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Roundup River Ranch 2018: Candais’ Story

Candais RRR

Roundup River Ranch 2018: Candais’ Story

In 2018, Medical Solutions partnered once again with Roundup River Ranch, a Serious Fun camp in Gypsum, Colorado, that offers a free camp experience to children with serious illnesses. Part of our contribution to Roundup River Ranch includes helping recruit talented healthcare professionals to support campers’ medical needs. That’s also good news and a great opportunity for Medical Solutions Travelers who’ve always wanted to do good and go back to camp!

This summer we helped recruit three amazing Travel Nurses to spend the summer at Roundup River Ranch, and over this past summer, we’ve been sharing their camp stories with you. We’ve heard from nurses Katie and Urvee, and now we’ll hear Candais’ story!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from?

My name is Candais. I have been an RN for 29 years and just recently retired from the hospital in Tupelo, Mississippi where I worked for over 25 years. I have worked in many different areas, including oncology, pediatrics, and the NICU, and decided I wanted to end my nursing career with contract nursing and traveling to different places.

What inspired you to work at Roundup River Ranch this summer?

I had a job offer in New York but decided not to take it because I knew this job at Roundup River Ranch would be a God-given, door-opening, life-changing opportunity. Sharon with Medical Solutions called me one morning and told me about the need for a summer staff nurse in Colorado. She said the nurse that was hired for the job broke her ankle. (When my husband heard this part, he started calling me Tonya Harding, of ice skating misfortune!) I immediately read the email, asked her to submit my application, was interviewed within 15 minutes and was offered the job within two hours of applying … all that and I hadn’t even told my husband I had applied yet! When he came home from work, I had my laptop open to information about Serious Fun camps and pictures of the camp in Colorado. He listened, looked to see how far away it was, asked questions, heard the excitement in my voice, and saw the eagerness on my face. He asked “You really want to do this, don’t you?” I replied, “Yes, you know how dear to my heart camps are and this sounds like a wonderful job.” He assured me, “Then we will make it happen.”

How has your camp experience at Roundup River Ranch changed your personal and professional outlook? Would you say you’ve become a better nurse? 

If Paul Newman were alive, I would give him a great big Southern hug and thank him profusely. This place changes lives, not just the campers, but the volunteers and staff. It has changed mine. I have camp experience, but I wasn’t prepared for this one. What camp has chefs preparing all the meals and tempur-pedic mattresses on all the beds, including the campers?! One of the nurses I used to work with asked if I was at “Camp Hilton,” but Roundup River Ranch is even better than that! Watching the campers make new friends, laugh with others, and accomplish things that seem impossible is so awesome. “Challenge By Choice” is a new terminology I have come to respect. No camper is forced to do anything, and they are not bullied or made fun of if they decide not to do it. I have grown not only as a nurse, learning new skills, but as a person. And I thank Roundup sincerely for the opportunity to witness both the campers’ flourishing and my own.

What would you tell other nurses about this camp?

Camp is so rewarding but it goes by so fast. Remember to stop and enjoy each day, look around at all the faces, see the new friendships, and feel the happiness of camp.

What will you miss the most when camp is over?

I have so many rewarding memories of camp. All the hugs and high fives, smiles and tears are like photographs running through my mind. All the memories are precious, but watching the smiles of the campers as they made it up the rock wall and the shouts of joy as they ziplined are some of the most treasured.

I will miss so many things about camp. I know that I will miss all the hugs and smiles, not only from the campers, but from the best group of young adults I have ever had the privilege to work beside. I have made new friends and have watched these dedicated people make sure that camp is an experience none of these campers will ever forget, including myself. Roundup River Ranch — you rock and are totally awesome!

Roundup River Ranch

Everybody loves camp!

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State Spotlight: Michigan

Pictured Rocks Kayaker Arch 2

Michigan has an abundance of water, beauty, and Travel Nursing jobs — making it a great spot for your next assignment!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to magnificent Michigan! The Great Lakes State is known for its beauty as well as its abundance of wonderful Travel Nursing career opportunities. Michigan has exciting cities, rolling hills, beautiful beaches, fascinating history, and so much more for you to explore on your days off. Read on to learn more about why Travel Nurse assignments in The Great Lakes State are totally great!

Travel Nursing in Michigan

State of MichiganMichigan is not only a beautiful state with lots to do and see on your days off, it also offers tons of career opportunities for Travel Nurses. In The Great Lakes State, you will discover an abundance of great job opportunities at Traveler-friendly hospitals that let you build your resume and further develop your healthcare skills.

Michigan is home to more than 165 hospitals — 21 of which meet high enough standards to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s 2018/2019 Best Hospitals list. That includes their #1-ranked Michigan hospital, Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, which is nationally ranked in 14 specialties and 10 children’s specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in one adult specialties and nine procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Michigan are: Royal Oak’s Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak, Troy’s Beaumont Hospital-Troy, Grand Rapids’ Spectrum Health-Butterworth and Blodgett Campuses, and Detroit’s DMC Harper University Hospital.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” list ranked Michigan #37 overall, as well as #20 for opportunity and #22 for economy.

As for licensing, Michigan is not a walk-through state but it is a NURSYS state. As of August 2018, Michigan had legislation pending to be a compact state within the eNLC. Click here for more, up to date info on licensing in Michigan.

