If you would like to have a personal free consultation with Conrad and ask all of the questions you ever wanted to about travel nursing, this is your chance. This 16 second video will tell you what to do.
If you would like to have a personal free consultation with Conrad and ask all of the questions you ever wanted to about travel nursing, this is your chance. This 16 second video will tell you what to do.
Yes! But do not let that slow you down. If you are a registered nurse licensed in any state in the US it will be fairly easy to get your license endorsed in another state. Note that I said fairly easy. There are caveats, of course, and you will need to plan accordingly. Don’t go wandering around the Internet and spot that fabulous sounding job in California and think you are going to be working there next week. You aren’t. California just happens to be one of those states that take a little bit longer to get your license endorsed. So you will need a travel nurse licensing plan and you will need to think forward.
Maria and Kevin Lauer agree they’ve never had a bad assignment in their ten years of travel nursing as married travel nurses.
Together they’ve accrued more than 40 years of nursing experience and have been traveling with the Medical Solutions for the past two years, currently assigned to the El Centro Regional Medical Center in El Centro, Calif. “Travel nursing gives us the freedom to make our own schedules and work in hospitals and locations that appeal to us in our joined effort to foster good patient care and to provide opportunities to become the best nurses we can be,” said Kevin Lauer, RN, BSN, a retired Naval Officer and experienced OR nurse. To meet these goals we say a prayer each day that we will make a positive difference in our patients’ lives.”
“We love nursing and give our all because we want our patients to have a successful recovery,” Maria, an RN and ICU nurse concurred. “Traveling across our country is an asset because we get the chance to monitor the pulse of American healthcare and experience our country’s beauty and diverse culture. Travel supports learning about the unique ways patient care is approached in different places.”
The hallmark of the Lauer’s married travel nurses career occurred when they were assigned for more than a year to Doctors Hospital in Augusta, GA., home of the 70-bed Joseph M. Still Burn Center, the largest burn center in the United States. Among the 3,000 patients treated there each year were a five day old infant and a 101 year old adult, Maria recounted. “Most adult burns occur due to accidents and injuries caused by flame, steam, noxious chemicals and gases,” she said. “Burn patients endure great physical and emotional pain and discomfort and often require multi-level nursing care to treat existing health conditions, like cardiac related problems, diabetes and those who require bedside hemodialysis due to electrolyte imbalances and renal failure. Travel nursing has given me opportunities to work in a variety of speciality ICUs and those experiences have broadened my nursing expertise.”
Skin grafts are required for deep second and third degree burns that call for surgical procedures to harvest skin about the size of a letter envelope, Kevin explained. Skin is usually harvested from patients’ thighs. When burns are severe and there’s no available skin to harvest from donors, cadaver skin is harvested and preserved within freezers until needed. During skin grafts patients’ skin is scraped to induce blood flow and the skin graft is stapled into the skinless area of the body. This procedure is repeated every three days for about three weeks. “When skin is required but not available from patients, donors or cadavers, skin cells are harvested and sent to a special laboratory where skin is grown from cells and then grafted into a patient’s skinless area to continue the growth cycle,” Kevin said.
While assigned to Doctors Hospital Kevin recalled being scheduled to work in the Main OR for General Surgeries. However, plans changed when he was asked to float to the Burn OR due to his advanced skills gained while working in different types of ORs where he assisted surgeons with a variety of surgical procedures. “At first I found the Burn OR to be a difficult and sad place that took time to get used to. I also witnessed some awesome recoveries. It’s a wonderful feeling when you see patients who’ve sustained burns in 90 percent of their bodies walk out of the hospital. I enjoy OR nursing because I have an active role in the surgical process and can see what I’m doing makes a positive difference.”
“A love of nursing increases our capacity for human compassion and transcends human frailty,” Maria commented.
The Lauer’s call Pensacola. Fla. their home where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, and attending winter sky shows presented by the Blue Angels. As their family includes eight adult children and numerous grandchildren, some who live in other states, they enjoy having time off to visit them. Being married travel nurses has given them the ultimate way to share their love of people, travel and nursing.
