3 Things to Know About the eNLC

Are you ready for the new and improved eNLC?

Are you ready for the new and improved eNLC?

Since 2000, the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) has allowed nurses to provide care in multiple, participating states with just one license. Now, 25 member states and several years later, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing is giving the NLC a makeover.

The new compact, known as the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), will be effective on January 19, 2018. Among other additions, the eNLC adopted 11 uniform licensure requirements and revised its policy on federal criminal background checks.

So, what does that mean for you, the travel nurse? Here are the top 3 things you should know about the eNLC implementation process:

  1. Not all current NLC member states will be in the new eNLC. The NCSBN enacted the eNLC on July 20, 2017 when 26 states passed eNLC legislation. However, other states needed more time to become eNLC members, hence the January go-live date. During this transitional phase, some states have passed legislation, others are in the process, and a few states, like Colorado, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, will remain in the original NLC. 
  1. The eNLC has a few new members. The good news is that Wyoming, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Georgia, and Florida are now part of the eNLC club. So, that means travel nurses who meet the new eNLC requirements will have additional states in which they can practice. 
  1. These changes could affect you. According to the NCSBN’s website, travel nurses in eNLC states that were members of the original NLC may be grandfathered in. There are a few exceptions. If you obtained your perm state compact license on or after July 20, 2017, then you will need to meet the new eNLC requirements. Additionally, if you are in a state that was not part of the original NLC, but will be a part of the eNLC, then you will need to update your license to be eNLC compliant. Note that if you are in a state that has passed eNLC legislation, you will no longer have privileges in Colorado, Wisconsin, New Mexico or Rhode Island. You can, however, get a single state license for these states.

Want more information on the eNLC implementation process and where your state stands? We have a few helpful resources for you:

eNLC FAQs

NCSBN’s Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact Implementation 

The Nurse Licensure Compact

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7 Helpful Pieces of Advice for New Travel Nurses

A career in travel nursing offers several key differences from a traditional nursing position. For many nurses, it is a uniquely exciting career, offering experiences and new settings they would not experience otherwise.

For some nurses, travel nursing offers the right combination of excitement and job flexibility.

If you’re interested in a travel nursing career, read up on personal accounts by experienced travel nurses, and take the time to select the right travel nursing agency. Here are seven other helpful pieces of advice for new travel nurses.

1. Organize All Essential Documentation

The ability to plan ahead is essential to a successful travel nursing career. Make sure you have the following on hand for when you sign with a travel nursing agency:

  • Current nursing license and specialty certifications
  • Immunization records
  • List of references with contact information
  • Professional resume highlighting your skills and strengths

Having these important pieces of information ready makes it easier to prepare for phone interviews with potential employers, because you can focus more on questions you want to ask and on understanding policies and schedules.

2. Keep an Open Mind and Remain Flexible

In addition to excellent planning ability, you must also have a certain amount of flexibility. Ultimately, a travel nursing career can allow you to tailor your career to your desire to travel, or to your family’s needs, but especially at first, you must be prepared to be flexible and accept assignments with an open mind.

3. Learn How to Pack Strategically for Assignments

Don’t expect to pack perfectly the first time. Strive to pack light, yet know what your “essentials” are, whether that’s family photos, a personal journal, or a special throw or bed pillow. Travel nursing agencies will inform you about what is available in any housing they provide. Over time you will learn what really is necessary and what you can leave at home.

4. Understand Pay Rates and Other Benefits Before Accepting an Assignment

An outstanding travel nursing agency welcomes questions, so don’t be shy inquiring about benefits, base salary, canceled shift policies, shift differentials, and other pertinent information. Determine whether benefits like health insurance are offered, and if so, what percentage of the premiums you’ll be responsible for.

The right travel nursing agency is happy to answer your questions. 

5. Allow Yourself Plenty of Time to Prepare for Your First Shift

Generally, it’s better to show up more than one day before your start date. If you can allow a few days to settle in, rent a car (if necessary), learn your commute time, and stock up on food and household items, your first day on the job will be far less stressful. Knowing your neighborhood, including things like where the local supermarket is, can also minimize stress.

6. Realize that Getting Accustomed to Travel Nursing Takes Time

Travel nursing isn’t for every nurse, and those who are well-suited for this path may not realize it at first. Once you learn to pack well, save receipts, and take care of the details, you’ll be able to evaluate travel nursing as a career choice and determine if it is right for you. Many nurses choose travel nursing and can’t imagine doing it any other way.

