Top 10 U.S. Cities for Nurses

Rochester, Minnesota, home to the Mayo Clinic, is the No. 1 city for nurses.

Rochester, Minnesota, home to the Mayo Clinic, is the No. 1 city for nurses, according to a Sunbelt Staffing study.

The beauty of a travel nursing career is that each assignment and each city are full of different experiences. You love the adventure, but you know as well as anyone that the cost of living across the U.S. varies greatly. So, which cities offer you the most for your career and your wallet?

The answer just might surprise you. Sunbelt Staffing, a healthcare staffing agency, has compiled a list of the top 10 best U.S. cities for nurses. The results are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospital quality scores from Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade, and the cost of living for cities across the country.

According to the report, each city received a grade based on the number of jobs in the area, a wage score gauging average wage and cost of living for three nursing roles, and hospital quality rankings.

So, without further ado, below are the top 10 U.S. cities for nurses:

  1. Rochester, Minn.
  2. Durham, N.C.
  3. Winston-Salem, N.C.
  4. Huntington, W.Va.
  5. Cape Girardeau, Mo.
  6. Columbia, Mo.
  7. Knoxville, Tenn.
  8. Pueblo, Colo.
  9. Jackson, Miss.
  10. Bloomsburg, Pa.

You can check out the full report here.

Share

5 Caffeine Alternatives For Travel Nurses

Take a crack at drinking coconut water instead of coffee. This refreshing beverage can help you stay alert during a long shift.

Take a crack at drinking coconut water instead of coffee. This refreshing and healthy beverage can help you stay alert during a long shift.

By Troy Diffenderfer

TravelNurseSource.com

We’ve all been there. The last few hours of a particularly tough shift just seem to crawl by. You’ll often grab another cup of coffee to get you through the day. How many cups is that? Four? Five? You might have even lost track.

Unfortunately, too much caffeine can become detrimental to your health. High blood pressure, heart palpitations, and trouble sleeping are just a few issues that could plague your nursing career. Luckily, these 5 caffeine alternatives for travel nurses will allow you to power through those rounds without the negative side effects.

  1. Teas: Many nurses are leaning toward tea for their energy fix. Green tea, Reishi mushroom tea, and yerba mate all pack a punch in the caffeine department. In particular, yerba mate is a great alternative to coffee. Preferred by many, yerba mate is filled with nutrients and provides the same coffee-like buzz. Even better, this alternative can also minimize the “crash” that many coffee drinkers experience. Yerba mate is made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the celebrated South American rainforest holly tree.
  1. Coconut Water: Not too fond of tea? Consider trying coconut water as your new beverage of choice. Known for its natural energy boosting properties, coconut water is a cleaner, more nutritious coffee alternative. Coconut water is naturally sweet, contains bioactive enzymes, and is chock-full of electrolytes, which makes it a good replacement for sugary sports drinks. Not surprisingly, this awesome refreshment’s popularity is on the rise.
  1. Smoothies: Trade in your sweet latte or flavored coffee drink for a fruit smoothie. Oftentimes, that afternoon slump you might experience isn’t from a lack of sleep — low blood sugar levels could just as easily be the culprit. So, fight the afternoon doldrums with a smoothie. Bonus tip: add nuts to your smoothie for a high-protein pick-me-up.
  1. Wheatgrass: What better way to start the morning than with a shot? Okay, not that kind of shot. We’re talking about a wheatgrass shot. Wheatgrass is a trendy alternative for those clinicians who need an energy boost pronto. Although it’s an acquired taste, nutritionally-speaking, wheatgrass is off-the-charts good for you. This natural energizer is full of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
  1. Exercise: Many assume that you need some sort of drink or snack to replace the typical boost you receive from coffee. However, exercise can actually go a long way to keeping you motivated throughout the day. A morning jog or daily stretching can help you tackle the day head-on. Exercise also releases endorphins, which help you feel energized and happy. Plus, you’ll be practicing healthy habits as well.

Make sure when you go to grab that cup of coffee that you’re thinking about these great caffeine alternatives.

Troy Diffenderfer is a digital content editor and marketer for TravelNurseSource.com. He’s worked closely with travel nurses all over the country to provide information as well as job placement in the field. In his free time, he enjoys reading as much as possible and listening to a wide range of music. He strives to provide the best possible content for all his readers in an informational and entertaining manner.

Share

5 Oscar-Winning Movies that Inspire Wanderlust

Just in time for this year’s Academy Awards, TNC has nominated 5 Oscar-winning movies that made us want to pack our bags and hit the road!  Read on and find inspiration for your next travel nurse adventure!

