EP 148: Our Cali & Texas Nursing Experience

EP 148: Our Cali & Texas Nursing Experience

Our Cali & Texas Nursing Experience

In this episode, we would like to talk about our Texas nursing experience. Our Contract is finishing up, and we want to compare travel nursing in California vs Texas vs our Chicago staff jobs.

Last year in 2021, we had the pleasure of traveling nurses to 2 states, working in 3 hospitals & travel to 7 different states. 

It’s a privilege to be able to experience many different settings both in and out of work. Since we started travel nursing it increased our overall awareness of the world.

It also improved our communication skills, increased our maturity and confidence, and ultimately cultivated us to be more well-rounded. 

Our Travel nursing journey started in October 2020 and extended into a 7-month contract till April of 2021 in Santa Monica California. 

Santa Monica experience: 

  • Hospital experience 
  • Travel nurses are being canceled for high rates (Things slowed down in March)
  • Cali breaks/break nurse
  • Nurse extenders 
  • Epic charting
  • Given uniform in Santa Monica 
  • Carpooling – different schedules 
  • Donors donating food during the pandemic

The Santa Monica contract ended because they didn’t want to extend us for another month. C19 slowed down drastically end of March and there wasn’t a need for us anymore. Things turned out for the better since we were able to try our first-day position.

The transitional part to another contract was quite stressful because the agency we originally were working with couldn’t land us another contract in the area we wanted to.

It wasn’t worth relocating homes for one month so instead, we called our friend that owns a travel agency and was able to hook us up with a contract in Pasadena California for 6 weeks. 

Pasadena Hospital:

  • Transitioning to the day shift from nights
  • Working our first dayshift
  • 30-minute shorter breaks vs Santa Monica
  • How this hospital handled C19 ICU nurse had 4 patients, but the extenders did meds and basics ADL’s and the ICU nurse managed the drips, vent, and critical care tasks. 

In our 3rd contract of 2021, we ended up going to Austin, Texas. This was our first contract that didn’t go according to plan.

We started on 10/25 instead of 10/11. Things we had to plan out when it came to starting dates are; flights, housing, and transportation.

Austin Hospital:

  • Back to working nightshift
  • Paper charting 
  • Meditech vs Epic
  • Overall patient care 

Tips for travel nurses: 

  • 3-4 weeks to start considering the next travel nursing contract
    • What is your desire? What type of nursing? 
  • How many hours do you want to work as a travel nurse? 36,48,60?
  • Stand up for yourself, if you feel like you are getting treated unfairly, high-acuity floated too much, and the transition of care.
  • Check your paystub carefully
  • Don’t sign a lease for longer than your contract. 

Here’s how our travel nurse experience in Cali and Texas went, click here for the full episode 👇👇👇


0:00 Introduction
0:52 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:40 Episode Introduction
8:10 Our Santa Monica California Experience
13:39 The Difference of Santa Monica Hospital
17:00 Cool Santa Monica Uniform!
19:49 Break Nurse Experience
25:03 Why We Don’t Get Extended
27:43 Our First Day Shift Experience: Pasadena
28:15 Working with Small Travel Nursing Agency
30:35 How Pasadena Handles Covid Patients
39:33 The difference between Pasadena & Sta. Monica
43:32 For the first time, things didn’t work out 🙁
52:23 Advice on Travel Nursing

The Power of Your Mitochondria

The Power of Your Mitochondria

The Powerhouse of the Body – Mitochondria

The power of your mitochondria plays an important role in your body. You have memorized what a mitochondrion is, but do you know about the power of your mitochondria? Has anyone ever asked you, “How are you taking care of your mitochondria?” 
You may remember from high school biology that all human cells have a nucleus. And nucleus contains our genetic blueprint (DNA). But do you remember much about mitochondria? 
We can say that Humans generate and use electricity. These so-called power stations of the cell convert nutrients into energy. They are the foundational generators that provide every living cell, and ourselves. It is the energy we need to move, adapt and evolve. 
Chemical energy produced by the mitochondria is stored in a small molecule. These are called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Mitochondria contain their small chromosomes.
Generally, mitochondria, and thus mitochondrial DNA, are inherited only from the mother.
Where did the mitochondria derive from? One theory behind where this small but mighty organelle came from was no further than the bacteria in our environment [1]
Unlike the microbes that thrive in our gut, scientists believe that we evolved a close companionship with bacteria. This bacteria could tap into a far more efficient energy production model than our far-off microscopic ancestors.

