Travel Nurse Burnout

I’ve recently experienced this ‘new to me’ phenomenon.

I’ll generally take time off Travel Nursing around Thanksgiving so I can spend some ‘holiday’ time at home before the mad rush of the actual holiday begins.  I work the holidays…always have.  It normally doesn’t bother me to be at work on Christmas day, Christmas eve and the new Year holidays.  I take a certain joy in the fact that I can work and allow someone else to take the day off to spend with their family.

This year was different.  I don’t know the reason, I’m still trying to process everything.  The holidays this year for me were lonely and I couldn’t wait to get home and spend time with my family.  I think I was experiencing Travel Burn Out and I’ve learned some lessons along the way.

Suggestions to Eliminate Travel Nurse Burnout

Take time off from Traveling and Re-connect with family and friends.

Nursing alone is a stressful job that we need to take time away from to hold onto family 300x289 - Travel Nurse Burnoutour compassion.  I’ve found that making sure to take time to do the things that I enjoy with people that I enjoy being around has made me a more caring nurse.  I was recently on contract and had just come back from a short hiatus. My co-workers were stressed, and exhibited a lack of patience with the patients.  I’ve experienced these same episodes in the past but this time was different.  Having had taken time off to re-connect with ME, I felt I was able to truly take better care of my patients. I was happier. I was less frustrated with the hospital and staff inadequacies.

Know that it’s ok to take a break from being a Tourist

While working in a new city one of the great things is that we get an opportunity to be a tourist.  In any given area, we develop a list of ‘To-Do’ things that we want to see, do, or experience in our short time.  I find myself occasionally feeling guilty for the day off spent lying on the couch catching up on a favorite TV series or simply taking a day out to rest and relax.  Feeling like you have to spend every waking moment (when not working) out exploring and checking things off your list can become almost a chore.  Remind yourself it’s ok to take a break. Another option is to combine tourism with something that you enjoy. These running tours are the perfect example (if you are a runner).

Know what ‘family’ events are important in your life and KEEP them Important.

For me, this was an awakening.  I always knew that going home before the holidays was important, I’d always planned around it in order to be able to. Neglecting this time with my family was detrimental to my mental well-being.  It’s not always about the physical health but also your mental health. If you can’t go home to the family bring the family to you!

I would love to hear from you. What challenges do you face that lead you to Travel Nurse Burnout?  What tips do you have for the travelers to elevate these?  Please comment below.

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Best 9 Hospitals for Travel Nurses to Work

As a travel nurse finding a great hospital or nursing facility for your next assignment can seem overwhelming. There are so many hospitals and nursing facilities within the United States.  Fellow travel nurses on our Facebook group said the below hospitals are the best hospitals for travel nurses. You will find a little bit of information from each hospital’s website as well. *They are listed in no particular order. 

Omaha, Nebraska- Children’s of Omaha

Children’s Hospital of Omaha prides itself as the only full service, pediatric healthcare center in Nebraska. They provide expertise in more than 50 pediatric specialty services to children across the five-state region and beyond.

Nebraska’s only…

They are home to Nebraska’s only Level 4 regionals NICU and the state’s only Level 2 Pediatric Trauma Center. Their regional heart center offers expertise in pediatric heart transplantation.

They are recognized as a 2018-19 Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in five pediatric specialties: Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Pulmonology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Orthopedics, and Diabetes & Endocrine Disorders.

They state that “Teamwork, friendly coworkers, a supportive leadership team, and a family-like atmosphere make our workplace feel like home. You will enjoy autonomy, the respect of our world-class physicians, and the opportunity to advance your career.”

Wailuku, Hawaii- Maui Memorial Medical

Maui Memorial Medical Center is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. They pride themselves on providing high-quality, patient-centered, affordable care for all residents and visitors on Maui and Lanai. Because they are affiliated with Kaiser Permanent they can provide industry-leading technology systems, evidence-based medicine, and nationally recognized care quality.

Together in health:

One of their missions states “From developing programs and initiatives to support the total health of our communities to creating the best place to work, deliver, and receive care, Maui Health System is committed to improving the health of the people of Maui and Lanai”

Boston, Massachusetts- Boston Medical Center

As their website states “At Boston Medical Center, all are welcome and treated equally. The best and brightest physicians, representing virtually every medical specialty, choose to work here for the opportunity to make a difference in their community and beyond.

Unwavering in its commitment to the community, BMC is a private, not-for-profit, 514-bed, academic medical center located in Boston’s historic South End. The primary teaching affiliate for Boston University School of Medicine, BMC is the largest safety-net hospital and busiest trauma and emergency services center in New England.”

Teaching:

At Boston Medical Center teaching and education are very important. They are the principal teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. They are devoted to training future generations of healthcare professionals. “Every member of the hospital’s medical and dental staff holds an academic appointment at the Boston University School of Medicine or the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. BMC operates 66 residency training programs with 817 resident and fellowship positions”

Charlottesville, Virginia- UVA

UVA prides itself on being a health system that includes a hospital, level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

Through research and clinical trials, they stay at the leading edge of the treatments they offer.

They rank among the nation’s top hospitals because their doctors, nurses, and caregivers make every effort to push the envelope of healthcare.