On your next travel assignment to New York, you could recreate your favorite scenes from Annie Hall.

On your next travel assignment to New York, you could recreate your favorite scenes from Annie Hall.

  1. Annie Hall (New York): This 1977 classic has stood the test of time. As you watch the tumultuous relationship between Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) unfold, you can’t help but fall in love with the film’s New York City setting. Iconic landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Beekman Theatre, and Manhattan House take center stage in this critically acclaimed movie. Annie Hall won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture in 1978.

 

  1. The movie Sideways will have you planning your next travel assignment to the Santa Ynez Valley.

    The movie Sideways will have you planning your next travel assignment to the Santa Ynez Valley.

    Sideways (California): Middle-aged two best friends decide to road trip through California wine country in this 2004 dramedy. Along the way, the men make different choices, learn life lessons, and grow as individuals. With winding coastal roads and sun-soaked vineyards as a backdrop, this film will make you yearn for the open road and a few bottles of wine. Sideways was nominated for four Oscars, and ultimately won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

 

  1. The Hawaiian landscapes in The Descendants are swoon-worthy. George Clooney's acting chops aren't too shabby either.

    The Hawaiian landscapes in The Descendants are swoon-worthy. George Clooney’s acting chops aren’t too shabby either.

    The Descendants (Hawaii): The Descendants follows the journey of Honolulu-based lawyer Matt King (George Clooney) who struggles with unexpected family drama in his otherwise dull life. The 2011 film won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, but we think the gorgeous island setting is the real show-stopper.

 

  1. Even though Scarlett O'Hara's plantation is a fictional place, you can still visit tons of historical Civil War sites across the South.

    Even though Scarlett O’Hara’s plantation is a fictional place, you can still visit tons of historical Civil War sites across the South.

    Gone with the Wind (Old South): This sweeping Civil War epic almost makes you wish you could travel back in time. Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara (Viven Leigh) loses her heart to Rhett Butler while struggling to maintain her family’s planation in the war-torn South. Shot in 1939, the three-hour-long film was the longest and most expensive film of its time. Gone with the Wind won a then record-breaking eight Oscars.

 

  1. Who doesn't love a road trip? Find your travel inspiration as you watch The Grapes of Wrath.

    Who doesn’t love a road trip? Find your travel inspiration as you watch The Grapes of Wrath.

    Grapes of Wrath (Route 66): The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama based on John Steinbeck’s famous novel of the same name. Set during the Great Depression, the film details the story of the Joad family as they journey across the U.S. in search of a better life. After watching this classic, you just might be inspired to road trip yourself on the historic Route 66. Widely considered by critics as one of the best films of all time, The Grapes of Wrath won two Oscars in 1941.

What other films have inspired you to travel? Let us know in the comments below!

Share

Five Blogs Every Travel Nurse Should Follow

These blogs can help you find the tools you need for a successful travel nurse journey.

These blogs can help you find the tools you need for a successful travel nurse journey.

Whether you’re new to travel nursing or a veteran, you need to be armed with the right tools to help you navigate your travel nurse journey. Fortunately, there are several blogs out in the social media universe to help you do just that. Even better, Travel Nursing Central has the rundown on which travel nursing blogs every travel nurse should follow in order to have a successful career below:

The Gypsy Nurse: Along with a new look, this trusted travel nurse blog also recently rolled out an excellent travel nurse toolkit. From a pay calculator to a housing database, you can easily find the information you need before you hit the road.

Travel Nurse Classroom: Mike, a former travel nurse recruiter, is the author of Travel Nurse Classroom, a blog and podcast.  The podcasts tackle complex industry topics, such as how to negotiate your pay, and have a refreshing agency insider viewpoint. This site deserves a second glance, especially if you’ve ever wondered about the inner workings of a healthcare staffing agency.

TravelNursingBlogs.com: This gem of a blog has a “Ask a Travel Nurse” section. It can be an incredibly powerful resource for new travel nurses. You can get answers to your most burning travel nurse questions from an experienced current traveler. What’s not to love about that?

Blue Pipes: Does tax season make you break out in a cold sweat? You’re certainly not alone. A travel nursing career can make for a tricky tax return, but don’t fret. You can find out all you need to know at Blue Pipes, a popular travel nurse blog. We really enjoyed this site’s comprehensive four-part article series on tax deductions for the travel nurse.

Travel Nursing Central: While we don’t mean to toot our own horn, the fact remains that TNC is a great resource for the travel nurse. TNC provides travel nurse advice, hospital reviews, and a travel nurse checklist. Our team also highly recommends reading the Top Travel Nursing Companies. These ratings are based on reviews from actual travel nurses, so it’s a great way to learn which agencies are respected by your peers.

