4 Relaxation Tips for Travel Nurses This Fall

Being a travel nurse can be stressful. Moving every 13 weeks and starting new jobs at the same time can be stressful. Leaving people, you have come to know and love at this pace as well.  Add in being away from family and friends and it can be hard to find ways to relax or de-stress. We have put together some relaxation tips for travel nurses to help you on your journey.

 

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)

According to Oxford ASMR “is a feeling of well-being combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound.”  ASMR can be triggered by things like paper tearing, scalp massages, or whispering voices. These are not the only things that can trigger ASMR, however, these are common ones. If you would like to find an ASMR for yourself YouTube is a great place to search.

 

Breathing exercises are great ways to help you relax.

In order to really relax you need to activate your body’s natural relaxation response, a state of deep rest that:

  • Puts the brakes on stress
  • Slows your breathing and heart rate
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Brings your body and mind back into balance

Breathing techniques can be done in many forms such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and tai chi just to name a few.

 

Hot Baths

Taking a hot bath may not be everyone’s “cup of tea”, however, it is a great way to relax and reduce stress. Bathing stimulates blood circulation and helps calm the nervous system. Another perk is it can relieve common aches and pains. Which can be common working such a strenuous job like nursing. Also, if you have trouble sleeping at night try taking a bath right before bed. You may find that washing in the shower first and then taking a bath after is more relaxing. As many do not feel as clean after a bath than with a shower.

 

Laugh

This may seem a little strange, however, laughter really does help to relieve stress, which in turn relaxes us. Laughter has many benefits.

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it does not just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects

Laughter is not just a quick pick-me-up, though. It is also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

The way you choose to laugh is totally up to you and what you find funny. You can search for funny videos on YouTube, Facebook, or even Instagram, watch your favorite comedic movie or show. There are so many ways to find laughter.

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Places to Consider for Your Fall Travel Nursing Assignment

Fall.The time of year that reminds us how beautiful change is as winter draws near. From colorful trees to slow freezing streams, here are some locations you should consider when planning your next travel assignment.

Places to visit while traveling this fall

Minnesota

Minnesota– A family-friendly state known for its outdoor activities makes Minnesota a top spot to take in fall-time views. The are many opportunities for you to go camping, kayaking, and fishing to immerse yourself in the season and state.

 

Tennessee

Tennessee– The Great Smoky Mountains and nearby farms will make for a memorable stay in Tennessee. You can take in the views by horse-back and hiking the many trails in the surrounding area. Already rich in history, visiting Tennessee in fall will only add to the experience.

 

Washington

Washington– Rolling hills, waterfalls, and national forests will keep you busy as you venture throughout Washington. You’ll want to be sure to carve out time so you can stop by vineyards to indulge in not only the scenery but the flavors of fall as well.

 

New Jersey

New Jersey– Known for the monarch butterfly migration in the fall, you can also stop to see stunning sunsets on beaches across the state. Catching rays of sunlight between clouds, you’ll see the colors of fall casting their hues across New Jersey’s bodies of water.

 

Vermont

Vermont– Foliage, as you drive Route 9, will leave you breathless; trees with shades of red, yellow, orange, and green fill vast areas of land across the state. In addition to the dramatic drive, there is a good chance you could see various types of wildlife, bears, deer, and moose to name a few.

 

We hope this list of great places to visit while traveling this fall helps you along your travel nurse adventure!

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Travel Nurse Housing: Agency Provided Housing

There are 3 travel nurse housing options to consider.
  • Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing – Discussed Below
  • Securing your own travel nurse housing with a ‘stipend’
  • Travel in an RV

Travel Nurse Housing Tax Implications

It’s important to understand that no matter which housing option you opt for, you must have a valid tax-home in order to be able to obtain ‘free’ housing. If you do not have a tax-home, your housing costs should be taxed as income. Many agencies will not tell you this.

Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing

With agency provided housing, the agency takes care of everything for you.  From deposits (excluding any pet deposits), utilities, and furnishing.  All you should have to do is show up. Your travel nurse housing should be ‘move-in ready’.  Sometimes the internet or cable TV is not included. You may have to arrange this on your own if you need/want it.  Ask the agency if this is included. Many Agencies provide housing in hotels, motels, and extended stay type properties. These can vary greatly.  It’s important to ask what type of housing, and where and do your research.

Additionally,  if you are taking company provided housing, it’s important to know what is actually included in the companies description of ‘furnished’. ‘Furnished’ can mean a wide variety of different things to different people. I discussed the importance of clarifying what is ‘furnished’ in a previous post so I won’t rehash it here.

Questions to Ask about your Travel Nurse Housing

In addition to knowing what is furnished in your company provided housing, here is a list of other questions about travel nurse housing that you might find helpful.

  • What type of property do you provide? Apartment. Hotel. Etc.
  • What amenities does the apartment/housing offer? Ie fitness center, pool, business center (fax, copy, print).
  • Is parking provided? Is there a fee? Will the company cover?
  • The time frame for move-in and move-out.  Most companies will give you a day or two on both ends of the contract.
  • Contact information for housing.
  • Microwave, TV, Vacuum, provided? (don’t assume that your housing will include these items)
  • Address of the housing?

To-Do Before You Move Into your Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing

The following is a “To Do” list to help you ease into your agency provided travel nurse housing smoothly:

  • Obtain the address and contact information of the housing and call them yourself to confirm your arrival date and time.
  • Research the area prior to your move. Use the internet. There are a ton of internet resources to check on crime rates, locations, police blotters, etc. Use these resources and if you find any information that might be concerning to you, notify your recruiter and request a different housing assignment if appropriate.
  • On arrival at the location, drive around the neighborhood and assess the safety. Does it appear to be a safe neighborhood?
  • Obtain a copy of the lease.
  • Obtain the after-hours maintenance/emergency contact information. (Sometimes this is included in your lease)
  • If you travel with a pet; request a copy of the pet rules. (You may have to sign a pet waiver).
  • Make sure to do a pre-inspection of the apartment as soon as you arrive. I would suggest that you also take photos of any damages and make sure that the manager is made aware and it is noted on your lease.
  • Check that all windows and doors latch and lock securely.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing

Advantages

  • You don’t have to spend countless hours trying to find adequate and affordable travel nurse housing.
  • Many times you are actually treated better by the apartment staff when going through a large company. (They want you happy so they can get long-term business).
  • You are not responsible for monthly payments.
  • If housing is limited in the area, you might actually get better housing by using the agency’s resources.

Disadvantages

  • You have little to no control over the location and type of travel nurse housing provided.

Please keep an eye out for the next part of this series on travel nurse housing.

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Happy Travel Nurses Day 2018!

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Travel Nurses Day is Friday, October 12th, 2018! Are you ready to celebrate?

Falling leaves and temperatures aren’t the only harbingers of fall. For travel nurses, another sure sign of the season is Travel Nurses Day!

Medical Solutions created the annual holiday in 2013 to recognize and appreciate hard-working travel nurses everywhere. As a travel nurse, we invite you to join in the fun on Friday, October 12th!

Over at Medical Solutions, the sixth annual Travel Nurses Day celebration is already in full swing. Starting today, you can play quizzes, enter contests, listen to music, and win PRIZES all week long!

Here’s what’s on tap for Travel Nurses Day 2018:

  • #PostcardsFromTheRoad Instagram Contest
  • What’s Your Adventure Style? Quiz
  • Where Should You Travel Next? Quiz
  • Car Concert Spotify playlist

This year’s quizzes can be taken as a means to enter to win one of 10 $50 Amazon gift cards. The #PostcardsFromTheRoad Photo Contest asks travelers to share images from their journeys for the chance to win one of five $300 Amazon gift cards.

You can visit TravelNursesDay.com anytime starting now until midnight, central standard time on October 14, 2018. Prize winners will be announced the following week.

Happy Travel Nurses Day to all you amazing travelers out there!