UVA’s goals include:

  • Become the safest place to receive care
  • Be the healthiest work environment
  • Provide exceptional clinical care
  • Generate biomedical discovery that betters the human condition
  • Train healthcare providers of the future to work in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Ensure value-driven and efficient stewardship of resources

West Plains, Missouri- Ozark Medical Center

Ozarks Medical Center is changing the way medical care is delivered to their area by providing the rare combination of advanced medicine and compassionate care you can only get at home.

Ozarks Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, an independent, not-for-profit organization that develops standards of quality in collaboration with health professionals.

Their website goes on to state that:

“At Ozarks Medical Center, our physicians, nurses, staff, administration, and board of directors are dedicated to providing quality care to our patients. Our goal is to demonstrate superior clinical quality, safety, and effectiveness. We strive to create a culture of safety and quality for all services: every patient, every time.

The people of this region can be very proud of the high caliber of physicians currently on staff at OMC. With more than 100 doctors, OMC has a strong core of primary care physicians as well as numerous specialists.”

Grand Forks, North Dakota- Altru Hospital

Altru Health System is a community of over 4,000 health professionals and support staff committed to caring for the region for more than 100 years. They serve over 200,000 residents in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, they also provide an array of services to meet the needs of patients of all ages and levels of health. 

Mayo Clinic Care Network:

As you will find on their website they are the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, because of this Altru’s providers have access to clinically integrated tools extending Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise to patients. “Together, we share a common philosophy, commitment, and mission to improve the delivery of healthcare through high quality, data-driven evidence-based medical care, and treatment.”

Seattle, Washington- Swedish Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill is part of the Swedish Hospitals. The campus is undergoing improvements currently and they have a master plan in place that they say ” The new master plan represents a 30-year vision for the future of the Swedish Cherry Hill campus that will allow Swedish to continue providing family medicine and emergency services to patients of all ages, while also treating the most complex cardiovascular and neurological diseases.”

Their commitment to improving the health of our region extends beyond patient care. Whether through physician clinics, health education, research, and innovation or other means of outreach, they are committed to caring for the people in their region and beyond.

Richmond, Virginia- Virginia Commonwealth University Health (VCU)

As you will find on their website VCU prides itself on offering above standard care. “From new, life-saving procedures or a clinical researcher who finds promise in new cancer treatment, we’re making possibilities a reality. The exciting new medicine is happening at VCU Health – every day.”

They have it all:

  • Five schools
  • An academic medical center
  • A Level I trauma center
  • One of only two NCI-designated cancer centers in Virginia
  • The region’s only full-service children’s hospital
  • More than 800 physicians in 200 specialties
  • With a community health center, dedicated research teams, facilities and valued partners in every field

Puyallup, Washington- Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan Hospital is part of the MultiCare Health System. It is a comprehensive, private not-for-profit medical system serving the growing populations of Pierce and King Counties in the greater Puget Sound region of Washington.

Their medical staff includes 1,600 of the region’s most respected primary care physicians and specialists.

Their website states that their expanding health care delivery system is based in Tacoma and includes acute care hospitals in Tacoma and Puyallup as well as:

There are 6,210 hospitals in the United States. This is just the top 9 hospitals for travel nurses as mentioned by fellow travel nurses in The Gypsy Nurse Facebook group. There may be others that you find great as well. Be sure to mention your top hospitals for travel nurses in the comments below. 

We hope this list will help you along your journey as a travel nurse.

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How to Avoid Conflict on Assignment

Working as a travel nurse, you will be working in different hospitals. Conflict in the workplace can make working at some hospitals unbearable, even if you know that you are only there for 13 weeks. Avoiding conflict in the workplace does not have to be a huge challenge, but it can help you make your time at that hospital more enjoyable. Here are some of the ways that you can avoid conflict in the workplace as a travel nurse.

Personality Clashes

One of the main causes of conflicts in the workplace is caused by personality clashes. Personality clashes are difficult to resolve, and avoiding that person is not going to work. Do your best to avoid unprofessional discussions with this person, and take the high ground if a disagreement is about to happen.

Another way to avoid some personality clashes might be to make certain to avoid these top 10 things that a travel nurse should never say.

Be Respectful

As a travel nurse, you are only going to be at that location for around 13 weeks. However, you still need to treat people with respect, so treat them how you would like to be treated. Take the time to think about how you are asking for help or speaking to make sure you are getting your message across clearly.

My Grandmother always told me to ‘behave as if you are a guest in their home’ and I encourage you to take her advice.

With how often you switch hospitals as a travel nurse, small conflicts can seem like they are not a problem. However, when reported to your agency, these conflicts can follow you and make finding your next contract difficult.

What conflicts have you encountered in the workplace? Please post in the comments your tips, thoughts, and advice on avoiding or dealing with conflicts as a travel nurse.

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Packing For A 13 Week Assignment

Packing in рrераrаtiоn for уоur 13 wееk travel assignment саn either be an еnjоуаblе experience or a nightmare. Thеrе are two ways to analyze thе items уоu intеnd to take on an assignment.

Don’t take too much!

