EP 150: Nurse Freelancing with Portia Wofford

EP 150: Nurse Freelancing with Portia Wofford

Nurse Freelancing with Portia Wofford

We nurses can work in many nursing areas that are interesting. Some of us go pro at being OR nurses, ER nurses, and travel nurses like us. However, we all have our fields of interest. Whether we stay in hospitals as staff nurses, travel to different locations, or work as freelancers, our services remain the same.

In this episode, we will talk about the ups and downs of being a freelance nurse, content writing, how to give back to the community, and many more. We also welcome our guest, Portia Wofford, an award-winning nurse turned content marketing pro and the founder of The PW Agency, Nurses Who Write, & The Healthcare Influencer Network.

If you are interested in becoming a freelance or doing some freelancing work as a nurse, this episode will surely give you an insight into how you can do it. Join us as we tackle another exciting topic that will surely provide you with the information you need.

Questions for Our Guest

The questions below are some that we tackled with Portia.

  1. Can you give us a background about yourself and your nursing experience?
  2. What made you decide to leave the bedside and pursue an entrepreneurial role?
  3. What are the secrets to being an effective writer? 
  4. How do you bridge the gap between business and nursing? 
  5. Why do you think nurses should create content?
  6. What role do you think social media plays in disseminating health education and content? 
  7. How can someone get started today with freelance writing?
  8. What is your current obsession? 

Do you want to become a freelance nurse? Here’s how 👇👇👇


0:00 Introduction
1:02 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:35 Episode Introduction
3:09 Guest Introduction: Portia Wofford
3:45 Why Portia Pursued Different Nursing Fields
7:59 What Portia Started Outside Nursing
9:33 The Barriers in Home Health & Infection Control Area
11:48 The PW Agency & The Healthcare Influencer Network
12:15 What is health equity?
15:33 How did you start your own agency?
19:26 What are the biggest barriers to being a nurse & business owner?
21:15 Tips for Nurses Who Want to Start Their Own Business
24:07 Effective Ways To Be An Efficient Writer
26:32 Recommended Resources for Aspiring Writers
27:30 How does your writing agency work?
28:11 Do you offer SEO optimization?
29:08 Portia’s Goals for 2022
30:55 How Portia Manages Her Time
33:41 How Portia Finds Time For Herself
37:01 How Social Media Plays An Important Role in Health Education
46:04 Diversity in Nursing
49:06 Where can people find Portia Wofford?

EP 149: Forensic Nursing with Leah

EP 149: Forensic Nursing with Leah

EP 149: Forensic Nursing with Leah

Forensic nursing is an exciting area of our profession that few are aware of. If you are interested in working with victims of crimes and helping solve cases, it could be an opportunity you should not miss. But what is forensic nursing? How do you become one?

All nursing areas are enjoyable to work in. If you enjoy the thrill and excitement of the Emergency Room, you can be an ER nurse.

Nurses who are into labor and delivery nursing can become Nurse-midwives. The list goes on and on – there is always something to do for those in this medical profession.

Forensic nursing is one of the best positions to work in as a nurse if you enjoy helping others in an up-close and personal manner, and in this episode, we would like to introduce our guest Leah Helmbrecht.

She has been a registered nurse for 12.5 years and is currently working as a Forensic Nurse Examiner and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

Questions for Our Guest:

  1. Can you give us a background about yourself and your nursing experience?
  2. What made you decide to become a Forensic Nurse/Sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE)?
  3. How do you become a SANE?
  4. What are some common misconceptions about sexual assault victims, and why do you think they exist? 
  5. What is the role of an FNE/SANE? 
  6. What is the hardest part of being a SANE? 
  7. What is the Neurobiology of Trauma? 
  8. What is rape-induced paralysis?
  9. What is secondary victimization? 

Here’s the full episode of this awesome discussion that we had with Leah:

If you want to catch Leah on social media, you can check out her Tiktok and Instagram @offtheclocknurse. Check it out!


0:00 Introduction
0:55 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:47 Episode Introduction
3:05 Guest Introduction: Leah Helmbrecht
3:45 Leah’s Operating Room Experience
5:08 How does traveling OR nursing work?
6:33 Why Leah Switched from OR Nurse to SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)
10:19 Day-to-day Activities of a SANE Nurse
18:33 How long do the psychological effects of sexual assault last?
22:00 Misconceptions About Sexual Assault Victims
28:15 Potential Changes to Improve the Outcomes of Sexual Assault Cases
38:27 How does rape-induced paralysis happen?
48:15 How to Become a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)?
51:26 Is SANE a specialty in forensic nursing?
52:26 Where can people find Leah Helmbrecht?

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

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?