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7 Facts You Might Not Know About TravCon 2018

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TravCon 2018 is coming soon. Will you be in Las Vegas this fall?

We know summer just started, but we’re already counting down the days to the 2018 Travelers Conference this fall! For those in the travel nurse industry, this event is kinda like the Super Bowl and Christmas all rolled up into one fun-filled weekend. Read on to learn 7 facts you might not know about TravCon 2018!

  1. The Travelers Conference, affectionately known as TravCon, is the one and only conference for travel nurses. If you’re a travel nurse or just thinking about becoming one, then this annual networking event is for you!

 

  1. TravCon takes place in Las Vegas at Bally’s Hotel and Casino this September 9th– 11th So, while you’re there, soak up the sun, take in a show, or wine and dine in style on the famous Strip.

 

  1. Whether you’re new to the travel nurse industry or you’re a seasoned veteran, there’s a little something for everyone at TravCon. You can earn CEUs, connect with other travel nurses, make lifelong friendships, and learn new skills on how to manage your travel nursing career.

 

  1. Jeff Solheim, MSN, RN-BC, CEN, CFRN, FAEN is this year’s keynote speaker. Solheim is the founder and director of Project Helping Hands, a humanitarian nonprofit that deploys clinical teams worldwide to provide care. His background in ER nursing, travel experiences, and humorous outlook on life make him an ideal fit for this year’s conference. The seminar is one you won’t want to miss!

 

  1. Tons of exhibitors will be there, including healthcare staffing agencies, financial advisors, professional associations, retirement planners, and more. So, it’s an excellent opportunity to get answers to your burning tax questions, find the staffing agency that perfectly fits your needs, or simply gather information to launch your next travel assignment!

 

  1. Spouses or traveling companions are welcome to attend. TravCon recognizes your significant other is the wind beneath your travel nursing wings, so there are sessions exclusively planned for him or her too.

 

  1. Now is the time to register! Learn more about TravCon here.

Are you going to TravCon 2018? Tell us what you’re most excited about for this year’s conference in the comments below!

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Nurses Week 2018 Steals and Deals

Nurses Week 2018

Nurses Week is May 6th to 12th! Get the most out of your Nurses Week with these deals!

Nurses Week 2018 is almost here! Are you ready? To help you celebrate your week to the fullest, Travel Nursing Central has compiled a list of Nurses Week discounts, freebies, and deals for you.

Cinnabon: As the proud sponsor of the DAISY Foundation, Cinnabon is understandably all about nurse appreciation. During Nurses Week, show your medical ID badge to any participating Cinnabon store and receive a free, delicious treat full of gooey goodness! 

American Nurses Association: Interested in technology and nursing? Then ANA’s free webinar “Emerging Technology and Its Impact on Nursing Practice” is for you! Participants will earn a free CE and gain useful insight into the impact of technology on a nurse’s daily practice, real-world advice for adapting, and how to enhance patient care using technology. The live webinar is slated for May 9th at 1 p.m. ET. Registration closes at May 8th at 7 p.m. You can learn more here.

Lippincott Nursing Center: Enter for a chance to win a $50.00 Scrubs.com gift card at Lippincott Nursing Center’s website. All you need to do is explain what #NurseStrong means to you when you complete their form here. Applicants will also receive a $10 off CE coupon just by participating.

Medical Solutions: This travel nurse staffing company is pulling out all the stops for Nurses Week. Head over to WeLoveOurNurses.com and play trivia games, quizzes, and more for a chance to win some amazing prizes, including a $1,500 grand prize.

Disney World: The most magical place on Earth loves nurses too. They offer a hotel discount to nurses at the Swan and Dolphin. When booking your rooms, use the code DREAMS to receive the discount. You will have to provide your medical ID badge at check-in to get the discount. For more information, click here.

At DiscoverNursing.com, Johnson & Johnson continues to offer free nurse themed magnets, coloring books, a “Nurses Heal” pin, and many other complimentary resources including brochures, posters, videos, and software.