I put these up for my nurses and others in case they are using Extended Stay America. They just sent me this discount code.
Let me know if these are of any value to you. You do not need to be a travel nurse to use this.
All the best-Conrad
Thanks for the question, Kimberly.
A travel nurse for ten years from 2002 to 2012, Mary Jo Alessio’s career was cut short by the “Super Storm Sandy. “I was working at NYU Medical
Center in Manhattan when Hurricane Sandy hit on October 29th, 2012. By the end of that week all travel nurse contracts were cancelled,” Mary said.
During 2002 when Alessio first considered travel nursing jobs were hard to find in Buffalo NY, Alessio’s home town. “A friend told me about a woman she met at the dog park who said travel nursing agencies were hiring RNs and I applied for a job. As a travel nurse you have to work in the nursing speciality that is most current for you and the travel nursing agencies generally require that you have at least a year or two experience in a nursing speciality,” she advised. When she decided to travel Alessio was working as a psychiatric nurse.
“While working as a travel nurse in New York, North Carolina and Oakland, California I’ve learned more about taking care of people of all ages, being flexible, getting along with others and be willing to compromise by doing things my employer’s way rather than my way.”
Although she worked briefly for World Wide Travel and Onward Healthcare, Alessio pointed out most of
her assignments were with Supplemental Health Care. “My first recruiter was Katherine Patchell and my assignment was at Greensboro, North Carolina where I still maintain many friendships that have spanned the years,” she continued.
During her travel career Alessio has had a variety of assignments. They include a wound care clinic, a drug rehab
center, an acute drug detox clinic, acute and long term psychiatric units as well as medical units in hospitals. Travel nursing has helped me to adapt well to new situations, and as I’ve worked in different hospitals at different locations I’ve gained confidence in my nursing skills.”
As an example, one important skill for travel nurses is to become familiar with various computer documentation systems
that may vary in each hospital setting. Alessio advised. “A hospital will generally orient you to the unit and the computer documentation system they utilize. It’s a good idea to keep a log of these systems because in many situations that information becomes part of the interview process.”
Each state also has different application requirements, so it’s advisable to access each state’s Board of Nursing website to discern if that state is a compact state, one that has an agreement with Member states to recognize each member’s nursing license. You need to know what requirements are necessary to complete the process and also become aware of the financial considerations for each state. Travel nursing agencies will help you with this.
“During my 26- year nursing career I’ve worked in more than 40 hospitals and have gleaned not only more nursing experience but also good insights about being a successful travel nurse, “ Alessio told us.
Here Are Some Considerations
Although she had planned to continue her travel nursing career a family crisis changed her plans. Alessio sought and accepted a full-time position. “Travel nursing was a perfect niche for me and I miss it terribly. However, the skills I learned as a travel nurse have been a great benefit when transitioning to full-time employment.” Alessio is employed by Headway of Western New York, a Medicaid waiver program affiliated with People Incorporated. “I’m the only nurse evaluator for six counties,” she explained. “I review people’s eligibility for nursing home transition, a Medicaid waiver program and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) program. We provide comprehensive services to assist people to stay in their homes versus a nursing home. We also assist people who chose to leave a nursing home and provide them with comprehensive home care services. As we’re overseen by the NYS Department of Health, so we’re kind of like an arm of the health department,” she said.
The flexibility gleaned from her days in travel nursing have given her skills to be a better nurse in her new environment.
If you would like to get more information on travel nursing in general or specific travel nursing jobs in particular locations you can contact Conrad here.
