The Best and the Worse Things About Travel Nursing

The Best and the Worse Things About Travel Nursing

The Best and the Worse Things About Travel Nursing

Just like any job, there are pros and cons of travel nursing. Don’t get me wrong, travel nursing is an excellent job, but knowing the pros and cons will help you understand it better. Do you plan to become a travel nurse? Great! Here are the pros and cons of travel nursing that you should know.

Worse Things About Travel Nursing

Before we get to the good part, we will first talk about the cons of travel nursing. It will give you an insight into why travel nursing isn’t ideal for all nurses. 

No paid time off

Understand that not all travel nurse companies pay their nurses during their day off. It means you will not be paid if you want to go out of town to visit your friends or family during your day off. What if you’re sick and have to miss work, and you’ll use your days off to get rest? Sometimes, your living stipend can be deducted for the days you missed. It is something to think about. 

Taxes could be your nightmare

As a travel nurse, you are constantly on the move. That said, you will be claiming your income in different places of work too. Filing multiple income tax returns can be daunting. It also needs to be clarified as different states may have other requirements for travel nurses. You could make mistakes along the way. And because of this, you might need to hire a professional to do your returns to avoid errors. So besides paying taxes, you will also pay someone to do it for you. That’s double expenses on your part. 

You’re always in new and unfamiliar places

If you need help adjusting to a new environment, being a travel nurse is not for you. As a travel nurse, you will be assigned to unfamiliar places, and you have to learn the ropes once you get there. It means you will find ways to learn the policies and procedures of the facility you’re assigned to. You will also familiarize yourself with the area you’re temporarily living in. And if you find this uncomfortable, you will not survive this job. 

Pay rates may vary

Besides the possibility of not getting paid on your day off, you will also have to deal with varying pay rates. Understand that not all travel nursing companies pay their nurses the same rates. Some of them may offer lower pay, but you have benefits, while others may pay higher but no other benefits. Some states also offer higher wages for travel nurses, while others only pay a little. If you prefer earning fixed wages, there may be better jobs than travel nursing. 

The “new guy” role

Since this job includes traveling to different places for work, there’s a stigma of being the “newbie” on the job. There’s nothing wrong with being the new guy on the job, but it can get tiring to know different people or remember names. it also feels lonely when you’re alone in a new setting, and making friends can be challenging. Even if you’re a good person who wants to interact with people, it may sometimes be different for others. So you have to take time to adjust to the loneliness. 

Work assignments can sometimes suck

As the new guy on the team, you will sometimes get assigned to work that no other nurses would like to do. Sure, you may not care too much because it’s part of the job, but sometimes, you don’t want to be someone who cleans up poo and urine all the time, right? It may not always be the case, but you can’t avoid it. You’ll eventually get assigned to a job that no one wants. 

The work schedule is only sometimes favorable

Your job is to fill in as additional nursing staff to healthcare facilities that need help. It also means that you need to pick your work schedule. There will be times when you’re assigned hours you don’t like or on days you don’t want. It will affect your schedule and plans in many ways. Most of the time, you will be working the night shifts too. If this doesn’t bother you initially, it will be difficult to adjust to in the long run. 

Floating assignments

Your assignment as a travel nurse brings you to many places, but at the same time, it also gives you assignments you won’t like. One of these is being assigned as a float nurse. Although you’re supposed to be placed in a specific area, you will also be assigned as a float nurse due to staff shortage. 

A float nurse is when you’re sent to another unit to help as a staff besides the unit you were assigned in first. And their healthcare facilities have policies in which travel nurses are the first to float around units. That said, you will have to learn everything about the unit you float to and be the new nurse in a new place all over again. So, if you don’t want to do this kind of assignment, you may have to think twice about becoming a travel nurse. 

Licensing issues

Each state has a different licensing requirement for travel nurses. Some require a compact license, while others are okay with your current one. But as you progress into your travel nurse career, you will need a couple of licenses in different states, and it can be challenging to obtain them. And if you choose to avoid getting multiple licenses, this can limit your contract choices. So, not only is it costly, but it’s also time-consuming to complete. 

A contract can be canceled at any time

There will be times when your contract gets canceled before it even starts. It could be because the hospital you’re assigned to feels like they no longer need to fill in the travel nurse position. When this happens, you end up with no job. It’s even uncomfortable when you’re already in the location waiting for your shift to start, then all of a sudden, your contract gets canceled. What will you do then? This is one disadvantage of travel nursing that you need to be prepared for. You must have a backup plan in case this happens. 

