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State Spotlight: Iowa

By Aubrey Schieuer

Iowa.Hills  - State Spotlight: Iowa
The dramatic, beautiful Loess Hills are just one part of Iowa’s appeal for your next Travel Nurse gig!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to incredible Iowa! The Hawkeye State is known for the bike enthusiasts of RAGBRAI, the quirkiness of the Iowa State Fair, and some remarkably affordable places to live. Read on to see why Iowa is a fun destination for Travel Nurses of all backgrounds.

Travel Nursing in Iowa

Travel Nurses will appreciate how living in Iowa balances practical things like affordability, safety, and stability with amazing opportunities to see unique landscapes and places. Iowa is home to about 125 hospitals — 6 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 Iowa hospital, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, which is nationally ranked in 7 adult specialties and 4 children’s specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in four additional adult specialties and four procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Iowa are: Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids, UnityPoint Health-Iowa Methodist in Des Moines, and Genesis Medical Center in Davenport.

Stamp.Iowa  - State Spotlight: Iowa

U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” list put Iowa at the very top as the #1 state in the country. Along with the coveted best spot, Iowa ranked #1 for ultra-fast internet access, #2 for housing, #3 for affordability, and #3 for health care! How’s that for the cream of the crop? Also, ranked Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ames, Marion, Waterloo, Sioux City and Iowa City as among the best places to live in Iowa.

As for licensing, Iowa is not a walk-through state, but it is a NURSYS and a compact state. Click here for more, up-to-date info on licensing in Iowa.

Iowa Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Hawkeye State

Capital: Des Moines

Largest City: Des Moines

National Parks: 2

State Parks: 87

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 35

State Motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

State Flower: Wild Rose

State Tree: Oak

State Bird: American goldfinch

State Rock: Geode

Iowa was the 29th state.

American.Gothic 1 - State Spotlight: Iowa
This iconic painting, American Gothic, was inspired by an Iowan home.

Remember that famous painting, American Gothic? The artist, Grant Wood, lived and painted in Iowa, and most of his work was based on typical Midwestern scenes. You can even visit the house that inspired the iconic painting in Eldon and get your picture taken while wearing the same clothes as the painting. 

Iowa is bordered by Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Inventions from Iowa include sliced bread, the trampoline, the radio, and the digital computer!

More than 25% of Iowa’s electricity comes from wind power.

Iowa’s state flag is patterned after the national French flag, since before statehood, Iowa used to be part of French Louisiana.

Think Iowa is just farmland? Think again! Iowa’s urban population outnumbers its rural population 61.1% to 38.9%.

Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers.

Famous people hailing from Iowa include James Dean, Johnny Carson, Donna Reed, Gene Wilder, Andy Williams, Ashton Kutcher, Shawn Johnson, Elijah Wood, and President Herbert Hoover. Iowa is also the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.

Iowa has more golf courses per capita than any other state.

At a concert in Des Moines in 1982, the famous singer Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of a bat. Yes, really! A fan threw the bat onstage and Ozzy thought it was a rubber toy. He went to the hospital immediately after the show to get treated for rabies.

Field.Dreams - State Spotlight: Iowa
Add the Field of Dreams movie site to your bucket list!

The Field of Dreams film was shot in Dyersville. You can visit the movie site yourself and participate in Ghost Sundays. Other movies filmed in Iowa include Children of the Corn, The Bridges of Madison County, and Twister.

Sabula is Iowa’s only island city. With a small population of 576, Sabula boasts beaches and a campground, and is a popular tourist destination for the people of Chicago.

The number of chickens in Iowa outnumbers the human populations of California and Texas combined!

There’s a National Hobo Convention that meets the second week of August every year. Since 1900, the town of Britt has hosted this unique gathering of people. Annual traditions include a Saturday morning parade and the crowning of the Hobo King and Queen.

To Do & See in Iowa

Iowa has so much more than you might think! There are lots of fun places to go and things to do in a state full of opportunities and adventure.

Butter - State Spotlight: Iowa
Sculptures made of butter? You bet!

The first Iowa State Fair was held at Fairfield in 1854, at a cost of just $323. Nowadays, over 1 million people come every year to Des Moines to listen to music, ride the Ferris wheel, and see lots and lots of well-bred animals. And you can’t miss the annual butter sculpture – the quirkiest tribute to art and butter you’ll ever see. Previous butter sculptures include the Peanuts gang, The Last Supper by Da Vinci, Star Trek characters, and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Adventureland is a fun amusement park located outside Des Moines. There are roller coasters for thrill-seekers, a water park called Adventure Bay, and live entertainment from magic shows and circus acts to live music and juggling. With over 100 rides, shows, and attractions, you’re sure to have a great time!

On the eastern side of the state, you can explore natural formations at the Maquoketa Caves State Park, which contains more caves than any other state park. There are walk-in caves to explore, as well as caves that you need to crawl through on your hands and knees. Journey on over to the western side of Iowa to see the Loess Hills, a unique landscape of prairie and forest-covered steep bluffs. Don’t forget your camera! The Loess Hills make for some beautiful hiking and breathtaking scenery.

