that “leadership’s failure to create an effective safety culture is a contributing factor to many types of adverse events — from wrong site surgery to delays in treatment.”

Additionally, Sentinel Event Alert 57 gives a few examples of adverse events that can be caused by inadequate leadership, including:

  • Insufficient support of patient safety event reporting
  • Lack of feedback or response to staff and others who report safety vulnerabilities
  • Allowing intimidation of staff who report events
  • Refusing to consistently prioritize and implement safety recommendations
  • Not addressing staff burnout

Whew — that’s a lot to address! Thankfully, as far as staff burnout goes, Travel Nursing can be of help when it comes to that issue. So, if you’re a Travel Nurse: Thank you — you are part of the solution!

Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert 57The Joint Commission defines a “Safety Culture” as follows: “Safety culture is the sum of what an organization is and does in the pursuit of safety. The Patient Safety Systems (PS) chapter of The Joint Commission accreditation manuals defines safety culture as the product of individual and group beliefs, values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the organization’s commitment to quality and patient safety.”

The Sentinel Event Alert 57 details these 11 steps that health care leaders can implement in order to properly address safety culture:

  1. Transparent, non-punitive approaches to reporting and learning from adverse events, close calls and unsafe conditions.
  2. Clear, risk-based processes for recognizing and separating human error and error arising from poorly designed systems from unsafe or reckless actions.
  3. Adoption of appropriate behaviors and championing efforts to eradicate intimidating behaviors.
  4. Establishment, enforcement and communication of all policies that support safety culture and the reporting of adverse events, close calls and unsafe conditions.
  5. Recognition of care team members who report adverse events, close calls and unsafe conditions or who have suggestions for safety improvements.
  6. Establishment of an organizational baseline measure on safety culture performance.
  7. Assessment of safety culture survey results from across the organization to find opportunities for improvement.
  8. Development and implementation of unit-based quality and safety improvement initiatives in response to information gained from safety assessments and/or surveys.
  9. Implementation of safety culture team training into quality improvement projects.
  10. Proactive assessment of system (such as medication management and electronic health records) strengths and vulnerabilities, and prioritizing them for enhancement or improvement.
  11. Organizational reassessment of safety culture every 18 to 24 months to review progress and sustain improvement.

Click here to see The Joint Commission’s infographic on 11 Tenets of a Safety Culture.

You can view the entire publication here.


State Spotlight: California

travel in LA

This month’s State Spotlight shines on the gorgeous “Golden State” of Californ-I-A!

Travel Nursing opportunities in California are as abundant and varied as the state’s many things to see and do, making it a favorite destination among Travelers. That’s why we picked Cali to kick off our new State Spotlight series, which will focus on one of the 50 nifty United States every month in our newsletter! In this series you can find out what Travel Nursing opportunities and licensing requirements exist, what there is to see and do, and learn some fun facts about each state.

With that, California here we come!

California t-shirt with grizzly bear. T-shirt graphics, designTravel Nursing in California

Several factors make California a hotbed state for Travel Nursing. The state has a population north of 38 million as well as one of the lowest numbers of nurses per capita in the U.S. Additionally, it’s a really great state to travel to, so it maintains consistent popularity among Travel Nurses.

If you think you want to work in California, you should start to pursue your license by endorsement immediately, as the state is known for one of the lengthier licensing processes. But not to worry, just talk to your recruiter and he or she will be able to help you navigate the process.

The cost of housing can run high in some California locations, however, wages tend to be dictated accordingly so they run high too. The Central Valley is often considered a great zone for net pay, as it generally has a lower cost of living but bill rates remain higher. That said, when it comes to pay and housing costs — as in any state — every assignment and offer is different and may buck general trends.

Santa Monica California sunset on Pier Ferrys wheel

A gorgeous Santa Monica California sunset!

California has very progressive nurse-to-patient ratio laws that cap the number of patients assigned to each nurse, which many nurses are pleased to report is helpful in providing quality patient care and combatting nurse burnout. The state also has very stringent rules regarding meal breaks and rest breaks for hospital staff, which greatly benefits nurses.

