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State Spotlight: Georgia

State of GeorgiaThe temps are getting cooler, which has a certain southern state on our minds and November’s State Spotlight taking us to gorgeous Georgia! The Peach State is a sweet choice for Travel Nurses, with its warm temps, abundance of Travel Nursing jobs, and wealth of activities and experiences to enjoy on your days off. Read on to find out why Georgia should definitely be on your mind when it comes to Travel Nursing opportunities!

Travel Nursing in Georgia

GeorgiaGeorgia is a fabulous state for Travel Nurses because of its many excellent facilities and great job opportunities.

Georgia is home to about 175 hospitals — 13 of which are ranked based on high standards from U.S. News & World Report. That includes Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, which U.S. News & World Report ranked #1 among top hospitals in the state of Georgia. Rounding out the top six overall hospitals in Georgia are: Atlanta’s Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital, Macon’s Navicent Health Medical Center, Gainesville’s Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Augusta’s University Hospital, and Marietta’s WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Georgia the #36 overall state on their first-ever “Best States” list, based on criteria including economy, education, government, health care, crime & corrections, infrastructure, and opportunity. The report also ranked Georgia #14 among the top states for economy and #15 for government.

As for licensing, Georgia is not a walk-through state, but it is a compact state and a NURSYS state! Click here for more info on licensing in Georgia.

To Do & See in Georgia

Centennial Park

The sun rises on Atlanta’s Centennial Park.

Georgia has everything from beautiful beaches to spooky swamps to wonderful waterfalls to magnificent mountains!

On the urban tip, Georgia’s largest cities include Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Athens, and Sandy Springs. “Hotlanta” as it casually known for its steamy temps and exciting attractions is an amazing place to take a job or a day trip to! Fun things to do and see here include the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Botanical Garden, CNN Center, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Centennial Olympic Park, Six Flags Over Georgia, High Museum of Art, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta History Center, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Underground Atlanta, the College Football Hall of Fame, Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, and so much more!

In addition to these attractions and the city’s amazing dining, shopping, and cultural scene, sports fans will love the chance to check out Atlanta’s five major league teams: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta United FC, and Atlanta Dream.

Shrimp and Grits

Georgia’s home to all kinds of delicious southern fare like shrimp & grits!

Georgia is also an amazing hub for history buffs with loads of Civil War sites, history and heritage museums, tours, trails, and historic homes. You’ll want to check out the Cumberland Island Dungeness Ruins, Augusta Canal, Madison’s Heritage Hall, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood Home, the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Pebble Hill Plantation, Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site, and the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site — where the Confederate President was arrested in May 1865.

Okefenokee Swamp

The Okefenokee Swamp is an enchanting ecosystem and a great place to go adventuring.

In addition to serving up southern hospitality, Georgia knows how to serve up some delicious food! Although they’re perfect right off the tree, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a Georgia peach cobbler! Other popular Georgia fare includes fried chicken, shrimp & grits, pecan pie, cornbread, Brunswick Stew, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, BBQ, pimento cheese, boiled peanuts, chicken & dumplings, deviled eggs, and biscuits & gravy.

Wash it all down with some sweet tea or a Coca-Cola and you’ll be living like a true Georgia native!

Wanna walk all of that southern-fried goodness off? Georgia is home to 76 miles of the Appalachian Trail as well as famous outdoors spots like Stone Mountain, Lookout Mountain, and Okefenokee Swamp.

Amicalola Falls State Park, Indian Springs, Arabia Mountain, Springer Mountain, and Providence Canyon State Park are a few well-known places to absorb all of Georgia’s scenic glory! Throughout the state you’ll find ample opportunities for hiking, biking, golf, climbing, golfing, whitewater rafting, ziplining, boating, water sports, rowing, skiing, and much more.

Georgia Fast Facts

State Nickname: The Peach State (also known as The Goober State or The Empire State)

Coke

Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca-Cola.

Capital & Largest City: Atlanta

National Parks: 11

State Parks: 47

National Register of Historic Places Listings: 2,128

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 60

State Motto: “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation.”

State Flower: Cherokee Rose

State Fruit: Peach

State Vegetable: Vidalia Onion

State Song: “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles

State Insect: Honeybee

TWD

The Walking Dead films and is largely set in Georgia.

Georgia was the last of the 13 original colonies and the fourth state.