“Travel Nursing is a blessing and I do my best to live in the moment and enjoy each unique experience.” True to her ideal, last summer Adrienne Chamberland, RN accepted a special assignment from her employer, Medical Solutions, to care for “chronically and sometimes critically ill” children at the Roundup River Ranch in Gypsum, Colorado. Instead of working at a city hospital ER she had the chance to work at a children’s camp in the Northeast Colorado countryside. “At first glance you wouldn’t notice anything was wrong with the kids,” she said. “After spending time with them you realize all they’ve been through and it’s amazing that some of them survived at all. The camp experience provides children with opportunities to be with others like them and know they’re not alone because other kids have serious health issues too. Aware of that reality kids have fun instead of worrying about their diagnoses.”
On site are six cabins that accommodate one nurse and 12 children aged 7 to 17. A second nurse may be assigned according to children’s illnesses and levels of disability. “Peritoneal dialysis is done in campers’ cabins so they don’t have to spend the night away from their cabins,” Chamberland said. “This is important for kids because it enables them to feel like everyone else.”
Generally nurses monitor children’s health conditions to assure they have routine medications andother necessary medical procedures during their stay. “The goal is to integrate their normal routines into their camp experience without taking them out of activities,” Chamberland explained. Prior to the start of each week- long stays the goal of medical and nursing professionals is to review children’s health information to insure they’re healthy enough to enjoy the camp experience. Pertinent information about major illnesses is shared with counselors, and every camper is assessed for any potentially communicable diseases like rashes, flu, cold like symptoms and lice. “We ensure the children have enough medications and medical supplies on-hand and talk with parents about special routines that would help to make the experience a positive one,” she said.
Trained as first responders should emergent situations occur, nurses make sure treatments that are done at home are completed at camp. Procedures take place at a medical building known as “The Depot” and may include bowel programs, urinary catherization, tube feedings, infusions, and complex dressing changes. “An interesting procedure for children with cystic fibrosis involves wearing a Respiratory Secretions Vest,” Chamberland said. “Worn for about ten minutes the vest vibrates to loosen chest excretions to make breathing easier and to prevent respiratory illnesses.” The Depot is equipped with examination rooms and those with hospital beds to accommodate children who may require overnight care.
As an ER nurse Chamberland agreed she didn’t have a lot of exposure caring for children with chronicillnesses prior to her camp experience. “Emergency room care is focused on immediate problems and not routine care,” she said. “While at camp I learned how to communicate more effectively with children and have more confidence dealing with similar cases and situations outside the camp. I treasure memories of this place and can’t wait to get back there,” she said. The camp experience has made me a better nurse and a better person.”
“I’ve discovered I love my travel life and enjoy visiting different cities where I have been assigned,” Chamberland said. “Although my hometown is Marion Kansas, most of my travel assignments have been focused in Wichita, Kansas. Travel nursing presents many opportunities to learn how things are done in other places, and a way to find out more about medical and nursing procedures and interventions,” Chamberland pointed out. ”It’s also provided me with opportunities to see family and friends who live across the country.” She expressed interest in different types of activities by attending local cultural festivals and visiting historical sites. “I’ve also taken in various museums and classical musical events. Exploring different parts of a city is a nice pastime as each one provides a different perspective and personality.” Chamberland suggested quizzing nursing colleagues and friendly neighbors to learn more about activities happening around the city, finding out where they’re located and what they have to offer.
“Nursing is a challenging endeavor and a constant learning process,” said Chamberland, currentlyassigned at St. Luke’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas. “This career requires a positive attitude, a willingness to be flexible and the intent to do everything required of you with a smile on your face; a simple smile that may be all it takes to change someone’s outlook. I’ve only been traveling seven months and I know being of service to others is where I thrive most. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
I recently received this information from Soliant, a nursing staffing company and I thought it might be of interest to those of you interested in travel nurse jobs salaries. While this report appears to relate mostly to regular registered nurse positions those salary structures almost always are reflected in travel nurse job salaries, too. Here is the email I received……..
As you know, nursing is the single most common profession in America, with more than 3 million RNs alone. However, nursing salaries and hourly wages vary significantly across regions, workplaces, and employment circumstances.
To help put official statistics into perspective, Soliant recently compiled a full guide for nurses to understand the average pay for nurses nationwide, which I thought you and your readers might find interesting and hopefully useful.
