8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Travel Nurse

Guest article from TGN by Kayla Reynolds

One of the great things about travel nursing is the variety of experiences for those who choose this path.  As an ICU travel nurse for the past  5+ years, I’ve learned a lot through trial and error.  If you are interested in becoming a “Gypsy” or are new to travel nursing, there are 8 things I wish I know before I became a travel nurse that I hope helps you in your journey.

Trust your gut!

I had a pretty lucrative contract in CA, but I sold my soul for it. It was a pretty rough assignment using the most outdated charting system and floated from one end of that hospital to another. Yes, I got paid well, but I certainly worked for it. My gut was right when it said, “this is too good to be true.” If you feel after an interview uneasy about anything, ask more questions, and don’t be afraid to pass on it.

Have A Safety Net!

Traveling is a risky business, and it may sound like a no-brainer but do not start traveling without some savings. You have to be ready for the unexpected, like when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere or a contract gets canceled. You may have to live without working for a few weeks. SO, be prepared for it.

Educate yourself on taxes regarding travel nursing and what is meant by maintaining a tax home.

I spent hours researching articles related to travel nursing and taxes before becoming a travel nurse. This can be very complicated.

Read your contract!

You have to go over your contract with a fine-toothed comb. Ensure you understand everything in your contract and that it includes all the things you have asked for. Some of the top things I make sure is in my contract are pay rates for the first 36 hours, hours from 36-40, and hours from 40+ (the exception is California), requested days off, cancellation policy or guaranteed hours, canceled contract policy, travel and any other reimbursements, per diems, shift times, the specific unit I will be working, and floating policy. Make sure you understand things like non-compete clauses in your contract or any other terms you agree to.

 Before starting to apply to companies have all your documents ready.

This will include a resume, certifications, copy of your diploma, vaccination records, copy of your identification card, nursing licenses, and references. Also, every company will request that you do a skills checklist before being submitted to hospitals.

Travel nursing can be uncomfortable at times.

If you were to meet me now you would probably never guess I was not the most social and certainly not as confident as I am today. That I owe to travel nursing pushing me out of my comfort zone. I have learned to go at it on my own and not wait for anyone to tag along with me to have an adventure. I like to call it dating myself or solo explorations.

Learn from the experienced travel nurses.

All of us have made mistakes going in but if you know before you start what to look out for this may save you a lot of heartache.

Be ready for whatever is thrown your way.

Finally, your reaction to situations will make or break your travel nursing career. You can choose to throw in the towel or you can handle it. Travel nursing will test your limits sometimes but you have the power to run it or let it run you.

I hope you found these tips to be helpful. One of the keys to being a successful Gypsy nurse is the willingness to help your colleagues. Feel free to let me know if they do by leaving a comment here.

Want to share your own travel nursing tips with fellow Gypsies?  Leave a comment here or (for the budding travel nursing writers out there!) email content@thegypsynurse.com with your ideas and we may be able to turn it into an article and share it with the thousands of Gypsies in our network!

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10 Great Travel Safety Tips for Travel Nurses

Safety is of great concern to travel nurses. Here are 10 Great Travel Safety Tips.

Please note that this list is not all-inclusive. Most generally, if you exercise common sense and use your gut feelings, you will be fine. The biggest thing that I will stress is that if you feel unsafe, leave the unsafe location immediately. Always be aware of your travel safety.

Here are some tips that I try to follow to stay safe:

-Plan your stops in town vs rest areas.

Avoid places without vehicles or people around. We prefer truck stops as they are usually well-lit and active—Park close to the door and, if after dark, in a well-lit area.

-Have some sort of Emergency Assistance

AAA is a great resource. If the car breaks down or gets a flat, stay in the car until the tow truck (well-marked with AAA) arrives. AAA will generally ask if you feel safe. If you do not feel safe telling them and they will usually send a police officer to you.

-Give A Friend or Family Member your Itinerary and check-in.

I give a basic itinerary (route) and call to check in when leaving and arriving.

At your assignment location, drive around and orient yourself during the day.

Scout out grocery stores, the hospital, and other things you need to visit while it is daylight, so you don’t have to be wandering around in the dark looking for them.

Select your Hotel with Safety in mind.

I suggest using a hotel with rooms on the inside, i.e. no door straight out to the parking lot

Choose the 2nd Floor

Always ask for a hotel room on the upper floor (2nd or higher), as ground floor rooms are the most vandalized. This is a good tip for any temporary housing as well.

Never travel without at least two sources of money available.

In addition to whatever cash you have on hand. Periodically you might find that your bank thinks your debit or credit card is being used suspiciously (has happened to me) and freeze it on you without warning. Don’t store these all in one place.

Secure any belongings that stay in your vehicle overnight.