Firѕt, уоu might dесidе to tаkе аlоng everything thаt iѕn’t рhуѕiсаllу bоltеd down in уоur hоmе. Thаt, hоwеvеr, iѕ a miѕtаkе. If you tаkе too much on уоur vасаtiоn, you will inеvitаblу bе tiеd uр trуing to mаnаgе thе ѕаmе mаtеriаl роѕѕеѕѕiоnѕ that you hаvе cluttering uр уоur lifе bасk hоmе. Hоwеvеr, уоu dеfinitеlу nееd to tаkе itеmѕ thаt аrе absolutely еѕѕеntiаl so that уоur assignment is еnjоуаblе.

If thеrе iѕ any question about juѕt hоw essential аn itеm rеаllу iѕ thеn maybe it wоuld be mоrе рrudеnt to lеаvе it out оf your bаgѕ! Thе kеу tо packing juѕt what wе need liеѕ in a careful соnѕidеrаtiоn of the fасtѕ. Dесiding what tо take аlоng аnd whаt tо lеаvе bеhind is аll dependent, оf соurѕе, оn your рrесiѕе destination, уоur lоdging аrrаngеmеntѕ, how уоu will bе traveling, and a dоzеn оr ѕо оthеr fасtоrѕ.

Tips for Pасking Your Luggаgе fоr a 13 Wееk Assignment

A 13 wееk travel assignment iѕ a valuable luxury for thе аvеrаgе working person. Hоwеvеr, ѕоmе mау find it ѕtrеѕѕful during the расking рhаѕе. Gеtting ready for a triр can bе еxhаuѕting, mаking thе gеtаwау еvеn mоrе рlеаѕurаblе. Pасking fоr a wееks lоng assignment does nоt hаvе to bе diffiсult, however. Below are a fеw tips that can help уоu knоw how tо bеѕt pack уоur luggаgе fоr уоur wееks in paradise.

Make a packing list

Thе firѕt thing you ѕhоuld do when packing fоr 13 weeks lоng assignment iѕ mаkе a liѕt. Thiѕ will kеер you frоm forgetting аnуthing thаt уоu will nееd whilе away frоm hоmе. Break the list dоwn intо categories, and writе down еvеrу ѕinglе itеm you рlаn tо tаkе with уоu, nо matter how imроrtаnt the itеm is. It mау ѕееm funnу tо inсludе undеrwеаr оn уоur liѕt. Still, you will bе ѕurрriѕеd аt thе numbеr оf реорlе whо mау fоrgеt (or nоt расk enough) undеrgаrmеntѕ whеn lоаding their suitcase.

Make sure your luggage is a good size.

Make ѕurе уоur luggаgе is a gооd size fоr you and еvеrуthing уоu nееd tо tаkе with you. Thiѕ mау mean carrying multiple bags, but you will wаnt tо mаkе sure you have еnоugh ѕрасе tо accommodate аll оf уоur itеmѕ. Cramming your bаgѕ full соuld rеѕult in dаmаgе tо уоur ѕuitсаѕеѕ or your bеlоngingѕ thаt аrе inѕidе. Considerations rеgаrding hоw muсh уоu need tо расk should аlѕо bе made in оrdеr tо limit thе numbеr оf pieces оf luggаgе you tаkе with you. It iѕ best to hаvе thе fеwеѕt bags with уоu, еѕресiаllу if уоu are traveling оn an airplane.

Knоwing hоw tо pack for a 13-week assignment can save you a grеаt dеаl оf stress. Yоu ѕhоuld bеgin early еnоugh ѕо thаt уоu аrе not ruѕhing around at thе lаѕt minutе. Doing so will nо dоubt hеlр you forget a fеw muѕt have items frоm your hоmе.

Things nоt tо forget whеn расking for уоur 13 wееk vасаtiоn

With уоur flights and accommodations bооkеd, thе luggage iѕ the lаѕt thing ѕtоррing you frоm thаt grеаt assignment. Wе knоw it fееlѕ likе a сhоrе, but if уоu follow оur expert расking tiрѕ, уоu’ll nеvеr hаvе tо wоrrу.

Nаmе tаgѕ are thеrе tо hеlр

Unlеѕѕ you’re аn international mаn оf mуѕtеrу, уоu shouldn’t hаvе to worry about trаvеlling incognito. Most ѕuitсаѕеѕ соmе with nаmе tags fittеd аѕ standard, ѕо bе sure tо fill thеm in juѕt in case уоu – оr thе airline – lоѕе уоur luggage!

Skiр the shoes

Thе biggеѕt аnd mоѕt fruѕtrаting itеm оf luggage. Hоw mаnу раirѕ оf ѕhоеѕ уоu ѕhоuld tаkе is vеrу much dереndеnt оn hоw long your assignment might bе. Still, wе’d ѕuggеѕt thаt fivе pairs iѕ a rеаѕоnаblе аvеrаgе for a 13-week gеtаwау. Mоrе imроrtаnt thаn vоlumе is vеrѕаtilitу, ѕо make ѕurе уоu’rе not ѕtuсk hiking in ѕtilеttоѕ by bringing a pair of ѕhоеѕ fоr еvеrу rеаliѕtiс оссаѕiоn оf your trip. Wear уоur most сumbеrѕоmе pair on thе рlаnе – рluѕ, ѕtuff уоur socks in the rest – and уоu’ll ѕаvе even mоrе ѕрасе.

Keep toiletries separate.

