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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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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Tips for Homesick Travel Nurses

As a travel nurse, you understand that you will not be at home for many months out of the year. While it’s an understanding, it doesn’t mean being away from home is enjoyable. We speak with many travel nurses who experience homesickness during an assignment. To help, we have put together this list of 10 homesick tips for travel nurses.

10 homesick tips for travel nurses

Stay Connected Via Social Media.

Social Media is a great way to stay connected. You can see what others are doing, and they can also see what you are up to.

Get To Know Your Neighbors.

Your neighbors can be great people to help you explore new areas and no longer be homesick. When you “get adopted” by others in your new surroundings, you can create a new family.

Setup Weekly Calls With Friends & Families.

Schedules give you something to look forward to. Find a day and time that works for you and your friends or families to have a weekly call. Use it as an opportunity to catch up. If you want to have more fun, use Facetime.

Go Out With New Colleagues.

It would help if you had a few similarities with some of your colleagues. Use that to build off of. Invite one of them out to dinner, drinks, coffee, or go exploring if you have travel nurses at your facility, even more of a reason to get to know them.

Explore Your New Surroundings.

Getting out in your next city helps you establish new routines. It also takes your mind off being homesick as you become present in the moment.

Have Friends/Family Visit You.

The best way to avoid being homesick and missing your friends and family is to see them. So why not have them come out for a few days. They can see your new environment, and they get to take a little vacation. It’s a win, win.

Travel With Someone.

Many travel nurses travel with someone else. Whether it’s another traveler, a friend, a loved one, or a pet, traveling with someone is certainly one of our 10 homesick tips for travel nurses.

Join A Social League.

Many cities have sports leagues you can join. These are great ways to have something social in your schedule and meet new people.

Take Your Next Assignment Near Friends and Family.

If you want to avoid being homesick on an assignment, make your next assignment near loved ones. Be sure to let your recruiter know ASAP, depending on your ideal location. It could be competitive.

Do Something New.

There must be something on your bucket list you have always wanted to try—what better time to try something new than when you are on assignment. Doing something new can help take your mind off being said and focus that energy on your new hobby.

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Self Care Tips for Travel Nurses

As travel nurses, you are always caring for others but taking care of yourself is just as important, if not more important. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not care for those who rely on you. Being on the road while on a travel nurse assignment can make it harder to care for yourself.  Not being familiar with the area may be a concern, but it doesn’t have to be.  To help you while you are on the road, The Gypsy Nurse team has put together a list of 4 self-care tips for travel nurses while on assignment.

Rest and Sleep

Self-care for travel nurses should start with focusing on sleep. Getting plenty of rest as a nurse is sometimes difficult. And working twelve-hour shifts as a travel nurse can make having a typical sleep pattern difficult. Nurses average about 6.8 hours of sleep a night. While it is recommended, they get 8 hours of sleep. It may seem that 1.2 hours of sleep isn’t that much. Looking at the big picture, that is a loss of 438 hours of sleep a year that you are losing out on. Sleep loss directly affects your health as well. We realize that getting enough sleep is easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help you fall asleep at night. Make sure the room is darkroom darkening curtains work great to keep out unwanted light, whether during the day for night shift nurses or artificial light at night.  Stay off your cell phone and/or computer. Not only does this stimulate your mind, but the blue light from them isn’t good for your eyes.  Read a book.  Reading helps to reduce stress which helps you fall asleep quicker.  If you have tried all of these and still find yourself having trouble falling asleep or getting good sleep, you can try over-the-counter supplements such as; chamomile tea or melatonin. Your body needs rest to keep it healthy and to function at its best. Lack of rest is also dangerous when driving to and from work. If you haven’t had enough rest, you could risk dozing off while driving.