Do you love to bike? RAGBRAI is the largest bike touring event in the world. The full name, Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, is a bit of a mouthful. RAGBRAI has been going on since 1973 and thousands make the week-long bicycle trek across the state. Usually held in July, the event is limited to 8,500 riders. And beyond one-time biking events like RAGBRAI, there are 1,800 miles of bike trails for you to explore across the beautiful state.

Oh, and it goes without saying that you won’t be disappointed with Iowa’s food offerings. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a Maid-Rite, a loose meat sandwich that was first made in Iowa. Scotcharoos, rhubarb pie, and puppy chow are unique Iowan dessert experiences you can’t find anywhere else. Wash it all down with a Boone Valley IPA or some Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey and you’ll be living like a true Iowan!

Ready for your adventure to incredible Iowa?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Iowa! Or, search all jobs here.


Congrats to March 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Many thanks and congrats to the March 2019 Traveler of the Month, Elizabeth O., and also our Rising Star winner, Chera L.!

Traveler of the Month Elizabeth is an RN, BSN, specializing in ER, who is currently on assignment in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s been in nursing for three and a half years, traveling for one year, and works with her Career Consultant Melissa Barks.

IMG 2143 copy 768x1024 - Congrats to March 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Elizabeth O. and her furry friend, Suzie Q. kayaking on Lake Powell. Congrats, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth’s favorite part about Travel Nursing is the experiences she has along the way.

“Travel nursing is a great way to explore the country while doing what you love,” she says. “Traveling has allowed me to develop new interests and meet new people. A new location almost certainly brings about a love for a new hobby, fun activity, or budding friendship that you never expected.”

Elizabeth, who travels with her fur baby, Suzie Q, says her favorite assignment to date has been Colorado.

“Colorado has an absolutely magnificent natural landscape,” says Elizabeth, “I love the outdoors and staying active. Climbing, biking, hiking, and kayaking; you name it! Just about any outdoor activity can fit in right at home in Colorado.”

Elizabeth has a few wonderful pointers for new Travelers:

1. “Be adaptive. As the new nurse in the health care facility, you will have to make additional efforts to adapt to the new environment. It will be easier once you are acquainted with the rest of the staff. A good attitude and a positive approach can be helpful.”

2. “Get to know your destination.”

3. “Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun and make friends! Working in new places 3 to 4 times a year means you’ll experience new cultures, new sights, and new people.”

Thanks so much for your hard work and great advice, Elizabeth!

Rising Star of the Month Chera is a Cath Lab radiology technologist who is now on assignment in Bakersfield, California. She has more than 14 years of experience in her specialty — three of which she has spent traveling — and she works with Career Consultant Jackie Sleddens.

Chera - Congrats to March 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Rising Star of the Month Chera L. enjoys meeting new people and seeing new places while on assignment!

As a Traveler, Chera has enjoyed living and working in several different cities across the U.S. In fact, seeing new places and meeting new people is why she loves her job so much. However, so far, San Francisco remains her all-time favorite assignment.  

“I absolutely loved the city, the job, and the people I worked with,” says Chera.

While Chera has downright magical clinical skills, she’s not particularly interested in who’s finally going to sit on the Iron Throne.

“I have never watched Game of Thrones,” she says proudly. Instead, this awesome tech prefers to play games and puzzles with family and friends.

Chera’s advice to new Travelers is simple.

“Just be yourself, be open to new ways of doing things, and enjoy your experiences,”

Thanks so much for all of your hard work and commitment to great patient care, Chera!

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!


Congrats to our 2019 Nurses Week Winners!

Recruiter E Cards Nurses are Magic Email - Congrats to our 2019 Nurses Week Winners!
Congrats to our 2019 Nurses Week winners!

Thank you to all the hard-working nurses out there who celebrated Nurses Week with Medical Solutions! We love our Travel Nurses and their magical nurse skills. Accordingly, we had 19 awesome prizes ready for the taking over at Without further ado, here are the lucky winners:

$50 Amazon Gift Card Winners

Tocinda J.

Cathy S.

Stephanie G.

Jill C.

Debra S.

Shannon E.

Brittney G.

Genie G.

Rachael H.

Robb S.

Karen A.

Kendra F.

Brittany N.

Audrey R.

$300 Amazon Gift Card Winners

Siham A.

Farida L.

Liz O.

Amory M.

Jordan C.

Again, a huge congrats to the winners and thanks to ALL the nurses everywhere who helped make this Nurses Week so special.

We hope to see you at next year’s Nurses Week festivities, but why wait until then? We’d love to keep in touch with you. Our monthly newsletter can keep you in the know and offers a variety of clinical articles, Travel Nurse career advice, job location highlights, Medical Solutions news, and more! You can subscribe here.

Also, if you’re ready to expand your horizons and your clinical experience, check out our open positions here. 

Many thanks for all that you do in the name of excellent patient care!


Celebrate a Magical Nurses Week with Medical Solutions!

NW General Email 600x200 - Celebrate a Magical Nurses Week with Medical Solutions!
We can’t wait to celebrate YOU and your magic nurse ways this Nurses Week, May 6-12, at!

