Tips for Travel Nursing with Your Family

Balancing work and family life can be difficult regardless of what career you’re in. This is especially true if your job requires you to travel often, such as travel nursing. If you have a family and are considering becoming a traveling nurse, here are some things that you can do to make the journey easier for you and your family.

Include Your Family in Your Decision

Even if you’re dead set on becoming a traveling nurse, if your family is coming along for the ride, it is incredibly important to consider their wants and needs as well. While it may be obvious to discuss your career move with your spouse, it is also important to ask your kids about how they feel. Having a formal conversation about the matter will help you to address any concerns or insecurities they may have about moving around. By consulting with your family instead of just springing the news on them, they are much more likely to adjust well to your new career and the lifestyle that comes with it.

Take Inventory of Your Belongings

From toys and furniture to appliances and electronics, families accumulate many items over time. However, life as a travel nurse requires a fair amount downsizing. Therefore, you should consider taking inventory of all of the items in your household before you hit the road. Unless you are going to get a storage unit, you’re likely going to have to sell or give many things away, because, when traveling, the less baggage you have the better.

Establish a Sense of Home

No matter where you go, it is important to remember that it’s a place that you and your family are going to call home for a period of time. So, once you start your new job, it is important to remember to create a sense of home for your family. Throughout your workday, check in with your family as you can to see how they are doing. When you’re off the clock, stay off the clock and spend some time with your family to help them adjust. Visit new restaurants and parks in the area so that they can become familiar with their new surroundings.

Supporting You and Your Career Needs

When managing your career as a traveling nurse gets difficult, having a little bit of support can make all the difference. At HealthCare Support, one of the top national staffing resources for those in healthcare, our staff is dedicated to helping talented professionals in all of their career-related needs. From helping you land a short-term job to getting you closer to a long-term career, our vast professional network and dedicated team of healthcare experts can provide you with the support you need to move forward in your healthcare journey.

To learn more about our career services, call us at 888-219-6285 today.

Tips for Choosing a Destination as a Travel Nurse

One of the best parts about being a travel nurse is in its name: travel. Indeed, the opportunity to explore new places and meet new faces is alluring to many prospective nurses. However, it can often be difficult to decide where to go next. Here are some tips on how to choose a destination as a travel nurse.

Understand State Licensing Requirements

When you’re in healthcare, you must be licensed to practice in whichever state you plan to work in. Therefore, when you are considering a new travel nursing destination, it is vital to look into the licensing requirements in that area. This way, you can prepare yourself by obtaining the additional qualifications needed to apply for and accept a desirable travel nursing job as soon as it becomes available.

Consider the Competition

When it comes to the number of positions available, not all places are created equal. Some areas of the country are much more competitive than others. For example, healthcare positions in Hawaii are notably more difficult to land than those in Wyoming. Therefore, if you’re looking to start working as a travel nurse sooner rather than later, it may be worthwhile to look for jobs in areas that are less competitive first. However, if you’re dead set on a particular location, be sure to start looking for positions and obtaining state licensing early on.

Keep Your Ideal Lifestyle in Mind

When choosing a travel nursing destination, it is important to consider your ideal lifestyle and personal interests. It goes without saying that you won’t spend every hour of your day at work, so when you move to a new place for your career, you should consider choosing a location that aligns with your interests. If one of your hobbies is surfing, you probably shouldn’t move to a landlocked state. If you hate the cold, you may want to choose a destination in a warmer climate. Even if your travel nursing position is temporary, you’ll be a happier and better care provider if you are somewhere that is comfortable for you.

Helping You Find Your Ideal Travel Nurse Destination

If you’re trying to decide where your next career destination as a travel nurse should be and don’t know where to start, contact the professionals at HealthCare Support. At HealthCare Support, we are dedicated to providing you with the resources you need to make your next step professionally by connecting you with our vast professional network and providing you with the expertise and knowledge you need to make an informed decision.

For more information about our career services, give us a call at 888-219-6285 today.

How to Book Housing When Travel Nursing

A big part of making the most of your travel nurse journey is knowing where you will live next. When it comes to housing, travel nurses have two options: agency-paid housing, which involves an agency figuring out housing for you; and stipend pay housing, which means you will receive a stipend to make your own housing arrangements.

Since you will have professional support and will not have to worry about utilities, availability, or security deposits, agency-paid housing is significantly less stressful. However, with stipend housing, you will have complete control and responsibility to determine where you live. Regardless of which option you lean towards more, you have a say in where and how you want to live. Below is what you need to keep in mind when booking your housing as a travel nurse.