Don’t leave anything obviously open to be viewed from the windows.

-Always park in a well-lit area.

If I am able to park in a location that can be viewed from the front desk all the better.

Check the new neighborhood:

http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/ or http://www.crimemapping.com

Do you have additional tips to add to these Top 10 Travel Safety Tips? Please post them in the comments.

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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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Fitness Tips for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses move from city to city for weeks at a time. You can’t really expect to eat whatever you want, not exercise and have your body be okay with it.  I know it can be not easy to pick up on regular exercise right after moving to a new home, but you have to make your health a priority; otherwise, your happiness and eventually your work will be compromised.

The Struggle is Real

How many times have you heard something like this: “I ate so much on my vacation I think I gained like 5 lbs”?  Or maybe something like, “I didn’t work out at all during my trip, so I’m going to have to start exercising again.”  Statements like these are typical for those who travel every once in a while, but these don’t really work for those in the traveling nurse field.

There are Options! Fitness Tips for Travel Nurses

So for all you travel nurses, here are a couple of quick travel nursing fitness tips for maintaining healthy fitness levels while on the road:

The Home Gym Alternative

Okay, we get it.  You don’t want to do the gym thing and exercising with a random group of strangers in a yoga or dance class is not your thing either.  Creating a home gym and doing bodyweight exercises is a great alternative to staying active and moving well.  Just pack a set of resistance bands, invest in a suspension training cord, and set up some workout space in your home.

Yelp! A Gym As Soon As You Can

In addition to looking up some of the best restaurants in your new neighborhood, take some time to look up nearby gyms that you can join as soon as you arrive.  Trust me, if you can spend a couple of seconds on your iPhone looking up 4+ star restaurants on yelp! You can easily take a couple more seconds to search local gyms in the area.

Not a gym fan? Why not kickbox or dance it up?

These days, disliking the gym is not an adequate excuse for no exercise.  There are plenty of different types of fitness classes and fun, challenging, and great activities for raising your fitness levels and know-how.  Some of these include martial arts (kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing), dance (salsa, hip hop, modern, ballet), and yoga.  If you’re adventurous enough to be a traveling nurse, then signing up for a beginner’s class in martial arts or dance should be a walk in the park.

Wellness and Balance Over Fitness

Oftentimes people get caught up in wanting to lose 5-10 lbs or reducing pant size and think that the obvious solution is to eat healthier and exercise more.  To achieve a life of wellness, the solution isn’t just about greater fitness and a healthy diet.  It requires a commitment to achieving balance and prioritizing health and fitness in your life.  This means eating well and exercising in ways that make you feel happy and balanced.

Don’t overdo your diet or your exercise program because you’ll burn out fast, but don’t go too easy on yourself, or else it’ll take a long time to see progress.  Work towards balance, and your pathway to wellness and fitness will be a little easier.

As a travel nurse, living a life of fitness and wellness is a difficult path. We hope you found these fitness tips for travel nurses helpful.

More often, you are expected to take care of the health of others. Who is going to take care of yours?  We hope that this personal responsibility falls a little easier with the tips described above.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email at matthew@movemofitness.com.

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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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Bullying in the Workplace: Tips for Handling it

Bullying is a problem throughout our country. People often think of kids in school when they think of bullying. However, according to thebalancecareers.com “ Workplace bullying is on the rise. While statistics vary, some studies reveal that nearly half of all American workers have been affected by workplace bullying, either as a target or as a witness to abusive behavior against a co-worker.”

We have seen this topic a lot in the Gypsy Nurse Facebook group. Many people asking how others have handled being bullied or a bully while on their travel nurse assignment. We have put together a list of some great tips from fellow Gypsy Nurses.

Tips for Handling Bullying in the Workplace

Talk to your Recruiter

As a travel nurse, it is important to keep your recruiter in the loop of what is going on while on your current travel nurse assignment. This includes situations of bullying in the workplace. They may be able to talk to your manager about the situation on your behalf and remedy the situation.

Integrity Line

Integrity lines are a great option as they are anonymous and not directly affiliated with the hospital itself. You may feel that by going to your charge nurse or the unit manager, you will have more of a target on your back from the person bullying you. With the integrity line, you don’t have to worry about that.

Follow the Chain of Command

Try talking to the person who is bullying you. If that doesn’t work, make sure you talk to your charge nurse. The next step to take if they can’t mend the situation goes to your manager. If you don’t feel that the situation is handled on the floor level, write the person up and go to the Director of Nursing or Human Resources. You should always follow the chain of command to allow those in charge to try to remedy the situation.

Keep it in Writing

Make sure to write down all instances of bullying. Make sure to write it out in as much detail as possible. Also be sure to document any steps you took to remedy the bullying, i.e. talking to the charge nurse. It isn’t often easy to remember every instance. If you keep a “journal” of these instances you won’t have to worry about remembering each one off the top of you head.

