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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Zika Virus Hits the U.S.: 4 Things Travel Nurses Should Know

Late last week, healthcare officials’ fears were realized when several local cases of the Zika virus were identified in Miami. This is the first time cases of the Zika infection in the U.S. haven’t been linked to South American travel. Infections are expected to increase in parts of the U.S.  So, it’s important for all travel nurses, especially those currently working in Florida, to keep updated on the recent Zika news.  Here’s what travel nurses should know:

The Zika virus has spread to Florida. Learn how you can protect yourself and your patients.

The Zika virus has spread to Florida. Learn how you can protect yourself and your patients.

  1. Pregnant women should avoid travel to Miami: Earlier this spring, pregnant women were warned about traveling to South America due to the link between Zika infections in pregnant women and severe birth defects in their newborns. However, as a result of these new findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded that travel ban to include the Wynwood neighborhood in downtown Miami. This is the first time the CDC has advised people not to travel to a place in the continental United States.
  1. The Zika virus can be sexually transmitted: Although only certain mosquitoes are responsible for most Zika cases, the infection can also be sexually transmitted. As a healthcare provider, you should caution both male and female patients who have recently traveled to Zika-affected areas to abstain from sexual intercourse for at least eight weeks. The virus has been known to remain in bodily fluids long after the symptoms are gone. If your patient is already pregnant and has recently traveled to Miami, you should advise her to get tested for Zika. This particular patient will also want to use condoms or avoid sex throughout the duration of her pregnancy.
  1. Prevention is key: If you or your patients are living in a Zika zone like Florida, you should take all necessary precautions. This includes staying indoors as much as possible, covering up, and wearing insect repellent such as Deet to prevent infection. If one of your patients does become infected, he or she will need to see a doctor right away. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, she will need to be carefully monitored throughout her pregnancy.
  1. Don’t panic: While the news seems grim, your patients don’t need to panic just yet. Only the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes have been known to transmit the infection, and these mosquitoes must have bitten someone who’s infected in order to spread the virus to someone else. The CDC expected to see outbreaks of Zika in the U.S. where these types of mosquitoes are common. Florida is one of these areas. Fortunately, healthcare officials do not believe the outbreaks here will be as severe as the ones in South America.

To learn more about the latest Zika virus in Florida, you can visit the CDC’s website here.

Are you currently working in Florida as a travel nurse? If so, what steps are you taking to protect yourself and your patients?

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Future Hiring Trends Look Bright for Travel Nurses

When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, healthcare in America changed forever. By 2022, the number of nursing jobs is expected to increase by 1.05 million. Likewise, travel nurses will also become a vital resource as the healthcare industry struggles to meet this growing demand.

Check out this infographic from Norwich University’s Master of Science in Nursing Program to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act affected the nursing industry. 

NU MSN AffordableCareAct - Future Hiring Trends Look Bright for Travel Nurses

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5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Travelers Conference 2016

Travelers Conference 2016

Travelers Conference 2016 is coming soon! Are you ready?

Whether you are new to the travel nursing industry or an expert in the field, there’s something for everyone at the Travelers Conference. Known as TravCon, this year’s weekend-long event, held September 25-27, promises to be the networking “Super Bowl” for traveling healthcare professionals. So that begs the question, are you ready for the 2016 TravCon in Las Vegas? Here are 5 tips for getting the most out of Travelers Conference 2016, so you can have a fun and productive weekend:

