6 Famous African American Nurses

In honor of African American History Month, Travel Nursing Central would like to recognize a handful of the amazing African American nurses from throughout history.

According to a Department for Professional Employees 2012 fact sheet, African American RNs make up just 10.4% of the nursing population. That leaves a lot of untapped talent out there, and we’d love to see greater diversity in nurse and travel nurse demographics.

Here’s a little bit about 6 famous African American nurses, who will hopefully be an inspiration for future generations of nurses and travel nurses:

Mary Seacole 180x300 6 Famous African American Nurses

Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole

Although she encountered discrimination, Jamaican-born Seacole was instrumental to pioneering nursing and medical care in the 1800s. She traveled on her own dime to treat wounded soldiers from both sides during the Crimean War, and also established a boarding house where injured patients could recover and rehabilitate.

1 Mary Eliza Mahoney 234x300 6 Famous African American Nurses

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney

There were many who functioned as nurses before her, but Mahoney was the first African American licensed registered nurse. After graduating in 1879 and practicing, she went on to cofound the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and was also one of the original members of an early incarnation of the American Nurses Association.

3 Harriet Tubman 300x300 6 Famous African American Nurses

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

Her name is synonymous with the Underground Railroad and women’s rights activism, but Tubman was also a nurse who served the Union Army. In 1908 she also created the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, which specialized in caring for elderly African Americans.

4 Sojourner Truth 214x300 6 Famous African American Nurses

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth

Born into slavery in 1797, she’s known mostly as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist, but Truth was originally a nurse for the family she served. Later in life she was instrumental in advocating for funding for essential nurse training programs.

5 Hazel W Johnson Brown 240x300 6 Famous African American Nurses

Hazel W. Johnson-Brown

Hazel W. Johnson-Brown

Twice named the Army Nurse of the Year, Johnson-Brown faced down racial discrimination to become a nurse (eventually with a Master’s and PhD. Her skill led her to become the first African American woman to lead the US Army Nurse Corps and also the first to be promoted to brigadier general.

7 Estelle Massey Osborne 254x300 6 Famous African American Nurses

Estelle Massey Osborne

Estelle Massey Osborne

The first African American woman to earn a Master’s degree in Nursing, she fought throughout her life for visibility and educational equality for all nurses.

There are SO many more great examples, but we hope this list of 6 famous African American nurses is inspirational.

As for the present day we invite you to check out the National Black Nurses Association (founded by another great African American nurse leader, Betty Smith Williams). Their mission is “To represent and provide a forum for black nurses to advocate for and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color.” Click here to learn more about the NBNA.

share save 171 16 6 Famous African American Nurses

Travel Nurse Contests: Furnished Finder and Tafford Uniforms

Coffee Heart Travel Nurse Contests: Furnished Finder and Tafford Uniforms

What do these two contests have in common? Coffee!

I recently came across a couple of great travel nurse contests: Furnished Finder and Tafford Uniforms are both hosting some fun ones right now! Here’s a little bit of information on them. Get your game on!

Furnished Finder Property Review Contest

Furnished Finder wants you to share reviews of the three most recent properties you’ve stayed in while on assignment. The first 50 qualified folks will each win a $20 Starbucks gift card. Free coffee!

Click here to learn more about how you can win!

Tafford Uniforms American Heart Month Celebration and Contest

In honor of American Heart Month, Tafford Uniforms and Travel Nursing Blogs have teamed up to offer the chance to win a Littman Classic II Stethoscope. Three runner-ups will also win a Travel Nursing Blogs coffee mug with a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Click here to learn more about how you can win as well as 10 tips you can share for a heart healthy lifestyle!

Thanks for hosting these fun travel nurse contests, Furnished Finder and Tafford Uniforms!

share save 171 16 Travel Nurse Contests: Furnished Finder and Tafford Uniforms

Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 3: Why am I not getting interviews?

Resume Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 3: Why am I not getting interviews?

“Make sure to promote your value by listing all relevant experience on your resume.”

By Jeff Della Rosa
The Right Solutions

You might wonder what you’re doing wrong. You might worry that it’s you. But you need to ask yourself some important questions so you can determine why you’re not getting interviews. In part three of the series, we’ll address those questions and what you need to do to get interviews.