Facts and Functions of Mitochondria

Fun fact: 

Mitochondria is the only other organelle in the cell (outside the nucleus) to contain a copy of your genetic code. 

Scientists have been inspired to improve their knowledge about mitochondria. They have also studied its function outside energy production using that knowledge. It turns out that mitochondria are multifunctioning organelles. 


  • ​​Play a vital role in the aging process, and most age-related diseases
  • Are vital to cell health, including regulating how nutrients get into individual cells
  • Help maintain the integrity of a cell – The energy it produces is used for growth and cell functions but is also targeted to help heal and recycle other outdated parts.
  • They help in the immune function – help activate various antiviral and anti-inflammatory pathways to help fight pathogens.
  • Regulating cell death – is an essential system designed to help destroy infected or damaged cells.

Clearly, without a healthy set of mitochondria, your ability to lead a healthy life can be significantly reduced. It is why establishing a healthy, resilient line of mitochondria is so important to optimize your well-being.

Here are a few tips you can take away to improve the power of your mitochondria [2]

1. Get active

Fun fact, you can increase the number of mitochondria within you simply through regular exercise. When your body notices a new routine in your fitness, it works to generate more energy and helps your body to adapt to changes in stress and the environment.

Abundance in the power of your mitochondria means more stamina and the more remarkable ability to allocate resources to healing after a heavy workout. 

2. Eat the right foods

Your diet is so crucial to mitochondrial health. The key is to eat enough nutrient-rich foods. Think about it this way; you’re gathering and improving natural resources used to create energy.

It provides access to antioxidants that help neutralize the toxic by-products associated with normal energy production. 

3. Decrease inflammation

Inflammation can have a very destructive effect on your mitochondria. Inflammation issues may stem from gut dysbiosis that can promote an inflamed state within your body.
Changing your diet can help balance your gut and adjust the inflammatory levels inside you [2]
Scientists found out that the mitochondria change their role during the inflammatory state. Enzymes change as the production of reactive oxygen species increases. In return, this damages the cell structures.

4. Focus on Quality Sleep

The mitochondria are such incredible organelles. They are essential in establishing healthy sleep habits. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep and learn more about practicing good sleep hygiene. ​​
Less than seven hours of sleep a night can reduce so-called mitochondrial DNA copies in the participants’ blood cells. Mitochondria are like the power source of a blood cell.
Cells function much better when more mitochondrial DNA copies are available [3].
A new study based on 30 pairs of twins suggests that less than seven hours of sleep is bad for our health and leads to poor cell function.

Viome Results on Mitochondrial Health 

In May of 2021, I was able to analyze my gut and cellular health to see what is my mitochondria health. My score was 50/100. 

Reference ranges: 

  • Not Optimal
    • 0 to 40, which represents 19.0% of the Viome population
  • Average
    • 41 to 65, which means 79.0% of the Viome population
  • Good
    • 66 to 100, which represents 2.0% of the Viome population

How are the scores calculated? 

Mitochondrial Biogenesis Pathways – Mitochondrial Biogenesis Pathways score assesses the activity levels of molecular pathways needed to biologically generate and maintain the cellular functions of your mitochondria to meet your body’s energy and metabolic demands. 

It includes PGC1-alpha signaling – known as the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis.

If the score is not optimal, it implies insufficient activity in the mitochondria support functions. It could be due to excessive oxidative stress or a deficiency in specific nutrients.