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Common Mistakes Travel Nurses Make


Travel nursing requires you to adapt frequently and quickly.  Your contracts last 13 weeks, and you move on.  Along the way, you can and will make mistakes.   These mistakes could not potentially harm your patients, but they can sometimes affect your contract and how your co-workers treat you.   We recently asked our Facebook network members what the most common mistakes travel nurses make.  They voted on the following mistakes as the most common mistakes that Travel Nurses make.

Getting Lost

We have all gotten lost going somewhere new.  Make sure you know your route ahead of time.  Also, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.  That way, if you do run into issues or you do end up lost, you don’t risk missing the first day of your new assignment. Getting lost seems like it shouldn’t be an issue with GPS at our fingertips. However, sometimes GPS can mislead us or run into traffic situations that we must reroute our trip.  This could, in turn, make for a longer than anticipated trip or getting lost.

Saying “Well, at this other hospital we did it this way, not your way”

Just because you did it a certain way at other hospitals doesn’t mean that is necessarily the norm for every facility.  Many facilities have their own way of doing things that they feel are the safest and efficient way.    Even if you feel the way you did it at another facility is more efficient or prefer that way, it is best to keep that.  The staff nurses do it the way they have been trained to and aren’t really interested in hearing how it is done at other places.

Not communicating issues with your recruiter

If you are having problems with your assignment or the facility, it is essential to make these things known to your recruiter.   They aren’t going to know that there are issues if you don’t tell them.  They will probably assume things are going great for you.  Keeping the lines of communication between you and your recruiter is very important.  Communication with your recruiter is important even if there aren’t any problems. But it is essential if you are having problems.  They need to know what issues you are having. Otherwise, they can’t help you fix them.

Talking about how bad the hospital is constantly

It seems obvious, but sometimes we get annoyed, and things slip out.  Even if you don’t like the hospital or have been to much better facilities, saying so will not go well.  The facility staff may not have any experience at any other facility; to them, the facility may be great.  And even if they don’t believe this, hearing someone who is a contract employee coming in and talking bad about the facility isn’t going to make them happy.

There are probably other mistakes that travel nurses make. Have you made any of these mistakes or seen other mistakes travel nurses have made? Comment them below.

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Sick Pay Laws and Travel Nursing

Many people in the United States face a tough choice when they get sick on a workday. For people in hourly positions, this can be especially painful since many hourly positions don’t offer paid sick or emergency leave.

You may have heard the United States is the no-vacation nation, but the lack of paid sick days and sick pay is a major issue, especially in the health and hospitality industries. As a nurse, working while sick can potentially compromise patient health even further. So why do nurses feel they must choose between taking care of themselves or their bank accounts? Some sick pay leave laws are changing, positively impacting travel nurses.

Sick pay benefits

Even if they don’t affect nurses directly, paid sick days can make a huge difference in a community’s health. According to a 2016 study, areas that required paid sick leave decreased the rate of the general flu by 5.5%. Allowing paid sick leave may help reduce turnover — and the associated costs — by workers leaving to seek positions with better benefits or by workers being fired after a serious illness.

Working sick

Paid and unpaid days aside, a survey found 83% of health care workers came to work sick at least once in the past year, even though 95% believed working while sick risked patient health. The main reason? They didn’t want to let their teams down or leave their units understaffed.

While admirable, we need to reassess how we view sick days in health care. Supporting sick leave within your own workplace and in your state can do just that.

The state of sick leave in the United States

Thirteen states and Washington D.C. have enacted laws to require paid sick leave, upon meeting the requirements, applies to travel nurses. These states include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. However, state-specific requirements and employee eligibility vary.

  • Arizona requires at least one hour of paid sick leave per every 30 hours worked unless you already have at least 40 hours of paid time off.
  • CaliforniaMaryland, and Massachusetts require one hour for every 30 hours worked, but the ability to use accumulated sick days doesn’t start until 90 days after the start of employment.
  • Connecticut requires one hour for every 40 hours worked for a maximum of 40 paid hours off a year. Employees can use these days after the first 30 days of employment.
  • New Jersey paid sick leave takes effect Oct. 29, 2018. Per diem, health care employees are exempt from the mandate.
  • Oregon requires business owners with more than 10 employees to give employees 40 hours of sick leave at the start of each year.
  • Vermont states that people who are employed for less than 20 weeks are exempt from the paid leave mandate.
  • Washington employers, like Connecticut employers, must offer one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours of work, but employees can’t use it until after 90 days of work.

While some states may not have statewide policies, certain cities within those states could have their own sick leave mandates. For a more detailed list, click here.

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