Michigan Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Great Lakes State or The Wolverine State

Capital: Lansing

Detroit Aerial Panorama

Some call it Motor City, some call it Rock City, but everyone loves Detroit!

Largest City: Detroit

National Parks: 5

State Parks: 103

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 53

State Motto:If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you.” 

State Flower: Apple Blossom

State Tree: Eastern White Pine

State Bird: American Robin

State Fossil: Mastodon

State Reptile: Painted Turtle

Michigan was the 26th state.

Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas are connected by the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge — one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.

In reference to its shape, Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is often dubbed “the mitten.”

Grand Haven, Michigan is known for its famous singing sand beaches, which give off a whistling sound when walked on.

Ginger ale (also the nation’s first soda pop), fiber optics, baby food, synthetic penicillin, hospital beds, three-color traffic lights, the middle lines on roadways, techno music, Detroit-style pizza, the Motown sound, home-based sales (think Tupperware parties), cereal, public works programs, radio news shows, paint-by-numbers kits, and the automobile assembly line were all invented in Michigan!

The Great Lakes make up about 20% of freshwater in the world.

Michigan is home to more than 129 lighthouses and navigational lights.

While The Wolverine State is one of Michigan’s enduring nicknames, there are no longer any wolverines in the state. 

Michigan is home to the longest freshwater shoreline in the world — it also has more shoreline period than any other state but Alaska.

Lighthouse at Lake Michigan

Betsie Point Lighthouse is just one of Michigan’s many adorable lighthouses!

Fittingly, Michigan boasts the most boat registrations in the nation.

In 1879, Detroit phone customers became the nation’s first to get assigned telephone numbers.

Michigan is the only state to touch four out of five Great Lakes.

Battle Creek, Michigan is known as the “Cereal Capital of the World.”

The bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald — memorialized in a famous Gordon Lightfoot song — is displayed at Michigan’s Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.

The first tribal-owned casino in the nation was Kings Club Casino, created by the Ojibwe Indians of Bay Mills.

Famous folks from Michigan include Serena Williams, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepherd, Diana Ross, Ken Jeong, Tom Selleck, Magic Johnson, Stevie Wonder, Henry Ford, Jack White, Francis Ford Coppola, Lily Tomlin, Kid Rock, Charles Lindbergh, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Michael Moore, Jemele Hill, Madonna, Christie Brinkley, Gilda Radner, John Hughes, David Spade, Terry Crews, Burt Reynolds, Kate Upton, Potter Stewart, and Bob Seger.

The first soda pop in the U.S. was Vernor’s ginger ale — which was created accidentally in Detroit in 1866.

Indian River’s Cross in the Woods Catholic shrine features a 31-foot high crucifix — the largest crucifix in the world.

The nation’s first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall was the Kalamazoo Mall.

Henry Ford formed the Ford Motor Company in 1903 in Detroit.

Mackinac Island State Park was the nation’s first National Park before it was transferred to the state.

Deep underneath the city of Detroit, Michigan are 1,400 acres of salt mines.

Colon, Michigan considers itself the “Magic Capital of the World” and it hosts a magician convention every August.

The Michigan Triangle — akin to the Bermuda Triangle — stretches over Lake Michigan near Ludington, Benton Harbor, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and is the site of lots of plane and ship disappearances.

In addition to Henry Ford’s influence, Detroit was dubbed the Motor City because it boasted the first mile of concrete highway, the first four-way three-color traffic light, and the first urban freeway.

To Do & See in Michigan                        

Paradise Cove on Lake Superior, Michigan

Michigan is a water lover’s wonderland! This is beautiful Paradise Cove on Lake Superior.

The Great Lakes State has all kinds of diverse activities for Travelers to do and so many beautiful sights to see. There’s an abundance of water, outdoor recreation, unique attractions, interesting history, and so much more. Michigan is a truly magnificent place for your next adventure in Travel Nursing!

For city lovers, Michigan’s largest cities include Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, and Lansing. Cities like these show off what makes Michigan such a great place to live, work, and play.

Detroit is the urban crown jewel of The Great Lakes State, with its easy access to great dining, shopping, sports, museums, and so much more. Many people know Detroit as Motor City, with its proud history of innovation in automobiles, roadways, and other trappings related to cars. For others, Motown may spring to mind, because of the city’s proud musical tradition. Explore these aspects of the city’s rich history at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation or at the Motown Museum.

Other fun stops in Detroit include Belle Isle Park, Hart Plaza, The Fox Theatre, Detroit Historical Society, Greektown, Camp Martius Park, Detroit Institute of Arts, The Heidelberg Project, Belle Isle Aquarium, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Riverfront and Detroit Riverwalk, Grand Circus Park, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, “The Fist” monument to Joe Louis, the Guardian Building, and so much more!

Some of the state’s other must-sees and dos include Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival, Holland’s Tulip Festival, Ann Arbor’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Grand Rapids’ Meyer May House and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the Michigan State Capitol and Michigan History Center in Lansing, and more.

Lovely small towns and beach towns in Michigan to visit include Saugatuck, Frankenmuth, Copper Harbor, Petoskey, Tecumseh, South Haven, and Paradise. These towns offer quaint scenery, rich history, lots of fun and unique activities and festivals, and more. You can also check out some of the state’s 129-plus quaint lighthouses!

Sports fans will cheer for assignments in Michigan as you’ll get the chance to root for Detroit’s Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, and Pistons — not to mention the state’s many other awesome pro, semi-pro and college teams.