Look at your profile to see what hospitals are seeing. (Check out our sample profile below.)  What can you improve before you show it to potential employers? Is your profile presented in a digital format or is it handwritten? How about color? Deion Sanders said the first step of being good is to “look good.”

The resume is a snapshot into your life. It’s what potential employers look at before they call you for an interview. Make sure to promote your value by listing all relevant experience on your resume. Present most of your accomplishments and job duties in bullet points. Most human resource employees spend a minute at the most on your resume, according to Forbes. Because of this, your resume should be concise. Bullet points allow for them to find keywords more quickly. You might have to simplify it to keep it from being too long. It should not be more than two pages.

Why am I not getting interviews rev 595x1024 Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 3: Why am I not getting interviews?Maybe you have something in your resume that is turning off a potential employer. It’s important to not have employment gaps, or at least as few as possible. Share your experiences that have had positive outcomes. Strengthen your resume by listing multiple examples of these experiences. Consider writing out your objective in your profile. What do you want? Set goals and be specific.

Look at developing two resumes. One should be very detailed to include all your experience and skills. The second should be tailored to show that you have the experience to meet the requirements of the job you want. A resume that doesn’t show that you’ll excel at the desired position is the top reason most people aren’t getting interviews, according to U.S. News. Make sure your resume shows what you accomplished at your previous assignments. Don’t just list where you previously worked. This won’t tell a potential employer anything about how well you did at the jobs. People who get the most interviews list their achievements at each job. Human resource employees don’t care that you’ve worked a bunch of jobs in a row.

Write a cover letter that shows more than a summary of what you’ve already presented in your resume. If your cover letter is only a summary of your resume, it’s not going to help you, and you might as well not send one, according to U.S. News. A good cover letter will show why you will be good at the job you want. Be inspiring. Add some personality to your cover letter, and you’ll start getting calls for interviews.

Ask the right people to look over your resume and cover letter. You might have let multiple people look at your resume, and they tell you it’s fine. Don’t settle for a resume that’s fine. Make it great! Sometimes family and friends aren’t the best people to review your resume. Ask someone with hiring experience to look at it and provide feedback. A test to see whether someone will provide good feedback is to give them a resume with just a list of job duties instead of achievements. If they say it’s fine, you’ll know to look on for advice.

If you want a position in which you have no work history, explain to employers why you would be a great fit for the job. You can’t rely on them to figure it out. Others who are looking at the position you want might already have the needed experience to do the job. Because of this, getting this job will be a challenge. Employers might not be willing to take a chance on you when they have other applicants with previous experience in the position.

So we’ve covered three key areas on making yourself more marketable: promote your value, transition to advanced skills positions and how to get more interviews. We hope we’ve helped to make you more marketable. Good luck and go land your dream job!

Jeff Della Rosa is social media coordinator for The Right Solutions — a nationwide healthcare staffing company. Reach him via email at jdellarosa@therightsolutions.com. Find out more about The Right Solutions on our website, www.therightsolutions.com. Also, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

share save 171 16 Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 3: Why am I not getting interviews?

Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015

Best Hospitals Thumbs Up Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015

Thumbs up to the Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015!

No matter how great the location, the quality and culture of a hospital can have a lot of impact on the success of a travel nursing assignment. And there’s no one better to share feedback on hospitals than fellow travelers who’ve worked there themselves!

Travel nurses have been able to rate hospitals and facilities nationwide on Travel Nursing Central since 2005, and with the start of the new year we’ve just released our list of Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015.

In order to be considered for the Top 10, each hospital had to be voluntarily rated by at least two travelers and had to have one of the highest scores as of December 31, 2015. The score must also have been higher than 80 in order to be eligible for the list.

So, based upon traveler feedback, the Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015 are:

  1. Sharp Memorial Hospital (San Diego, CA)
  2. St. Alphonsus Hospital (Boise, ID)
  3. Shriners (Sacremento, CA)
  4. Wilcox Memorial Hospital (Lihuem, TX)
  5. White Plains Hospital (White Plains, NY)
  6. St Joseph/Carondet (Tucson, AZ)
  7. Mary Washington Hospital (Fredericksburg, VA)
  8. Falmouth Hospital (Falmouth, MA)
  9. LSU-SHC (Shreveport, LA)
  10. University of Madison Hospital and Medical Center (Madison, WI)

Click here to learn more about the Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015.