Homesickness is an issue

When you’re a new travel nurse, being homesick is normal. But if you still get homesick even after years of being a travel nurse, the issue is in you. Accepting a contract in a location that is near your family and friends may ease this longing. However, your travel nurse assignments may only sometimes be near your home. If this is going to be an issue for you, you need to rethink your decision to become a travel nurse. 

Best Things About Travel Nursing

Travel nursing has many disadvantages, yes, but it is also a rewarding job. If you love nursing and traveling, this is your ideal job. So, what are the advantages of being a travel nurse? Here’s what you need to know. 

There’s job security

Travel nurses will always have a job. There’s a need for nurses all over the country. Remember that we’re still dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, and nurses must care for thousands of complex patients affected by the pandemic. Hospitals always need nurses, and there will be vacancies to fill in. The number of nurse retirees and nurses that left the profession because of the pandemic is countless. So, the need for staff nurses is always there. Travel nurses will never be out of jobs in the future, that’s for sure. 

Pay is Great

One of the best advantages of being a travel nurse is earning a six-figure salary. Sounds good. In some cases, some hospitals can even increase the travel nurse’s pay if they need staff. It’s an excellent chance to grab. You can expect to get paid higher than the permanent employees at any hospital you’re hired in, something which you should consider. 

The chance to travel 

If you’re a nurse with a wanderlust, travel nursing is an excellent option to do. By the job title itself, you always have the chance to travel all over the country. Not only o you get to travel, but you can also live in different places where you’re assigned. This is your dream job if you love working and exploring various places. 

No workplace politics

Drama at work is inevitable. It is a real problem when you stay in one job and work with the same people for years. Be a travel nurse to avoid getting tangled in workplace politics. All you have to do is show up for work, get paid, and leave. You don’t have to attend meetings, participate in clubs, or deal with the politics of your unit. Sounds like a dream to me. 

Meeting and making new friends.

You will always be the new nurse as a travel nurse, but you can still make friends. Traveling as a nurse is more fun when you meet new people and make friends. The experience becomes more memorable. Not only do you get to meet people, but you also make connections. And these connections can help your career in the future. Now that’s a win-win situation! 

It teaches you new life skills

When you become a travel nurse, you will find yourself in situations that are not normal. You also leave the comforts of your home and everything that you know. As a travel nurse, you set out into the unknown. You will have to use every survival and critical thinking skill you know to adapt to the changes and new environment. It also enhances your communication skills and builds your resilience. 

There’s flexibility

You may not get paid on your day off, but you have control over your working hours. It is one of the advantages of this job. Unlike permanent positions, travel nurses can apply for vacation and get certain days off in their schedules. You can plan as many activities as possible because you can choose which days you want to work and days to slack off. If this is your kind of thing, we recommend becoming a travel nurse today. 

Reimbursements

Your travel expenses, uniforms, and nursing license expenses will be reimbursed by the company that hired you. So, besides your take-home salary, you also have additional payments through reimbursements. It’s like starting your career for free.

Your Takeaway

Being a travel nurse is a mixture of leisure and work. It may be challenging at first, but as your work pushes on, you will realize it’s not all bad. Travel nursing has many benefits if you like to be on the go and enjoy working as a nurse. It’s a practical job if you wish to remain untied to long-term positions. So, why not try it for a couple of months and see how it goes? You’ll never know what’s in store for you!

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

The nursing shortage has been an ongoing issue for many years, but this is all propaganda. We now know that there is no real shortage of nurses. But then again, what will happen if we are short on nurses? What happens when there are not enough nurses in the healthcare field? Here are six things that will happen.

When Nurses Disappear

Nurses are the jack of all trades in the healthcare industry. They do almost everything. From completing their front desk duties to transferring patients, and laboratory work, nurses, are there, working all the time. But when nurses are gone, will the world still be the same? Six things could happen when nurses are no longer here to do their job.

There will be more burnouts

When there are not enough nurses, more nurses are compelled to work more and stay on longer shifts. There’s no more downtime, and spending time with their family and friends is little to none. Tasks will pile up, and the remaining nurses will feel overwhelmed. This will drain them more to the point that they are no longer happy to do their job. In time, they will also quit, leaving fewer nurses to do the same routine and heading to the same route as their former colleagues. If no more nurses are left, this cycle will continue until no one is left to care for the sick and dying.

Low-quality patient care

Burnout causes nurses to lose patience quickly. When you’re always tired, dealing with difficult patients is challenging. And worse, burnout nurses won’t bother getting to know their patients or their cases any longer. This could affect the kind of care they give to their patients. And as a result, this could lead to poor quality care and many problems for patients and nurses.