3 Tips for Booking Housing as a Travel Nurse

  1. Plan with the length of your assignment in mind. Your assignment length can influence where and how you want to live. If it is a short assignment, staying in a hotel or rental space may be a reasonable option for you.
    1. To book a shorter stay, reliable resources include sites like AirBnB, known for hosting vacation rentals, or Travelodge, which caters to traveling professionals by offering daily, weekly, and monthly rates.
    2. For extended placements, long term stays in apartment or house subleases could be your best bet. To find open availability, try searching Facebook Groups, such as Travel Nursing: Places/Rooms for Rent. You can also browse through Extended Stay America to book a place in your assigned location.
  2. Live in a furnished home. Keep in mind that locking in housing can mean leasing an unfurnished home. To make sure you live comfortably throughout your placement, check out Furnished Finder, a site dedicated to renting out completely furnished spaces to travel nurses and other traveling professionals.
  3. Join loyalty programs. As a travel nurse, you may see yourself frequently staying in hotels at every new placement. If you see yourself consistently checking in to the same hotel chain, consider signing up for a loyalty program to get the most of each stay. The points you earn can add up to free or discounted stays, room upgrades, dining experiences, and more.

Let Someone You Trust Find You Housing 

Don’t let housing details stress you out or keep you from making the most of your travel placement. If you’re ready to travel to the places that need you most, then we’re ready to get you on the road to your next great adventure.

As a premiere, national staffing resource, HealthCare Support places talented and passionate healthcare professionals like you in dream roles and dream locations across the country. We’ll work with you to place you in the role that aligns with your goals, help you settle into a new home and stay by your side to support you throughout your entire assignment. To learn more about our open jobs and services, please give us a call at 888-219-6285.

5 Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse

It’s rare to find a career that’s as rewarding as it is exciting. From working in different facilities and specialties to working in entirely new locations, it’s easy to see why there’s a demand for travel nursing. If you’re still wondering whether this profession is right for you, here are five benefits you’ll want to think over.

Opportunities to Explore

For most, the biggest draw to travel nursing is traveling. As a travel nurse, you have the option to choose from contracts all around the country. The length, setting, and type of contracts available will fluctuate by demand, but there certainly won’t ever be a shortage of selections to apply for.

Eligibility for Permanent Staffing

While some nurses lean toward travel nursing because of the opportunities to explore, others might sign a contract with the hopes of finding their dream location or healthcare center. That’s because many travel nursing assignments also give nurses the option to sign on permanently. So, if you want to settle but don’t know exactly where, make a list of your top destinations and start searching for contracts in the areas and facilities that you rank highest.

New Ways to Network

Each travel nursing assignment comes with its own unique benefits. But something you’re certainly going to want to take advantage of no matter where your contract takes you is the chance to network. The people you meet in any given contract can be pivotal to your career path, helping you unlock opportunities you might not have been able to as permanent staff.

Exceptional Pay Rates and Benefits

Travel nurses often earn as much or more than salaried nurses. Moreover, most travel nursing positions include the same or similar benefits and allowances given to permanent staff. If you aren’t happy with the pay rate or benefits in a contract, however, you have the option to either negotiate or start looking into other assignments.

Experience for Your Resume

Choose your contracts carefully, and you can use travel nursing to achieve your largest professional goals. If you have a long-term dream of working in management, for example, you can seek out contracts in high-profile hospitals. Or, if you want to build a top-notch resume that will make you a stand-out candidate for certain specialties, you can work with a healthcare recruiter to find the right assignments.

Interested in Travel Nursing?

For anyone seriously considering travel nursing, talking with a healthcare recruiter is the first step in finding contracts. At HealthCare Support, our talent network is filled with healthcare professionals around the country — and our staff’s goal is to assist them with resume building, interview prep, and negotiation. To talk directly with a healthcare recruiter and learn more, contact HealthCare Support today at 888-219-6285.

How to Adjust to a New Practice in Nursing

Am I capable of taking on this new role? What if I don’t fit in with the rest of my team? It’s normal to have a lot of questions and a mix of emotions heading into a new nursing practice. Here are some tips to help you adjust.

Schedule Time for Self-Care

It might take some time to settle into your new nursing practice, but don’t forget to allocate some of that time for yourself. Prioritizing self-care can help you find the right work/life balance and avoid burnout. As your new schedules roll in, see how you can make room for hobbies. Or, if you have a fixed schedule, block out hours of your week to dedicate toward your favorite activities.

Allow Yourself an Adjustment Period

Remember when you were new to the entire profession — fresh out of college and filled with a range of emotions? Your first weeks and months in a new nursing practice might feel similar to your first few weeks and months as a nurse in general. Fortunately, you already have an established network of information and experience under your belt.

Before you start listening to thoughts of doubt or getting overwhelmed with anxiety, remember that you’ve already, and successfully, faced this kind of newness before. Allow yourself an adjustment period of at least six months to really learn your unit, facility, and role before you start making any serious reevaluations.

Don’t Hide Your Dedication

The longer you wait to fully commit to your new role, the longer it will take to adjust to the practice. If you’re dedicated to succeeding in your career change, don’t be afraid to let it show. Stay engaged by asking questions and retain the information you learn on the job by keeping a notebook handy. To get to know your team, interact with your coworkers on the clock — and consider taking up offers to grab lunch or coffee with them off the clock.