This deficiency serves as cofactors needed for the mitochondria biogenesis pathways. 

Energy Production Pathways – The Energy Production Pathways score evaluates the efficiency of your cell’s ability to convert carbohydrates (glucose) into energy molecules that fuel our cells (otherwise known as ATP). 

If the score is low, your mitochondrial metabolic activity is sluggish. It could use a little boost from the molecular targets and vitamins. It can also come from a cofactor or coenzyme supplements like:

  • CoQ1, 
  • NAD+ precursors
  • L-Carnitine
  • Various activators of AMPK (an activator of metabolic pathways, which stimulates mitochondrial ATP production).

My Personalized Supplements to Support Mitochondrial Health 

Ashwagandha Root & Leaf Extract (263 mg/day) – these extracts can be seen in-vitro to enhance cellular energy production. It is done by increasing Succinate Dehydrogenase (SDH) levels. These levels are essential enzymes in mitochondrial energy production.
Curcumin (550 mg/day) – increases the translocation of Nrf2 to the cell nucleus. This enhances mitochondrial biogenesis and health via PGC-1α and p-AMPK pathways.
Magnesium (604 mg/day) – Magnesium is essential for all ATPase activity. It is a class of enzymes that catalyze the phosphate bond in ATP. This results in a release of energy used for other cellular reactions. It includes the movement of calcium across and within the cell membrane of cardiac and vascular tissues.
L-Theanine (140 mg/day) – includes neurological and cardiovascular protective effects. Through enhanced cellular antioxidant activity and mitochondrial function, these effects are mediated.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) (35 mg/day) – In the body, B3 is converted into (NAD). NAD is a coenzyme found in glycolysis. It is also located in the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. The citric acid, or TCA cycle, is seen in energy production pathways. 
The TCA cycle is also known as the Krebs cycle. It produces Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which provides energy to cells. 
NAD also exhibited antioxidant activity and increased NAD biosynthesis. It offers protection against DNA damage during oxidative stress.

To watch the full Episode 84, check out our video below! Let’s all learn about mitochondria here 👇


0:00 Introduction
0:49 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:42 Episode Introduction
2:55 The Powerhouse of the Body – Mitochondria
9:21 What are the functions of the Mitochondria?
11:58 Improve Your Mitochondria: Get Active
14:55 Improve Your Mitochondria: Eat the right foods
15:43 Improve Your Mitochondria: Decrease Inflammation
17:18 Improve Your Mitochondria: Focus on Quality Sleep
20:57 Viome Results on Mitochondrial Health
22:58 How Viome Scores are Calculated
29:20 Personalized Supplements to Support Mitochondrial Health
29:34 Supplement: Ashwagandha Root & Leaf Extract
29:47 Supplement: Curcumin
30:12 Supplement: Magnesium
31:14 Supplement: L-Theanine
33:48 Supplement: Vitamin B3


EP 147: Retirement Planning with Aaron Fonseca

EP 147: Retirement Planning with Aaron Fonseca

EP 147: Retirement Planning with Aaron Fonseca

As nurses, it is our job to take care of our patients and our finances. How are you handling your money?

Are you planning to invest in something fruitful in the future? In this episode, we would like to introduce our guest Aaron Fonseca.

Aaron is a financial planner specializing in 401ks and retirement for traveling healthcare professionals.

He initially went into this field because he enjoyed helping people figure out how they want to save, what they want to save for, and helping them understand that not all money has to be saved. 

Questions for Our Guest:

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself.
  • How did you end up in finance and specifically finance within the travel healthcare community?
  • What are some pitfalls to avoid right off the bat when entering a new higher, paying career?
  • What are some retirement options that travel healthcare professionals have? Can they do the standard 401k?
  • Difference between a budget and financial planning?
  • What’s the best way to go about buying an expensive new car or a home?