More medical errors

No other healthcare professional stays with the patient longer than nurses. We are the ones who take care of the patient when the doctors are not around, and we make sure that all of them are taken care of. But what happens when a nurse is burned out? Tending to one patient can take around 15-20 minutes tops.

If you have ten patients waiting in line for their medication, you must take time and assess each medication so the right one goes to the correct patient. And when you’re a burned-out nurse, you could miss a small yet important detail about your patient’s medication. It can cost your patient’s life and your job on the line.

Low patient satisfaction

A burned-out nurse cannot provide quality patient care, leading to low patient satisfaction. The lack of available nurses can also affect this; many patients will feel like they are not given the care they came to the hospital for.

High mortality rate

Nurses are the ones who care for the sick and dying. When there are not enough nurses on the floor, emergency patients will be forced to wait longer. Emergency services will be delayed, and medical assistance will also be slow. We know that time is of the essence, especially when it comes to critical patients. When nurses are burned out, the lives of our patients are at stake.

Animosity among nurses

A short-staffed hospital means more work for the remaining nurses. This puts them under a lot of pressure and stress. And when stress takes over, peer relationships can get strained easily. Misunderstandings, like a simple bathroom break, coming in a few minutes late for work, or late endorsements, become a big deal to each other.

Your Takeaway

There is no nursing shortage if healthcare facilities take care of their nurses. Providing them with the help they need when they’re feeling down, like counseling or some needed time off, will make a difference. Nurses are not robots; we must take care of them. If we want nurses to be around longer and happier, we must find a way to help them too.

EP. 198 Guide to Personal Finance With Anthony Swain

EP. 198 Guide to Personal Finance With Anthony Swain

Guide to Personal Finance With Anthony Swain

Personal finance must be your top priority. The nursing profession is indeed a lucrative job. It has its perks and advantages, mainly if you choose to be a nurse in a specific field like travel nursing. If you’re a student nurse right now, you’re probably thinking, “I want to be a nurse because it pays well, ” While this is true, this should not be your end goal. Just because the job pays well, that’s all you’ll ever chase. Being a nurse is more than just the dollar sign; being a travel nurse requires time and dedication. And if you want to do both and get the paycheck you deserve, you must also learn how to build a solid financial foundation.

Remember, you will not be a nurse forever, and learning to manage your finances as early as now will help set your future. What can you do about it? And what are the benefits of having a solid financial foundation?

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Anthony Swain. Anthony has been an RN since 2014 and works as a travel nurse and Nurse Finance Coach. He recently released his new e-book, The Travel Nurses’ Guide to Personal Finance. The goal of his book is to help nurses & other healthcare professionals develop a solid personal financial foundation so that they can be empowered by money rather than be hindered by it. His mission is to help others reach financial independence. 

QUESTIONS FOR OUR GUEST

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.

Looking forward to our conversation!

These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off your questions and wherever else our conversation goes.

  1. Can you please give us a little background about yourself?
  2. Before we dive into some financial tips, what was your favorite unit to work on?
    1. What was it like working with liver and kidney transplants? What did the day-to-day look like?
    2. When it comes to liver and kidney transplants, what are some protocols you follow or things you pay attention to? 
  3. When you started travel nursing, what really surprised you? Were you surprised by how little focus is placed on investing and saving for your future?
  4. Is working overtime worth it? Doesn’t a lot of it get eaten away by taxes?
  5. What are the most critical systems to put in play when travel nursing? 
    1. Where should people start to put their money?
  6. In your book, you mention asset and investment allocation; what are they, and are they different?

ENDING QUESTIONS

Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests.

If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 

Connect with Anthony through his Instagram at @financially fit.rn Or check out his book titled The Travel Nurses’ Guide to Personal Finance

SPECIAL CODE: CupofNurses25 for 25% off for the entire week of the podcast episode 

Want to learn more about managing your personal finances? Click here for the full video 👇👇👇

TIMESTAMPS:

00:00 Introduction
01:44 About Anthony Swain
03:37 Travel nurse financial lesson
04:48 Financial tips for new grad nurses
10:02 Possible modifications to make student loan repayment easier
14:25 Financial advice for nursing staff who want to do travel nursing
17:16 What to do with the money you’ve saved?
18:32 The journey of writing a book
20:31 What’s inside the book
21:50 How to begin building financial stability
24:54 How to track your finances
30:35 What to do with your extra money
33:36 Can a nurse retire early?
36:45 Difference between Asset allocation and Investment allocation
38:01 Where are Anthony’s Investment
40:57 Difference between an Index Fund and a Stock
45:38 Universal Life Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance Policy
50:12 Wrapping up the show

7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

Nursing is an incredible career with rewarding rewards. You’ll meet all kinds of people and work in different fields. But it would be best if you had nursing career goals in mind. Remember, you will not be working in this field for the rest of your life. Set goals, work on them, and achieve them. 