  1. Research: Before you even register or book your flight to Vegas, you should do your homework. Research which staffing agencies will be there, and determine which ones fit your criteria. You don’t want to waste your time at this conference talking to a recruiter whose company doesn’t fit your needs. Keep in mind what you are looking for in a potential employer, including the company’s reputation, benefits packages offered, traveling jobs available, and pay. Travel Nursing Central is a great place to start your research. Check out our agency rankings here.
  1. Connect: This event is a great opportunity for you to gain more insight into the traveling healthcare profession. Find the companies you researched as top performers, and introduce yourself to a recruiter. It’s usually helpful to put a face to a company. If you already have a great relationship with your staffing agency, this can also be a good time to introduce your travel nursing friends to your current recruiter. After all, this is how networking is done.
  1. Ask Questions: This seems obvious for a newbie traveler, but even a veteran traveler can learn new things by asking questions. It’s also important to ask the right questions. If you’re new to the industry, find out what it takes to be a successful traveling healthcare professional. If you’ve been around the block before, maybe now is the time to determine what you need to do to take your career to the next level. For the record, TravCon offers more than 25 sessions over the course of the weekend, and many qualify for CEU credits.
  1. Listen: Most people assume that networking is all about selling yourself as a potential employee to a company. You end up doing all of the talking, but learn practically nothing about the job or company. At the end of the day, networking is simply having a conversation. It’s important to remember that conversations are two-way streets. So, ask your burning questions, but then, really listen to the answer. Maybe a company you researched isn’t quite as great as it looked on paper, or perhaps a recruiter helped calm your fears about traveling with their agency.
  1. Follow Up: What happens at TravCon, shouldn’t always stay at TravCon. It’s always a good idea to follow up with the people you met. Whether it was a recruiter or just a new fellow travel nurse, you never know where these new connections will take you. In the age of social media, it’s also pretty easy to do. Connect with your new contacts on Facebook or LinkedIn and send a message. These relationships could be the start of a new career or friendship!

 With these 5 tips, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your 2016 TravCon experience.  To learn more about the conference, or to register for sessions, visit their website here.

For those travelers who have experienced TravCon before, do you have any other tips for what to expect during this conference? What worked and what didn’t?

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4 Things Travel Nurses Need to Know About Latest Superbug Gene

Super bug

A drug-resistant superbug, known as mcr-1 gene, has appeared for the first time in the U.S. Travel nurses need to be aware of the risks associated with this superbug.

Researchers recently reported a drug-resistant superbug gene has appeared for the first time in the U.S. Healthcare professionals are understandably concerned for the safety of their patients and the general population as a whole. In particular, travel nurses must stay vigilant as the nature of their jobs requires them to relocate to different facilities year round. Below are the top 4 things travel nurses should know about the latest superbug gene.

  1. It’s known as the mcr-1 gene: The latest superbug gene, called mcr-1, was found in a Pennsylvania woman with an e-coli infection last month. In her case, the gene mutated the e-coli bacteria to be resistant to colistin, a medication among a handful of antibiotics that can still treat drug-resistant strains of bacteria. Fortunately, her case was treatable with other last-ditch effort antibiotics.
  1. The gene can spread between species of bacteria: The mcr-1 gene is located on a tiny bit of DNA called a plasmid, which is easily transferable between species. Bacteria can mutate quickly, but the plasmid provides an extra shortcut. What scientists and healthcare professionals are worried about is the potential rise of a giant superbug. Hypothetically, the mcr-1 gene could pass on its traits to another bacterium with other mutations and create a giant superbug. This giant superbug would be resistant to all known antibiotics, and could throw civilization back to the era before prescription drugs.
  1. It’s nasty, and there are others out there: This mutant gene was first found in China in 2015, and since then it’s been popping up around the world. It’s also been found in a range of bacteria. Since the woman in Pennsylvania hadn’t traveled recently, it means that the mcr-1 gene has probably been flying under the radar in the U.S. for a while. Although this gene isn’t the giant superbug, it’s still hard to treat. The mcr-1 gene was resistant to several other classes of antibiotics, including fluoroquinolones.
  1. Your patients could be carriers of superbugs: For years, it’s been known that drug-resistant strains of bacteria have the potential to be found on medical equipment, and even occasionally healthcare workers themselves. However, a recent study conducted by the University of Michigan found that 25 percent of hospital patients tested had some sort of drug-resistant germ on their hands when they were discharged from the hospital.

The superbug may be a scary prospect, but arming yourself with knowledge can help protect you and the patients you serve. Click here to refresh your training on basic infection control and personal protective equipment guidelines. To learn more about the mcr-1 gene, you can read the published study in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy here.

As a healthcare professional, what are your thoughts on the latest news regarding the mcr-1 gene?

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Travel Nurses Day 2015!

Travel Nurses Day 2015!