Serving Detroit style pizza

Detroit-style (or Sicilian-style) pizza is just one example of all the good eats to be had in Michigan!

When it comes to food, Michigan has a great deal of snack appeal — the state is known for its historic contributions to the potato chip and cereal industries, and when Vernors Ginger Ale was accidentally invented in 1866 by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor, it became the nation’s first soda pop!

Additionally, Michigan is known for its Detroit-style square pizza, cherries, apple cider and cider doughnuts, Cornish pasties, incredible Greek cuisine, paczkis (Polish doughnuts), Mackinac Island fudge, blueberries, whitefish, zip sauce, chipati, coney dog, and Frankenmuth chicken dinner. Wash it all down with a Faygo soda, Hummer cocktail, or an ice-cold Bell’s Oberon and you’ll be living like a true Michiganian!

If you love the great outdoors, The Great Lakes State is a perfect fit for you! Particularly for those fond of beach days, boating, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and other watersports, Michigan is a wonderland for water lovers. From any point in Michigan, you are never more than 85 miles from a Great Lake! Incredible activities, views, and to-dos for the outdoorsy include Mackinac Island, Porcupine Mountains, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Thunder Bay, Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Iron Mountain, Tawas Point State Park, Belle Isle State Park, and so much more

Ready for your adventure to Michigan?!

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

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Roundup River Ranch 2018: Urvee’s Story

Urvee P RRR

Urvee had a blast and learned a lot working an assignment at Roundup River Ranch this summer!

In 2018, Medical Solutions partnered once again with Roundup River Ranch, a Serious Fun camp in Gypsum, Colorado, that offers a free camp experience to children with serious illnesses. Part of our contribution to Roundup River Ranch includes helping recruit talented healthcare professionals to support campers’ medical needs. That’s also good news and a great opportunity for Medical Solutions Travelers who’ve always wanted to do good and go back to camp!

This summer we helped recruit three amazing Travel Nurses to spend the summer at Roundup River Ranch. Last month, we shared Katie’s story and this month we get to hear from Urvee!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from?

I’m Urvee and I’m from Alabama, where I’ve been a pediatric ER nurse for three years.

What inspired you to work at Roundup River Ranch for the summer?

I was looking for a change of scenery and Travel Nursing out west was always a goal, so I signed up for email alerts from Medical Solutions. I received an email in January describing an opportunity to work at a camp in Colorado. After reading about Roundup River Ranch, I immediately contacted my recruiter to find out how to apply for the job. I did not want to let this unique opportunity go. Working in the ER, I often saw children at their sickest, especially those with the diagnoses Roundup serves. I didn’t know camps like this existed, where a child with a serious illness can have a once in a lifetime experience in a safe and supported environment.

How has your camp experience at Roundup River Ranch changed your personal and professional outlook? Would you say you’ve become a better nurse?

Working at Roundup River Ranch has taught me a lot about being a nurse, but more importantly, about the difficulties these kids face and how Roundup allows them to conquer these challenges. In a busy emergency department, I wasn’t able to establish a rapport with my patients and I knew little about their day-to-day life. Camp has introduced me to the mental, physical, and emotional obstacles children with serious illnesses overcome.

This job has transformed my outlook on my career and these amazing kids. I have learned to focus more on what these kids can do versus what they can’t do. I’m able to witness how resilient and autonomous they are as individuals.

What types of memories from this camp will you take back to your life as an RN? Which ones stand out as the most rewarding and why?

Each child I’ve met has a remarkable story to tell and a unique journey that has brought him or her to Roundup River Ranch. I will never forget the joy these children have when they conquer their fears and achieve their goals, all while meeting other children with similar illnesses and experiences. Wearing fun costumes and camp dancing with the kids has been one of my favorite parts of the day. The early mornings and late nights are worth it to witness the happiness camp brings to everyone involved.

What would you tell other nurses about this camp and would you recommend going back?

To see is to believe. Roundup River Ranch is an irreplaceable part of the lives of many children, but it also has a profound effect on all of the staff and volunteers. This summer, I traded hospital walls and scrubs for camp dancing and no-hands spaghetti, and, if possible, I will definitely return to Roundup for future sessions.

What will you miss the most when camp is over?

I will miss the laughs of campers and staff.  I will miss the beauty of the camp — pictures don’t do it justice. Overall, I will miss the vibes of Roundup River Ranch.

Roundup River Ranch

Everybody loves camp!

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Congrats to June 2018’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Wendy O Travel Nurse

June Traveler of the Month, Wendy, is an RN who travels with her RT husband, John.

Many thanks and congrats to the June 2018 Traveler of the Month, Wendy O., and also our Rising Star winner, Amanda S.!

Traveler of the Month

Traveler of the Month Wendy is an RN specializing in ER, ICU, and PACU, who is currently on assignment in Monroe, Washington. She’s been a nurse for 21 years, has traveled for two-plus years, and works with Career Consultant Anthony Hudson.

Wendy travels with her husband John, a Registered Respiratory Therapist, who specializes in NICU.

“It can be tricky to put together assignments sometimes for both of us, especially since we both prefer day shift, but we are managing to make it work,” says Wendy. “We just bought a travel trailer this past winter so we are doing the living-in-a-camper life, which can be challenging if we are on different shifts. It is amazing how little space one actually needs to live comfortably — and it’s nice to not have to pack and unpack all the time.”