Why should you have career goals?

Having your first nursing job is exciting. And while it is good to have a job, you must also have career goals. Why? Career goals help you stay focused. It will keep you from getting stuck on a cycle where everything looks and feels the same. Goals are your finish lines. They make your job more exciting. It gives you something to look forward to, steps to follow, and progress to make. 

As a nurse, your career goals may vary. But as you go through these goals, be sure to have achievable ones. What kind of career goals should you have as a nurse? Here’s what you need to know.

#1. Having an Advance Degree is a Plus

Furthering your career is always a wise decision. Advancing your career in nursing can boost your resume, increase job opportunities and security, and even help you earn more money. An Associate’s Degree is good but consider working towards your Bachelor’s Degree. It will allow you to work in magnet-status hospitals and offer you management positions. It will also open doors for leadership positions in nursing administration and management. That said, a Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing is helpful to have. 

Advanced practices are also an excellent option to take. This path requires you to have either a Master’s or a Ph.D. It will also give you more one-on-one care relationships with your patients. 

Choosing any specialty is one advantage of having a higher or advanced nursing practice. It will also give you better hours and a pay raise. Sometimes, nurses in this field become physician’s assistants or even pursue being a doctor. The most common paths for advanced practices are:

  • Nurse practitioner 
  • Nurse Anesthetist 
  • Nurse Midwife 
  • Physician Assistant

#2. Upgrade Your Nursing Certifications

As your nursing career grows, so should your certifications. Certifications are helpful in all stages of your nursing career. Whether you are new or already working as a nurse, this could put you in a good position. It will also give you an advantage over other candidates, especially when applying for a particular area you are interested in.

If you aim to work in a specialty area like ICU or other intensive care units, increasing your knowledge and credentials is the best way to do it. 

Be always on the lookout for ways to increase your knowledge. Specific certifications can also increase your competency as a nurse, and the more knowledge and skills you have, the more valuable you are. 

Many hospitals offer classes in-house for nurses who wish to obtain advanced certifications. All you have to do is sign up and start your journey from there. 

#3. Volunteer to boost your career

There is a constant need for nurses to volunteer all the time. Many clinics, hospitals, and other facilities need the help of volunteer nurses both in the United States and abroad. This is the best time to do some volunteer work. Nurses who volunteer internationally are highly appreciated in developing countries. There is a greater need for them in countries that need medical help. 

The excellent news about volunteering is you can start doing them even as a nursing student. As a registered nurse, volunteering can help boost your career. It is also a gratifying experience that no textbook or classroom can teach you. So, list volunteering as one of your career goals in the nursing field. You may enjoy it in the future. 

#4. Learn advanced technologies

The use of medical technology is constantly evolving, and nurses working in medical fields must adapt to these changes. These technologies could be portable patient monitors or telehealth services – all used to create, update or access patient files. Nurses must learn to use these technologies; mastering them can benefit your career in many ways. 

How can you stay updated with advanced technologies? For one, you can read free blogs for nurses. There are also many apps that nurses can use and familiarize themselves with the latest technologies used in patient care. Subscribing to journals and magazines for nurses is also helpful. They keep nurses updated with the latest technologies in healthcare. If you want to take it a step further, joining professional organizations for nurses can also help you. 

#5. Specialize in a specific nursing field

Nurses are the Jack of All Trades in this industry, but it is always wise to master one trade. There must be a reason why you decided to be a nurse. Maybe a family member inspired you to be one, or you have a passion for working with children. Either way, having a specialization helps you advance your career. If you are thinking of an area to specialize in, consider the following:

  • Ambulatory care
  • Cardiovascular 
  • Dialysis 
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics 
  • Holistic care
  • Infection control and prevention
  • Medical-surgical
  • Neonatal 
  • Neuroscience
  • Obstetrics 
  • Oncology 
  • Orthopedics 
  • Pediatrics or children’s healthcare
  • Psychiatric or mental health care

#6. Improve your communication skills

Nurses must communicate well with patients, families, and colleagues. And improving your communication skills can boost your career and growth as a professional nurse. 

Strong communication skills can boost patient health outcomes and enhance professional relationships with co-workers, patients, and their families. But beyond oral and written communication, nurses must also be good at active listening. It is your job to care for patients, take orders/directions from doctors and be part of a nursing team. 