Share

Top 12 Travel Nursing Companies for 2017

These top 12 Travel Nursing Companies are leading the way in 2017. Find out which ones were rated the best!

These top Travel Nursing Companies are leading the way in 2017. Find out which ones made the cut!

The results are in! Travel Nursing Central is happy to announce the Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2017! 

Our site compiled this annual list based on travel nurse reviews throughout the previous year. Your fellow travelers rated approximately 119 agencies based upon 20 different evaluative criteria, including benefits, pay, honesty, housing, efficiency, and more.

In order to qualify, each agency must have a website, at least 20 ratings, and have been voluntarily rated by a travel nurse in the last three months. Only ratings submitted on or before December 31, 2016 are reflected in the list of Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2017.

So, without further ado, this year’s top 12 are:

  1. FlexCare Medical Staffing
  2. Medical Solutions
  3. TotalMed Staffing
  4. Fusion Medical Staffing
  1. Talemed
  2. Host Healthcare
  3. Medical Staffing Solutions, Inc.
  4. LiquidAgents Healthcare
  1. Tailored Healthcare Staffing
  2. Next Medical Staffing
  3. United Staffing Solutions (USSI)
  4. Republic Health Resources

You can click here to see the full list for 2017. We hope this information will ultimately help you find a staffing agency that will best support your travel nursing career. Happy traveling!

Share

Top 5 Fitness Apps for the Travel Nurse

Fitness apps for the travel nurse

Jump-start your fitness goals for 2017 with these apps for the travel nurse!

January is all about New Years’ resolutions. If you’re like most of us, somewhere on your list of resolutions for 2017 is getting back into shape.  Heck, maybe you’re one of the lucky few who actually kept this resolution last year, and now you want to maintain your fitness level.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, it can be hard to keep your workout schedule when you’re a travel nurse. To help you reach your fitness goals while you’re racking up those travel miles, TNC has the top 5 fitness apps for the travel nurse below:

MapMyRun: You’re new in town — again — and you have no idea where the best jogging routes are. With MapMyRun, you’ll never be at a loss. From hiking trails to city streets, this cool app can help you find where all the cool kids are running these days. When you find a route you love, you can save it or share it with an online community of more than 40 million members. Plus, MapMyRun will send you tips on how to improve your workout so you can reach your running aspirations.

7-Minute Workout Challenge: This popular high-intensity circuit workout app can really benefit the busy travel nurse. You can do the challenge anywhere. All you need is a wall, a chair, and hypothetically 7 minutes of your time. You can repeat the workout to maximize your results, so 7 minutes could turn into 21 minutes if you’re going for the gold.

The workout includes a series of 12 bodyweight training exercises like squats or push-ups. Each move should be performed for roughly 30 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. Get ready to sweat, because the “high-intensity” part of this routine is no joke.

Dailyburn: If you like the idea of a personal trainer in the comfort of your own home, then DailyBurn could be your new fitness obsession. Dailyburn is an online streaming video program that allows you to pick from a variety of exercise routines led by several fitness experts. Fans of Dailyburn like the diversity of workout options. However, unlike some others on this list, Dailyburn is subscription based.

Sworkit: This fitness app has been likened to Spotify, but instead of song playlists, you can create a playlist of workout routines. The app allows you to choose from a variety of fitness programs or build your own. Plus, you can tell the app how long you want to work out for, so you can time it to your favorite TV show or podcast.

MyFitnessPal: This free app tracks your food intake and workouts to help you make better lifestyle choices. It’s a digital diet and exercise diary meets calorie counter. The best part? The app has a database of more than 5 million different food items, so it’s easy to track your intake no matter what you eat.

These top 5 fitness apps for the travel nurse make keeping your New Years’ resolutions easier than ever before!

What are some of your favorite workout routines when you’re on the road? Tell us in the comments section below!

Share

5 Holiday Decorating Tips for the Travel Nurse

With the holidays almost here, it’s time to deck those halls! As travel nurses everywhere know, decorating in a temporary home can sometimes mean wishing for a Christmas miracle. Never fear! With these 5 holiday decorating tips for the travel nurse, you’ll be able to make your home feel merry and bright without the help of Santa’s elves.

  1. Christmas wreath

    You can make a big statement in a small space with these holiday decor ideas!