Where can we find Aaron? Social links:

Learn more about financial and retirement planning by watching this episode here 👇


0:00 Introduction
0:49 Cup of Nurses Introduction
1:58 Episode Introduction
2:14 Meet Our Guest – Aaron Fonseca
2:44 What made you pursue finance?
6:50 What are the basic ways to start Financial Planning?
10:18 What’s the difference between IRA and 401k?
19:38 What percentage of your paycheck should you start to invest/save?
22:17 Financial Advice for New Nurses
26:06 Aaron’s Journey to Financial Literacy
29:41 What’s the process of Investing?
32:37 The Power of Compound Interest
37:41 High-risk Investments
42:26 Do you recommend putting money in Savings Account?
44:34 Aaron’s Life Outside Finance
45:52 How Covid Impacts Saving Habits
47:18 Where can people find Aaron Fonseca?

Setting & Measuring Your Goals

Setting & Measuring Your Goals

Setting & Measuring Your Goals 

What is goal setting?

Experts say setting and measuring your goals is the act of selecting a target or object you wish to achieve. Sounds simple enough but setting goals is the easy part of this process.

The real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to achieve your goal. A great question to ask yourself is “What kind of pain do I want?” Your lifestyle might change drastically depending on the quest you take on. Are you ready to endure the boring and ugly process that comes before the exciting outcomes?

Everybody wants a gold medal. Few people want to train like an Olympian.

So first things first, we need to have proper systems in place to achieve goals. Here are some good examples of systems and goals:

  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
  • If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. The system you follow is your training schedule for the month.

In this example, we see that setting and measuring your goals are useful for setting the direction but systems are great for making progress and closing the distance on your goal. The system itself is what actually achieves the results. 

How to Set Goals: Three Basic Strategies

Ruthlessly eliminate your goals 

Think about this as your goals are competing with one another for your time and attention. Whenever you start setting and measuring your goals, you have to full focus and energy on your other pursuits. Sometimes this is pausing your other goals to focus on important goals. Other times you may just need to reprioritize yourself and reorganize where your attention should flow.

Ever heard someone say “If only I had more hours in the day!” What often looks like a problem of goal setting is actually a problem of goal selection. You don’t need more time, you just need to decide.

Stack your goals

Habit stacking works well to create a specific plan for when and where you will implement your goals, but also link your new goals to something you are already doing each day.


  • Meditation: After I brew my morning coffee, I will meditate for one minute.
  • Flossing: After I set my toothbrush down, I will floss my teeth.

For example, in one study scientists asked people to fill out this sentence: “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE].”

Researchers found that people who filled out this sentence were 2x to 3x more likely to actually exercise compared to a control group who did not make plans for their future behavior.

Set an upper bound

Whenever we set goals, we almost always focus on the lower bound. That is, we think about the minimum threshold we want to hit. Let’s reframe a few ways of thinking about this concept of setting upper bound goals. If you can do more than the minimum, why not go for it? 

Before: An individual might say, “I want to lose at least 5 pounds this month.”

After: “I want to lose at least 5 pounds this month, but not more than 10.”

Before: An writer might say, “I want to write at least 500 words today.”

After: “I want to write at least 500 words today, but not more than 1,500.”

How to Achieve Your Goals Consistently 

Showing up is more important than succeeding because if you don’t build the habits of showing up, then how can you close the distance between you and your goal?

Too often people set the right goals, but develop the wrong system. If you’re fighting your system every day to make progress, then it’s going to be really hard to make consistent progress. In the book Atomic Habits these are called Hidden forces. This hidden force is the environment in which you operate. Your ambition needs to align with the environment to make progress in the long run.

How to Align Your Environment with Your Goals

Even though we have free will at any given moment, we often make decisions based on the environment we are in. Whatever goal you choose to pursue, the environment should align with how you are setting and measuring your goals. 

For example, if you want to not check your phone in the morning, then sleeping with your phone next to your bed won’t make it easier for you to wake up and not check email or social media. Try to remove the chances of making that “default decision” 

A positive example would be; If you keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, then drinking water rather than soda is more likely to be the default decision.