Wendy and John’s favorite location so far has been Grand Junction, Colorado, where the pair worked in the same hospital.

Wendy O Travel Nurse

Wendy and John relish the chance to go adventuring together!

“Western Colorado is very beautiful, and it’s a great jumping off point for seeing so many amazingly beautiful places, especially if you like the great outdoors,” says Wendy. “The hospital was small and felt very much like a small town or family. Our interim manager — now manager — was great to work with. The hospital had lost a lot of staff and management at the time we came, and the staff that was left seemed very discouraged. It was good for us — along with six other awesome Medical Solutions Travelers — to be able to come in and help get them back into a good staffing position. I also got to orient some new hires and that was very rewarding.”

Wendy was a military wife for many years which she says helped acclimate her to moving all the time. She says she actually likes change, so she doesn’t mind going to new jobs and learning new ways every few months. She also credits 13-plus years working in the ER for teaching her to “adapt continually and roll with the punches.”

Wendy’s favorite thing about Travel Nursing is “getting to see and experience new beautiful places and different cultures.”

“[I also appreciate] getting to touch people’s lives all over the country,” she says. “Every place is unique and I learn things daily at every new job. Also, I don’t need to worry about the politics or how to fix what needs improving. I’m there to help with staffing and be a good nurse and co-worker.”

Wendy shared some really great tips and insights for new and aspiring Travel Nurses: “Be flexible. Try not to complain too much. Keep your cell phone mostly put away. Stay off the internet. Be the kind of nurse you would want your loved ones to have and that you would want to work with. Help out your co-workers, even the not-nice ones. Be a listener. Work hard. There are lots of different ways to run a department, chart, assign staffing, reach doctors, divvy an assignment, etc. It may not be the way you prefer it, or the way you’ve seen it work better elsewhere, but it is the way it is done ‘here’ — and in a couple of weeks you’ll adjust just fine. Some assignments will be better than others. A bad assignment won’t kill you — at least you’re not permanent staff there — and you’ll be proud when you make it through.”

Thanks for sharing your story and excellent advice, Wendy! We appreciate all of your hard work.

Rising Star

Rising Star Amanda is an LTAC/Stepdown RN currently on assignment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She’s worked with Career Consultant Heather Mann for the past six months.

Heather says Amanda is a perfect fit for Travel Nursing.

“Amanda is committed to excellence and never gets involved in any of the drama on the floor,” says Heather. “She arrives with a hard-working spirit and leaves with that same attitude. She is a great help to her other team members.”

In addition to Amanda’s helpful on-the-job skill and expertise, Heather says she genuinely enjoys working with Amanda.

“My favorite thing about working with Amanda is how she always does her research and knows about other companies,” says Heather. “She is careful in her planning and decision-making — and that’s why she has chosen to be with Medical Solutions. I’m lucky to work with her!”

Thank you for all of your incredible, hard work, Amanda!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions June 2018 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Wendy and Amanda, we are super grateful for your incredible commitment to excellent patient care and your amazing sense of adventure!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!

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Clinical Corner: Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence helps nurses deliver superior patient care.

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

What comes to mind when you hear the term “emotional intelligence”? More importantly, what does emotional intelligence have to do with nursing? Emotional intelligence is an ever-evolving and changing concept, and something that’s becoming increasingly important in the realm of nursing and patient care.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions as well as the emotions of others they interact with. Possessing this ability is important in nursing because it enables nurses to make better decisions, manage their patients more efficiently, and improve relationships amongst their interdisciplinary teams — and it follows that emotional intelligence consequently has a big impact on the quality of care that patients receive. Due to the influence that emotional intelligence has on patient care, it is important to understand the concept and its relevance to nursing practice.

Many arguments have been made on whether emotional intelligence is a cognitive ability or a personality trait. Some believe that emotional intelligence can be learned, and others believe that it is simply a trait that some possess and some don’t. The most likely reality is that emotional intelligence is actually a combination of ability and a personality trait. The take-away from this controversy and difference in opinion is: How can we recognize traits of emotional intelligence and how can we instill these skills in our nurses at the bedside?

Traits associated with emotional intelligence include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and communication ability. Equally important to these traits is the ability to empathize with others and to motivate others and yourself. Individuals with emotional intelligence are motivated to want to try to understand their own internal emotions as well as other people’s emotions. It is reasonable to conclude from these findings and characteristics that nurses who are attentive to themselves and their own emotions and reactions tend to be nurses who possess emotional intelligence.

Implications for Patient Care

What does any of this have to do with patient care? If you think about nursing and the emotions that a nurse experiences throughout the day, you know that managing these emotions is crucial to providing the care needed for your patients.

For example, let’s say that you’re caring for a patient who is dying from diabetes. This patient is non-compliant and has been all their life. You, as the nurse, start to experience emotions in caring for this patient because your dad passed away from complications related to diabetes. Your dad, unlike your patient, was very diligent in caring for himself and he always did what he could to make sure he was as healthy as possible. For you as the nurse, this situation may expose some emotions that you didn’t know you had, like frustration, anger, or sadness. It is important to be able to recognize such emotions and to reflect on the situation so that you don’t take it out on the patient. Emotionally intelligent nurses are self-aware in that they know what they are feeling, and they know the emotion a certain situation elicits. They will be able to empathize with their patient and have the awareness to treat this patient professionally, rather than to get angry at the patient’s noncompliance.