Did we miss any Nurses Week activities or events out there? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, Happy Nurses Week to all you hardworking nurses!

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2018’s Top 10 Best and Worst States for Healthcare

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Where does your state stack up on the Top 10 lists for healthcare?

U.S. News and World Report recently announced its annual Best States list. The publication evaluated all 50 states across 77 different metrics. When it came to examining the best and worst in healthcare, the states were ranked based on three board measures: access to healthcare, healthcare quality, and public health.

Hawaii earned top honors this year, giving travel nurses everywhere one more reason to love the Aloha State. Meanwhile, Mississippi received the lowest grade in healthcare. If you’re looking for your next travel nursing assignment, it’s not a bad idea to check out where your state falls on the list.

So, without further ado, below are the Top 10 Best and Worst States for Healthcare:

 The 10 best states are:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Washington
  3. Iowa
  4. Connecticut
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Vermont
  7. Minnesota
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Colorado
  10. Utah

The 10 worst states are:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Arkansas
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Louisiana
  5. Alabama
  6. Kentucky
  7. West Virginia
  8. Tennessee
  9. Georgia
  10. South Carolina

Click here to read the full report and methodology.

Thanks to the nature of travel nursing, you’ve probably had experiences as a healthcare professional in several, if not all, of these states. So, as a travel nurse, did the U.S. News and World Report’s list for best and worst states in healthcare surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Easy Ways to Decompress from the Stress of Travel Nursing

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To be your best travel nurse self, it’s important to take a breather and de-stress when you can.

By Susan Whitman, Executive Vice President at Freedom Healthcare Staffing

There’s no denying that travel nurses work hard. And, with the added pressure of adapting to new environments, family, and social life on top of taking care of all your patients, it’s natural to get a little stressed every now and then. But, in order to be your very best, it’s important to not let the stress take control of your mind and body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can affect everything from sleep, anxiety, and even your mood. When working in the healthcare industry, this is exactly what you don’t want. So, it’s key to find ways to help you de-stress after a long travel assignment or even just a tough night shift.

Here are some things you can do to relax and feel rejuvenated again:

Heat it Up

Nothing is better than a nice hot bath after a hard day’s work, maybe even paired with a tangy glass of wine. But, baths aren’t the only way to decompress with the help of a higher temperature. Take advantage of your surroundings! Is your travel assignment in Colorado or Utah? Is there a spa nearby?

Use this opportunity to research what is around your area and look for local hot springs, saunas, or even mud baths. These offer the perfect chance to fully unwind, relax those aching muscles, and leave feeling like a new person. Not to mention your skin will reap all the benefits.

Get Mineral Rich

Speaking of hot springs, did you know they are rich in essential minerals such as iron, sulfate, chloride, sodium, and calcium? These help with things such as blood flow, digestive functions, and more. If hot springs aren’t your thing, consider adding these minerals by taking dietary supplements. Giving your body the resources it needs to be its very best is a great start to getting rid of and fighting stress. If you are fully nourished, you’ll perform better.

At the very least, ensure you’re taking a daily multivitamin and eating foods that provide you with all your body needs to produce the energy you need to keep up your knockout work ethic. Spinach, sweet potatoes, quinoa and blueberries are all superfoods that can help you get the vitamins and minerals you need.

Take A Vacay

Sometimes you just need to get away. Even those who “get away” as part of their jobs like travel nurses, need an escape every now and then. Use your traveling opportunities to your advantage. Don’t stay cooped up in your apartment all day. Get out and explore the local attractions. Or, better yet, take an actual vacation. Travel somewhere just for fun, or take off a few days to spend some time at a local retreat. When you work as a travel nurse, the world is your oyster. Do everything you can and use it as a way to escape from the stressors of everyday work.

Mediation

Adding meditation into your daily schedule can truly do wonders, even if it’s only a 10 minute session. During this process the body decreases its production of cortisol and adrenaline, while increasing neurotransmitters associated with calm, including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Besides these obvious health benefits, recent studies have shown that regular meditators experience more happiness, less anxiety, and greater feelings of purpose.