7. Choose the Right Travel Nursing Agency

The importance of choosing an outstanding travel nursing agency cannot be overemphasized. Your agency should be large enough to offer you the opportunities you want, yet small enough to provide the attention you need, answer your questions, and generally have your back as you take on travel nursing assignments. The right travel nursing agency is ready to listen to you, answer your questions, and help you build a career that lets you shine and that provides the challenges and rewards you want.

Travel nursing offers many amazing opportunities. Not only can nurses pursue travel to places they may never have had the chance to go, travel nurses with families can schedule their assignments to mesh with school schedules, or a spouse’s schedule, offering flexibility and earning power. If you are interested in travel nursing, Travel Nursing Central invites you to fill out our sign-up form. It’s an important first step towards what could be an outstanding nursing career for you.

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Celebrate Travel Nurses Day 2017!

Calling all travel nurses: it's Travel Nurses Day this Friday, October 13th!

Calling all travel nurses: Travel Nurses Day is Friday, October 13th!

Everywhere you look, there are pumpkin spice lattes, leather boots, and a colorful pageant of vibrant leaves. It must be fall.

For travel nurses, the fall season also means a special holiday, Travel Nurses Day, is near. Created by Medical Solutions, Travel Nurses Day celebrates the hardworking spirit of travel nurses everywhere. This Friday, October 13th is your chance to treat yourself and celebrate your travel nursing career.

Over at Medical Solutions, they’ve started the festivities early. Starting today, you can play games, enter contests, listen to music, and win PRIZES all week long!

Here’s the delightful lineup for Travel Nurses’ Day 2017:

Contests and Games

  • A #NurseLaughLove Photo Contest on Instagram
  • Quizzes such as, “Where Should I Travel Next?” and “What’s Your Ultimate Source of Bliss?”
  • Two sets of fantastically fun Photofinds
  • Two sets of terrifically tremendous Travel Libs
  • A Find Your Bliss Playlist to keep you rocking through your special day

Prizes:

You can visit TravelNursesDay.com anytime starting now until midnight, central standard time on Oct. 15, 2017. Prize winners will be announced the following week.

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

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The Case for Travel Nurse Recruiters

A great recruiter can be your friend and guide during your travel nurse journey.

A great recruiter can be your friend and guide during your travel nurse journey.

Travel nurses and their recruiters are a dynamic duo in the healthcare staffing industry. Like peanut butter and jelly or mac and cheese, one without the other is unthinkable. That is, until now.

Nomad Health, a site that directly connects freelance doctors to healthcare systems without a middleman, recently expanded their services to travel nurses as well.

Before you jump on the recruiter-free bandwagon, you should carefully consider all the advantages you have with a recruiter on your side:

Pay: According to Nomad’s website, travel nurses will automatically earn more money since medical facilities are saving on recruiter fees. Taken at face value, this statement seems to make sense. However, you should keep in mind that no two bill rates are the same, so there’s really nothing “automatic” about better pay. In fact, in some cases, a recruiter can actually help you advocate for a better compensation package.

Jobs: Without recruiters, Nomad claims you can find job opportunities on your own terms. While that certainly sounds liberating, it’s simply not true. As a travel nurse, you don’t have to take any job you don’t want. Likewise, a great recruiter is your partner in your job search, and that means he or she can help you land your dream job. Your recruiter knows what hospitals are looking for in a candidate, so he or she can offer you sound career advice when needed. Plus, as an industry insider, your recruiter may know of jobs that haven’t even been advertised yet.

Safety Net: Besides job opportunities and pay, travel nurses also need to consider their safety while on assignment. In an ideal world, your travel nursing assignment would go off without a hitch, but that’s unfortunately not always the case. Just look at Travel Nursing Central’s Sticky Situations Q&A section! Your recruiter is your friend and safety net when something unexpected happens to you while on assignment. When you think of the alternative, who would you call? The Ghostbusters?

So, while it’s tempting to ditch your recruiter, this model probably wouldn’t add up to an overall amazing travel nursing experience. A recruiter offers you several advantages including industry knowledge, career advice, and a helpful ear should something unexpected happen.

What do you think? Is a recruiter-free agency appealing or do you plan to stick with your recruiter? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Fantastic Summer Reads for the Travel Nurse

Looking for a few good beach reads for your summer travel assignment? We've got you covered!

Looking for a few good beach reads for your summer travel assignment? We’ve got you covered!

Whether you hanging out at the beach or waiting in an airport terminal for your next flight, a good book can make any travel nurse adventure more fun. So, in the name of summer road trips, we’ve compiled 5 fantastic summer reads for the travel nurse. Happy reading!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, a poor black farmer, was dying from cancer. Before her death, some of her cells were removed during a biopsy and cultured without her permission. Henrietta’s cell line, known by scientists as HeLa cells, became the basis for several medical breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine. Today, however, Lacks’ family can’t afford health care. This 2010 bestseller tells an astonishing story where race, science, and ethics collide.