Emotional intelligence is an up-and-coming concept that can really make an impact on patient care. Self-discovery can be a huge part of that for many nurses and healthcare professionals. It is time for the nursing profession and the healthcare industry at large to get on board and to implement this into nursing so that patient care can advance and progress in the right direction.

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State Spotlight: Pennsylvania

Rear view of woman wearing sports clothing, arms raised looking at city

Find out why Pennsylvania is the perfect location for Travel Nurse champs!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to phenomenal Pennsylvania! The Keystone State is loaded with exciting career opportunities for Travel Nurses as well as diverse terrain that includes farmland, forests, and mountains, historical cities, great food, and all kinds of fun stuff to do on your day off. Read on for some “major keys” on why Travel Nurse assignments in The Keystone State are amazing!        

Travel Nursing in Pennsylvania

State of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a phenomenal state for Travel Nursing!

Pennsylvania offers a steady inventory of Travel Nursing jobs for you to choose from. These are great job opportunities at Traveler-friendly hospitals that let you beef up your resume and build your healthcare skills. Plus, The Keystone State is a gorgeous blend of city and country, with all kinds of exciting adventures to partake in on your days off. 

Pennsylvania is home to nearly 250 hospitals — 27 of which meet high enough standards to be ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals list. That includes their #1-ranked Pennsylvania hospital, Philadelphia’s Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, which is nationally ranked in 11 specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in two more adult specialties and seven procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Pennsylvania are: Pittsburgh’s UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Philadelphia’s Jefferson Health-Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Hershey’s Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Allentown’s Lehigh Valley Hospital.    

U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” list ranked Pennsylvania #38 overall, as well as #16 for opportunity and #23 for healthcare.

As for licensing, Pennsylvania is not a walk-through state, a compact state, or a NURSYS state. Click here for more info on licensing in Pennsylvania. 

Pennsylvania Fast Facts

Independence Hall of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is home to tons of U.S. history!

State Nickname: The Keystone State or The Quaker State

Capital: Harrisburg

Largest City: Philadelphia

National Parks: 19

State Parks: 111

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 196

State Motto: “Virtue, liberty, and independence”

State Flower: Mountain Laurel

State Tree: Hemlock

State Animal: White-tailed Deer

State Dog: Great Dane

State insect: Firefly

Pennsylvania was the second state and one of the original 13 colonies.

For one season during World War II, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers combined to become the Steagles!

The movie theater, Zippo lighters, the Slinky, bubblegum, Crayola crayons, bifocals, lightning rods, revolving doors, the smiley face emoticon, matchbooks, packaged condiments, pencils with attached erasers, the polio vaccine, odometers, gas stations, soda pop, Jeeps, the toilet paper roll, Choco Tacos, Monopoly, the Ferris Wheel, and even The United States of America were all invented in Pennsylvania!

Backpacking West Rim Trail Pennsylvania

Hike the beautiful West Rim Trail in Tioga State Park. The 30-mile trail overlooks Pine Creek Gorge and is considered the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Pennsylvania was named in honor of William Penn’s dad, Admiral Sire William Penn, and the name means “Penn’s Woodland.”

Pennsylvania was famously once the seat of the federal government, from about 1776 to 1800.

Love them or hate them, Peeps are manufactured at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s Just Born Candy factory.

The first circulating library, The Library Company of Philadelphia, began in 1731. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin and partners.

Hershey, Pennsylvania is the Chocolate Capital of the U.S.

The world’s first commercial broadcast station, KDKA out of Pittsburgh, started daily broadcasts on November 2, 1920.

The United States’ first zoo was built in Philadelphia in 1876.

Betsy Ross created the first American flag in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania is home to the highest concentration of Amish in the country.

Pennsylvania is the only original colony that is not bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.

The first daily newspaper was published in Pennsylvania in 1784.

Famous folks from Pennsylvania include Meek Mill, Mister Rogers, Louisa May Alcott, Arnold Palmer, Taylor Swift, Tina Fey, Kobe Bryant, Grace Kelly, Kevin Hart, Amber Rose, Joan Jett, Jim Croce, Bret Michaels, Gillian Jacobs, Amanda Seyfried, Mac Miller, Bob Saget, Christine Taylor, Jack Palance, Kate Gosselin, Seth Green, Gene Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, Betsy Ross, Noam Chomsky, Billie Holiday, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Wilt Chamberlain, and Daniel Boone.      

Liberty Bell Detail

Crack goes the Liberty Bell!

Pennsylvania’s Indiana County has been dubbed the Christmas Tree Capital of the World.

Orefield, Pennsylvania is home to the oldest drive-in movie theater in the nation — Shankweiler’s Drive-In, which opened in 1934. 

Nazareth, Pennsylvania has been home to Martin Guitars since 1833. 

Hellam, Pennsylvania is home to the world’s largest shoe — which is also a house!

The first baseball stadium was built in 1909 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Rockville Bridge is the world’s longest stone arch bridge.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is home to the all-knowing Punxsutawney Phil who gets his annual 15 minutes of fame each Groundhog Day, whether he sees his shadow or not!

James Buchanan was the only president to hail from Pennsylvania.

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is the Mushroom Capital of the World.

The world’s first computer was used in Philadelphia in 1946.

To Do & See in Pennsylvania

Allegheny National Forest

Allegheny National Forest is just one of Pennsylvania’s gorgeous great outdoors spots.

