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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Why It’s Important for Travel Nurses to Take Vacations

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.

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.

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 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.

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. 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.

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

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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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Best 9 Hospitals for Travel Nurses to Work

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

Omaha, Nebraska- Children’s of Omaha

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

Nebraska’s only…

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

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

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

Wailuku, Hawaii- Maui Memorial Medical

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

Together in health:

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

Boston, Massachusetts- Boston Medical Center

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

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

Teaching:

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

Charlottesville, Virginia- UVA

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

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

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

UVA’s goals include:

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

West Plains, Missouri- Ozark Medical Center

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

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

Their website goes on to state that:

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

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

Grand Forks, North Dakota- Altru Hospital

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

Mayo Clinic Care Network:

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

Seattle, Washington- Swedish Cherry Hill

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

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

Richmond, Virginia- Virginia Commonwealth University Health (VCU)

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

They have it all:

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

Puyallup, Washington- Good Samaritan

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

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

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

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

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

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Travel Nursing Reality Show

iStock 000015987594XSmall 200x300 - Travel Nursing Reality ShowIf you always wanted to be on TV here is your chance. A new travel nursing reality show is in the works. Below is an interview with Bryan Severance of Crybaby Media who is putting the cast together.

What is the show about?

The show is about a group of fun traveling nurses that travel to and from the nicer parts of the country. It would focus more on their social lives than at work.

What will it be called?

It is unnamed as of now. Right now is just the casting process.

Who is eligible to apply?

Anyone can apply. We are looking for big personalities that have a lot of fun being a traveling nurse.

How do nurses apply? What do you need from them?

Email a picture and brief description of yourself to bryan@crybaby-media.com

When is the deadline to apply?

No deadline. But the sooner the better.

Are nurses paid to be a part of the cast?

Yes, nurses that are selected to be a part of the cast will be compensated.

Do nurses have to leave their current assignment for the show? Or do you just follow them on their current assignments?

TBD

When will it air?

TBD

What channel will it be on?

Can’t say at this moment. But it an upscale female network.

Will nurses have to notify their companies?

TBD

How many episodes will it be?

TBD

Is the show going to be more like Jersey Shore or Little People, Big World?

I guess a little more like little people, big world. Ha – but it is really just  a fun glimpse into the lives of traveling nurses. BIG CHARACTERS.

Anything else you want to add?

Below is the Casting PDF I have been sending around if that is easier. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. Do you know when this will post?

ATTENTION TRAVELING NURSES!!

DO YOU WANT TO BE ON TV?
DOES YOUR JOB TAKE YOU TO THE NICEST
PARTS OF THE COUNTRY?
ARE YOU A BIG CHARACTER?
IF SO, READ ON…

Dear Traveling Nurses of America,

We are contacting you to let you know about an exciting
opportunity that has Crybaby Media and a Major Cable Network
teaming up on a new television show centering around the
world of Traveling Nurses.

We are currently doing a casting search for Traveling Nurses, both male and female,
that have larger than life personalities! Hip, young, outgoing nurses who go to really
cool locations to be a nurse for that peak season. Maybe it is spending the winter skiing
in Aspen or surfing in Hawaii or perhaps it is spending the summer at cocktail parties in
the Hamptons or yachting in Nantucket. Whatever it may be, our perfect candidate
wants to see the country and have a FUN time doing so. A LOT OF FUN!
If this is you and your friends, we would love to hear from you. Please send a picture, a
brief description of yourself and your contact information to bryan@crybaby-media.com
and we will be in touch shortly.

Thanks so much and look forward to hearing your story!

Sincerely,
Bryan Severance
Crybaby Media
bryan@crybaby-media.com

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