Keep your toiletries ѕераrаtе frоm thе rest of thе luggage. Sometimes shampoo оr bоdу wash саn lеаk frоm thеir bоttlеѕ, which соuld ruin уоur сlоthеѕ, ѕhоеѕ, and other bеlоngingѕ. It iѕ bеѕt tо put them in their own bag tо рrеvеnt thiѕ from happening or buy these items once you reach your destination.

Cаtеgоriѕе уоur сlоthеѕ

When packing clothes, paсk clothes in grоuрѕ: thаt means ѕhirtѕ with shirts, pants with раntѕ -it’ѕ еаѕiеr tо find whаt you nееd and unрасk оn thе оthеr side.

Bе dеliсаtе with уоur delicates

If you are packing any сhinа plates оr glаѕѕ gооdѕ, wrаррing thеm in bubble wrap or in-bеtwееn сlоthеѕ аnd putting them right in thе middle оf уоur case iѕ ѕаfеѕt wау tо mаkе ѕurе thеу аrrivе with уоu in оnе рiесе.

Don’t fоrgеt thе firѕt аid kit

Wе’rе nоt asking уоu tо рrераrе fоr ER, just a ѕmаll bаg with thе most necessary pills аnd mеdiсinе you might nееd. After аll, nоbоdу wаntѕ tо suffer a рuniѕhing headache, high-сlimаtе fеvеr, uрѕеt stomach оr all thrее during a trip. It might bе еаѕу enough to рiсk uр a domestic remedy fоr your ailments аt hоmе, but medicines in the соuntrу уоu are viѕiting mау be limitеd to рrеѕсriрtiоn оnlу. The ѕаmе gоеѕ fоr аllеrgу mеdѕ and аѕthmа remedies – bring thеm оn bоаrd!

Obѕеrvе rеѕtriсtiоnѕ оn bаggаgе

If уоur airline ѕауѕ: “23kg”, then they mean 23kg! Weigh уоur bаgѕ bеfоrе уоu gеt to the аirроrt аnd mаkе ѕurе уоu аrе within thе rеѕtriсtiоnѕ, оthеrwiѕе уоu’ll be fоrсеd tо cough up extra cash аt the аirроrt or, еvеn wоrѕе, have tо ѕау gооdbуе tо that lоvеlу hаnd-knittеd саrdigаn уоur grandmother spent ѕо long slaving оvеr.

All valuables gо in hand luggаgе

It’ѕ rаrе that airlines lоѕе luggаgе thеѕе dауѕ, but whу tаkе the risk? Stау ѕаfе аnd stow all уоur expensive luxuries – frоm your camera tо your diаmоnd еngаgеmеnt ring – in hand luggаgе

Hоw tо Sаvе Mоnеу on Yоur Nеxt Assignment

Gоing on assignment iѕ a gооd time to explore the unknown, learn new skills, аnd maybe сrеаtе mеmоriеѕ with new friends. Traveling саn be expensive, аnd it is easy to break thе bаnk. A littlе рlаnning ahead саn make thе соѕt of уоur next triр more аffоrdаblе.

Firѕt, you’ll wаnt tо figurе оut what уоur budgеt iѕ going to be. Knowing hоw much уоu рlаn оn ѕреnding will hеlр you dесidе whаt аttrасtiоnѕ you саn see аnd hоw much mоnеу уоu саn ѕреnd оn ѕоuvеnirѕ. If you run intо a ѕtrеаk оf gооd luck аnd еnd up with еxtrа mоnеу tо ѕреnd, уоu саn аlwауѕ upgrade your triр, but trу to сrеаtе a budget fоr аn amount of money thаt уоu knоw you will have fоr the assignment.

Assignments ѕhоuld be аn аdvеnturе!

Gеtting tо your dеѕtinаtiоn and finding оut you lеft ѕоmеthing bеhind thаt iѕ indispensable, however, саn ruin thе еxреriеnсе. To kеер that frоm happening, уоu have tо hаvе well-thought-out liѕtѕ. Those liѕtѕ аrеn’t ѕоmеthing thаt you generate аt thе last minutе. Thеу аrе ѕоmеthing thаt iѕ fоrmulаtеd and саrеfullу noted over thе соurѕе оf оur livеѕ. By following thеѕе расking tips for your 13-week assignment, you will have an еnjоуаblе experience!

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Ways to Maintain Goals While Travel Nursing

2019 is here, and for most, it’s an annual tradition to make new years resolutions and goals at the beginning year that most of us can’t keep. Add traveling into the mix, and your goals have already reached a lower survival rate than most. Your lifestyle and travel nursing shouldn’t get in the way of your goals and aspirations. That’s why we have 5 tips to help you stay on track with your goals all year long.

1.) Tell People Your Goals

There’s no better way to stay on track than having someone constantly remind you that you are working towards a goal. Tell friends, family members, or co-workers about your goals and ask them to get on you when you’re slacking, or ask them to ask you how your goals are coming along every once in a while. It’s easier to stay on track when you know people are watching.

2.) Find A Buddy

Find someone who has the same goals as you and hold each other accountable. It’s much easier to achieve them when you have someone else doing it with you. Can’t find a buddy nearby? You can always have a long-distance goal buddy and check-in via phone or social media!

3.) Make A Bullet Journal

A fun way to stay organized and express creativity easy is to start a Bullet Journal. These are easy to carry around and won’t take up too much space when you move from place to place.