The Keystone State has tons for Travelers to do and see. There are the calm rolling hills, dramatic mountains, and several city centers offering excitement and history. Pennsylvania is a truly phenomenal place for your next adventure in Travel Nursing!

On the urban tip, Pennsylvania’s largest cities include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie. Each of these cities represents what makes Pennsylvania such a great place to live, work, and play — with various bits of unique history, scintillating sports, divine drinks and eats, and so much more.

Yo, Adrian! Philadelphia is so much more than just Rocky’s hometown. Pennsylvania’s largest city is a wonderful place to brush up on history. You can tour Independence Hall (the birthplace of the United States), check out the Liberty Bell, jog up the “Rocky steps” and pose with the bronze statue of Balboa at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, check out the many awesome museums on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, visit the vendors at Reading Terminal Market, explore South Philly’s Italian Market, kayak down the Schuylkill, and so much more!

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

The Keystone State is known for its famous Philly cheesesteaks and many other delicious eats!

You will, of course, want to snag a famous Philly Cheesesteak while in the city of brotherly love. Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks, Jim’s Steaks, Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies, John’s Roast Pork, Steve’s Prince of Steaks, and Sonny’s Famous Steaks are some of the city’s best. (More on Pennsylvania food below!)

Some of the state’s other must-sees include Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater home south of Pittsburgh, Hershey’s Hersheypark — a chocolate-themed amusement park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Museum of Natural History Museum, and more.

Pennsylvania is also home to rich rolling hills dotted with farms and some bucolic small towns that make great day trips, including New Hope, Lititz, Doylestown, Strasburg, Wellsboro, Mars, and Boiling Springs. These towns offer quaint scenery, rich heritage, fun activities, great food, and more.

Pennsylvania’s York County has been dubbed the Snack Food Capital of the World thanks to the many popular snack brands made there. But whether you just want a nibble or a more substantial nosh, Pennsylvania is known for some delicious eats.

Valley Forge Sunset

Beautiful sunset at Valley Forge National Park!

In addition to snacks from the likes of Utz, Snyder’s of Hanover, Herr’s, and others, Pennsylvania is known for its soft pretzels, pierogies, Whoopie pies, scrapple, Peeps, Hershey’s chocolate, Lebanon bologna, apple butter, Tastykake, dippy eggs, pot pie, Old Forge-Style pizza, Stromboli, wedding soup, red beet eggs, mushroom strudel, Shoofly pie, Primanti Bros. sandwiches,  and, of course, famous Philly cheesesteaks. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Arnold Palmer or Yuengling beer and you’ll be living like a true Pennsylvanian!

Sports fans will cheer for assignments in Pennsylvania as you’ll get the chance to root for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia 76ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Union, and tons of other great pro, semi-pro and college teams.

For lovers of the great outdoors, Pennsylvania does not disappoint. The Keystone State is a great place to hike the Allegheny Mountains, bike the Great Allegheny Passage, kayak the Susquehanna River, ski the Poconos Mountains, beach it up on Lake Erie, explore the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, and so much more.

Ready for your adventure to Pennsylvania?!

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

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2018 Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest Winners

The judges have conferred over hundreds of truly amazing submissions and the 2018 Share Your Snapshot Photo Contest Winners have been crowned!

Last month we challenged our amazing Travelers — past, present, and (we hope!) future — to share their best snapshots of what it means to them to be rocking the nurse life. We offered up four $100 Amazon gift cards as prizes to motivate all the nurse shutterbugs out there to really bring their photographic A-game — and guess what? You guys brought it so hard that we had to add a fifth winner!

It was stiff competition and we are grateful to everyone who shared their snapshots with us, but want to say a special thanks and congrats to our wonderful winners. Without further ado, check out the incredible winning pics below!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Caitlyn B.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Kattie B.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Erin, T.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Sabrina G.!

Photo Contest Winner

Congrats, Kalley K.!

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Roundup River Ranch 2018: Katie’s Story

Roundup River Ranch

Medical Solutions Traveler, Katie, shares her Roundup River Ranch camp story this month!

In 2018, Medical Solutions partnered once again with Roundup River Ranch, a Serious Fun camp in Gypsum, Colorado, that offers a free camp experience to children with serious illnesses. Part of our contribution to Roundup River Ranch includes helping recruit talented healthcare professionals to support campers’ medical needs. That’s also good news and a great opportunity for Medical Solutions Travelers who’ve always wanted to do good and go back to camp!

This summer we helped recruit three amazing Travel Nurses to spend the summer at Roundup River Ranch, and over the next few months, we’ll share their camp stories with you. First up, here is Katie’s story.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from?

My name is Katie! I’m originally from New York and currently live in Arizona. I have been working in the Emergency Department for the last five-and-a-half years and have been traveling for the last two years with my adorable dog, Acey!

What inspired you to work at Roundup River Ranch this summer?

My entire nursing career has been in the Emergency Department. I see people on one of the worst days of their lives. Sometimes we get to medical issues in the ER, but many times we just stabilize our patients and don’t get to see them cured and healthy. When I saw the opportunity to work at Roundup River Ranch it was the only thing I could think of for days. The idea of working with kids with serious illnesses, but outside of the hospital, and seeing them on one of the BEST days of their lives sounded like exactly what I needed in my life! I read all about Roundup River Ranch — their mission, vision, and guideposts, and along with seeing pictures and YouTube videos from camp, it literally brought me to tears! Applying to work here was definitely the easiest decision I’ve ever made!