Scientists refer to this process of making decisions as to choice architecture. The bottom line is: It’s very hard to stick with positive habits in a negative environment.

Here are a few strategies that are useful to better default decisions in your life:


It’s hard to focus on the signal when you’re constantly surrounded by static. It’s more difficult to eat clean when you walk into the kitchen and the fridge is filled with junk food. For most people multitasking is a myth. When in doubt, eliminate options. 

Visual Cues 

There is something called the Paperclip clip by Trent Dysmid. “Every morning I would start with 120 paper clips in one jar and I would keep dialing the phone until I had moved them all to the second jar.”

This is great for those that are visual people. Making progress is satisfying, with visual measures, it provides clear evidence for your progress. As a result, this will reinforce your behavior and add a little bit of immediate satisfaction to any activity. 

Opt-Out vs. Opt-In 

There is a famous organ donation study that revealed how multiple European countries skyrocketed their organ donation rates: they required citizens to opt out of donating rather than opt-in to donating.

You can do something similar by opting in ahead of time like for a workout class for next week because you’re feeling great today. When that day rolls around, you have to give excuses to opt-out rather than motivate yourself to opt-in. 

How to Measure Your Goals

The last key factor for long-term progress on your goals is measurement. We as humans love to receive feedback. Can you recall how great it felt seeing your progress pic after working out for a few months? One of the most motivating things we can experience is evidence of our progress. 

Measuring your results, it’ll give you feedback and insights on whether or not you are making progress. We measure things that we are currently doing or improving in our goal. 

  • When I tracked my reading habit of 30 pages per day, I read more books.
  • When I journal my values, I began living with more integrity
  • When I measured my reps and sets during my workouts, I got stronger.

The trick is to realize that counting, measuring, and tracking are not about the result. Measure to discover, to find out, to understand. Are you showing up and making progress? Are you actually spending time on the things that are important to you? 

Source: https://jamesclear.com/goal-setting

Watch the full Episode 83 by clicking here 👇


0:00 Introduction
1:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
3:13 Episode Introduction
4:44 What is Goal Setting?
11:31 Ruthlessly eliminate your goals
15:15 Stack your goals
16:18 Set an upper bound
19:25 How to achieve your goals consistently
20:04 How to align your environment with your goals
31:28 How to measure your goals




EP 146: Building Community With Ryan & Emily

EP 146: Building Community With Ryan & Emily

EP 146: Building travel Nursing Community With Ryan & Emily

Are you a nurse looking into travel nursing, being a part of a travel nursing community, or maybe planning to become one?

If you are, then this video is for you.

In this episode, we welcome our fellow nurses, Ryan Cogdill and Emily Cheng, talking about their experiences as travel nurses and as nurse entrepreneurs.

Join us as we discuss the ups and downs of working in this nursing field, the role of travel nurses in the healthcare industry, the future of travel nurses, building a travel nursing community, and many more! 

Build more nursing communities by watching the full episode here 💪


0:00 Introduction
0:29 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:35 Episode Introduction
2:43 Meet Our Guest – Emily
3:06 Meet Our Guest – Ryan
3:30 How do you do IV Therapy?
4:13 Do you also do Vitamin C Therapy?
4:42 Does Vitamin C Therapy Work?
5:36 Why did you transition to travel nursing?
6:58 What’s the hardest part of travel nursing?
9:00 What’s the hardest part of transitioning from night to day shifts?
11:03 Favorite Travel Nursing Assignment
12:30 Why do you do travel nursing?
13:43 Where do you want to settle after travel nursing?
15:53 Where do you think the future of travel nursing is going to go?
19:48 How did you become Entrepreneurs?
20:06 What is the MedVenture App?
24:38 What can you expect in the MedVenture App?
31:13 What is the process of developing the app?
33:04 How do you transition from being a nurse to being a leader?
34:21 How do you handle being an entrepreneur and a nurse?
37:50 What do you do in your free time?
40:13 What is your current obsession?
42:48 Where can people find Emily & Ryan?