4.) Utilize Apps On Your Smartphone

There are hundreds of apps out there that will keep you on track. Thanks to technology, there is literally an app for almost any goal you have, such as calorie counters for fitness and weight loss, meditation apps for relaxation, gratitude apps to keep you in check, and so much more! Some may cost a dollar or two, but it’s well worth the cost in the long run. What’s also great about these apps is sending you a notification to your phone daily to remind you to keep up with your goals!

5.) Be Flexible

One of the first things you learn as a travel nurse is to be flexible. This goes the same for goals. Achieving them does not have a cookie-cutter path. If it did, we’d all have 6 packs and a million dollars in our savings accounts. There will be setbacks, there will be discouragement, there will be a lack of time, but if you stay determined on your goals and flexible with your methods, there will be huge wins!

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Male Nurses: Pros & Cons of Being A Male Nurse

Like any other healthcare position, being a male travel nurse definitely has its pros and cons! Today, you’re going to get an honest, upfront perspective on what the pros and cons of being a male nurse are. You’ll hear about the good parts, and the bad parts, too. So, if you’re thinking about becoming a male nurse, you can now make an informed decision whether or not this is the job for you.

Lots of Lifting

Male nurses are often asked for help with lifting heavy patients when manpower is needed. Some guys don’t mind this at all, but others find it pretty annoying to be called for lifting nearly every heavy patient in the ward.

Searching for Scrubs

Most scrub stores cater to women. They have pictures of women on their front page banner, and they offer much more products for female healthcare professionals than for male ones. Happily, this problem has been alleviated partially by one online scrubs store, Murse World, which focuses exclusively on guys and carries only men’s scrub apparel.

Misperceptions

Male nurses are often thought to be the doctor or the janitor. Many male nurses have experienced coming into a patient’s room, for the patient to immediately murmur into the phone, “I have to go, the doctor just came in.” This can get pretty awkward at times.

Better Salary Than Female Nurses

As in many fields, male nurses are better paid than their female counterparts. They often earn between $5,000 and $10,000 more per year than female nurses! You’ve got to admit that’s a pretty significant amount.

The Stigma

Being a male nurse somehow became seriously stigmatized since most nurses are women. Many question the motives of male nurses for entering the profession. But thanks to AAMN, an organization that promotes and spreads awareness about men in nursing, and a handful of other male nurse activists who do the same, it is becoming increasingly more acceptable for men to become nurses. And, just by the way, men become nurses because they want a well-paying career that involves caring for and helping other people.

Male Patients

People often focus on the fact that women sometimes don’t want a male nurse, but they forget that it goes both ways.  Most men prefer having a male nurse over a female one. And, since there are so many more female nurses than male ones, it’s much harder for a man to get a male nurse. So when he does, he is generally very appreciative.

Since women dominate the nursing field, hospitals and other healthcare facilities will be quicker to hire a man over a woman (with the same skills). The same often goes for nursing schools; guys can have an easier time getting in than girls since there are so much fewer of them.

Positivity & Levelheadedness

Having male nurses balances things out and tends to make the unit more low-key, which is good. As Nicholas Germinario puts it, “As a male nurse, I add a great balance to the unit’s morale. When the estrogen levels are high, I enter with a calm and fun attitude. Not only am I frequently helping to boost patients (because they “need someone strong”), but I also boost positivity!!” It’s a fulfilling feeling to know you’re making a difference in the unit just by being there.

Promotion

Men in nursing are promoted more quickly due to the “glass escalator” phenomenon. Since promotions often come along with raises, this may be one reason why male nurses are paid more!

Making The Decision

So, now you’re probably wondering if there are so many benefits to being a man in nursing, why aren’t more men becoming nurses? I’d say it’s mostly due to the first con we mentioned about the stigma. But if you’re interested in becoming a nurse, and you’re not one to get overly hung up on what others may think, then go for it!

Honestly, there seem to be more pros than cons when it comes to this profession. Being a man in nursing has nearly all the benefits being a female nurse affords, plus a couple more. And men are finally beginning to recognize that. Today, over 13% of nurses are men, and the number of male nurses is growing. Men are finally beginning to realize that nursing is a respectable, worthwhile, and fulfilling profession for anyone! So, what do you think about becoming a male nurse?

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Why It’s Important to Take a Vacation as a Travel Nurse

While travel nursing has the perks of competitive pay, getting to visit new cities, and adventure, you’re still working. Each assignment you take offers new adventures, but it’s still important to take a work-free vacation as a travel nurse and enjoy yourself without worrying about your next shift. Taking even a short break in between assignments is a great way to arrive at your next assignment refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

Moving Can Be Stressful

Every seasoned travel nurse learns how to be a pro at moving every few months. However, moving into a new apartment, getting used to a new city, getting accustomed to new job duties, and getting to know new coworkers and friends can take a toll on even the most extroverted traveler. Taking a work-free vacation once a year or more is a fantastic way to de-stress and enjoy leisure time before your next assignment.

It’s Good for You

All nurses know the importance of mental and physical health, and practicing self-care is crucial. Nursing is a hard occupation. You’re on your feet most of the day and responsible for taking care of your patients. Stress is a major cause of heart disease and high blood pressure, and studies even show that those who vacation reduce their risk of heart disease and heart attack!