To Do & See in California  

The only problem with what to do and see in California is where the heck to begin! No other state can really quite say that it has something for everyone on the level of this great state. California offers everything from beaches to skiing, as well as some of the country’s most cosmopolitan urban centers and some it’s most unspoiled nature.

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge!

Exciting cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and others offer all the hubbub of urban life, including amazing art and culture museums like L.A.’s Griffith Observatory and Getty Center, San Francisco’s Exploratorium and Museum of Modern Art, San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and so many more. World class shopping (Rodeo Drive, anyone?) and dining are also hallmarks of California’s cities, where the produce is fresh and abundant and foodies can easily achieve a state of dining nirvana.

eating outside with friends

From world-class restaurants to food trucks to hole in the wall gems, California cuisine is killer!

There are also plenty of attractions, like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Haight-Ashbury, Chinatown, Pier 39, Golden Gate Park, and who could forget the cities iconic cable cars. Los Angeles is home to   the Hollywood sign, La Brea Tar Pits, Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and, of course, famous theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios. San Diego is known for Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Sea World, Old Town San Diego, Point Loma, and more. All of these locations also have an abundance of professional sports teams and amazing weather in which to take yourself out to any kind of ball game!

Sunset in Sonoma

Sunset in the vineyards of Sonoma County!

Outside of its major city centers, California is dotted with adorable little towns like Truckee, Arcata, Grover Beach, Nevada City, Sausalito, Pismo Beach, and Sonoma, for those who’d prefer a slower pace and less density.

Speaking of Sonoma, California wine country is a must-visit destination for vino enthusiasts. From huge, time-tested winemakers to quaint, under the radar wineries, there’s plenty of gorgeous scenery and scrumptious spirits to drink in. Napa and Sonoma are among the most famous wine destinations, but there are great wineries and wine regions throughout the state.

Giant Sequoia Tree Canopy, The Senate Trees

California is famous for its epic redwood and sequoia trees!

When it comes to nature, California is just as varied as everything else in the state — from the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, to the nation’s lowest point in Death Valley. See the famous Redwoods, Joshua Trees, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Mount Shasta and the surrounding lavender fields, China Beach, Point Reyes, Lake Tahoe and its gorgeous Emerald Bay, Glacier Point, Muir Woods, the Big Sur coastline, Bishop Creek, Crystal Cave, Fossil Falls, Glass Beach, the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, General Sherman (the largest tree in the entire world!), more amazing beach and hiking trails than you can imagine, and so much more.

And that’s just scratching the tippy-top of the surface of the many amazing wonders that await in The Golden State! When you decide to take an assignment in California you’re signing up for boundless amounts of fun and adventure on your days off — whether that’s road tripping to a nearby natural wonder or simply enjoying the landscape of your neighborhood.

California Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Golden State

Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway One

California is chock full of scenic drives!

Capital: Sacramento

Largest City: Los Angeles

National Parks: 10

Nationals Forests: 18

State Parks and Beaches: 278

State Motto: Eureka! (I have found it!)

State Flower: Golden poppy

California is the 31st state.

Richard Nixon is the only California-born president to date.

California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year!

One out of every eight music festivals in the U.S. is hosted by California.

Fortune cookies, skateboards, Apple computers, Frisbees, blue jeans, and Barbies were all invented in California.

There are enough steel wires in The Golden Gate Bridge’s cables to circle the Earth three-and-a-half times.

California is the only state that’s hosted the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics.

Click here to find your perfect job in the great state of California!

Medical Solutions Benefits Open Enrollment Has Started!

Cheerful spring woman

Spring is almost here, and with it: Medical Solutions’ Benefits Open Enrollment period, February 20-March 3, 2017!

It’s the perfect time of year to “spring clean” your benefits elections! Medical Solutions’ benefits Open Enrollment period for medical, dental, and vision will run February 20-March 3, with an effective date of April 1, 2017.

Once again this year we will offer passive enrollment — meaning that if you do not wish to make any changes to your current benefits elections, you will not need to take any action during open enrollment. But, for those who do wish to update their elections, they will be able to do so during Open Enrollment. Medical Solutions will also continue to offer basic, single medical insurance coverage starting at just $15 per week!