Coca-Cola, the Girl Scouts, Waffle House, Chik-fil-A, and anesthesia, were all invented in Georgia.

Georgia is the country’s #1 producer of “the three Ps” — peanuts, pecans, and peaches.

Saint Marys, Georgia is the second oldest city in the nation.

Georgia is the namesake of England’s King George II.

The Masters Golf Tournament is held annually at the Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia each April.

Cordele, Georgia fancies itself the watermelon capital of the world.

Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River.

Atlanta-area Stone Mountain is one of the largest single masses of exposed granite in the world.

ray-charles-002

Peach State native, Ray Charles, famously sang “Georgia on My Mind.”

Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp encompasses more than 400,000 acres of canals, mossy cypress trees, and lily pad prairies which offer sanctuary for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife, including several endangered species.

In Gainesville, Georgia, which considers itself the Chicken Capital of the World, it’s illegal to eat chicken with a fork.

As we learned on “The Walking Dead,” which is filmed and largely set in Georgia, the Center for Disease Control has its headquarters in Atlanta.

Famous folks from Georgia include Marla Maples, Jimmy Carter, Kanye West, Future, 2 Chainz, Luke Bryan, Cam Newton, Kim Basinger, Jeff Daniels, Julia Roberts, Hulk Hogan, Chris Tucker, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Charles, Sugar Ray Robinson, Dakota Fanning, Spike Lee, Bill Hicks, Kenan Thompson, Jackie Robinson, Clarence Thomas, Jason Aldean, Little Richard, Ryan Seacrest, Ty Cobb, Alice Walker, Michael Stipe, Sally Yates, and so many others!

Big Oak in Thomasville, Georgia is one of the largest Southern Love Oak Trees east of the Mississippi with a limb span of more than 165 feet.

Search now to find your dream job in gorgeous Georgia!

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Last Call for Say Thanks By Giving 2017!

Medical Solutions is giving away $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

Medical Solutions is giving away $8,000 to some of your favorite causes!

The holiday season is all about celebrating gratitude and giving freely to others, that’s why Medical Solutions wants to help you support your favorite cause with a $2,000 donation — plus a little something for you to boot!

Our third annual Say Thanks By Giving event lets you nominate a nonprofit you hold dear for the chance to win a $2,000 donation from Medical Solutions made in your name. As an added bonus, if your charity is chosen you’ll also win a $100 Amazon gift card for yourself.

Nominations are open here through December 1, 2017 — so you have to act fast!  

In the past two years Medical Solutions has helped our Travelers support the following charities through Say Thanks By Giving:

  • Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Program — nominated by Traveler Michael C.
  • Puppies Behind Bars — nominated by Traveler Karen G.
  • Team Jack Foundation — nominated by Traveler Frances B.
  • CASA of Ohio Valley — nominated by Traveler Kathy G.
  • Remote Area Medical — nominated by Traveler Leigha C.
  • Cattaraugus County SPCA — nominated by Traveler Jennifer G.
  • The Cure Starts Now Foundation — nominated by Traveler Erica P.
  • Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey — nominated by Traveler Gabriel T.

So, tell us: What nonprofit and/or charitable organization matters most to you — and why? It could be a place you’ve personally volunteered or one that has helped you personally!

Just imagine, if you could help support any charity or nonprofit organization that makes the world a better place, who would it be? Got your answer? Great! Now be sure to submit your cause for consideration before December 1, 2017!

In December, we’ll announce four winners — each of whom will receive a $100 Amazon gift card for themselves AND get $2,000 donated to the cause they nominated!

Click here now to share what you care about!

 

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Clinical Corner: Sentinel Event Alert #58 on Proper Hand-off Communication

JC Sentinel Alert

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

According to The Joint Commission (TJC), a sentinel event is defined as any unanticipated event in a healthcare setting that results in death or a serious physical or psychological injury to a patient or patients that is not related to the natural course of a patient’s illness. Healthcare professionals take a lot of pride and are very diligent in their work to avoid any sentinel events. Recently the TJC released a Sentinel Event Alert that identifies specific types of events and high-risk conditions as well as corresponding underlying causes and recommendations to reduce risk and prevent future occurrences of these sentinel events. The purpose of the alert is for health professionals and organizations to consider designing or redesigning processes to prevent or minimize the effects of sentinel events.