Vacations Help you Recharge

On assignment, you usually have a daily routine, and it’s easy to lose perspective and forget about life outside your next shift. On vacation, you have time to revisit your goals, explore new surroundings, and abandon your regular schedule to indulge in whatever you enjoy but don’t have enough time for at work. Taking regular vacations also helps prevent burnout in your career.

Vacations Can Improve your Relationships

While it can be relaxing to vacation alone, taking vacations with family, close friends, or your significant other can make your relationship stronger. In addition, exploring new areas, enjoying stress-free leisure time without worry about work, and having new adventures together strengthens the bond with the people you care about most.

Taking Vacations Make you Better at your Job

Taking vacations makes you happier, and, logically, happy people perform better at work. In fact, one study showed that for each 10 additional vacation hours an employee took per year, their performance review was 8% higher.

They Make You a Happier Person

Research shows that chronic stress levels release hormones that can lead to depression and anxiety. Taking a stress-free vacation contributes to your mental health and happiness, and the effects will last longer than your vacation.

The benefits of vacationing are clear – consider it a self-care necessity rather than an indulgence! It’s easy to say you will go and never get around to it. You only live once, so what are you waiting for?

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Great National Parks for Travel Nurses to Visit in the US

As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to visit places you may never have before. You may also want to find things to do on your days off. Homesickness is real, so finding things to do like visiting National Parks would be a great option. We have put together a list of some of the top national parks to visit in the US to get you started. This is not the full list, just a start. Keep an eye out for future articles on more national parks to visit. They are listed below in no specific order.

Yosemite

Location: the western Sierra Nevada of Central California

Yosemite National Park is one of the United States’ top parks/forests to visit.   According to Wikipedia, Yosemite is “internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.”

Yosemite is a great park to visit with your family or friends who are up for an adventure.  Yosemite has, on average, about 4 million visitors each year. 

Yellow Stone

Location: Parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

Yellow Stone was the first national park in the United States and attracts around 4 million visitors each year.

Yellowstone is probably most famous for Old Faithful geyser.  That is just one of many of Yellow Stone’s geothermal features.  The park is also famous for its wildlife.  Yellow stone represents many types of biomes. However, the subalpine forest is the most abundant.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Location- parts in Tennessee and North Carolina

There are so many great sites to see in the Great Smokey Mountains that many suggest you take at least 3 days to see as much as possible.  The wildlife, wildflowers, lakes, trails, historic sites, and waterfalls are just a few things to see while you visit. 

The smokey mountains bring in about 12.5 million visitors each year.  Making it the most visited national park.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Location- Kentucky

According to their website, The Mammoth Cave National Park offers: “Rolling hills, deep river valleys, and the world’s longest known cave system.” The website also states that “Mammoth Cave National Park is home to thousands of years of human history and a rich diversity of plant and animal life, earning it the UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve title.” 

The Mammoth Cave National Park brings in about 2 million visitors each year.  About 500,000 take tours of the caves.

Rocky Mountain National Park — Colorado

Location- Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park sits on over 250,000 acres in Larimer / Grand / Boulder counties in Colorado.  The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes, and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra. 

The park offers a wide variety of activities.  These include hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering.  Fishing is permitted within the park, and there are 4 different types of trout in the park.  These include rainbow, brook, cutthroat, and German brown trout.

During the winter the most of Trail Ridge Road is closed. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t activities to do during these months.  Snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and backcountry skiing are all activities you can do at the park in the winter months.

The parks draws in over 4.5 million visitors each year.

Grand Canyon

Location: Arizona

The Grand Canyon is a well-known park. It is larger than the size of Rhode Island.  It attracts nearly 6 million visitors each year.  According to Wikipedia, “Even though It is not the deepest canyon in the world (Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal is much deeper), the Grand Canyon is known for its visually overwhelming size and intricate and colorful landscape.”

There are numerous things to do while you visit the Grand Canyon.  These include just site seeing, hunting, hiking, mule rides, rafting, and many other activities.  There seems to be something for everyone when visiting the Grand Canyon. 

Joshua Tree National Park

Location- Southeastern California

The Joshua Tree National Park has 2 deserts and encompasses a total of 790,636 acres.  The park’s climate is a hotter desert-like climate.  There are 9 established campsites within the park.  Hiking trails are a big hit in the park as well, and there are trails of different lengths.  These are just a few things you can do when you visit this park.

The Joshua Tree National park brings in almost 3 million visitors a year.  The total visitors more than doubled from 2013 to 2019. Awareness of the wildflower bloom in the spring has brought increased visitation.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Location- Alaska

Because of the location of this park, you are guaranteed to see many animals you won’t find in other national parks, including puffins, bears, whales, and even eagles.  There are many things to do and see.  The areas within the park vary as well.  These include glaciers, fjords, salmon streams, and glaciers.  The park offers tours on their tour boats.

According to Wikipedia “The park and preserve cover a total of 3,223,384 acres (5,037 sq mi; 13,045 km2), with 2,770,000 acres (4,328 sq mi; 11,210 km2) being designated as a wilderness area.”

A little over 500,000 people visit Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve each year.