You can also click here to check out rankings and information for all reviewed hospitals. Each facility listed will list how many rankings it has, its score, and a link to “View Details.” From that link you can read how each hospital scored in 20 specific categories like parking, food, staff morale, technology, scheduling, friendliness, location, and more. This section also allows you to read actual reviews from travel nurses just like you!

share save 171 16 Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015

Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2015

2015 Best Bullseye Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2015

These Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2015 all hit the bullseye!

Travel Nursing Central has now posted our list of Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2015!

The list is established based on reviews by travel nurses throughout the previous year. In making the list there were more than 2500 ratings of 160 agencies based on 20 different criteria. In order to be considered, each agency must have a website, at least 15 ratings, and have been voluntarily rated by a travel nurse in the last three months. Only ratings submitted prior to December 31, 2014 are reflected in the list of Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2015.

This year’s top 12 includes:

  • Total Med Staffing
  • Flexcare Medical Staffing
  • Medical Staffing Solutions, Inc.
  • Advanced Surgical
  • Medical Solutions
  • The Right Solutions
  • Travel Nurse Across America
  • Quest Group
  • Trinity Healthcare Staffing
  • Talemed
  • Soliant Health Care
  • Valley Healthcare Systems Inc

Click here to see the full list which includes links to the website of each of these top travel nursing companies for 2015. This helps travelers get started doing their research and simplifies finding a company that best meets each of their individual needs when it comes to great jobs, benefits, and customer service.

share save 171 16 Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2015

7 Holiday Posts for Travel Nurses

HiRes 7 Holiday Posts for Travel Nurses

Get in the spirit with these 7 Holiday posts for travel nurses.

With Thanksgiving just behind us, and Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s upon us, it’s a fun time to get swept up in the spirit of the season, regardless of how you choose to celebrate.

Considering the season, I thought this round-up of 7 Holiday posts for travel nurses could be a festive way for nurses everywhere to celebrate the season.

Enjoy!

  1. Aureus shared a post with tips on how to Tackle Your Stress — not Holiday-specific, but since the Holidays can be so stressful, definitely timely and helpful.
  2. Fastaff’s blog shared this a list of the Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Traveling Nurses.
  3. Travel Nursing Blogs shared their list of 33 Holiday Movies Travel Nurses Will Love.
  4. Scrubs Mag invited nurses to Enter to Win the Very Merry Nursesmas Giveaway, where nurses can enter to win scrubs.
  5. Medical Solutions’ Blog offered tips on How to Make your Location Home for the Holidays, as well as these printable ornaments for those spending the Holidays away from home.
  6. Diversity Nursing shared the story of a nine-year-old boy who was struck by lightning, but will be home in time for Christmas.
  7. Finally, check out this heartwarming video of a PICU nurse making the holidays in the hospital brighter by singing to a premature baby.

Have you seen any other great holiday posts? Please feel free to add on to our list of 7 Holiday posts for travel nurses in the comments!

share save 171 16 7 Holiday Posts for Travel Nurses

Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 2: Transitioning to higher acuity units

Butterflies Grow Transition Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 2: Transitioning to higher acuity units

By Jeff Della Rosa

The Right Solutions

You have committed to the exciting field of travel nursing, and you want to be a successful healthcare traveler. You are ready to learn yet are unsure of the next step. We want to help you get there! We’ve spoken to long-time recruiters who have guided nurses and encouraged them on the path to success. They know what nurses have done to reach their goals. Our hope is that you land the job for you. This is part two in the series to help you get the job you want.

It’s time to determine your successful career path. Write down step-by-step the path you will take to reach the skill set you want and hang the plan on your mirror. Have a goal of where you want to be in a set number of years. Have patience and be realistic of how long it will take you to reach your goals. One cannot go from working in medical surgical to cardiovascular ICU overnight. As you develop your plan, choose a specialty you want to go into based on what you most enjoyed in nursing school. Select another specialty as a backup plan just in case.