Click here to celebrate Travel Nurses Day 2015 and win prizes!

Travel Nurses Day 2015 is almost here!

This October 9, 2015, will mark the third annual Travel Nurses Day celebration.

In honor of Travel Nurses everywhere, Medical Solutions created and celebrated the first Travel Nurses Day in 2013.

This year the celebration at TravelNursesDay.com includes:

  • The “Signs You’re a Travel Nurse” Instagram Photo Contest
  • Quizzes — “Where should I travel next?” and “Which on-screen nurse are you?”
  • Travel Libs
  • Photo Hunts

Besides the fun of all of that, there are tons of great prizes to be won, totaling more than 2,000 in value! Here’s what Travel Nurses are eligible to win one of this year:

“Signs You’re a Travel Nurse” Instagram Contest
1 – $500 Cash Grand Prize
3 – Fitbit Charge HR ($150 value each)
3 – $100 hotel credits, courtesy of Travelers Haven

Travel Libs, Photo Find and Travel Nurse Quizzes:
3 – $50 Tafford Gift Cards, courtesy of Tafford Uniforms
2 – $50 Amazon Gift Cards, courtesy of Nebraska Methodist College
6 – $50 Zappos Gift Cards
6 – $50 Amazon Gift Cards

You can visit TravelNursesDay.com anytime between now and midnight on October 8. Prize winners will be announced on the big day!

Happy Travel Nurses Day to all of you great Travelers out there!

 

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Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015

friendly staff at top 10 travel nurse hospitals for 2015

Thumbs up to the Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015!

No matter how great the location, the quality and culture of a hospital can have a lot of impact on the success of a travel nursing assignment. And there’s no one better to share feedback on hospitals than fellow travelers who’ve worked there themselves!

Travel nurses have been able to rate hospitals and facilities nationwide on Travel Nursing Central since 2005, and with the start of the new year we’ve just released our list of Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015.

In order to be considered for the Top 10, each hospital had to be voluntarily rated by at least two travelers and had to have one of the highest scores as of December 31, 2015. The score must also have been higher than 80 in order to be eligible for the list.

So, based upon traveler feedback, the Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015 are:

  1. Sharp Memorial Hospital (San Diego, CA)
  2. St. Alphonsus Hospital (Boise, ID)
  3. Shriners (Sacremento, CA)
  4. Wilcox Memorial Hospital (Lihuem, TX)
  5. White Plains Hospital (White Plains, NY)
  6. St Joseph/Carondet (Tucson, AZ)
  7. Mary Washington Hospital (Fredericksburg, VA)
  8. Falmouth Hospital (Falmouth, MA)
  9. LSU-SHC (Shreveport, LA)
  10. University of Madison Hospital and Medical Center (Madison, WI)

Click here to learn more about the Top 10 Travel Nurse Hospitals for 2015.

You can also click here to check out rankings and information for all reviewed hospitals. Each facility listed will list how many rankings it has, its score, and a link to “View Details.” From that link you can read how each hospital scored in 20 specific categories like parking, food, staff morale, technology, scheduling, friendliness, location, and more. This section also allows you to read actual reviews from travel nurses just like you!

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In the News: Kaiser Nurse Strike

Kaiser Nurse Strike

In the News: Kaiser Nurse Strike

Nurse strikes happen. And when they do it’s often traveling nurses who step in as replacements to ensure that patient care does not suffer while their peers make a statement about safe staffing levels, contract negotiations, and other such issues. Currently in the news: the Kaiser Nurse Strike.

This week, an estimated 16,000-18,000 nurses went on a two-day strike from Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California’s Bay Area and nearby locations. The buzz has been that the nurses are striking about a perceived lack of Ebola preparedness. But, according to NBC Bay Area, a spokeswoman from the California Hospital Association, Jan Emerson-Shea, says the California Nurses Association union is “using the crisis to further its own agenda.” Emerson-Shea told NBC Bay Area that the union was “using Ebola as a ruse.”

The timing of the strike coincides with the National Nurses United union’s national “day of action” through which thousands more nurses across more than a dozen states have been rallying behind enhanced Ebola preparedness. In response specifically to the Ebola issue, Kaiser says it, “thoroughly follows state and federal protocols on Ebola preparation and response.”