Eating Healthy

As a nurse, it is sometimes difficult to maintain a healthy diet. You don’t always get to take your lunch breaks and are forced to dine on vending machine options. At the same time, convenient these things won’t keep you going for long. Many of these options are packed full of sugar. Sugar affects the body and brain in many ways, including; the obvious weight gain drains your energy, contributes to depression, and many others. Something as simple as packing a few healthy snacks for your shift could make a difference. Some examples of healthy snacks for the go could include; trail mix, avocado chicken salad, protein bars, jerky, veggies and dip, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, or protein shakes.  These are just a few suggestions. There are many more out there.  You won’t feel the need to reach for the vending machine food if you have something easy at your disposal.

Exercising

Exercising is a great method of self-care. There are numerous benefits you can receive from it. There are some obvious benefits, including helping control your weight and combating health diseases and health conditions. Did you know that it can help your mood, boost your energy, and help you get a more restful sleep at night? You don’t have to get a gym membership to exercise. YouTube is great for workouts if that is what you are looking for. Going for a jog, run or walk are also great options; these can be done anywhere!

Hobbies/ Me Time

Taking time out of your day for your time is important.  It helps to refresh and refuel your mind and body.  By taking time out of your day for yourself, you’ll lower your stress, become more productive, and have more energy.  What better way than with hobbies. They don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive; reading a book, crafting, painting, dancing, or writing.  If the outdoors is more your thing, you could go for walks, hikes or go outside and enjoy the weather.  You can always get me time by going out and getting a massage, manicure/pedicure, or facial as well.

These 4 things are just a few things you can do for self-care. Taking care of yourself should be one of your main focuses to care for others. While you may be able to get away with avoiding these things for a while, it won’t last, and at some point, your body and mind are going to hit a wall. Take time for yourself so you can help those who need you most.

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10 Tips to Help Travel Nurses De-Stress

If you’ve chosen to journey across the country as a travel nurse, you’ve probably hit a few bumps in the road along the way. Long days, challenging patients, conflicts with supervisors, and even bad weather can increase stress levels. It’s important to take care of your health and avoid Travel Nurse Burnout. Everyone will appreciate you more if you are in a fair, optimistic mood.

Here are 10 easy ways to de-stress and even lower blood pressure. Please take five minutes for yourself and give them a try the next time life throws you a little extra anxiety.

10 ways to de-stress

Play music

While classical music can be extremely calming and decrease levels of stress hormones, the truth is any music you enjoy can increase the flow of feel-good chemicals to the brain and help you relax.

Disconnect

Turn off your cell phone, step away from your computer, look away from the screen. Uninterrupted screen time can actually increase stress. So be sure to take frequent breaks and, from time to time, disconnect completely.

Laugh

Anything that makes you chuckle will work, a joke, funny video, hilarious memory, laugh out loud. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphin that is released by your brain.”

Take a walk

Moving your body or any exercise that you enjoy stimulates blood flow. Helping to de-stress. Staying active regularly helps keep you fit and better prepared to handle stressful situations.

Breathe

Breathing exercises can help. One popular choice is to take a deep breath in, hold for the count of ten, then exhale for a count of ten. In fact, just taking a few deep breaths can reduce tension and de-stress. The extra boost of oxygen nourishes the brain and can lower blood pressure.

Sniff

Escape for just a few moments with essential oil. Aromatherapy has been shown to decrease stress levels, making them perfect for de-stressing; some popular scents include lavender, vanilla, and chamomile.

Plan

De-stressing takes time and planning. No doubt you will have jam-packed days and challenging to-do lists to keep stress at bay and build time between commitments. Don’t schedule every minute to avoid rushing and fear of being late—real stressors!

Eat like a monkey

Bananas are loaded with potassium, which has been shown to help regulate blood pressure and even improves energy levels during stressful times.

Eat

Good nutrition continuously helps keep you healthy, but a treat from time to time in small portions can also boost your mood and combat stress. Dark chocolate is one of the best choices because its flavanols may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Rest

Sleep is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. But not all sleep is created equal. To be rested, you need adequate amounts of uninterrupted sleep. Many times it quality, not quantity, that can best help you de-stress.