Determine which certifications you will need. Take classes to earn them. If necessary, pay out of pocket for classes. For example, when working in medical surgical, a two-day oncology class might be offered for $200. Find out what assignments you will need to work. As an example, if you want to work in CVICU, recruiters recommend at least two years of experience in CVICU before working the unit as a travel nurse. Bring permanent experience to the job. Two years of experience working in a field such as ICU will help before starting to travel. This experience would allow you to transition from progressive telemetry to ICU.

Volunteer to float to different specialties during your assignments. Some specialties, such as medical surgical and oncology, might be on the same floor. Ask to float to work in other specialties. If you are in medical surgical, see if you can float to progressive telemetry or ICU. Put in your contract that you are willing to float to the units in which you have competency. Travel nurses are often the first to be asked to float. If available, accept opportunities to float to higher acuities. If moved to a higher acuity unit, learn from supervisors and ask questions. If working in progressive telemetry, you might watch a charge nurse remove wires from patients who have just come out of open heart surgery. Then, as you build up their trust in you, you might be given the opportunity to pull the wires. Gain more experience by shadowing a nurse on your own time. Make connections and develop a network of contacts to help you reach your goal.

Find out where help is needed.  Ask to be transferred to another department if a position you want becomes available. A hospital would rather move an existing nurse into an open position than hire someone new. Be flexible and have a good attitude. Do not narrow down your options. The more positions you are submitted for, the more interviews you will get. The more interviews you get the more offers you will have from which to choose.

Accept positions at teaching hospitals or academic medical centers. A teaching hospital offers opportunities to learn new skills while on the job. For example, if you are learning to treat burns, the charge nurse would see patients with serious cases, and they might be transferred to you to attend to as they recover. Gradually, you will be given more responsibility until you start to treat the more serious burns. These hospitals operate in conjunction with a university and foster a learning environment. Not only will nurses be developing their skills there, but also future physicians will be working on their residency there. The skills you learn at teaching hospitals will help you get assignments in the future. Here are some links to teaching hospitals: The University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M., The University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas.

While taking on new skills as a nurse is important to your career development, you might find that you are still struggling to get an interview for the job you want. Check back next month for the third blog about getting interviews.

Transition to higher acuity units illustration Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 2: Transitioning to higher acuity units

Jeff Della Rosa is social media coordinator for The Right Solutions — a nationwide healthcare staffing company. Reach him via email at jdellarosa@therightsolutions.com. Find out more about The Right Solutions on our website, www.therightsolutions.com. Also, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

share save 171 16 Make Yourself More Marketable, Step 2: Transitioning to higher acuity units

Travel Nursing Checklists

Checklist Travel Nursing Checklists

Check out these Travel Nursing Checklists!

There’s a lot to think of when you embark on a career as a travel nurse!

Whether you’re brand new or a vet, our Travel Nursing Checklists can be a huge help in getting and staying organized. We offer checklists that help you manage and navigate:

  • Travel Nursing Hospital Interview Questions — Put your best face forward and highlight your skills and flexible personality when interviewing.
  • Travel Nursing Agency Questions — Know what questions to ask when you are researching companies.
  • Travel Nursing Housing Questions — Know what questions to ask when making housing requests.
  • List of What Travel Nurses Pack — Make sure you think of all the important items that you will need while on assignment.
  • List of Documents Needed For Travel Nursing — Be prepared with all of the appropriate paperwork you will need to begin a job in travel nursing.
  • Travel Nursing Companies’ Contact Info — Contact more than 300 travel nursing agencies and figure out which company is the best fit for you.

Click here to check out our Travel Nursing Checklists in greater detail! We hope that they will help you find the right company and assignment, and ease your way from interviewing, to packing, to your first day on the job.

share save 171 16 Travel Nursing Checklists

Make Yourself More Marketable: Simple steps to get the job you want

Promote your value Make Yourself More Marketable: Simple steps to get the job you want

Abracadabra: Make yourself more marketable with these simple steps to get the job you want.