Encouraged by her husband to take a chance on a travel career, Renae Conner, RN has been employed by Trustaff, a supplemental staffing company, for more than seven years. A resident of Murray IA, she’s a medical-surgical night nurse currently assigned at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, CA. “The staff here at St. Agnes is very welcoming and helpful and that’s a good feeling when you’re on assignment,” Conner said.
“During my years as a travel nurse I’ve noticed patients’ ages on admission have increased. Recently I cared for a 99- year-old who was as healthy as a horse until this past fall,” Conner said. She mentioned new advancements in treatments and prevention, especially in infection control practices, and pointed out patients are better educated about their health conditions and more comfortable asking questions. “Hospitals tend to discharge patients earlier than they used to, and I think they’ve learned we were discharging patients too fast and without help at home.”
According to Conner, Methodist Hospital in Mansfield, Texas is her favorite assignment “because management staff put patients first and encourages all employees, including travel nurses, to be respectful of each other at all times,” she said. “This philosophy is also expected of doctors on staff as they’re advised to treat all nurses with respect in every interaction. At Methodist Hospital nurses are treated as valued professionals.”
During the course of her travel nursing career Renae has been on more than 15 assignments.
Differences in semantics and the use of terminology can be a problem, Conner asserted. While assigned to a hospital she questioned terminology used in a nursing policy that described restraints as behavioral devices. “I didn’t understand what those words referred to as words can be interpreted differently by those who read them. To me, the only words that should be used in nursing policies and procedures are those that are universally used and understood by everyone.”
“I’ve met a lot of nice people travel nursing, many of them new friends,” she smiled. “I’ve enjoyed working and being with other travel nurses because of the comaradie we have being together. I’ve also had a couple of travel nurse roommates and you get to know them better than other friends. When you live with someone else you feel less lonely as you are a distance from home and family.”
Hospital staff nurses are generally helpful towards travel nursing staff and share specific information about individual doctors and the care they require for their patients, Conner pointed out. “Most staff nurses I’ve worked with are collegial professionals willing to take newcomers in hand while they explain and show them how their hospital cares for patients and assists their families,” she said.
Yuba City, CA. is near the top of Conner’s list of favorites because of the outdoor activites available and location near Lake Tahoe “where its beauty is breathtaking.” Another is the Pismo Beach area situated along California’s Central Coast. “It’s a coastal area where you can unwind and soak in ocean breezes while you enjoy listening to the booming sounds of waves as they hit the shore,” she said. “Hiking is also a relaxing activity that gives you a chance to look around and see different scenes, and its lots of fun when friends come along. Sometimes I like to get away by myself because it gives me so much serenity,” Conner advised caution about places to hike, especially if you go alone.
Once experienced in their nursing speciality I think it’s a good idea for nurses to embark on a travel career, even for little while, because there’s so much to learn. “One of the most important things I learned is how to stand up for myself,” Conner declared. While assigned to a hospital where unit staff nurses weren’t supportive she noticed her assignments were the most difficult to complete. To remedy the situation she requested a meeting with the unit manager. “During our conversation I spoke to her in a calm and respectful manner as I told her the facts as I knew them to be,” she said. “The manager listened carefully, agreed I was being taken advantage of, and did what she could to correct the situation. Sometimes it’s best to bite your tongue while at other times you have a responsibility to stand up for yourself,” Conner advised.
“Travel nursing is a wonderful career, “she said. “And, I think in a large part its due to my recruiter, Mike Williams. “I’d recommend looking for a recruiter like Mike who is honest enough to tell you the truth about yourself, a place or how a system works. Like me, you need a recruiter who is caring and willing to back you up, as needed.”
Prospective travel nurses can now get information from many different agencies filling out one easy form. Sit back and let them bid for you! It could not be simpler.
How about having a relaxed conversation and getting questions answered? If you would like to talk personally with an expert, Conrad will answer your questions.
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