New enhancements for 2017 include:

  • Lower deductibles on our silver and bronze categories of medical insurance
  • Lower copays on specialty visits
  • Plan rates staying the same or slightly lower in cost — depending upon the tier of coverage chosen
  • Enhanced dental coverage with a raise in maximum coverage from $1,000 to $1,500 for in and out of network services, orthodontia, and the allowable rollover amount

Medical Solutions is committed to consistently offering our Travelers and internal employees the best in benefits, as we greatly value their health and happiness.

Current Travelers will receive more information on how to update their benefits very soon.

Happy (almost) Spring!


Clinical Corner: Pain Assessment and Management

Pain Management

Pain assessment is crucial to providing quality patient care, but not every patient judges their pain equally!

By Chris Vinton, Medical Solutions Quality Assurance Specialist

Patient pain can be one of the more difficult aspects to manage when it comes to complete patient care. Pain can’t be measured or objectively found, and it is often reported by patients based on how they have experienced pain in the past. Other times, patients have no experiential basis for rating or conveying the pain they are experiencing.

As with just about everything in the nursing field, pain assessment and management will differ depending on the unit and the hospital. The most common way to assess pain is the numerical measurement scale. Patients rate on a scale from 1-10, but this does have its issues. Patients may come in for an ear ache and they may rate the pain as a 10. To the patient, this may be the worst pain he or she has ever been in, but their condition might not require some of the more serious pain meds. Hospitals do have their own protocol in place on what pain medicine to use and, as always, ask your supervisor if your patient’s pain has not been alleviated after administering medicine.

Pain rating scale chartThe 1-10 scale is just a baseline for a patient’s pain. To get a full view of the patient’s pain, there are several things nurses can do — such as observing the patient’s behavior. A patient’s facial expressions may be anything from clenching of teeth or a grimace. They could favor a certain body part or try to protect it with their arms. The pain could cause the patient to experience disorientation or withdraw socially. Use your best judgement when observing for pain and if you aren’t entirely sure, get some guidance from your supervisor.

Pain assessment skills are essential to nurses when it comes to providing quality patient care. Doctors may assist you in pain assessment and will provide the medication for pain management, but ultimately nurses know their patients the best. Your judgement on your patient’s pain is crucial to complete patient care. Your judgements can help alleviate a patient’s pain or even save a patient’s life.


Adventures in Travel Nursing: Ryan’s Travel Nurse Takeover

Travel Nurse Takeover Ryan S

Medical Solutions Traveler Ryan S. helps unite the Travel Nurse community through his social media project, Travel Nurse Takeover.

Travel Nurses may be scattered across the globe, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t unite. In fact, Medical Solutions Traveler Ryan S. is bringing Travel Nurses together in a truly awesome way via his Travel Nurse Takeover — which can be found on Snapchat — @travelnurseto, Instagram — @travelnursetakeover, and Facebook.

Through February 25th, Ryan and some other awesome Travelers are taking his concept to Medical Solutions’ Snapchat account — @MSMedStaffing — where they’ll be guest posting.

So, what exactly is Travel Nurse Takeover and how did it start? Ryan, an RN, BSN working in Behavioral Medicine/Chemical Dependency, says it was originally inspired by Tastemade’s Snapchat channel.

“For those unfamiliar with Tastemade, it’s a digital food and travel video network that curates and distributes content primarily on food,” says Ryan, who travels with Career Consultant Roy B. “Last summer, they had a takeover in Chicago in a food truck festival. They were sharing all these delicious entries and sidekicks that an idea popped into my head — Could I get Travel Nurses to takeover and recommend restaurants on location?”

Ryan says that while the project began as “a foodie’s dream of creating a food channel with Travel Nurses as the food critics” its objectives quickly expanded in scope as Ryan realized the exciting possibilities of Travelers using Snapchat as a platform to share each other’s adventures in real-time.

Travel Nurse Takeover Logo

Travelers can follow Travel Nurse Takeover on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

“Travel Nurse Takeover is something I like to call ‘community vlogging’ — a single Snapchat account shared by a community of Travel Nurses that share their travels and adventures with each other. We just make sure the channel runs smoothly,” says Ryan. “We first proposed the idea on our channel at the Golden Gate Bridge last summer and since then have had about 30-35 takeovers ranging from one day to one week of Travel Nurses sharing their adventures. We’ve been all over the country and the world — from parasailing over Lake Tahoe to jet skiing in the glaciers of Alaska, seeing active volcanoes in Hawaii to getting tattoos in Thailand — the list goes on. We think it’s an incredible way to connect and make the world feel a little smaller in the process. It’s a goal of ours to surround people who understand each other’s commitment and lifestyle as a Travel Nurse.”