    Invest in temporary wall hooks: These little gems make holiday decorating a breeze, especially for the travel nurse on the go! Hang these hooks anywhere — they’re easy to install and they won’t mess up your walls come January 1st.  Plus, they are perfect for Christmas stockings or wreathes! Which brings us to our next point…

  1. Purchase an evergreen wreath: Don’t have the space for a tree? No problem! Use a real pine wreath for instant holiday style. They’ll make your apartment smell like a Christmas tree without the mess. What’s not to love about that??
  1. Add sparkle with twinkle lights: Create a winter wonderland in just minutes. White or colored lights hung from your ceiling or draped gracefully over doorways can add a touch of glamour to tiny spaces.
  1. Hang ornaments from bookshelves: Who needs a tree to decorate when you have a bookshelf? Dress up your ordinary furniture with ribbons and glittering glass balls for full effect. Those wall hooks we mentioned earlier might come in handy here. Extra tip: you can hide the hooks if you stick them on the top of your furniture.
  1. Add a holiday throw pillow: If DYI really isn’t your thing, you can simply spruce up for your living room couch with fun, holiday throw pillows. No fuss, no muss. We told you it was easy! Need a few ideas? Click here!

Thanks to these 5 holiday decorating tips for the travel nurse, you’ll be ready for the season in no time!

Any decorating tips that we missed? Let us know how you adorn your apartment for the holidays in the comments below!

Share

7 Spooky Places to Visit as a Travel Nurse

Do you love ghost stories, or traveling to haunted places? If you’re a travel nurse with a penchant for the supernatural, you’re in for a treat! Halloween is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to visit one of these 7 spectacularly spooky places during your travel nurse adventures.

The Stanley Hotel has had a long history with ghosts. Flora Stanley, the hotel's original owner, is said to haunt the ballroom and play her piano at night.

The Stanley Hotel has had a long history with ghosts. Flora Stanley, the hotel’s original owner, is said to haunt the ballroom and play her piano at night.

  1. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO: This famous hotel is best known as the inspiration behind The Shinning. Built in 1909, the hotel first gained its ghostly reputation after a chambermaid was electrocuted in Room 217. Guests, including Stephen King, have reported strange happenings, such as belongings being unpacked, lights turning off and on, and hearing children laughing in vacant halls. Staff members and guests alike have also heard piano music playing in the empty ballroom. You can sign up for the Stanley’s day or evening tours here.
  1. The Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas: This beautiful Victorian hotel was once a spa for wealthy urbanites seeking a cure from the nearby springs. After modern medicine debunked the springs’ healing properties, the once bustling hotel closed its doors. The site is now said to be haunted by long-ago guests who checked in, but never left. Sort of like that Eagles’ song “Hotel California.”
  1. Whaley House, San Diego: The Whaley House has been many things during its long life. Most notably, the site was once San Diego’s first public gallows. It now operates as a museum, and uses its spooky status to its advantage. If you visit, you just might run into the ghost of “Yankee Jim” Robinson. He was a convicted thief who died there by hanging four years before businessman Thomas Whaley built the house in 1856. However, that didn’t stop the city from converting the mansion later into San Diego’s first commercial theater, courthouse, and general store.
  1. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, WV: Built in the 1880s to serve the mentally ill, this now abandoned facility is reportedly one of the most haunted places in America. If you visit this grim place, you’ll be grateful you were never a patient during its heyday. Treatments ranged from electroshock therapy to lobotomies. Daytime and evening tours are available for those seeking a brush with the paranormal.
  1. Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Fall River, MA: Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her father and stepmother in 1892. She was later acquitted of the infamous crime, but the murders were never solved. The mystery surrounding the murders still brings visitors to the home today, which now operates as a bed and breakfast. According to this attraction’s website, you can sleep in the very rooms where the crimes took place, host a séance, or search for spirits on a ghost tour.
  1. Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, KY: This famously haunted hospital is sure to scare even the most skeptical travel nurse. Waverly Hills once served as a tuberculosis sanatorium, where thousands of patients succumbed to the dreadful disease or the painful attempts at a cure. According to legend, one nurse committed suicide in Room 502. Today, several ghost hunters and visitors have claimed to experience unexplained phenomenon, like suddenly feeling cold, hearing slamming doors, and seeing ghostly apparitions walk across hallways. Want to visit? Click here to plan your trip!
  1. Villisca Ax Murder House, Villisca, IA: If you’ve ever visited southwest Iowa, you may have heard about the Villisca Axe Murder House. More than a century ago, eight people were brutally murdered there with — yep, you guessed it — an axe. The crime was never solved, and visitors now claim the victims’ ghosts can be seen hanging around the house.

Wherever you decide to celebrate, Travel Nursing Central wishes you a happy and healthy Halloween!

Share

Top 9 Tips for Adapting to the Night Shift

Switching to the night shift can be a rough transition if you're not prepared. Follow these tips to stay happy and healthy during your assignment!