Anatomy of a Super Nurse: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Nursey: This is a must-read for any recent nursing school grad! Acclaimed blogger and author Kati Kleber, BSN, RN, CCRN, shares her experiences and provides hilarious insights and practical tips on how to survive that crucial first year in the nursing field. Even seasoned nurse veterans will get a chuckle out of Kleber’s storytelling.

The Hospital at the End of the World: Thinking of taking your travel nursing skills overseas? Then you need to pick up The Hospital at the End of the World. This nonfiction narrative describes one nurse’s adventures while teaching for a summer in Nepal. It’s Eat, Pray, Love meets Seven Years in Tibet.

I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse: This is a collection of short stories about real-life nurses’ experience in the demanding world of healthcare. Several nurses in different stages of their career share their “firsts”, their struggles against burnout, and ultimately what keeps them in the profession. Warning: This book will make you laugh and probably ugly cry.

Outlander: If you’re looking for pure summer escapism, you won’t regret reading Outlander. In this Diana Gabaldona bestseller, WWII British army nurse Claire Randall accidentally travels back in time to 18th century Scotland. While trying to find a way back to her own time and husband, Claire is forced to marry Jamie, a young Highlander. Things get complicated when Claire finds herself falling in love with the Scottish warrior.

Wherever your travel nursing journey takes you this summer, we hope you enjoy these great reads!

P.S. What are you reading this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

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4 Tips for Working with a Traveling Nurse Recruiter

Open communication with your recruiter can make your travel nursing journey easier.

Open communication with your recruiter can make your travel nursing journey easier.

By Susan Whitman | Sr. Vice President & CFO at Freedom Healthcare Staffing

So, you’ve decided to become a traveling nurse. Congratulations! There’s a lot of planning to do as you begin this journey, but the most important might very well be developing communication with your recruiter. Yes, thinking about your first desired location, how you’re going to lightly pack for 13 weeks and what your furbaby will need for the journey are all important, but before getting overwhelmed, find comfort in knowing your recruiter is there to help you with all of this and more. To enjoy such useful support, communication with recruiters must be at an all-time high.

With these 4 tips, you’ll grow into your new travel nursing position without sweating the small stuff.

What’s Your Preferred Method of Communication?

45% of job seekers think texting is a professional way for recruiters to communicate with them. Whether you prefer texting, Facetime or even Facebook Messenger, let your recruiter know what you’re most likely to check often.

Your recruiter will need to be able to contact you frequently, and you want him or her to, especially if one of your preferred facilities has openings. Don’t let perfect assignment opportunities slip through the cracks because the email inbox is archaic to you. There will be times when you need advice or guidance through your current assignment as well. So, the easier it is for your recruiter to contact you, the better your experience will be.

It’s Okay to Say No

Honesty is extremely important when working with a traveling nurse recruiter. Don’t feel bad if they present you with an assignment you’re less than excited about. You decided to become a traveling nurse for many reasons, one of which was the ability to explore different cities across the nation. It’s acceptable to be a little picky about the places you want and don’t want to visit. After all, the traveling from facility to facility in new towns and cities is an amazing perk!

“You know how to take care of people, this is what you were born to do… You will find that traveling brings back the best part of nursing. It allows you to take care of your patients without having to get hung up on the inner workings of the unit,” said Crystal Gustafson, RN

Don’t get stuck in an assignment because you didn’t want to turn down the recruiter. It’s best to tell them yes or no immediately so they don’t end up doing extra work when they could be finding jobs you’d love.

Get Organized

If you’re brand new to the traveling industry, there are many things you need to set straight before accepting your first assignment. Don’t miss a dream opportunity because you didn’t prepare everything ahead of time. Run through this list before saying, Y-E-S:

  • Get up-to-date on all your vaccinations
  • Apply for your new state license
  • Get your car checked for updates and necessary repairs
  • Give a house key to a trusted family member or friend
  • Stop your mail for the length of your assignment
  • Call your bank and notify them you’ll be leaving for X amount of weeks
  • Ask someone to take care of your lawn if you have one that needs tending to
  • Set up automatic bill payments

With all the essential duties out of the way, you can focus on working with your recruiter to find a great opportunity.

Be True to You

Know what you want in your assignments before letting your recruiter send you any ol’ open positions. Do you have specific compensation preferences? A short list of states you hold licenses in? Certain times of the year you’re available or unavailable to travel? Are you traveling with a pet or partner? Your recruiter needs these specific guidelines so they can focus their research on the positions that suit your lifestyle.