The focus of the most recent Sentinel Event Alert released by TJC was inadequate hand-off communication. While it sounds simple to achieve a successful hand-off, in reality, the hand-off communication is much more complex than it seems. In 2010, after hand-off communication was addressed in the National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG), it became a Joint Commission standard that “an organization’s process for hand-off communication provides the opportunity for discussion between the giver and receiver of patient information.” This standard is important because hand-offs are becoming too casual and can be very disjointed and unclear. This creates a large gap in communication which leads to a huge safety risk and concern for patients. It can ultimately contribute and lead to sentinel events in the healthcare setting.

To combat the disconnect in hand-off communication it is important to know the contributing factors to hand-off communication breakdown. These factors include insufficient or misleading information, absence of safety in culture, ineffective communication methods, lack of timing, poor timing, interruptions/distractions, insufficient staffing, and lack of standardizing the hand off process. The Joint Commission offers the following suggestions on implementing successful hand offs:

  1. Demonstrate leadership’s commitment to successful hand-offs and other aspects of safety culture.
  2. Standardize the critical content communicated between caregivers using verbal and written hand-offs and standardize tools and methods using forms, templates, checklists, etc.
  3. Conduct face-to-face hand-off communication in locations that are free from interruptions or distractions.
  4. Standardize the training on how to conduct a successful hand-off from both the standpoint of the sender and receiver of the communication.
  5. Use the EHR (Electronic Health Record) and other technologies to enhance hand-offs.
  6. Monitor the success of interventions to make continuous improvements to hand-off communications.
  7. Sustain and spread best practices and make high-quality hand-offs a cultural priority for the department and healthcare facility.

Information reprinted with permission from The Joint Commission. To learn more about this Sentinel Event Alert, click here.

 

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

Kayla P Tahoe

September 2017 Traveler of the Month, Kayla P., gazes out over Lake Tahoe!

Many thanks and congrats to the September 2017 Traveler of the Month, Kayla P., and also our Rising Star winner, Kim B.!

Kayla P 300x300 - Congrats to September 2017’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

Congrats Kayla P.! (left)

Traveler of the Month Kayla is an ICU Stepdown BSN, RN who’s been in nursing for nearly three and a half years and traveling a little more than two years. She works with Medical Solutions Career Consultant Tiffanie H. and is currently on assignment was in Newark, New Jersey.

Kayla currently travels solo, but for her first five contracts she traveled with her friend, Dara, who she had also worked with at her first nursing job out of nursing school.

Kayla’s favorite location so far has been Carson City, Nevada.

“I worked as an overnight float nurse and loved everyone I worked with — the hospital was out of this world, set away in the mountains with sunrises like you’d never imagine,” says Kayla. “The hospital was also a quick drive to Lake Tahoe, where I spent the majority of my time off. The views, hikes, microbreweries, and eats have my heart forever.”

Kayla P and Dara

Kayla (left) and her friend Dara on their Nevada adventure!

Interestingly, Kayla never planned to become a nurse!

“I just kind of transferred into the major in college, got my BSN, and took my career places I never thought imaginable when I became a Traveler,” she says.

Her favorite thing about Travel Nursing is the people she’s met along the way.

“I have friends and coworkers across the country and back,” she says. “Not only have I made friends at each institution I’ve worked in, but also other Traveler friends along the way, and not even just Travel Nurses, but also other ‘wanderlusts’ traveling our U.S. of A. I’ve had the pleasure of taking care of people amongst a large spectrum of cultures.”

Kayla shared these awesome tips for new and aspiring Travelers:

1). “ALWAYS BE A TEAM PLAYER! Don’t let the fear of being the ‘newbie’ shy you from joining the team. Introduce yourself and put yourself out there as the ‘newbie’ so they know to have your back. Let them know you’re new to the unit, but not to nursing and you will return the help as much as it’s provided.”

2). “BE OPEN! Just because you don’t land your dream assignment every contract, be willing to try new places and sign up for contracts you’d never expect you’d get into. Carson City was not on my list, it just kind of landed in my lap, and seven contracts later, it’s still my favorite!”

3). “GET OUT THERE! Take every opportunity with your free time in your assignments to explore, talk to people, and let them know what you’re doing there. You’d be surprised how interested everyone is in your journey. Everyone has a story to tell, but I promise, Travel Nurse stories take the cake!