The most magical time of the year is nearly upon us — that’s right, Nurses Week 2019 is almost here! For Nurses Week, May 6-12, Medical Solutions is celebrating the magic powers of nurses everywhere with fun quizzes, a photo contest, music, and the chance for you to win one of 19 prizes over at

Here’s a bit more info about this magical Nurses Week celebration:

  • Take the “What’s Your Magic Power?” quiz for the chance to win one of seven $50 Amazon gift cards.
  • Take the “What’s Your Magic Destination?” quiz for the chance to win one of seven $50 Amazon gift cards — and find a great spot for your next assignment.
  • Enter the #NursesAreMagic Photo Contest for the chance to win one of five $300 Amazon gift cards.
  • Jam out to the Abracadabra Nurses Week Playlist — curated especially for you!

We are truly in awe of how nurses everywhere seem to pull rabbits out of hats every single day on the job to deliver great patient care. We think you are highly skilled, talented, downright magical people and we look forward to celebrating you this Nurses Week!

Please join in the fun at!


State Spotlight: Minnesota

Minneapolis - State Spotlight: Minnesota
Beautiful Minneapolis is just one reason why Minnesota is great state for your next Travel Nursing gig!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to magnificent Minnesota! The North Star State is known for its natural beauty, abundance of lakes and outdoor activities, thriving cultural scene, incredible food, and mix of rural and urban areas. Read on to learn more about why Minnesota is a must-do state for Travel Nurses!

Travel Nursing in Minnesota

MN State Stamp - State Spotlight: Minnesota

The North Star State is known for having oodles of Travel Nurse jobs at excellent healthcare facilities. Meanwhile, Minnesota also has an incredible array of things to do and experience on your days off — making it an all-around marvelous destination for Travelers.

Minnesota is home to about 140 hospitals — 13 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 Minnesota hospital, the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, which is nationally ranked in 15 adult specialties and seven children’s specialties, in addition to being ranked “High Performing” in one additional adult specialty and nine procedures/conditions. Rounding out the top five overall best hospitals in Minnesota are: Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud,  Mercy Hospital-Coon Rapids in Coon Rapids, and University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.   

U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” list ranked Minnesota an impressive #2 overall, as well as #2 for quality of life, #4 for opportunity, #6 for infrastructure, and #7 for health care! ranked Rochester, Duluth, Northfield, Edina, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Moorhead, Shakopee, Eden Prairie, and Burnsville among some of the best places to live in Minnesota.

As for licensing, Minnesota is not a walk-through state, but it is a NURSYS state and has legislation pending to become a compact state. Click here for more, up-to-date info on licensing in Minnesota.

Minnesota Fast Facts

State Nickname: The North Star State

MN First Ave Mayo - State Spotlight: Minnesota
Minneapolis’ iconic First Avenue and Mayo Clinic.

Capital: Saint Paul

Largest City: Minneapolis

National Parks: 5

State Parks: 75

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 33

State Motto: “L’Etoile du Nord” — meaning “The Star of the North”

State Flower: Pink & White Ladyslipper

State Tree: Red Pine

State Gemstone: Lake Superior Agate

State Bird: Common Loon

State Grain: Wild Rice

State Fish: Walleye

State Sport: Ice Hockey

Minnesota was the 32nd state.

Many an iconic music act hails from Minnesota, including Prince, Bob Dylan, The Replacements, Lizzo, The Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, Atmosphere, and Hüsker Dü!

The Twin Cities — Minneapolis and Saint Paul — are home to one of the nation’s highest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies, including Target, General Mills, Best Buy, and Land O’Lakes.

Bloomington, Minnesota is home to the country’s biggest mall, the famed Mall of America — which has more than four miles of storefront footage!

Minnesota’s 38th governor (serving from 1999-2003) was former pro wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

The mighty Mississippi River starts in northern Minnesota’s petite Lake Itasca.

Furnace thermostats, grocery bags with handles, the Better Business Bureau, Greyhound Bus Lines, water skis, masking tape, Scotch tape, electronic autopilot, magnetic recording tape, Tonka trucks, cortisone, Bundt pans, snow blowers, black box flight data recorders, Twister, Nerf balls, NordicTrack, rollerblades, Sleep number beds, open heart surgery, pop-up toasters, Post-It Notes, and, of course, skyways were all invented in or originated in Minnesota!

Movies filmed in Minnesota include The Mighty Ducks, Jingle All The Way, Purple Rain, and Grumpy Old Men.

Minnesota is bordered by Canada, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

MN Prince - State Spotlight: Minnesota
An artist renders one of Minnesota’s favorite sons, famed musician Prince, outside his former home, Paisley Park.

Minneapolis’ famous skyway system is the largest continuous skyway network in the world, connecting 69-plus city blocks across eight miles.

Every August, the Minnesota State Fair — one of the biggest state fairs in the nation, also known as the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” — spans 10 glorious fun- and food-filled days.