Ryan’s been in nursing for four years and traveling for about a year-and-a-half. His most recent assignment was in Tacoma, Washington, which he loved.

“I’m envious of everyone who gets to commute to work with the beauty of Mt. Rainier in the background,” he says.

Ryan says the list is long in terms of why he likes Travel Nursing but he especially appreciates the flexibility and opportunity to travel.

“Being able to take time off in between contracts and seeing the country for long periods of time are two of the reasons why I enjoy being a Traveling Nurse,” he says. “The way I see it, if you’re fortunate enough to find a job that compensates you well and allows you to travel at the same time, congratulations, you’ve made it.”

Ryan’s shared some excellent advice for new or aspiring Travelers:

“Make sure your needs and wants are written in the contract. Be flexible. Communicate well. Be a team-player. Double down on learning the first couple weeks. Have fun and explore the area.”

Travel Nurse Takeover Ryan S

Ryan and other Travelers will be taking over Medical Solutions’ Snapchat through February 25th. Follow us at @MSMedStaffing to see their stories.

When he’s not working, Ryan, who is the youngest of five in a close-knit family, enjoys photography and trips to Cold Stone. He also delights in his work with Travel Nurse Takeover.

“Creating a platform where Travelers can network with each other and find others who have the same zest for life and travel has been fulfilling and drives us to work on this channel,” says Ryan.

You can find Ryan’s awesome Travel Nurse Takeover concept on Snapchat — @travelnurseto, Instagram — @travelnursetakeover, and Facebook.

Also, be sure to follow @MSMedStaffing on Snapchat, where Ryan and other awesome Travelers will be taking over our account through February 25th!     


Congrats to December 2016’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Travel Nurse Margaret H

Congrats to our December 2016 Traveler of the Month, Margaret H.!

Many thanks and congrats to the December 2016 Traveler of the Month, Margaret H., and also our Rising Star winner, Tina D-A.!

Traveler of the Month Margaret is an RN who specializes in Critical Care and ER. She works with Career Consultant Doug R. and is currently working at a rural critical access hospital in Eastern Nebraska.

Margaret says she’s spent more than half of her 27 years in nursing as a Traveler or temporary staff.

“I like traveling because it’s an adventure — always something new,” she says.

Margaret travels with her faithful yellow lab, Lena. Her favorite assignment throughout her years of traveling was in Portland, Oregon.

“[I liked] returning to my home state and catching up with family and friends,” says Margaret.

Travel Nurse Margaret H Lena

Margaret travels with her adorable yellow lab, Lena.

Outside of her professional realm, Margaret enjoys a diverse, eclectic range of interests — anything from knitting to motorcycling to construction to gardening to history!

As an awesome veteran Traveler, Margaret offers this advice to “Travelers young and old” — “Never turn down an opportunity to learn something new.”

Thanks for the great advice and for everything you do, Margaret!

Rising Star Tina is an RN Case Manager with a background in ICU and Cardiology Office Nursing, as well as additional experience in hospital regulatory compliance. She works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Taylor W. and is currently on assignment in Central California.

Tina’s been in nursing since 1988, but is new to Travel Nursing — with about six months under her belt now!

“The best thing about traveling is seeing the country, meeting wonderful people and making lots of new friends,” says Tina.

Travel Nurse Tina DA

Congrats to December 2016’s Rising Star winner, Tina D-A.!

She loved her first assignment — 16 weeks in Kansas City, Missouri — which she says she especially enjoyed because it was just six hours away from her grandbabies.

In addition to her nursing chops, Tina’s other talents include being able to play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the ukulele. And, while many Travelers journey with spouses, kids, and pets, when asked who she travels with Tina had a perfectly unique answer that illustrates her good humor and zest for life.

“I travel with Hello Kitty and the Lord Jesus!” she says.