Thank you for the great advice and for being such an awesome Traveler, Kayla!

Rising Star winner for September, Kim B., gets her hike on!

Rising Star winner for September, Kim B., gets her hike on!

Rising Star Kim is and RN, BSN, CMSRN who’s been in nursing for eight years and started traveling in May 2017.

Kim works with Career Consultant Lynda G. and is currently on assignment in Sunnyside, Washington. Her favorite location so far has been Spokane, Washington.

“I’m from Florida but love the northwest, so I headed to Washington for my first travel assignment this past May in Spokane,” she says. “I loved the location and the beautiful lakes in that area.”

Kim is a self-proclaimed “Disney fanatic” and lover of all things Disney.

Kim B

Kim B. enjoys the view!

“I’m a Disney World passholder in Florida and excited to be on the west coast and making a trip to Disneyland soon,” she says.

Kim loves Travel Nursing chiefly because it gives her “the opportunity to experience such a wide variety of settings both geographically and in nursing.”

She also shared a few great tips for new or aspiring Travelers.

“My tips for new Travel Nurses are to be flexible and open-minded when you enter into a new assignment, to take time to get to know your coworkers, and to network with other Travel Nurses whenever possible as they can be such a great resource for tips, support, even housing connections — it’s a unique and special community of nurses,” says Kim.

Thank you for your dedication to patient care and for sharing this great advice, Kim!

Congratulations again to the Medical Solutions September 2017 Traveler of the Month and Rising Star! Kayla and Kim, we are incredibly thankful for your commitment to providing superior patient care and your strong 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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State Spotlight: Massachusetts

State of Massachusetts

Could the state known for its famous Boston Tea Party be your cup of Travel Nursing tea?

Because of its iconic New England fall colors and spooky city of Salem, October’s State Spotlight takes us to magnificent Massachusetts. The Bay State is a lovely choice for Travel Nurses, with some of the best facilities in the nation, tons of opportunity for professional development, and an abundance of things to do on your day off. Read on to find out why the state known for its famous Boston Tea Party might just be your cup of tea!

Travel Nursing in Massachusetts

Boston's beautiful Harborwalk.

Boston’s beautiful Harborwalk.

Massachusetts is a fabulous state for Travel Nurses because of its many state-of-the-art, high-ranking facilities. Because of this, The Bay State consistently has oodles of great, lucrative job opportunities for Travelers where they will learn new skills and sharpen existing ones. Massachusetts also offers big-city excitement alongside quaint communities and a gorgeous coastline, to boot.

Autumn in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts

Fall foliage in the beautiful Berkshires region of Massachusetts!

Massachusetts is home to 100+ hospitals — 10 of which are ranked based on high standards from U.S. News & World Report. That includes Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, which U.S. News & World Report ranked #4 on the 2017/2018 Honor Roll of Best Hospitals and #1 in the state of Massachusetts. Boston Children’s Hospital, also ranked #1 on the 2017/2018 Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. Rounding out the top five overall hospitals in Massachusetts are: Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Springfield’s Bay State Medical Center, Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Worcester’s UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Swam Boats 300x200 - State Spotlight: Massachusetts

Swan boats in Boaston’s Public Garden.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Massachusetts the #1 overall state on their first-ever “Best States” list, based on criteria including economy, education, government, health care, crime & corrections, infrastructure, and opportunity. The report also ranked Massachusetts #2 among the top states for healthcare, #1 for education, and #5 for economy.

As for licensing, Massachusetts is not a walk-through state, nor is it currently at the time of this writing a compact state, but it is a NURSYS state! As for Massachusetts’ compact status, stay tuned as the NLC to eNLC transition continues, because it is one of a handful of states that hopes to pass legislation to join the eNLC in time for implementation on January 19, 2018. Click here for more info on licensing in Massachusetts.

To Do & See in Massachusetts

Cheers sign outside the Bull and Finch bar Boston

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, like original Cheers bar!

Massachusetts has everything from beautiful beaches to magnificent mountains and bustling cities like Boston to quaint enclaves like Rockport.

On the urban tip, Massachusetts’ largest cities include Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, and Lowell. The region is rife with history, arts, and culture, particularly in the capital city of Boston, where you’ll want to explore the famed Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, New England Aquarium, National Historic Park, Newbury Street, Boston Harborwalk, Boston Common & Public Garden, Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Harvard Square, Boston Public Library, Massachusetts State House, and so much more!