According to NBC Bay Area, “The registered nurses on strike said they need Kaiser to focus on enhancing staffing levels to ensure safe patient services, for instance, not rushing a patient out on early discharge.”

A Kaiser rep countered that the system “matches the nursing staff to patient needs,” adding that Kaiser has “incredibly safe staffing” and offers resources in support of its nursing staff.

The Kaiser system and the California Nurses Association union have reportedly been in contact negotiations since July 2014, and reports indicate that these talks have been very strained.

Kaiser hospitals and facilities have stayed open during the strike, with replacement nurses providing patient care for them to do so.

Here’s hoping that whatever the outcome is, it includes safe staffing levels which are optimum for preventing nurse burnout and providing safe patient care.

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Travel Nurses Day 2014

Happy Travel Nurses Day 2014Looking for a reason to celebrate this week? Friday, October 10, 2014, is Travel Nurses Day 2014.

This is the second annual Travel Nurses Day, after the holiday was created in 2013 by travel nursing staffing agency Medical Solutions. According to their blog, “It’s a day set aside to honor all of the amazing, adventurous, adept Travel Nurses out there.”

Games and chances to win prizes are the way they’re celebrating Travel Nurses Day 2014 at TravelNursesDay.com. Games include three photo finds (spot the differences between two photos), three Travel-Libs (choose certain words to fill out a story about travel nursing), and a quiz to determine “Where should I travel next?”

Playing the games makes traveling nurses eligible to win one of the prizes, from a pretty impressive pot, including:

  • One $2500 vacation voucher to a destination of the winner’s choice
  • Three Kindle Fire HD 6 tablets
  • Fifteen $50 gift cards from Zappos, Amazon, and Starbucks
  • Three $50 gift cards from Tafford Uniforms

It’s pretty nice to have your own day to be celebrated as a travel nurse!

Visit Travel NursesDay.com to play games, sign up for alerts, and learn more.

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Nursing Throughout History

1961 Nurse Stamp

There’s so much to learn about nursing throughout history!

We usually reserve this space for topics specifically related to travel nursing, from how travel nurse staffing saves lives to how travel nursing can improve your career.

But today we’re going to stretch that to traveling through time, as we check out Penn Nursing Science’s resources on nursing throughout history at their Nursing, History, and Healthcare website.

The site aims to offer historical background on issues and topics related to the nursing profession. Aimed at providers, researchers, consumers, educators, and policymakers, the site “addresses a wide range of topics critical to comprehending and broadening our understanding of health care and nursing concerns, including the role of professional nurses, nurse shortages, workplace problems, and public health issues.”

There is tons of information about education, home care, workforce, issues, institutions, and more.

My favorite is a really cool History of Nursing Timeline running from 1700-2000. The timeline begins with nursing and healthcare in the colonial period, when an almshouse opened in Philadelphia that would later become Philadelphia General Hospital.

Here are just a few more of the many highlights:

1872: School for Nurses with one-year curriculum offered at New England Hospital for Women and Children

1879: The first professional African American nurse graduates from New England Hospital and Training School for Women and Children

1885: Clara S. Weeks Shaw publishes the first textbook by a nurse, A Textbook of Nursing

1893: At the Chicago World Colombian Exposition nurses convene to form the first national professional association for nurse.

1900: American Journal of Nursing is first published.

1911: The Associated Alumna of the United States is rechristened the American Nurses Association.

1918: Army School of Nursing is established.

1938: The ANA publishes Incomes, Salaries, and Employment Conditions of Nurses.  

1952: First two-year associate nursing degree program is offered.

1964: Nurse Training Act passes.

1969: American Association of Colleges of Nurses forms.

1992: The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations adds at-large nursing seat to its Board, ceasing nearly three decades of ANA lobbying efforts.

1999: The nation’s first state law mandating specific nurse-to-patient ratios is signed.

That’s just a sample — I left a lot of really cool stuff out!

Click here to check out Penn Nursing Science’s wealth of information on nursing throughout history

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