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Budget Tips for Travel Nurses on Assignment

Sticking to a budget is important for all of us; however, it is even more important for travel nurses.  As travel nurses, you spend 13 weeks on an assignment and typically move on.  With each of these moves, you need to have the funds to get to your next location and have the funds to pay for a place to stay during your next assignment.  

Below you will find some budgeting tips from fellow travel nurses:

Negotiate monthly AirBnB or VRBO before you book

It never hurts to ask for a discount on housing.  Because you will be staying there for 13 or more weeks straight, they may be willing to give you a discount.  It benefits you to stay for a long time and the person you are renting your housing from.  

One member suggested only renting an Airbnb or VRBO for a week and then asked around at work about potential housing.   Locals may have more insight than what you can find on the internet.  Someone at your new assignment may even have a room to rent that isn’t listed on the internet.   Housing is the largest portion of the money that travel nurses spend. Why not save some money on it along the way?

Meal Prep or Take your lunch to work

Meal prepping is a great option to help with your budget.  It makes taking your lunch to work a lot easier as the meals are ready to go when you need them.   Most hospital cafeterias can be pricey.   You can save a lot of money by just taking your lunch to work. 

The Instant pot is a big hit with travel nurses because it takes up little space and cooks quickly.  There is also an abundance of recipes on the internet and Pinterest as well.   

Dollar Stores and Couponing

You can find many great things at Dollar Stores: cleaning products, toiletries, foods, and many other items.  Many of the cleaning items they offer are name brands in smaller sizes, perfect for a travel nurse who may not need a full-size product.  You can also find dinnerware at dollar stores, so if you don’t feel like packing yours for every assignment, you can pick up a set at your local dollar store and not worry about breaking them or taking them with you on your next assignment.

Couponing can save you a lot of money.   The hardest part of couponing appears to be getting started.  Thrifty Nomad gives some great tips on getting started couponing

Make Your Own Coffee

Buying coffee from chain stores adds up.  The prices vary from location to location, but even at $3-$4 for a small coffee, you are spending at least $21 a week if you buy coffee every day of the week.  By making it at home, you will save a lot of money.  Many people stick to single-serve coffee makers because it creates less waste if you know you won’t drink a whole pot, and as a travel nurse, they take up less space as well. 

Groupon for experiences

Groupon is a great place to look for discounts on local experiences.  The discounts may not be huge, but they can and do add up in the long run.  These can include; food, shows, zoos, museums, etc.   Groupon offers discounts in many areas, and you can search easily.    What is nice about Groupon is that not only do they offer discounts, but they also have reviews of everything listed.  Since you may not be familiar with your new location having these reviews is very helpful. 

Look for free local things to do

It is straightforward to find things to do in your new location because of the internet and social media.  You can search Facebook for free events.  If you like the outdoors, the local Parks and Recreation website or the Facebook page might be a good place to look for free events.  Asking around at your new assignment is a good way to find free local things to do as well.

BUDGET

It seems obvious to use a budget, but the first step to sticking to a budget is having a budget. Put as much into your savings as you can.   This is important for many reasons. It will ensure that you will have what you need when you move on to your next assignment. Also, if you are out of work for any period of time, you will have money to live off of.  Having savings on hand is just a smart move all around. 

These are just a few tips on how to budget and save money while on assignment.  There are other ways to save money that you will find along the way.  These are just a few suggestions to help you get started. 

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Great Tips For Reducing Housing Costs on Your Next Assignment

Hey Gypsies – we all know that several different factors can make a huge difference in a travel nursing assignment’s success.  One of the major ones is how you approach housing and housing options.  Travel Nurse Housing Costs can be a major financial factor. Most agencies will provide you with a few housing options, and you will need to figure out what’s best for your and your unique situation.  Cost is always a factor in the travel nursing housing equation, so we’ve pulled together these 4 tips for reducing housing costs on your next travel nursing assignment.