Create an open and easy relationship with your recruiter. He or she will be your partner in finding the opportunities you really want. The better you understand one another, the greater your chances of forming a successful traveling nurse career. And, with their help, you’ll never be alone in your travels.

What are your biggest concerns about taking your job nation-wide?

Susan is the Senior Vice President & CFO of Freedom Healthcare Staffing, a staffing agency for traveling nurses across the U.S. based in Aurora, Colorado. Susan has over 20 years of experience in the hospital & staffing industries beginning in 2001 as the Vice President of Fastaff Travel Nursing. The Freedom Healthcare team and Susan take pride in helping their travelers find the healthcare jobs of their dreams, providing support, outstanding benefits, and unbeatable compensation. Learn more about Freedom Healthcare: http://www.freedomhcs.com/.

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Happy Nurses Week 2017!

Nurses Week is May 6-12th! Celebrate your nurse profession and take advantage of these discounts, games, and contests!

Don’t miss out on all the discounts, games, and freebies for nurses! Nurses Week is May 6th – 12th!

Nurses Week is almost here! To help travel nurses everywhere celebrate in style, Travel Nursing Central’s has the following rundown of 2017 Nurses Week prizes, freebies, and discounts:

Medical Solutions is throwing a party for all nurses at WeLoveOurNurses.com. You can join in the festivities by checking out C. Young’s “So Much Love in the Scrubs” music video tribute, take the “What Kind of Party Are You?” quiz for a chance to win fun prizes, and share free Nurses Week eCards with your fellow nurses. Medical Solutions is also giving away some amazing party favors, like 30 $50 Amazon gift cards, Five Amazon Tap Bluetooth Speakers, three Apple iPad Mini 2s, and more! Nursing students are also encouraged to enter the 6th Annual Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship Contest, which awards three $2,000 scholarships to future nurses.

This year, rejuvenate your passion for nursing with The American Nurses Association’s free webinar on wellness and burnout prevention. The online class is on May 10th.

Fusion Medical is celebrating Nurses Week with daily giveaways on its Facebook page, and a #scrubselfie contest on Instagram and Twiiter. Contest participants have the chance to win a $500 Visa gift card.

At DiscoverNursing.com, Johnson & Johnson continues to offer free nurse themed magnets, coloring books, a “Nurses Heal” pin, and many other complimentary resources including brochures, posters, videos, and software.

Cinnabon is showing their appreciation for nurses with a delicious and well-deserved free treat. During Nurses Week, simply present your medical ID badge at a participating Cinnabon, and you’ll receive your choice of a free Classic Roll, a MiniBon or a four-count of BonBites.

Lippincott’s will once again offer a variety of daily deals, giveaways, and discounts during Nurses Week as well.

Did we miss any Nurses Week activities or events out there? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, Happy Nurses Week to all you hardworking nurses!

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Travel Nurse News Updates: 4 Things to Know

Extra! Extra! Read all about healthcare and travel nursing news this week.

Extra! Extra! Read all about healthcare and travel nursing news this week.

Before you hit the road for your next travel assignment, take a moment to read Travel Nursing Central’s rundown of travel nurse news from this week:

What Nurses Can Expect with a Potential ACA Replacement: Although the American Health Care Act recently failed on the House floor, the issue of healthcare reform isn’t likely to go away. The Gypsy Nurse blog and healthcare staffing agency Travel Nurse Across America take an in-depth look at how a potential ACA repeal and replacement would affect nurses and travel nurses. Read the full blog post here.

Florida to Become a Compact State: In other travel nurse news, Florida lawmakers recently announced that the state will join the ranks of 25 other states participating in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows RNs and licensed practical/vocational nurses to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in both their home state and other NLC states. The law will go into effect on December 31, 2018. To learn more about Florida’s new law, click here.

Trav Con 2017 Registration Now Open: Trav Con 2017, the “Super Bowl” of travel nursing conferences, is now accepting early registrations. Located in Las Vegas, this year’s annual networking event is September 17-19th.  Dr. Damania aka ZDogg MD, an internist who also moonlights as a stand-up comedian for medical audiences, is the 2017 keynote speaker. You can learn more about this year’s schedule of speakers here.

ANA Webinar to Focus on Mindfulness for Nurses: Busy travel nurses know that self-care is a must, especially if you want to provide quality care for your patients. Earn one CEU while learning how to practice the art of mindfulness in the American Nurses Association’s upcoming webinar on “Living & Working Mindfully.” It’s not too late to sign up — the live webinar is on April 19th and costs $45. You can register for it here.

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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.

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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.

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