announces Top 15 Traveler-Friendly Facilities

April 1, 2011 - For the third year in a row, delivers its annual report on the Top Traveler-Friendly Facilities--with one change. This year, there were too many top-rated facilities to ignore, so we’ve expanded the list to the “Top 15” in order to honor the quality and care these facilities deliver to their nurses and patients.

The list below takes a look at the highest-rated facilities based on over 3,400 evaluations by travel nurses on assignment in 2009-2010,* who considered factors like staff friendliness, nurse managers, orientation programs, patient safety, learning new skills and RN staffing levels. The report explores the characteristics that make a facility attractive to travel nurses and showcases the range of opportunities available to them. From the variety of locations to the diverse specialties and practice settings represented here, the traveler-friendly facilities list gives nurses 15 more reasons to take their career on the road.

Here are the top 15 hospitals as rated by survey respondents:

Ketchikan General Hospital - Ketchikan, AK

For the second year in a row, Ketchikan General Hospital reigns as the top traveler-friendly facility among travel nurses. Earning top ratings in the staff friendliness, nurse manager and learning new skills categories, this small, close-knit facility remains a place where travel nurses can go to experience the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness while immersing themselves in a top-notch clinical environment.

Travelers also unanimously responded that they would recommend the facility to other nurses and the majority said they would work at the facility again.

Jean McHenry, RN, accepted an assignment at Ketchikan with leading travel nurse staffing company American MobileHealthcare. Working in their labor and delivery unit, O’Brien was impressed by the facility’s welcoming staff and her living conditions in Alaska.

“My recruiter was wonderful and the accommodations were excellent,” she commented. “The staff has been very accommodating.” Seattle Children's Hospital - Seattle, WA

One of two children’s hospitals to be featured in this year’s ranking of the most traveler-friendly facilities, Seattle Children’s has been featured regularly among the nation’s best pediatric facilities by U.S. News & World Report magazine. They also achieved Magnet status in 2008, awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for nursing excellence.

Travel nurses gave the facility high marks in the following categories: staff friendliness, orientation, patient safety, learning new skills and RN staffing levels. Travelers also unanimously reported that they would recommend Seattle Children’s to other nurses.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, WI

Consistently ranking among the best children’s hospitals in the nation, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin provides an excellent learning experience for travel nurses across all children’s specialties.

Travel nurses ranked the facility’s nurse staffing levels and teaching capabilities very favorably--which is further shown through the awards and special recognition the hospital has received throughout the years. Travel nurses on assignment here will find plenty of opportunity to expand their clinical skill set and experience levels.

Scripps Green Hospital - San Diego, CA

Located in the gorgeous seaside community of La Jolla, in San Diego, California, the location of Scripps Green is just one of the many reasons this hospital ranks highly among travel nurses. Another reason for the hospital’s favorable ranking was the friendliness of staff--which was a category in which travelers gave the facility exceptionally high marks.

The 173-bed facility was also recently named among the top hospitals for heart care in the nation by U.S. News and World Report magazine and has even earned the distinction of being the first facility in San Diego County to implement a liver transplant program. Scripps Green’s friendly staff, excellent patient care and innovative programs make it easy to see why travel nurses enjoy assignments here.

FMS Museum District #2 Dialysis Clinic - Houston, TX

This outpatient dialysis center located in Houston, Texas, is part of the Fresenius Medical Care family and provides a variety of dialysis services for patients throughout the metro area.

For travelers looking for a change from the traditional hospital setting, an assignment in an outpatient dialysis clinic can provide a fresh outlook to a nursing career. Travelers rated the clinic especially favorably in the staff friendliness, patient safety and nurse staffing levels categories and the majority of respondents said they would recommend the facility and would work at it again.

St. Anthony Central Hospital - Denver, CO

One of Colorado’s oldest hospitals, St. Anthony Central Hospital continues to blend its “pioneering spirit” of the past with the latest innovations in today’s medicine. This level 1 trauma center located in Denver is a facility that travel nurses said they would work at again, due to the high ratings received in the staff friendliness and nurse manager categories.

Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center - Los Angeles, CA

The Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center is a unique facility that provides an innovative approach to cancer care while also serving as the outpatient facility for the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. The facility is one of the few on the list that received high marks from travelers in almost every category--including excellent reviews in staff friendliness, nurse managers, orientation, patient safety, the ability to learn new skills and RN staffing levels.

Providing a wide-range of comprehensive care services including diagnostics, cancer prevention and hospice to over 90,000 patients, travel nurses on assignment here have the ability to work with a world-renowned team of cancer specialists while making a difference in the lives of those they care for.

Indian Health Services PHS Crow Agency/Crow-Northern Cheyenne Hospital - Crow Agency, MT

Accredited by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Crow Service Unit is a 24-bed health facility serving the people of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne nations. Nestled in the valley of the Little Big Horn in Crow Agency, Montana, this full-service hospital provides preventive health services, dialysis, family planning, nursing home care, surgery and much more.