How has your camp experience at Roundup River Ranch changed your personal and professional outlook? Would you say you’ve become a better nurse? 

Working at Roundup River Ranch has not only made me a better nurse but also a better person! Camp has changed my life in so many ways; it has made me a happier person and so grateful for what I’ve been blessed with. These campers are truly my heroes. They face so many obstacles in their daily life, but never let it get them down. At camp there are no obstacles for them — at Roundup there is NOTHING they can’t do!

At camp we have 10 guideposts that remind the campers and staff what Roundup is all about, and my favorite two that will always stay with me are “embrace joy” and “give 110%.” When I leave camp, I want to always remember and live by those two guideposts for the rest of my life! I want to find the joy in every situation and everywhere I go and I want to always give my all, and then some — both at work and personally!

What types of memories from this camp will you take back to your life as an RN? Which ones stand out as the most rewarding and why?

I have learned so much as a nurse working at Roundup! Some of our campers require special treatments while at camp, many of which were new to me. I had wonderful professors in school, but I have to say my favorite teachers were those campers! They weren’t concerned that I’ve never done their specific procedure before. They taught me what to do and by the end of the week I was a professional — just like them!

I have so many amazing memories from camp! Watching our campers who are paralyzed and in wheelchairs climb the rock wall with only their upper arm strength, seeing campers who are shy and reserved come out of their shell at stage night (AKA, the talent show), camp dancing, campers riding a horse for the first time, catching a fish, no hands spaghetti, bedtime cabin chats … the list goes on and on.

One memory that will remain with me long after camp is over, would be the goodbyes, which are never fun. Having these kids come running up to give you a hug goodbye and telling you how much they are going to miss you, after only knowing you for a week, was so special. The bond we created and the trust we built with our campers in such a short period of time was truly remarkable, and definitely unlike anything I get to experience while working in the ER!

What would you tell other nurses about this camp and would you recommend going back?

GO! If you ever get the opportunity to go, GO! It will be the best decision of your life! I’ve never worked at a summer camp before; didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into, but I had the absolute best time I could imagine! You need to see just how life-changing this place is — for the campers and for you!

What will you miss the most when camp is over?

I’ll miss the friendships! Living in close quarters with about 60 other nurses, program leaders, cabin leaders, and volunteers for three months straight, we all became a family real fast! We all worked together to create the best week possible for every camper!

I’ll miss the smiles. Every day you’d be hard pressed to find someone not smiling and not having an amazing day.

I’ll miss the costume closet. Having lunch with a camper dressed like a princess to your right, and someone else dressed as a hotdog to your left was just normal meal time for us!

I’ll miss the scenery. It’s picture perfect up here! The mountains look like a backdrop, and the stars really are so much closer and brighter here!

Mostly I’ll miss the campers, the pure joy on their faces every day, the carefree attitude, and their strength! They are truly what makes the magic of this camp come alive!

Roundup River Ranch

Everybody loves camp!

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Clinical Corner: Marijuana Law

Marijuana leaf and stethoscope.

Can a nurse or healthcare professional be fired for using recreational marijuana on his or her day off when recreational use is legal in that nurse’s state? The answer is yes.

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

The public is becoming more supportive of marijuana law reform every day, with new polls showing that more than half of the country is in favor of legalizing marijuana. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana. Since then, 23 other states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and supporters are commending the ability to regulate, tax, and test marijuana. Even though there’s much support for legalization, in all states where medicinal and recreational use is allowed, employers may still enforce and comply with a drug-free workplace. So, what does this mean for hospitals and other companies in states where marijuana use is legal?

Many employers are navigating how state laws affect employment and have policies stating that a positive drug screen is grounds for termination. Whether or not an employer can test employees for drugs is controversial and laws on this vary from state to state. Industries like transportation and nuclear energy are heavily regulated by the federal government and don’t give much say to the employer. Local and state governments, on the other hand, may have different regulations and leave much of the decision up to the employer. If the employer chooses to drug test employees, they must follow their state’s rules and procedures, which are intended to prevent discrimination and inaccurate collection of samples. Many states allow testing based on the following guidelines:

  1. The applicant knows that testing will be a part of the screening process.
  2. The employer has already offered the applicant the job, contingent on passing the drug test.
  3. All applicants for similar jobs are tested in the same way.
  4. The tests are administered by a state-certified lab.

Today, most companies that conduct drug testing will have their applicants submit an agreement to the testing.

As a Traveler and healthcare professional, you are agreeing to drug testing under federal law. This poses a question that many may not know the answer to: Can a nurse or healthcare professional be fired for using recreational marijuana on his or her day off when recreational use is legal in that nurse’s state? The answer is yes. It is still illegal to use marijuana under federal law even if it is legal in your state. The take-home message is that you should never want to risk your career and the federal law trumps any state laws.

Legalizing marijuana will have many ramifications in the workplace. The biggest and most influential ramification is patient safety. The best way to ensure quality care and to make sure patients are safe is to keep the workplace drug free.

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Congrats to May 2018’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Traveler Marsha T

Congrats to May Traveler of the Month, Marsha, (pictured) and Rising Star, Marisa.

Many thanks and congrats to the May 2018 Traveler of the Month, Marsha T., and also our Rising Star winner, Marisa F.!