Effective communication also includes patient education, compassion, awareness of people’s cultures, and presentation skills. 

#7. Climb the professional ladder

You can stay as a bedside nurse or change your career path. If you want to step away from bedside nursing, you can do that, but you can start small and work your way up. Start with a charge nurse position. As a charge nurse, you can handle different patient issues and are resourceful. You will also manage nursing staff, create shift schedules, and solve disputes during your shift. These roles are your precursor role in becoming a unit manager. 

Unit managers must have at least five years of nursing experience and administrative work. Sometimes, hospitals may require a bachelor’s or a master’s degree to qualify. 

Administrative positions remove nurses from the bedside and direct patient care, but big pay raises and banker’s hours come with that. If you want a thriving nursing career in the future, consider aiming for such a position. It will be an excellent option to keep open. Hopefully, these tips will help you reach your goals for your nursing career. 

 

Miscommunication Among Nurses and How to Avoid It

Miscommunication Among Nurses and How to Avoid It

Miscommunication Among Nurses and How to Avoid It

Nurses are among the essential workers in the healthcare world, especially now that we have a pandemic. However, miscommunication among nurses is an issue that happens quite often. How can this be avoided? What causes miscommunication among nurses? 

How Can Miscommunication Among Nurses Be Avoided?

There are a couple of ways that nurses can avoid miscommunication. Keep in mind that being able to relay the correct information about their patients can make a difference in nursing care. As a nurse, you must provide accurate data regarding their condition so proper nursing can be given. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Make eye contact when endorsing patients.

There is a sense of relief whenever the shift is over, especially if it has been a toxic one since you first clocked in. While it is exciting to exit the nurse’s station once your shift is over, make proper endorsements first. The best way to ensure no miscommunication is to make eye contact with the next nurse on duty when endorsing the patient’s chart. 

Take the time to explain everything, from the procedures done to the patient, medications given, the diagnosis (if you have to), and even the physician/s who came to check in with them.

Making eye contact gives you the chance to scan for any uncertainty in their face or if they understood what was said to them. It is also the best way to engage someone in a conversation and ensure they listen to what you say. 

2. Use bedside nursing boards.

Bedside nursing boards are also commonly known as bed-census boards. These can help you with an open line of communication among nurses in the team/building, the patient’s families, and you as health care providers.

The boards help with the patient’s condition and communicate with their families and the rest of the hospital staff. Understand that there are tons of healthcare providers in the hospital working on patients. Failing to communicate properly can lead to negative consequences.

Bedside boards are essential in providing reports to the next nurse on duty. It can help them understand what happened during your shift and fill them in on the patient’s history if this is their first time handling them. Bed-census boards also prove to the patient’s families that proper care is given to their loved ones. 

3. Take time to talk to your patients.

Nurses are often busy in each shift, and it is not surprising that they cannot give their patients full attention. However, taking the time to check on your patients, listen to their concerns, and show that you can help are enough to put them at ease. It is also a good nursing quality to have. 

Allowing a few minutes of one-on-one conversation with your patients can be rewarding. It is easier to see how they are improving and establish a sense of trust as their nurse. Although you may not do this every day, it is best to create a routine and stick to it. 

How Can Nurses Improve Their Communication Skills

Improving communication among nurses is possible. To do this, nurses like you practice patience and become better listeners. When you listen, you don’t offer one ear but both. Keep in mind that you are working with other nurses who are also busy. Listening to each other is crucial to providing better services to patients. 
 
You can also avoid communication conflict when you practice active listening. Active listening is repeating the key points of the conversation to the speaker. So, make it a habit to listen to your coworkers and improve your listening skills. 
 
Another way to avoid miscommunication among nurses is not to interrupt the speaker. This could be helpful during endorsements at the end of the shift. Allow the person to finish talking first before asking questions.
 
Keep in mind that even the slightest cues can determine the condition of patients. Resist the urge to ask questions whenever someone is talking. 
 
As a nurse, you must also learn to maintain a positive attitude. Remember, happiness is contagious! Your positive outlook can also affect your coworkers and even your patients.
 
When things get a little serious, be sure to keep your emotions in check. Your nurse training taught you to remain professional and courteous during conversations. No matter how angry or upset you are, keep it cool.
 
Be aware that your emotions can affect others and your ability to communicate at work. When you do so, miscommunication among nurses will not happen.

In Closing

Communication is an essential part of patient care, and when this is done accordingly, it is nurses can work together effectively. If you feel like you or your coworkers are missing out on proper communication, take the step to address this issue. It will surely help your team and other hospital staff to do better as you provide nursing care to your patients.