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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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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