Famous folks from or who’ve lived in Minnesota include Bob Dylan, Chris Pratt, Judy Garland, Jessica Biel, Garrison Keillor, Josh Hartnett, Walter Mondale, Vince Vaughan, Yaya Shahidi, Winona Ryder, Charles Schulz, Lindsey Vonn, Jessica Lange, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Winfield, Jesse Ventura, Neil Gaiman, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, and, of course, Prince.     

Minnesota has more miles of bike trails than any other state.

While one of its nicknames is “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota technically has more than 11,000 lakes! (Nearly 12,000 in all.)

With this abundance of water, Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline — beating out states like California, Florida, and Hawaii by a longshot!

Even though everyone knows how much Hawaii loves its SPAM, the iconic canned meat is actually manufactured in Minnesota.

In Minnesota there is one recreational boat for every six people.  

Minnesotan baseball commentator Halsey Hal coined the term “Holy Cow” during a baseball broadcast.

Rochester, Minnesota is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic.

Madison, Minnesota is known as the “Lutefisk capital of the United States.”

To Do & See in Minnesota

From Great Lakes to great grub, music, and more, Minnesota is one of the true jewels of the Midwest!

Minnehaha Falls - State Spotlight: Minnesota
Minnehaha Falls is a Minnesota must-see.

The state’s most iconic urban area is comprised of the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The cities are a perfect blend of big-city culture and amenities alongside midwestern sensibilities and green spaces. If you find yourself on assignment (or day tripping) in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area be sure to check out the Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Guthrie Theater, Minnehaha Falls Park, Mill City Museum, Como Park, Fitzgerald Theater, Grand Avenue (perfect for shopping and lunch), the stunning State Capitol, the Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Mall of America, First Avenue, and Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. And don’t forget to take a stroll down Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian-friendly area with great restaurants and music venues where you can pose alongside the iconic Mary Tyler Moore statue.    

Minnesota is also home to many charming smaller towns that can transport visitors with their classic “Main streets,” Victorian homes, cute boutiques, cozy cafes, and more. Some of the North Star State’s best smaller towns to explore include Ely, Excelsior, Stillwater, Red Wing, Grand Rapids, Henderson, Nisswa, Fergus Falls, Park Rapids, Bemidji, Harmony, Little Falls, Blue Earth, and Grand Marais.

Sports fans will be happy to cheer on the home team, including North Star State pro teams like the Twins, Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves, Lynx, United FC, Whitecaps, and Wind Chill. With its many lakes and rivers, Minnesota is home to many watersports and also has a some pretty great golf courses (the state has hosted many USGA championships, and the Walker, Curtis, and Ryder Cup). Additionally, from city bikes lanes to rugged mountain paths — and everywhere in between, Minnesota is known for being a super bike-friendly state.

MN Lakes - State Spotlight: Minnesota
Lakes and natural beauty abound in Minnesota!

From the cozy winter months around the fireplace to lakeside summer days, Minnesota is a state that likes to eat! With an abundance of culinary influences, Minnesota is known for iconic faves like Swedish meatballs, wild rice soup, hot dish (you may know it as a casserole), artisan bread (the Twin Cities were once the “Flour Milling Capital of the World” after all), lefse, smoked fish, fresh walleye, Vietnamese fare like Pho, cheese curds, tater tots, krumkake, lutefisk, venison, booya, gravlax, fried food on a stick (a state fair standard!), and the famous Juicy Lucy burger with its molten cheese center. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Surly craft beer, Bloody Mary, or Caribou Coffee and you’ll be living like a true Minnesotan!

When it comes to outdoor adventure, Minnesota is chock full of opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing … oh, and you probably heard, they have plenty to do on the water, between the state’s rivers and 11,000-plus lakes! Be sure to explore the North Shore state parks which boast many beautiful waterfalls, forest trails, and views of Lake Superior. You also want to check out Itasca State Park, the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park, Split Rock Lighthouse, Gunflint Trail, Mystery Cave State Park, Jay Cooke State Park, Great River Bluffs State Park, Interstate State Park, Spirit Mountain, Minneopa State Park, St. Croix Scenic Byway, and many more of Minnesota’s beautiful natural wonders.

Ready for your adventure to magnificent Minnesota?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Minnesota! Or, search all jobs here.


Congrats to February 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Allison 1024x768 - Congrats to February 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Congrats to the February 2019 Traveler of the Month, Allison H. (pictured), and also our Rising Star winner, Amanda M.!

Many thanks and congrats to the February 2019 Traveler of the Month, Allison H., and also our Rising Star winner, Amanda M.!

Traveler of the Month Allison is a Labor & Delivery RN, currently on assignment in Ashland, Wisconsin. She’s been in nursing for 10 years and traveling about a year and a half. Allison works with Career Consultant Jill Kent.

I’ve loved all of my locations but have especially liked Ashland,” says Allison. “Not only is the location ideal for all the outdoor activities I like to do, it is also close to family. I’ve made great friends with the staff and the unit is a nice mix of lower and higher acuity patients.”

Allison says she’s lucky to travel with her partner, Spencer, their Great Pyrenees, Willow, and her cat, Kitty Bon Bon. She also loves to eat and delights in trying new dishes.