Switching to the night shift can be a rough transition if you’re not prepared. Follow these tips to stay happy and healthy during your assignment!

By Haley Thomann

Fusion Medical Staffing, LLC

So you are about to embark on a new journey and a new contract. The pay is great. The location is perfect. The only thing holding back your full proclamation of excitement? You are going to be working nights — for the first time!

According to fellow travel nurses, here are the top 9 tips for adapting to the night shift:

  1. Block schedule: This seems obvious, but make sure you ask about your schedule. It can be very tough to transition back and forth between day and night when your shifts are separated throughout the week. Use that last night shift of the week to have a shorter sleep, it will help you adjust to daytime hours when you are off.
  1. Invest in room darkening curtains: This tip was unanimous when it came to our night shift warriors — even if you don’t work nights, these things are AMAZING! Toss in some ear plugs and a sleep mask if you are really sensitive.
  1. Request top floor apartment living: Since most people are working “normal” hours and have the weekends off, they aren’t usually considerate of the person sleeping below them. Make sure to request the top floor whenever possible for a little more peace and quiet.
  1. Start your day with breakfast: Some prefer to wake up at 5 p.m. and have dinner, but this is your new morning. Start it with breakfast! Regardless of what you eat when you wake up or before you go to sleep, make sure it is not something super heavy!
  1. Stay healthy: From eating healthy to getting exercise, these things will help your body stay functioning through the change and long hours. Consider meal prepping and packing a healthy lunch to keep yourself from grabbing junk food on your way home to crash for the night. (well, day.) Sleepless = bad cravings.
  1. Avoid caffeine: Yeah, we know, it sounds crazy! Why wouldn’t you slam a bunch of coffee and energy drinks to make it through? All that caffeine will start to take a toll on your body, so instead, STAY HYDRATED! It will help you in so many ways. Some travel nurses also suggest if you are going to have that caffeine, cut it off at 3 a.m.!
  1. Get some outside time every day: Soak up that Vitamin D! It certainly can’t hurt. If that still doesn’t feel like enough, invest in a nice sun lamp!
  1. Laugh and smile daily: Seems like weird advice? Night shifters typically have less social interaction, which can create issues with communication and the smoothness of a shift. Make sure to interact and bond with your coworkers. It will give you that little boost!
  1. Consider how you are getting home: Some of our travelers have had a bit of a commute when heading home after working nights. If you are too tired, DO NOT DRIVE HOME! Call a friend or take a little nap. Another tip from several of our night shift pros — wear DARK sunglasses when you head home in the daylight. That light can trigger your body to stay alert and awake, which will keep you up when you are trying to wind down.

Most importantly, listen to your body. It is a good idea to take a break from night shifts if you have been going at it for a long period of time. You know your own body, so take the best care of you that you can. Don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers what helps them out too!

Haley Thomann has been with Fusion Medical Staffing for just over 3 years, managing all its social media and content. She absolutely loves her side of the job because she gets to interact with amazing travelers, help potential travelers find the answers they need, and represent the Fusion brand. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her husband and 1-year-old daughter, Dylan Olivia. For more travel resources from Haley, check out Fusion’s blog at http://blog.fusionmedstaff.com/ or connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hwenthe.

Share

Travel Nurses Day 2016 is Coming!

travelnursesday.image

Don’t miss out on all the Travel Nurses Day fun!

Travel nurses everywhere have an extra special reason to say “Happy Fall Y’all!”

That’s because Travel Nurses Day is just around the corner! On Friday, October 14th, you’re invited to celebrate your career as a travel nurse. This year’s theme, “My Travel Nurse Shoes” will have you kicking up your heels in no time!

Created by Medical Solutions in 2013, the first Travel Nurses Day began as a simple way to show appreciation for all the hard work travel nurses do every single day. Now, in its fourth year, this annual celebration promises to be filled with even more games, contests, and quizzes for travel nurses, including:

  • A #MyTravelNurseShoes Instagram Contest
  • Quizzes — “What kind of shoe are you?”, “Where should you travel next?”, and “Is travel nursing in your future?”
  • Travel Libs
  • Photo Finds

Plus, you’ll have plenty of chances to win some amazing prizes, including:

  • A Fitbit Blaze
  • Shiatsu Back Massager
  • $130 Alegria gift card
  • $120 Dansko gift card
  • $75 Inkkas gift card
  • Dickies scrub sets
  • Artifact tote bags
  • JBL Clip+ Splashproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

You can visit TravelNursesDay.com anytime starting Oct. 7th to midnight Oct. 16th. Prize winners will be announced the following week.

Happy Travel Nurses Day to all you awesome travelers out there!

Share