Here are Tina’s tips for new Travel Nurse:

  • “Establish a genuine relationship with your recruiter — mine is invaluable!”
  • “Love what you do and have faith in the Lord above!”

Thank you, Tina!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions December 2016 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Margaret and Tina, we are so grateful to you for your amazing talent, hard work, and dedication to providing excellent 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 find out if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!


Congrats to Medical Solutions’ 2016 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award Winners!

Medical Solutions is so very proud of and thankful for our 2016 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award winners.

We know that all of our Travelers and Career Consultants are the very best in the business, and we look forward to these annual awards as a way to recognize several of our top team members for everything they do in the pursuit of providing great patient care nationwide.

Read on to learn more about these incredible 2016 winners!

Patricia Travel Nurse

Congrats to our Traveler of the Year, Patricia “Trish” O., pictured her with her dog, Chinook, and her youngest son, Eric.

Traveler of the Year

Congrats to Patricia “Trish” O., our 2016 Traveler of the Year, who won an Apple iPad Air, a $50 Amazon gift card, and some cupcakes and other yummy baked goods delivered for her and her whole unit! Trish works with Career Consultant Aaron B. who thinks she is just the bee’s knees.

Traveler of the Year is chosen annually from the pool of 12 Traveler of the Month winners from throughout the year. Trish is an RN who specializes in Geriatrics, with experience in Rehab and Med Surg, and she was the June 2016 Traveler of the Month. She’s been traveling about four years now, but she’s been in the nursing field in one way or another since age 16!

“I really enjoy seeing different states and meeting new people,” she says. “I also like learning new things in the nursing field as they come along.”

Trish traveled with her significant other, Larry, until he sadly passed away in June 2016. She now hits the road with her Alaskan Husky, Chinook, who she says is great company.

Trish’s focus in nursing is “just to take care of people and hope I make a difference.” In her free time, Trish likes to crochet and write stories — she hopes to get a story published one day and we hope she finds plenty of inspiration through her travels!

Here’s some great advice from Trish for new or aspiring Travel Nurses:

“One thing that I’ve found works for me in my travels, is to make the unit I am on mine,” she says. “I learn everything I can about the unit, the workings, policies, everything, so when a patient asks a question I can answer them thoughtfully instead of just saying ‘I’m only a Traveler and I don’t know.’ I’m willing to learn anything they’re willing to teach me — instead of saying, ‘I’m just a Traveler and I don’t need to know that.’ I just like to learn and no one is too old to learn anything. I feel I learn something new every day and it’s great!”

We are SO thankful for you, Trish! You are an amazing caregiver and one of the strongest people we know. Congrats!

Joe and Crew 300x169 - Congrats to Medical Solutions’ 2016 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiter of the Year Award Winners!

2016 Service That Inspires Award Winner, Joe W., and his crew are all smiles at the beach in Marcos Island!

Service That Inspires Award Winner

Joe and Brennen

Joe and his partner Brennen are an amazing RN duo!

Congrats to our 2016 Service That Inspires Award Winner, Joe W., who won an Amazon Echo Tap, a $50 Amazon gift card, and dinner catered in for him and his unit!

Joe is a BSN, RN working in ICU and he travels with Career Consultant Jen L. Here’s some of what Jen had to say in her nomination of Joe:

“Joe is one of the most amazing nurses I have ever worked with! Joe came to me wanting to travel along with his partner who is also an ICU RN. At the hospital where we found a job for Joe, the manager said in the interview that she does not hire traveling pairs. Joe and his partner decided Joe should take the job anyway and his partner would join at a later date on another assignment. Just weeks after Joe’s arrival, the manager changed her mind and his partner is now working there with him based on his work ethic, his knowledge, and how well he gets along with the staff!

On multiple occasions, patient families have sung the praises of Joe’s professionalism, character, and his empathy for their situations. One family member even handed Joe his very own nomination for a Daisy award, not knowing that Joe wasn’t supposed to know about it and it was to go to the manager.

Another family member who lost his father while in the ICU wrote a letter to the VP of Nursing Services, CEO, COO, and CMO praising Joe for his care of the family and helping them through the most difficult decision of removing the family member off of life support.

Joe is the nurse that I would want taking care of myself or my family member. He is funny, kind, caring, compassionate, and he is exactly the kind of nurse that we want representing Medical Solutions.”