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Parker House, where the divine dessert was first served!

A couple of quirky Boston must-dos include riding the swan boats in the Public Garden pond, visiting the Mapparium where you can go inside a gigantic glass globe, and grabbing a barstool at the original Cheers in Beacon Hill!

Boston also has some incredible whale watching that will take you out into the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary and you don’t want to miss the Italian cuisine and cannolis in the city’s famous North End, an iconic “Little Italy” neighborhood that houses incredible historical sites as well as an abundance of delicious food.

Whale Watch

Massachusetts offers some great opportunities for whale watching.

If you’re craving pizza, look no further than the amazing Pizzeria Regina, a North End institution that I still crave on a daily basis! The Daily Catch offers the perfect combination of Italian and fresh seafood. And, when it comes to cannolis, the public is pretty well split between Mike’s Pastry and Modern pastry. I tried both — just to make sure I did my due diligence, and I would just say you can’t go wrong with either!

Sports fans will want to flock to Boston’s legendary Fenway Park to take in a Red Sox game. Massachusetts also offers the chance to see the Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Boston Bruins, and nearly 20 other minor league and semi-pro teams. And, fun sports fact: both basketball and volleyball (originally called mintonette) were invented in The Bay State!

Mike's Pastry #2

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

If all that sightseeing has worked up your appetite, good, because the food in Massachusetts is spectacular. From seafood to cider donuts, dining in The Bay State is done right. State favorites include clam chowder (no tomatoes allowed!), fish ‘n’ chips, oysters, Boston Baked Beans, grilled blueberry muffins, fluffernutters, lobster rolls, fried clams, scallops, and baked stuffed scrod. For dessert, consider the aforementioned North End cannolis or Boston Cream Pie, originally served at Boston’s Parker House (now the Omni Parker House) where you can still order it to this day. Fun fact if you do visit the Omni Parker House: The restaurant there is where JFK proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier!

Fenway

A trip to iconic Fenway Park is a Massachusetts must!

Wash it all down with some Dunkin Donuts coffee, an ice-cold Sam Adams, or a tall glass of cranberry juice and you’ll be doing it like a true Bay Stater!

For the outdoorsy, Massachusetts offers 91 miles of the Appalachian Trail and is home to Mount Greylock, which reportedly inspired Herman Melville to pen Moby Dick. Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and Nantucket are all notoriously stunning stops. Western Massachusetts’ beautiful Berkshires are a treat at any time of year, and throughout the state you’ll find ample opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, golfing, whitewater rafting, ziplining, boating, rowing, skiing, and much more.

Salem Witch House

Spooky Salem makes a great location or day trip!

Massachusetts has some incredibly quaint small towns that are well worth a visit, like Newburyport, Rockport, Marblehead, Nanhant, Lexington, Concord, Amherst, Stockbridge, and Great Barrington.

Of course, The Bay State is also infamous for the Salem Witch Trials, which saw several folks executed for witchcraft in the 1690s. The town of 40,000 is just 45 minutes north of Boston and makes a great day trip, especially around Halloween time! In addition to a trip to the Salem Witch House, make time for a stop at the Peabody Essex Museum and The House of the Seven Gables.

Massachusetts Fast Facts

Cranberry bog 300x193 - State Spotlight: Massachusetts

Cranberry bogs light up The Bay State landscape.

State Nickname: The Bay State

Capital & Largest City: Boston

National Parks: 15

State Parks, Recreation Areas, Trails, and Forests: 151

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 200

State Motto: “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” — meaning “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.”

Clam Chowda 200x300 - State Spotlight: Massachusetts

Clam chowder is an institution in Massachusetts. no tomatoes allowed!

State Flower: Mayflower

State Tree: American Elm

State Insect: Ladybug

State Beverage: Cranberry Juice

State Dessert: Boston Cream Pie

Massachusetts was the 6th state and one of the 13 original colonies.

Chocolate chip cookies, disposable safety razors, Bose speakers, microwaves, rubber tires, Tupperware, The Iron Lung, the World Wide Web, basketball, volleyball, computerized spreadsheets, the birth control pill, and the country’s first subway system were all invented in Massachusetts. Heck, some even say that America itself was invented in Massachusetts!