Reducing your housing costs

Cook your meals at home.

It seems like a small choice to make, but this can have a huge impact over the course of your assignment. Eating out is both expensive and unhealthy in comparison to preparing your meals at home. When dining out, the average meal costs $12.75 in the U.S. That’s more than $1,000 a month!

Cooking food in your own kitchen can make you feel more at home while you’re living in a new place. When you’re choosing housing for your next assignment, make sure it comes with a full-sized kitchen, or at least a kitchenette, with the necessary kitchenware to be your own chef.

Especially with rapid response and crisis assignments, sometimes you need to find housing fast. But travel nurses always need to be aware of sketchy rental situations as, unfortunately, there are some housing scams out there.  Stay diligent in vetting every agreement before you sign a lease.
Some common red flags to watch out for include:

  • Any price that seems too good to be true.
  • A property manager who communicates with you only via email.
  • A landlord who doesn’t ask for any background info.
  • A landlord or property manager who says they’re in another country and wants money wired to them.

The easiest way to avoid these scams is to rely on a trusted temporary housing provider or your agency to find and secure your housing. Work with housing experts who have access to an inventory of trusted, vetted properties. You won’t have to stress or do any of the work to find quality housing that you can trust.

Choose the housing stipend

Unless you’re completely new to travel nursing, you may want to consider taking the housing stipend over agency-provided housing strongly. Agencies may choose pricier accommodations for nurses to uphold a quality reputation. But with the flexibility of a housing stipend, you can choose your price point and pocket the difference. This also allows you to set the duration of your stay. Many agencies will match your move-in and move-out dates to the dates of your assignment. With a stipend, you can move-in early or extend your stay if you want to stay longer.

Beyond savings, picking your own housing lets you select which part of town you want to experience and which housing amenities matter most to your lifestyle. You may be able to lower your travel nurse Housing Costs by cutting out conveniences you don’t care about.

Save yourself from the hassle of coordinating a U-Haul rental and moving your needed belongings to each new city. The average travel nurse assignment is 13 weeks, but it can be as short as 4 or 5 weeks. The easiest solution is to rent furnishings and housewares — or find housing with these included.

The price of renting might initially dissuade you, but the potential long-term savings pay off. This option allows you to avoid the risk of damaging any of your valuable furniture or personal possessions. You won’t have to spend time and effort on renting a van and scheduling movers. You also don’t have to worry about your existing items fitting into every space you rent. Every apartment or house you rent has its own available space and room dimensions. Leave that coordination to the professionals and cut your travel nurse housing costs.

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Tips for Flying with Pets

Traveling to a new city is common for a travel nurse, but traveling with a pet is nerve-racking. Pets can respond differently when flying, and it can be horrifying for them. To make traveling easier with your pets, here are some tips for flying with pets.

1.) Book as Early As You Can
Most airlines can only take so many pets per flight, so you should book your tickets as soon as you know you are moving. You should also check before you book your ticket to make sure that the airline has a ‘pet seat’ available. You should try to book with the agent who confirmed the ‘pet seat’ so you are sure that you are both on the same flight.

2.) Buy the Right Carrier
Before planning your trip, you need to buy the right carrier. Your pet is going to be in it for a few hours, so you should think about what would be comfortable for them for that time.

3.) Direct Flight
If you can, book a direct flight with no stops. This will mean that your pet is not waiting hours in its carrier waiting for the flight to take off.

As always, do your own research. You know your pet best. They may need more than what we mentioned in this article. When traveling with a pet, there are many other considerations from housing options, care, and expenses. Don’t take traveling with a pet lightly. Do a little pre-planning and research, and your furry friend can travel with you, enriching both your lives.

Being a travel nurse means that you will be traveling a lot, so you may need to take your pets. Planning is the number one thing that you need to do when you travel with your pets. We hope you found these tips for flying with pets helpful. Do you have tips on flying or traveling with your pet? Please post your suggestions in the comments below.

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