Get Moving

After a long shift, exercising is probably the last thing you want to do. But, it’s a great way to get your mind clear and decompress. Whether a nice run or just a quick walk around the facility you work, moving around helps send energy throughout the body while also increasing blood flow to the brain. Like anything, this can differ person to person. But, when stress has a hold of you, it’s important to try a variety of things so you can relax and perform at your very best.

As a travel nurse, stress doesn’t have to run your life. It’s important not to allow it to affect your mood, and energy; especially for the sake of your patients. Try these 5 ways to see what works best for you! Always remember, as a nurse you do a lot for the people around you so take the time out of your busy schedule to do something for yourself, too.

 

 

Susan is the Senior Vice President & CFO of Freedom Healthcare Staffing, a staffing agency for traveling nurses across the U.S. based in Aurora, Colorado. Susan has over 20 years of experience in the hospital & staffing industries beginning in 2001 as the Vice President of Fastaff Travel Nursing. The Freedom Healthcare team and Susan take pride in helping their travelers find the healthcare jobs of their dreams, providing support, outstanding benefits, and unbeatable compensation. Learn more about Freedom Healthcare: http://www.freedomhcs.com/

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Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2018

With so many travel nurse staffing companies out there, it can be difficult to find one that’s right for you. Luckily, Travel Nursing Central is here to help. In fact, we’re thrilled to reveal our Top Travel Nursing Companies for 2018!

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The results are in! Find out which travel nurse companies earned the gold in 2018!

We analyzed more than 5,500 reviews from actual travel nurses to rank approximately 215 healthcare staffing agencies. Several factors were evaluated including benefits, pay, housing, customer service, efficiency and more.

To be considered for TNC’s list, each agency needed to meet certain criteria. They must have a website, have at least 20 reviews on our site, and have been voluntarily reviewed by a travel nurse in the last three months. Our annual honor roll reflects only reviews submitted during the previous year.

Below, you’ll find the top 12 travel nurse companies for 2018:

  1. Flexcare Medical Staffing
  2. Talemed
  3. Medical Solutions
  4. Travel Nurse Across America
  5. Tailored Healthcare Staffing
  6. LiquidAgents Healthcare
  7. Fusion Medical Staffing
  8. Total Med Staffing
  9. Medical Staffing Solutions, Inc.
  10. Republic Health Resources
  11. Next Travel Nursing
  12. Medical Staffing Solutions, LLC

We hope these reviews help you find your ideal staffing company! Did your travel nurse agency make the cut? Click here to see the full list.

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Celebrate Travel Nurses Day 2017!

Calling all travel nurses: it's Travel Nurses Day this Friday, October 13th!

Calling all travel nurses: Travel Nurses Day is Friday, October 13th!

Everywhere you look, there are pumpkin spice lattes, leather boots, and a colorful pageant of vibrant leaves. It must be fall.

For travel nurses, the fall season also means a special holiday, Travel Nurses Day, is near. Created by Medical Solutions, Travel Nurses Day celebrates the hardworking spirit of travel nurses everywhere. This Friday, October 13th is your chance to treat yourself and celebrate your travel nursing career.

Over at Medical Solutions, they’ve started the festivities early. Starting today, you can play games, enter contests, listen to music, and win PRIZES all week long!

Here’s the delightful lineup for Travel Nurses’ Day 2017:

Contests and Games

  • A #NurseLaughLove Photo Contest on Instagram
  • Quizzes such as, “Where Should I Travel Next?” and “What’s Your Ultimate Source of Bliss?”
  • Two sets of fantastically fun Photofinds
  • Two sets of terrifically tremendous Travel Libs
  • A Find Your Bliss Playlist to keep you rocking through your special day

Prizes:

You can visit TravelNursesDay.com anytime starting now until midnight, central standard time on Oct. 15, 2017. Prize winners will be announced the following week.

Happy Travel Nurses Day to all you amazing travelers out there!

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