Folk hero Johnny Appleseed is typically associated with the Midwest, but he was born in Leominster, Massachusetts.

Boston Public Garden

Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

The first-ever telephone call was made in Boston, on March 10, 1876, between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson, who was in the next room.

Boston Latin, the oldest school in America, was established in 1635 — one year prior to the launch of a little institution of higher ed known as Harvard.

The world’s first digital, real-time computer, the Whirlwind I, was created at MIT in 1951.

Boston Common is the nation’s oldest public park.

The Fig Newton was not named after Sir Isaac Newton, but rather the town of Newton, Massachusetts.

USA, Massachusetts, Nantucket Island, View of Great Point lighthouse

Nantucket makes a great, picturesque excursion.

Dunkin Donuts was launched in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Worcester’s WORC radio station was the first frequency to play The Beatles.

During the ice age, glaciers formed the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

The first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in 1621 in Plymouth.

The first zip code in the United States was given to Agawam, Massachusetts. It is 01001.

Rockport, Massachusetts has a house made entirely of newspaper.

Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation.

The Bay State is home to the lake with the longest name on the planet: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

Amy Poehler

Funny lady Amy Poehler is from Newton, Massachusetts.

Famous folks from Massachusetts include Frederick Douglass, Amy Poehler, Sylvia Plath, Dr. Seuss, Conan O’Brien, Norman Rockwell, Edgar Allen Poe, Timothy Leary, John Cena, Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, W.E.B. Du Bois, John F. Kennedy, Lizzie Borden, Matt Damon, Steve Carell, Mindy Kaling, Jay Leno, Uzo Aduba, Denis Leary, Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg, Barbara Walters, Leonard Nimoy, Geena Davis, Uma Thurman, Rob Zombie, Meghan Trainor, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and so many others!

Happy Hours have been banned in Boston since 1984.

The colorful Green Monster at Fenway Park is so iconic that The Red Sox actually patented the hue “Fenway Green.”

Boston is known as “Beantown” because of how much its early residents loved baked beans in molasses.

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

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Open Enrollment + New Voluntary Benefits Are Here!

open enrollment word abstract in wood type

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun Fact/Reminder: Medical Solutions offers passive enrollment.

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

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

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#NurseLaughLove Photo Contest Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alana B1 300x169 - Congrats to August 2017’s Traveler of the Month and Rising Star!

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

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

Jackie G Travel Nurse Medical Solutions

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

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

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

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

Jackie Travel Nurse Dog

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

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

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

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

She shared some great tips for new or aspiring Travelers:

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

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

Pike's Peak

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

Alana Travel Nurse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alana Travel Nurse

Alana travels with Reeses and her husband, Armond.

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

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

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

Alana Travel Nurse

Happy travels, Alana!

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Clinical Corner: Nurse Licensure Compact Changes

"Changes ahead" traffic sign

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

By Kora Behrens, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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State Spotlight: Washington

Seattle Skyline and Mount Rainier at Sunset

Washington is a wonderland for Travel Nurses!

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

Travel Nursing in WashingtonWashington State

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

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

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

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington #5 overall on their first-ever “Best States” list, based on criteria including economy, education, government, health care, crime & corrections, infrastructure, and opportunity. The report also ranked Washington #9 among the top states for healthcare, #2 for infrastructure, and #11 for economy.

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

To Do & See in Washington

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

Bridge of the Gods

The Colombia River Gorge is totally gorgeous!

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

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

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

Chihuly Sculptures and Seattle's Space Needle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Waterfront of Seattle on a sunny day

Ride the Great Wheel and check out the waterfront!

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

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

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

Beecher's Cheese

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

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

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

Leavenworth, WA

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

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

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

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

Washington Fast Facts
State Nickname: The Evergreen State

Capital: Olympia

Largest City: Seattle

National Parks: 15

State Parks, Recreation Areas, and Forests: 215

Woman hiking outdoors

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

National Historic and Natural Landmarks: 42

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

State Flower: Coast Rhododenron

State Animal: Steelhead Trout

State Vegetable: Walla Walla Sweet onion

Washington was the 42nd state.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seattle’s Space Needle is 605 feet tall.

Photo of Jimi HENDRIX

Jimi Hendrix is just one famous Washingtonian.

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

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

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

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

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

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