Kings Canyon National Park

Location- Fresno and Tulare counties, California

Kings Canyon National Park is one of the least visited parks, with just under 700,000 visitors each year.   Known for its gorgeous views, many people enjoy taking their time to sightsee the park.  Hiking and site seeing are 2 of the most enjoyable things to do while visiting Kings Canyon National Park.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Location- Hawaii

Established in 1916, this park is home to 2 active volcanoes Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. In 2018 parts of the park were closed due to explosive and toxic ash smoke from Kilauea.  The park had mostly opened in 2020.   According to Wikipedia, “The park provides scientists with insight into the birth and development of the Hawaiian Islands and ongoing studies into the processes of volcanism. For visitors, the park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes, as well as glimpses of rare flora and fauna.” 

This park like Glacier Bay is very different from other national parks because of its location.

A little over 1 million people visit the park each year.  This is a great indication that the park is really a great place to visit considering the location and that you cannot just get in a car and travel to it.

Olympic National Park — Washington

Location- Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest

The Olympic National Park has many activities to do all year round.  The park has a network of hiking trails.  You will need to plan for more than a weekend trip due to the size and remoteness of the trails.  Boating is available on Ozetta Lake, Lake Crescent, and Lake Quinault.  You can raft on both Elwha and Hoh Rivers.  Backpacking along the beach is also an option.  The Length of the coastline makes for a multi-day trip.

During the winter months, the park has a ski and snowboarding area that offers ski lessons, rentals, and inexpensive lift tickets. The small alpine area is serviced by two rope tows and one Poma lift. A large amount of backcountry terrain is accessible for skiers, snowboarders, and other backcountry travelers when the Hurricane Ridge Road is open

The parks draws in over 2 million visitors each year.

These are just a small number of national parks in the United States. There are many more. However, we hope this list has helped you find one near you or your next assignment. have you visited any national parks? Did they make our list? If not, comment them below! We would love to feature them in future articles.

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10 Items to Pack for Your Travel Assignment

Packing for a travel assignment can seem overwhelming, especially if you are a new traveler. It doesn’t have to be! Focus on keeping things simple and make sure you have your essentials covered. Remember, you’ll have limited space whether you are flying or driving to your assignment location, so you certainly don’t want to overpack. Stick to the essentials- you can always pick up other items upon arrival.

 1. Small Personal Items

Consider which items to pack carefully.  Travel Nurse Across America’s Housing Director, Ashley, says she tells travelers, “Ask yourself do I want to take this or do I need to take it? Can I pick up an inexpensive travel version of this when I get there?” These can range from styling items such as a blow dryer to over-the-counter medications you can purchase when you arrive.

2. Cooking & Kitchen Essentials

When you start packing, start with those gadgets you can’t live without, such as a Crock-Pot or Keurig.  Keep it simple and consider how much cooking you actually plan to do. Cups, plates, bowls, and utensils can take up valuable space, so consider finding a local dollar store or thrift store upon arrival and purchasing those items. They can easily be donated to a local charity after you finish your assignment.

3. Comfort Items

If you have an item from home that brings you comfort, such as a blanket or framed photo, make room for it. It will make you feel more comfortable in your home away from home.

4. Bed Items

A bed in a bag is a great option. They typically include a comforter, pillow shams, sheets, and pillowcases. If you have a favorite pillow, bring it. Consider investing in a mattress cover as well.

5.  Important Documents

Pack these items carefully and be sure to put them in a place that you locate them easily, such as your purse or outside luggage zipper, or purchase a travel wallet necklace if you travel by air frequently.  Be sure to bring your driver’s license, emergency credit card, birth certificate, and insurance cards.

6. Bath Items

Keep it simple. Pack a minimum of 2 bath towels and two washcloths. You can purchase bath products such as shampoo, conditioner, and soap when you arrive.

7. Electronics

We certainly live in an electronic age, so consider which electronics are essential. For example, if you are bringing a laptop, it might not make sense to drag a TV with you. And of course, don’t forget the chargers!

8. Medical Essentials

Make sure to pack any prescription medications you take, as well as pre-ordering additional scripts from your doctor. Consider packing a small first aid kit in case you have a small injury while traveling.

9. Clothing

Of course, you’ll need scrubs: pack 2 or 3 pairs, depending on your schedule. Check the weather of the city you are traveling to, and pack appropriately. It can be tempting to overpack, so if you feel your clothes will take up too much space, you can have them shipped to your destination. Don’t forget to include comfortable work shoes, a jacket, and an umbrella.

10. Pet Supplies

More and more nurses are traveling with their pets, so if you’re bringing a furry friend, make sure they are microchipped if they get lost. Update their collar, pack any medicines they take, and don’t forget their favorite toy or bedding, so they feel comfortable in their home away from home, too!

Remember to ask your questions, whether your agency is helping with your housing or you’re doing it on your own. This will prevent any last-minute inconveniences from turning into last-minute expenses, so your travel assignment is an enjoyable adventure!

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5 Tips for Finding Short Term Furnished Housing as a Travel Nurse

Whether you’re an experienced travel nurse, or you’re planning your first travel experience, after you take that job, there’s one decision that can make or break your assignment; furnished travel nurse housing!