By Jeff Della Rosa
The Right Solutions

We’re excited you are looking to work in travel nursing. We want you to be happy with your career choice. We hope you land that dream job — the one you’ve always wanted but is seemingly out of reach. You wonder what more you can do to accomplish your goal. We’re here to help. We’ve done the research, and we’ve put together a series of blogs to give you some insight on how to get there. The first in the series is how to show prospective employers your value.

Dust off the awards, certificates and trophies you have earned as a nurse. Amaze a prospective employer with all your accomplishments. Sell yourself, but don’t sound like a salesperson, according to Harvard Business Review. Tell a story about an issue you or your department faced, explain your responsibilities and how you completed them. Be sure to say that you completed your responsibility. Speak about what happened as a result of your or your team’s accomplishment. You might have been recognized by a hospital. Show this recognition. Also present your caught-in-the-act and patient care awards. Don’t worry about being too modest on your skills checklist. Explain your experience and skills in a way that shows the value you have to offer, according to Forbes. Talk about what you have to contribute to a facility. Say whether you are bilingual, tell them about the charting systems you know and if you were a supervisor or have charge experience.

Present a solid work history. Show your experience at various hospitals. It is important to broaden your work history by taking shifts at multiple hospitals. The more places you work, the more people you work with. The more people you work with, the more you know. One of them might be your next solid reference who helps you get the assignment you want. Your solid reference must be someone who is easily reached and available to take call. Make sure to have a number of people who are willing to promote you. Have their cell phone numbers ready. When you have someone who can speak for you, it feels less like you are bragging and makes you look more credible, according to job-hunt.org. Get testimonials from several people to show how you are the right fit for the position. Another good source of information is a performance review from a supervisor. Use a positive review to describe your strengths. You can also use this information on your resume, which will be covered in an upcoming blog in this series.

While speaking highly on what you have to offer is important, it’s even more vital to show a broad work history as a nurse. Check back next month for the second blog in our series, and we will give precise details on how to develop your skills and succeed as a travel nurse.

Jeff Della Rosa is social media coordinator for The Right Solutions — a nationwide healthcare staffing company. Reach him via email at jdellarosa@therightsolutions.com. Find out more about The Right Solutions on our website, www.therightsolutions.com. Also, check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

 

share save 171 16 Make Yourself More Marketable: Simple steps to get the job you want

In the News: Kaiser Nurse Strike

Nurse Strike In the News: Kaiser Nurse Strike

In the News: Kaiser Nurse Strike

Nurse strikes happen. And when they do it’s often traveling nurses who step in as replacements to ensure that patient care does not suffer while their peers make a statement about safe staffing levels, contract negotiations, and other such issues. Currently in the news: the Kaiser Nurse Strike.

This week, an estimated 16,000-18,000 nurses went on a two-day strike from Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California’s Bay Area and nearby locations. The buzz has been that the nurses are striking about a perceived lack of Ebola preparedness. But, according to NBC Bay Area, a spokeswoman from the California Hospital Association, Jan Emerson-Shea, says the California Nurses Association union is “using the crisis to further its own agenda.” Emerson-Shea told NBC Bay Area that the union was “using Ebola as a ruse.”

The timing of the strike coincides with the National Nurses United union’s national “day of action” through which thousands more nurses across more than a dozen states have been rallying behind enhanced Ebola preparedness. In response specifically to the Ebola issue, Kaiser says it, “thoroughly follows state and federal protocols on Ebola preparation and response.”

According to NBC Bay Area, “The registered nurses on strike said they need Kaiser to focus on enhancing staffing levels to ensure safe patient services, for instance, not rushing a patient out on early discharge.”

A Kaiser rep countered that the system “matches the nursing staff to patient needs,” adding that Kaiser has “incredibly safe staffing” and offers resources in support of its nursing staff.

The Kaiser system and the California Nurses Association union have reportedly been in contact negotiations since July 2014, and reports indicate that these talks have been very strained.

Kaiser hospitals and facilities have stayed open during the strike, with replacement nurses providing patient care for them to do so.

Here’s hoping that whatever the outcome is, it includes safe staffing levels which are optimum for preventing nurse burnout and providing safe patient care.

share save 171 16 In the News: Kaiser Nurse Strike