The best thing about Travel Nursing is the knowledge that you can take an assignment anywhere,” says Allison.

Allison shared a few helpful Travel Nursing tips for aspiring Travelers:

  1. Be flexible! There is more than one right way to do the same task.
  2. Always ask questions. (Everyone knows that you don’t know where the clean utility is located!)
  3. Have open lines of communication with your recruiter. He/She is there to help and support you!

Thanks so much for your great advice and incredible dedication to great patient care, Allison!

Rising Star Amanda is an ICU RN. She’s been in nursing for 12 years and has been working as a Travel Nurse for two-plus years. Amanda is currently on assignment in Paducah, Kentucky, and works with Career Consultant Kayla Simpson.

Amanda Brunette - Congrats to February 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Rising Star Amanda (pictured at right) and her fellow Medical Solutions Traveler Brenda explore sunny California!

Nursing is a second career for Amanda, who originally graduated with a business degree that left her unfulfilled. Her father, who was diagnosed with cancer while she was still in school, passed away less than a year after his diagnosis.

“The wonderful care we all received from his nurses never left me,” says Amanda. “So, four years after he died I got accepted in a local nursing program and I’ve never looked back. I often say it was the best decision I ever made.” 

After working as a staff nurse at the same hospital for 10 years, Amanda decided to try Travel Nursing.

“I really felt as though I was getting burned out,” she says. “Traveling was the second best decision I’ve made.”

Amanda says the staff at her current assignment “is wonderful and they make you feel at home.” But a couple other locations top her list of favorites. 

“My favorite location has been Los Angeles. There’s so much to do in Southern California and the weather is amazing,” she says. “But another place that surprised me was Missouri. I absolutely loved it; there’s just something about the Midwest. I worked in a town called Joplin. Most people know it due to a horrible tornado that came through and destroyed one of the hospitals there. But I’ll always remember it as one of the friendliest, most welcoming facilities. I’ve made lifelong friends with the staff there and still talk to them on a regular basis. I always feel as though I take a little piece of a place with me when I leave. However, I feel as though I left a large chunk of my heart there.”

Amanda Joshua Tree - Congrats to February 2019’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!
Amanda explored gorgeous Joshua Tree National Park while on assignment.

It’s just those kinds of important connections that Amanda really loves about Travel Nursing.

“The best part of travel nursing is not only the experience and thrill of a new place but also the connections you make,” she says. “I’ve made lifelong friends with staff and some patient families. If you do this just for the money then you are missing out on the best part.” 

Amanda shared some great advice for Travelers about what to look for in an assignment and maintaining a great relationship with your recruiter.

“I really feel as though new Travel Nurses mess up and leave traveling feeling unfulfilled when they only chase the money. I always tell nurses that are considering traveling to do their homework. Try to go places that are very Traveler friendly. Sometimes it’s not all about the money,” she says. “Also, maintain a strong partnership with your recruiter. Don’t approach it as though they work for you. They don’t. Your recruiter works with you. I think that’s why I’ve been lucky — my recruiter knows me well enough to know what facilities I will and won’t enjoy.”

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your words of wisdom and for your incredible work!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions February 2019 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Allison and Amanda, we are so grateful to both of you for your commitment to patient care and Travel Nursing!

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!


Clinical Corner: Nurse Burnout and Stress Management

Stress Meditation 1 - Clinical Corner: Nurse Burnout and Stress Management
Recognize Stress Awareness Month by checking in on yourself and finding healthy ways to manage stress and avoid nurse burnout.

By Phil Niles, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

April is Stress Awareness Month, and that’s relevant highly here considering two of the biggest challenges nurses face are chronic stress and burnout. I can tell you from my own experience that unchecked stress leads to physical pain, lack of energy, bitterness, feelings of dread, and becoming mentally checked out of caring for patients. When you burn out, nursing can become a never-ending hamster wheel of dreading everything negative that could happen during your day. These “could happen” scenarios become expected, inevitable truths in your mind each day, even if they do not occur. Pretty bleak, right? 

Healthcare in general is often listed as one of the top most stressful jobs in the United States. A few of the reasons for this trend include workload caused by insufficient staffing and long shifts without breaks. One of the most dangerous effects of this are increased risk for patient harm. Stress makes you tired and confuses your thinking, leading to mistakes and breaks in standard of care.

So, what can be done? Shall we all throw our hands in the air, toss our stethoscopes in the nearest trash can, and go live the hobo life riding the rails? Sure, I exaggerate a bit, but I know a few of you are holding your hands high yelling “Amen!” Obviously, there are steps that need to be taken by health care organizations, which some have done, to decrease the demand on nurses and improve the overall work environment.  Additionally, instead of asking only “What are they doing to help me?” we should ask, “What can I do to help myself?” We need to focus on ourselves and practice mindful self-care. How do we care for ourselves?

STOP and take a deep breath.