Traveler of the Month Marsha is a Special Procedure Tech for Cath/EP/EV/IR — certified as a RT(R) — currently working in Maine. She’s been traveling for nearly a year and works with Career Consultant Stephanie Weeden.

In addition to her current Maine assignment, Marsha also did an assignment in Chicago, Illinois, with several extensions.

“My favorite assignment has been Chicago, due to the amazing staff and physicians.  I learned a lot there,” she says. “But location-wise Maine would be the best. It is beautiful here. I had the most uplifting and freeing hike in the woods of Maine alone and it was invigorating!”

Travel Nurse Marsha

Some of the gorgeous scenery Marsha’s seen on her Travel Nurse journey.

Marsha travels solo, but makes a point to have visits from her 19-year-old son so the two of them can explore new areas together.

“We are very close and he loves the experience,” says Marsha.

Marsha is very satisfied in her profession and says that drives her to do her best work.

“I love what I do. I work a lot and take a lot of call,” she says. “I believe anything worth doing is worth doing correctly and with all your heart. Outside of work I am just a family person that would rather be with family than anyone else.”

Travel Nurse Marsha

More gorgeous scenery!

Marsha loves to learn and see new places, which makes her a perfect fit for Travel Nursing.

“The best thing about traveling is that I get to see new places while making good money,” she says. “It is also awesome that I get to learn new things and learn how to do the same things in a new way.”

Marsha shared some great tips for new and aspiring Travel Nurses.

“My recommendation for a new Traveler is to always be willing to lend a hand, even when it isn’t ‘your room or your case,’” says Marsha. “Second recommendation is to stay off your phone and stay busy stocking, cleaning, or visiting with your coworkers — you can learn a lot about the area you are in and how to be better at what you do. My third recommendation is something I am just learning and that is to explore. I didn’t venture out much my first location because I was alone, but in Maine, I have been exploring and it is amazing. Just because you are alone, don’t let it hold you back. It’s an amazing, beautiful world out there and you have the great privilege of being able to explore it while getting paid. Have fun and grow as a person and a healthcare professional. Explore and enjoy being a Traveler!”

Thanks for your insightful advice and awesome work ethic, Marsha! We appreciate you.

Rising Star Marisa is an Oncology RN, BSN, currently on assignment in Massachusetts, who’s been in nursing for six years and traveling for two years. She works with Career Consultant Tom Huber.

Travel Nurse Marisa F

Congrats to May Rising Star, Marisa! She’s been collecting animals along her way, including this handsome guy, Otis, whom she describes as a “65-pound brown and tan mutt — part husky, part trash compactor, part Houdini, part your guess is as good as mine.”

Marisa is a natural fit for Travel Nursing, as she’s been moving around the country for the past 15 years even prior to becoming a Travel Nurse.

“I’ve almost seen all 50 states, and I’m working on getting to the last two — North Dakota and Hawaii,” says Marisa.

With all the places she’s traveled, Marisa’s favorite assignment so far has been in Fort Collins, Colorado.

“It’s a pretty town with beautiful mountains and through my patients I got to meet a lot of interesting people,” says Marisa. “People who still do cattle ranching on spreads thousands of acres big, farriers, former rodeo cowboys, retirees from the coasts who came chasing the western life dream, scientists, students, engineers, professors, smoke jumpers, sheriffs, folks who were ‘diverted’ to our hospital from six hours away in South Dakota and Wyoming — imagine driving six hours through open country with no cell service to see your doctor, members of Native American tribes and descendants of people who originally came to that part of the country in covered wagons. Their stories made for a very interesting experience. That and the fact that one day on my drive into work I had to stop and call the police station because there were a bunch of cows loose in the road. (All cattle were safely rounded up later.) I loved my commute, pretty mountain vistas, you could watch thunderstorms sweep across the landscape from miles away, all the pretty horses in the fields, and the staff was great to work with there.”

Marisa says her favorite part about traveling is “the people you meet, the places you go, and what you learn from both,” but she also travels with a great crew of her own — which she describes quite humorously.

“I travel with my 65-pound brown and tan mutt, Otis — part husky, part trash compactor, part Houdini, part your guess is as good as mine — whom I found in Colorado, and with my orange cat whom we simply call ‘Orange Cat,’ whom I found in Mississippi (part foot warmer, part paperweight),” says Marisa. “I found my significant other in Louisiana and he wanders the nation with me as well. His duties include dog and cat wrangling and being the voice of reason so that we don’t pick up a stray animal in each state.”

Marisa offered this great advice for fellow or future Travelers: “Travel light. Roll with the punches. Be flexible. Realize how much you’re appreciated by coming in and helping out and the huge impact you can make on the patients and staff. Remember to get out and enjoy each area while you can, it’s unique and you may never be there again. Eat healthy, exercise, and enjoy. Master the art of saying hello and goodbye, and don’t be surprised when leaving is bittersweet for both you and the people you meet.”

Thanks for the great advice and for being such a wonderful Traveler, Marisa!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions May 2018 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Marsha and Marisa, we are so thankful for your solid commitment to excellent patient care and your amazing sense of adventure!

Could you be the next Medical Solutions Traveler of the Month or Rising Star? Travelers who receive a perfect hospital evaluation are eligible to win these monthly awards — with Rising Star going to newer Medical Solutions Travelers. Click here to learn more and to see if you could be the next winner of a $100 Visa or Amazon gift card as recognition for a job well done!