You can easily get overwhelmed online and dump a ton of time calling on fruitless ads which leave you totally frustrated…and no closer to finding a suitable property to stay in. This type of stress, sometimes called “housing fatigue”, increases every day until you secure proper furnished travel nurse housing for your upcoming job.

In the past, your travel nurse recruiter may have handled your housing, but many travel nurses are now electing to take the housing stipend so they can have more control over where they stay. If you’ve ever been stuck in sub­par housing for 13 weeks, you know this! Also, since you can pocket the remaining tax free stipend dollars, most travel RN’s are realizing the importance of taking a larger role in choosing their housing.

Is it really that hard to find your own furnished travel nurse housing?  Not necessarily, it can just take a lot of time. Keep in mind that you’re looking for short-term housing which can feel a lot like looking for that “needle­in­a­haystack”! On top of that, you need it furnished, with utilities included, in a safe and convenient area, that’s pet friendly and within a reasonable budget compared to your stipend. Now, the pool of available housing options in your area has suddenly shrunk to next to nothing. Be prepared to keep digging…but where do you start?

Here are 5 tips to help you find furnished travel nurse housing


Be cautious in checking out potential landlords online

When fielding emails from potential landlords online, remember these three rules:

  • Use your intuition ­ it’s usually right.
  • Make sure the images match the price ­If the images are incredible, but the rent is grossly underpriced, it’s most likely a scam.
  • Never send money ­ Scammers are cyber­bullies preying on desperate travelers. (You can get some other tips on how to recognize a Craigslist scam Here and as well as tips from The Gypsy Nurse Here).

Extended Stay Hotels

Extended stay type of hotels are also heavily utilized by travel nurses either as a bridge between traditional housing, or as the housing solution itself. Some travelers like the amenities hotels provide like breakfast, housekeeping, and fitness centers; and most hotels will take animals up to 60 lbs. Also, the majority of these hotels have kitchens as well which can save money on food when you travel and provides an extra touch of home while you’re away for work. In addition, hotels provide you the flexibility on the backend compared to an apartment should your assignment be cancelled unexpectedly.

Travel nurses can receive large pre­negotiated rates for extended stay type hotels. TGN recommends Furnished Finder’s Hotel discounts for short stays in between contracts.  Hotels are an important part of the housing equation for the travel healthcare industry, so make sure you’re getting the best rates possible!

You have a lot of choices to make after you accept your assignment; many of which can determine your travel experience over the next 13 weeks. Use all the resources available to you and be smart about how you spend your time and money when it comes to housing.

Beware of Craigslist.com and “too good to be true” offers – they usually are!

Do you just jump on Craigslist and start making calls?  You can certainly find real housing options on Craigslist, but it comes at a cost. Frankly, you really can’t trust everything you read on Craigslist. In fact, if you’re a member of the Gypsy Nurse Travel Nurse Housing Group, you see it somewhat frequently; someone will post the too­ good ­to ­be­ true housing offer they found on Craigslist asking if it’s real. Thankfully, other members will step in and tell them to steer clear because it’s a scam. (If you’re not already a member of the popular Gypsy Nurse Travel Nurse Facebook Group and Housing Group, we encourage you to join.  They’re a great way to learn from your fellow travelers across the country).

Vacation Rental Websites

Vacation rental websites are a good resource to consider. Some of the most popular are HomeAwayVRBO, and Airbnb. You can find some great housing options on these sites, and for the most part, they keep the scammers away. You simply punch in a city or a state, and you’ll be able to view tons of vacation rentals.  Just like any site, you’ll need to filter out the properties that don’t make sense for you…like that 6 bedroom mansion that sleeps 18 people.

Most likely, you’re looking for a reasonably priced studio or 1 bedroom near the hospital where you’ll be working. Once you narrow your search results down a bit, you’ll need to dive into the availability of each property. This is usually where the proverbial asterisk or caveat in your search rears its ugly head; since most of the vacation rentals can be booked online in advance, finding a place that can host you for your entire 13-week stay can be challenging…but not impossible. When contacting property owners on these sites, operate with the 10% rule in mind; only 10% of the property owners you contact will actually respond. Knowing this, to make VRBO/HomeAway/Airbnb work for you, try to send out a lot of availability requests.

Traveling Healthcare Rentals: Monthly Furnished Housing Without Booking-fees.

By now, you’re probably pretty familiar with vacation rental sites like HomeAway, VRBO and Airbnb, and many of you may already have used sites like these to secure housing in the past. They can certainly work out in a pinch, but knowing that your contracts are typically 2-3 months at a time, booking vacation rentals for travel nurse housing can really rack up the extra fees.


Furnished Finder, the official housing partner of The Gypsy Nurse, has over 40,000 listings on their map and is typically the most affordable monthly furnished housing platform since there are no mark-ups to rent or booking fees to inflate the cost. Furnished Finder property owners are specifically looking for traveling nurse tenants so you’re usually speaking to a landlord who knows how to set up their property to meet the unique needs of the traveling healthcare worker.


Safety is top on the list for every traveler which is why Furnished Finder verifies the ownership and background checks every landlord that lists on their platform. Travelers also want to ensure that they make their stipend stretch as far as possible which is why Furnished Finder has a Stipend Calculator that helps travelers plan out their housing. You can search for housing right on The Gypsy Nurse, or through Furnished Finder directly.  Safe travels and happy renting.

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