It is very common to get caught up in all the things that need to be done and the lack of time to do it. Stopping and taking a deep breath helps clear the frustration that can cripple your ability to think clearly and prioritize care.  After three or four deep breaths ask yourself, “What needs done right now?” You are only one person and cannot be in three places at once, even though it feels like we are asked to do this all the time. Start with the first thing that needs to be done and prioritize from there. Pop your head into the other patient’s rooms and let them know you haven’t forgotten them. This will help your patients feel respected and validated instead of ignored. 

Be vocal and a clear communicator.

Let your Charge know what you have going on and what you can take on to help the team. The only way they know you are feeling overwhelmed is if you communicate. I’m sure many of you have been to assignments where you felt like you could not depend on anyone. Be the positive change of teamwork you want to see! Offer your help when you can and ask for help when you need it. Assuming everyone knows you are extremely busy is the cause of a lot of unnecessary frustration. 

Stay hydrated!

Most nurses are pushing their kidneys into early failure with poor hydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, lack of energy, and slower thinking. I can hear it now … “I don’t have time to pee let alone drink any water!” Yes, you do! It is just not a part of your daily work habit — yet. Prioritize yourself for your own health, but also because, in the end, taking care of yourself makes you better able to care for your patients.     

Leave a bad work day at the door and do not assume it will be the same tomorrow.  Easier said than done, I know! It does take work to not let the “black cloud” of a bad day follow you home and shape your mood for the rest of the day and the next. Commit to making time for yourself. Nursing is a very engaged, social profession. Decompression in a quiet space is necessary to let your mind relax. Even if it’s just the drive back home while listening to a podcast, music, or nothing at all! Take an extra spin around the block if you’re coming home to an equally busy household, which many of us are. You’ll thank yourself for the extra five minutes. Your brain needs the downtime!

Take advantage of the resources available to you. 

As a Traveler you may feel alone with no one to call on for support. This is not true! You can always contact your recruiter and some travel companies, such as Medical Solutions, have in-house nurses, such as myself, available to talk with you and truly understand where you’re coming from. This is often an unknown resource to many Travelers. Just talking something out with another nurse does wonders to get it off your shoulders and help you breathe a little easier. 

Stress is a very real and damaging force if not dealt with through healthy channels.  Remember this Stress Awareness Month and all year-round that the only way to provide skilled, compassionate care for your patients is to care for yourself first.


7 Spectacular Spring Locations for Travel Nurses

spring 1024x683 - 7 Spectacular Spring Locations for Travel Nurses
Spring is a time for new beginnings and new career opportunities!

Spring is finally here! That means it’s time to shake off winter, embrace the sunny weather, and check out these fresh Travel Nurse job opportunities. For your reading pleasure, we’ve put together the following 7 Spectacular Spring Locations for Travel Nurses.


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Nothing says spring quite like azaleas.

Georgia’s on our mind year-round, but especially in the spring! With blooming flowers everywhere and delightful daily temperatures, it’s easy to imagine the Peach State invented spring. The season here is full of festivals, like the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival and the famous International Cherry Festival. Even better, spring is prime berry-picking time in Georgia. Across the state, there are several farms where you can pick your own bushel of fresh strawberries or blueberries. As for job opportunities, Georgia is home to more than 175 hospitals, so Travel Nurses are sure to find an assignment they love! Georgia is a compact and a NURSYS state. Check out our Georgia State Spotlight to learn more about The Peach State.

Click here to find your dream Travel job in Georgia.


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We love the Golden Gate Bridge in springtime!

California really is the state that has it all. With its amazing beaches, impressive mountains, and famous cities, it’s no secret that Cali is a favorite assignment location among Travel Nurses. Plus, thanks to strict staffing laws here, the Golden State also has plenty of Travel Nurse job opportunities. From surfing, hiking, and skiing, to sightseeing, shopping, and wine-tasting, there’s so much to see and do here that your only problem will be deciding what to do first! Check out our California State Spotlight to learn more about The Golden State.

Click here to find Travel Nursing jobs in California!

New York

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Central Park and spring were simply made for each other!

Who doesn’t love New York in the spring? In particular, New York City just blossoms this time of year with flower festivals, film festivals, and even Shakespeare festivals. However, if outdoor festivals aren’t your thing, New York offers a wide range of famously diverse experiences. Plus, the Empire State is a great place to gain tons of clinical experience in your Travel Nursing career! New York is not a walk-through state, nor is it a compact state, but it is a NURSYS state!  Learn more about this great state in our New York State Spotlight.

Click here to find your next Travel Nurse job in New York!


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Spring is the best time of year in Arizona!

If you’re ever going to travel to Arizona, spring is the time to do it! Why? Well, for starters, it’s Spring Training, which means you can follow your favorite baseball team as they gear up for the season. Not a huge sports fan? No problem! Arizona also offers serene desert views (hello, Grand Canyon), hiking trails, and glamping experiences galore in the spring. It’s also the perfect time to relax by the poolside and enjoy the amazing local food here! Even better, the Travel Nurse jobs are plentiful in Arizona, due in part to a high elderly population. Just an FYI — Arizona is a walk-through state, a NURSYS state, and a compact state under the new Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact! Learn more about The Grand Canyon State with our Arizona State Spotlight.

Click here to explore Travel Nurse jobs in Arizona!