The hospital’s vision statement is “We believe a ‘Healthy Population’ exists through a creative and innovative health care system driven by the health care needs established cooperatively with those we serve,” and is demonstrated through the nurses’ high marks in the overall facility experience, orientation and RN staffing levels categories. For nurses looking to work in smaller, rural settings, taking an assignment with the Indian Health Services could be the perfect match.

VA Palo Alto Health Care System - Palo Alto, CA

Offering a full range of primary health care services in addition to specialty care including neurology and nuclear medicine, the VA Palo Alto Health Care System provides the veteran community of the San Francisco Bay Area with quality patient care.

The system is composed of three inpatient facilities and seven outpatient facilities throughout the Bay Area, offering travel nurses a variety of career opportunities spanning across different specialties and practice scopes. Travelers rated Palo Alto high in the nurse manager and patient safety categories, and the majority of respondents said they would work at the facility again and would also recommend it to others.

University of Minnesota Medical Center - University Campus - Minneapolis, MN

Serving as the primary teaching hospital for the University of Minnesota Medical School, an assignment at this facility provides travel nurses with constant exposure to the latest technologies and countless opportunities to learn new skills and techniques. Travelers also said they would recommend this facility to others and would also take another assignment here again--further solidifying its rankings among the top traveler-friendly facilities.

In 2010, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, received two notable distinctions from both U.S. News and World Report and Thomson Reuters for the facility’s excellent patient care and clinical performance and quality. The University campus also ranked high for appropriate RN staffing levels--a vital component for both travel nurses and admitted patients.

Scott and White Memorial Hospital – Temple, TX

As the largest multi-specialty practice in Texas, Scott and White offers a multitude of opportunities for travel nurses who can work in its “636-bed Level I trauma center, 50-bed long-term acute care hospital or 150-bed acute care hospital.” Travel nurses on assignment at Scott and White applauded the permanent staff’s friendliness and the ability to learn new skills while on assignment.

For Samantha Hutto, RN, who took an assignment at Scott and White with American Mobile Healthcare, the facility made her feel right at home. “I honestly don't know if I could've had a better first assignment than the one (my recruiter) found for me--it was a perfect fit!”

Sharp Healthcare – San Diego, CA

With its ANCC Magnet status for excellence in nursing and patient care, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and countless other distinctions and recognitions, Sharp Healthcare is a natural fit for the top traveler-friendly facilities listing. But it’s not just the portfolio of awards that make Sharp a favorite choice for travel nurses.

Travel nurses who took an assignment at Sharp praised the nurse managers and also said they would recommend the healthcare system to other travelers. Featuring hospitals and clinics throughout San Diego and a broad range of medical services from robotics to wound care, Sharp provides travel nurses a world of opportunity regardless of specialty or clinical skill set.

Stanford Hospital and Clinics - Stanford, CA

Earning favorable rankings in the staff friendliness, patient safety and nurse staffing level categories, Stanford Hospital and Clinics’ dedication to quality patient care is reflected in the travel nurses’ rankings.

Renetta Roberson, RN, with American Mobile Healthcare, recently decided to try travel nursing and took her first assignment at Stanford. She couldn’t be happier with her decision.

“I have been with the same hospital for 20 years and made a big change to become a traveling nurse,” she explained. “My recruiter was so warm and knowledgeable and made the transition a breeze! So far, I am very happy with the decision I made and I am pleased to work with such a professional company.”

Hendrick Medical Center - Abilene, TX

Serving the city of Abilene and the area of the “Texas Midwest,” Hendrick Medical Center is a 504-bed medical center specializing in women’s services, heart and cancer care, rehab and much more. Among the numerous accolades it has received over the years, the facility first earned the coveted Pathway to Excellence™ designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in 2007 and then again in 2010 when it was up for re-designation. This designation certifies the facility is an ideal environment for nursing practice, which travel nurses echoed in their rankings of Hendrick.

Kaiser Permanente - Santa Clara Medical Center – Santa Clara, CA 58070

Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center is one of 35 hospitals that make up the Kaiser Permanent health network. The facility’s convenient Bay Area location provides travel nurses with easy access to some of the area’s most famous attractions and note-worthy places to visit.

Travel nurses gave the medical center high ratings in the staff friendliness and nurse manager categories, making Kaiser Santa Clara a great assignment choice for nurses looking for a collegial work environment and supportive nurse management.

*Travel staffing companies American Mobile Healthcare, NursesRx and Medical Express participated in the survey. The Top 15 facilities were chosen based on highest combined ranking in the following areas: Staff Friendliness, Nurse Manager, Orientation, Patient Safety, Learning New Skills and RN Staffing Levels. The travelers were also asked if they would work at the facility again and if they would recommend it to others.