Bailey loves hitting the road with her dads!

Joe has a total of 18 years of patient care experience; he was an EMS for 15 years and has been in nursing for three years. He’s currently on assignment in Indiana, where he says “the people are awesome!” Joe travels with his partner Brennen, who is also a Travel Nurse, and their English Springer Spaniel, Bailey.

Joe says the best thing about Travel Nursing is “meeting new people and learning new things.” Here’s his advice for succeeding as a Travel Nurse.

Definitely keep an open mind and be open to change. Being flexible with schedules and patient assignments helps beyond measure! A positive attitude and patience will go a long way.”

Thank you, Joe, for being such a great nurse and for providing service that inspires!

Recruiter of the Year Winners

Congrats to our amazing 2016 Recruiter of the Year winners, Stephanie Balkovec and Jon Laubert!

Stephanie and Jon were chosen as 2016 Recruiter of the Year winners based on glowing nominations from their happy Travelers. These two represent exactly what it means to be a Medical Solutions Career Consultant: They truly care about their Travelers and are always there for them any time of day or night, and in any matter personal or professional. Many of their Travelers said that Jon and Steph are not just great recruiters (though, make no mistake, they are that too!), but that they are also really great friends to their nurses before, during, and after their assignments!

Here are some comments from Stephanie’s Traveler nominations:   

Recruiter of the Year

This is Stephanie back in the day. She was born adorable! Congrats, Stephanie!

“Stephanie is a rock star!! She is on her game 100% of the time and I can depend on her no matter what! She is also extremely kind, thoughtful, and seems to check in when I need her the most! Our working styles are very similar and because of this she has helped make my travel dreams come true!! I am SO GRATEFUL for her!!

“Stephanie works extremely hard with me as a team to make sure I have the contracts and assignments I want. She continues to meets my needs as a professional Travel Nurse with a personal touch. As my Career Consultant, she is a great listener, understands and caters to my likes, dislikes, and any concerns I may have. I have had many recruiters, in the past with different companies, none like Stephanie Balkovec and Medical Solutions. The absolute best!”

“Stephanie has been so wonderful during the last nine months of correspondence. Even before I officially signed with Medical Solutions she spent countless hours answering my questions via phone and email. Now, during my first assignment, she is always available and quick to respond with continuous questions. I couldn’t ask for this transition to go any smoother. And she sent me a lil’ sweet treat after my first month. It’s always great to receive mail so far away from home. Thank you Stephanie!”

Click here to learn more about Stephanie.

Here are some comments from Jon’s Traveler nominations:   

Recruiter of the Year

And here’s Lil’ Jon back in the day! Congrats, Jon!

“Jon is always willing to do anything and everything in his power to help me succeed. He’s available 24/7 for anything I needed help with. Whether it’s a friendly reminder for a timesheet so that I got paid on time or trying to get me out of a sticky situation, he was always there! Very respectful of the fact that I work nights as well. A huge plus for a night shifter!! He was Robin to my Batman and I’ll always be grateful for his service and expertise!”

“As a newer Traveler with tons of questions, Jon has always come to my rescue. He makes me feel like I truly am top priority even when I know he is busy. He works very hard to get me the best job possible and I truly appreciate everything he does.  You truly have a winner here and you should never let him go!!!”

“Jon is more than my recruiter and he always goes above and beyond. He’s always accessible and I feel like it’s not just his job but his mission to make sure I always have what I need. He’s there to share in my successes, but more importantly he is a supportive friend when I need a someone to vent my frustrations to. I never feel like he is rushed or distracted when we speak and it feels like I’m dealing with an old friend who’s genuinely interested in what is going on while I’m fulfilling my assignment. Medical Solutions is a better company because of his dedication to his Travelers. I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with Jon and look forward to many years of successful assignments because of his dedication.”

Click here to learn more about Jon.

Congrats again to Stephanie and Jon for winning this year’s Recruiter of the Year Awards! We received TONS of truly amazing nominations for many of our Career Consultants, so we also want to recognize that all of them are amazing at what they do.

If you’re a Traveler and you’ve yet to find your perfect Career Consultant match, click here to get to know our team members!