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Wave hello to a pod of whales in Cape Cod this spring!

The Bay State is also an awesome spring getaway destination. That’s because spring is the perfect time of year to go whale-watching and Massachusetts is one of the top 10 whale-watching spots in the world. For rock-climbing and trail-hiking enthusiasts, there are also plenty of beautiful state parks to explore here. The city of Boston is also full of historical tours and world-class dining experiences. Learn more about The Bay State in our Massachusetts State Spotlight.

Click here to find a magnificent Massachusetts Travel Nurse job!


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Mount Vernon is a must-see attraction in the spring!

Virginia may be for lovers, but it’s also the state for Travel Nurses! As America’s birthplace, Virginia is full of fun, historic sites like Mount Vernon, the Jamestown Settlement, and the colonial village of Williamsburg. Other must-see spring attractions include theme parks like Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion near Richmond. Nature lovers can also embrace the spring season here by visiting several of Virginia’s state parks, which have been consistently voted “America’s Best.” Virginia is a compact state and a NURSYS state. It is not a walk-through state. Check out our Virginia State Spotlight to learn more about this great state.

Click here to explore Travel Nursing jobs in Virginia!


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Kansas City is the perfect place to welcome spring!

This spring location guide wouldn’t be complete without the Show-Me State. Missouri is a sight to behold in the spring and there’s always something going on here. Popular spring attractions include the Lake of the Ozarks, the Hermann Wine Trails, Missouri Botanical Gardens, and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Plus, there’s always something to see and do in Kansas City, Missouri or St. Louis! As for licensing, Missouri is a walk-through state, a compact state, and a NURSYS state! Learn more about The Show-Me State in our Missouri State Spotlight.  

Click here to explore Travel Nursing jobs in Missouri!

Did this Spring Locations for Travel Nurses guide skip over your desired destination? Not to worry — there are plenty of great jobs across the nation to choose from. Click here to search by state, specialty, and/or job title to find your next adventure!


State Spotlight: Nevada

Vegas Selfie - State Spotlight: Nevada
Read on to learn why Nevada is a great place for your next Travel Nurse gig!

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to noble Nevada! The Silver State is known for its varied landscapes and scenery, intriguing attractions, the iconic sights, sounds, and shows of Las Vegas, and so much more. There are also tons of great Travel Nurse jobs in this cool state. Read on to learn more about why you should roll the dice and try Travel Nursing in Nevada!  

Travel Nursing in Nevada

Nevada Stamp - State Spotlight: Nevada

Nevada is a great place for a Travel Nursing assignment. In The Silver State you’ll have tons to do and see on your days off while also building your skills and resume on the job.

Nevada is home to about 55 hospitals — according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018/2019 Best Hospitals list. That includes UMC of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas, and Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas.   

U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best States” ranked Nevada #34 overall, as well as #5 for infrastructure and #12 for economy. According to, some of the best places to live in Nevada include Carson City, Sparks, Reno, Henderson, Elko, Paradise, Fallon, Boulder City, Summerlin South, and Spring Valley.

As for licensing, Nevada is not currently a walk-through state or a compact state, but it is a NURSYS state and nurses licensed in other U.S. states may apply for license by reciprocity. Click here for more, up to date info on licensing in Nevada.

Nevada Fast Facts

Hoover Dam - State Spotlight: Nevada
The Hoover Dam on the Black Canyon of the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada is a sight to behold!

State Nickname: The Silver State

Capital: Carson City

Largest City: Las Vegas

National Parks: 4

State Parks: 27

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 14

State Motto: “All for our country” 

State Flower: Sagebrush

State Tree: Bristlecone Pine

State Animal: Desert Bighorn Sheep

State Metal: Silver

State Gem: Virgin Valley Black Fire Opal

Nevada was the 36th state.

Charles Fey invented a slot machine called Liberty Bell in 1899, which served as the model for all future slots.    

In 1931, the Pair-O-Dice was the first casino opened on Highway 91, which would become the future Las Vegas Strip.

Bugsy Siegel’s Las Vegas casino was named The Flamingo after the long legs of Virginia Hill, a showgirl and Bugsy’s girlfriend.  

Nevada was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment, giving black men the right to vote in March 1869.

Slot machines and video slot machines, required hard hats at construction sites, multi-state hydroelectric power, blue jeans, quickie divorces, the pistol offense in football, fingerprint convictions, and solar cells were all invented in or originated in Nevada!

Shrimp Cocktail - State Spotlight: Nevada
Approximately 60,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed each day in Las Vegas!

In 1859 the Comstock Lode — a discovery of lots of silver — triggered a silver rush to the state and sent the population soaring.

Nevada stands is one of seven U.S. states that do not collect individual income tax.

Nevada is the nation’s driest state, with less than 10 inches of rain annually.

Believe it or not, Reno, Nevada is actually further west than Los Angeles!

Oregon is the only state with an official state nut. The nut in question? The humble hazelnut!

Approximately 86 percent of Nevada land is owned by the federal government — including the famous Area 51. In terms of size, Nevada is the seventh-largest state. 

Construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931 and upon completion in 1935 it was the largest dam in the world. It remained the world’s largest producer of hydroelectric power until 1948.

Elko, Nevada is home to an annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other city in the world

More than 60,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed each day in Las Vegas!

Famous folks from or who’ve lived in Nevada include Jena Malone, Andre Agassi, Pat Nixon, Amy Purdy, Kurt Busch, Dawn Wells, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Sailor Jerry, Cosmo Baker, Bryce Harper, T.J. Lavin, Brandon Flowers, Jimmy Kimmel, Mark Twain, Robin Leach, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Coolio, and Jenny Lewis.     

The Kangaroo Rat, which lives in Death Valley, can live its whole life without drinking a drop of liquid.

Each day in Las Vegas, approximately 150 couples get married.

The name Nevada comes from a Spanish word meaning “snow-capped.” Yes, most of the state is desert, but the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Reno and the Ruby Mountains near Elko have quite a bit of snow for about six months each year.

Highway 50 in Nevada is known as the “Loneliest Highway in America” for its scarcity of stops along the 287-mile stretch between Ely and Fernley.

In Nevada, camels were used as pack animals until about 1870.

The humanmade Lake Mead is the nation’s largest reservoir.

Native American tribes which inhabited Nevada included the Shoshoni, Northern and Southern Paiute, and Washo.

To Do & See in Nevada

Lake Tahoe - State Spotlight: Nevada
Gorgeous Lake Tahoe!

From the lights of Las Vegas to the serene scenery of the desert, The Silver State is a wonderful place for Travel Nurses to work, live, and play!The state offers diverse natural beauty including mountains, desert, forest, and lakes, as well as super unique tourist attractions, delicious dining, and stimulating culture — making Nevada a fabulous place to for your next Travel Nurse adventure. 

For city lovers, The Silver State’s largest cities include Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, North Las Vegas, and Sparks. The state’s shining urban star is most certainly Vegas, where you can travel the world all in one city with facsimiles and likenesses of the Eiffel Tower, the canals of Venice, the great pyramids of Egypt, and other worldly locales. If you love neon and kitsch, you are sure to love Las Vegas! In addition to gambling, Vegas is also well known for having some pretty incredible theatrical and musical performances, so you’ll want to take in some shows for sure. Other things to see and do include Fremont Street, the Stratosphere, Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden, the Bellagio Fountains, the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, SPEEDVEGAS, The Strip in general, and so much more.   

Fire State Park Nevada - State Spotlight: Nevada
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

If you prefer solitude, you’ll love Highway 50 — dubbed the “Loneliest Highway in America.” Nevada also has some wonderful petite towns, including the state capital, Carson City, and Elko. Outside of the city, you’ll also want to explore the famous Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Fire State Park, Lake Mead, Lake Tahoe, Sand Mountain Recreation Area, Lehman Caves under the Great Basin National Park, the Hickison Petroglyphs, the Ruby Mountains, Bootleg Canyon, and tons more in this beautiful state of mountains, lakes, and deserts.

Nevada’s food offerings are as diverse as its landscapes. From tiny roadside diners to fine dining foodie havens, Nevada offers a little bit of everything for folks to chew on. Shrimp cocktail is a huge favorite throughout the state, but especially in Vegas, where it’s reported that 60,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed each day! While on assignment in Nevada you can also enjoy iconic faves like onion rings, sushi, paella, Thai cuisine, prime rib, bone-in ribeye, steak and eggs, burgers, charcuterie, chateaubriand, tamales,  and, of course, buffets galore. Wash it all down with a Bloody Mary or Picon Punch and you’ll be living like a true Nevadan!

Ready for your adventure to noble Nevada?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Nevada! Or, search all jobs here.


Share the Luck Referral Giveaway!

ShareThe Luck - Share the Luck Referral Giveaway!
Share the Luck and refer your friends to Medical Solutions by April 26, 2019, for a chance to win on of three TravCon prize packages valued at $1,500!

Medical Solutions already offers a great $500 referral bonus, but the wonder of a gorgeous, hopeful spring cutting in on a grizzly, old winter had us wanting to raise the stakes. In that spirit, we bring you the Share the Luck Referral Giveaway — your chance to win one of three trips (valued at $1,500 each!) to TravCon 2019 this September 8-11 in Las Vegas!  

Through April 26, 2019, for every validated new referral you submit to Medical Solutions you will receive one entry to win. Three winners will be randomly selected, and each prize package will include airfare, hotel accommodations, one TravCon conference pass, and some spending money to boot!

Remember, this is a chance to double your luck, because even if you win the Share the Luck Referral Giveaway, you are still able to collect Medical Solutions’ standard $500 referral bonus for any qualifying referrals. So, you could get lucky and win a prize and/or a bonus, your friend could get lucky with a fulfilling new gig with Medical Solutions, and we could get lucky and add some great new Travelers to our ranks. That’s a lot of good luck flying around! (Seems like our lucky day. Maybe we should all buy lottery tickets, too?)

Click here to learn more about this opportunity and to “Share the Luck” today by referring your friends for a chance to win!