Work With a Professional Mentor

Your surroundings and some of your job duties might change, but you still have the same skills. If you’re thinking about making lateral or upward moves in your nursing career, consult the healthcare recruiters at HealthCare Support. We’re here to help you ace interviews, perfect your resume, negotiate job offers, and adjust to your next role in nursing. To join a talent network exclusive to the healthcare profession, contact HealthCare Support today at 888-219-6285.

Why You Should Consider Becoming a Preceptor

Are you thinking about becoming a preceptor? Have you been offered the chance to take a preceptee under your wing? If you think preceptorship might be in your future, take a closer look at why it’s worth pursuing.

What Is a Nurse Preceptor?

Preceptors are experienced nurses who help train and support student nurses in the classroom and recent graduates on the job. Serving as a mentor, preceptors typically work with preceptees in a one-on-one relationship — full-time, part-time, or as a volunteer. After establishing expectations and getting introduced in an orientation, preceptors start taking on a number of new responsibilities:

  • Introducing a nurse to the practice or certain specialties
  • Supervising and offering feedback on a nurse’s performance
  • Communicate with the preceptee and answer questions
  • Encourage time management and decision-making skills

Becoming a Nurse Preceptor

The path to becoming a nurse preceptor looks a little different for everyone. While the requirements to apply for this type of position will vary by state and setting, there are a number of courses and a plethora of literature for aspiring preceptors. If you have specific questions or need advice on how to prepare for the role, consider reaching out to preceptors in your community.

Top 4 Benefits of Precepting   

Students and new nurses seek out preceptorships to learn, find support, and get advice, but preceptors themselves have a lot to gain from the relationship, too. Here are four benefits of precepting.

  1. Leadership skills

    As a preceptor, you’ll educate, guide, and support your preceptee, which will certainly enhance your confidence as a leader.

  2. Resume building

    The skills and experience you acquire as a preceptor make for a great addition to your resume.

  3. Ongoing education

    Taking on a preceptor and teaching them about the practice is a great way to sharpen your existing skills.

  4. Long-term relationships

    By helping a new nurse assimilate, understand their role, and find a work/life balance, preceptorship creates strong professional bonds.

Your Path to Preceptorship

Leaders and teachers, preceptors are an integral part of the nursing practice. Breaking into the role of preceptor might seem intimidating, but our team of healthcare recruiters at HealthCare Support are here to help. We have the experience and professional network to help you find openings where you can take on preceptorships and mentor other healthcare professionals. If you have any questions about our hiring process or want to join our talent network, contact HealthCare Support today at 888-219-6285.

 

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Nurses

Along with all of the experience and education you’ve garnered as a nursing student, you’ve also incurred quite a bit of debt. Furthermore, the options available for paying off that debt might look a little different for you than they do for other nurses. Factors like where you live, when you graduated, and where you work all play a part in the types of programs you may be able to benefit from.

Top 3 Loan Forgiveness Options for Nurses

Whether you’re approaching the end of your post-graduate grace period or years into making payments, here are three student loan forgiveness programs you may have heard of.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is a popular option among nurses working full-time for government organizations or nonprofits. Candidates must make 120 qualifying payments on their loan before they are eligible for PSLF.

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program

Available to RNs working in critical shortage facilities such as public hospitals and free clinics, the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (NCLRP) repays up to 85% of nursing student loans for qualifying applicants. Candidates must work two or more years in a critical shortage facility to qualify.

Perkins Loan Cancellation

Nurses with a Perkins loan may have a unique opportunity to have their debt fully forgiven. The program that provided Perkins loans ended in 2017, and nurses that obtained Perkins loans before 2017 and have worked for five or more consecutive years may qualify for partial or complete loan cancellation.

Other Ways to Pay Your Nursing Student Loans

On top of looking into the loan forgiveness options mentioned above, check to see which specific opportunities are available in your state. You might qualify for loan forgiveness if you work in a shortage area or commit to a specific amount of service. If you aren’t eligible for any student loan forgiveness program or are searching for a different financial option, you may want to consider refinancing and securing a lower interest rate.

Find Your Perfect Career Match

Next to paying off your student loan debt, your top goal as a nurse is finding fulfilment in your work and your place of work. If you’re trying to qualify for a specific loan forgiveness program and need professional help finding the right nursing openings, join the HealthCare Support talent network. Our team of healthcare recruiters work day in and day out to match candidates with the right opportunities and offer continual career support. To get in touch with a healthcare recruiter, contact HealthCare Support today at 888-219-6285.

How To Become a Physician Assistant in 5 Steps

Similar to most clinical careers, the road to becoming a physician assistant (PA) is a fairly direct one. However, there are a handful of opportunities to personalize your experience and find the right specialty along the way. If you’re seriously thinking about becoming a PA, here are five steps to follow.

Get Your Undergraduate Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree is the first major step in the journey to becoming a PA. Not all programs require health- or science-related bachelor’s degrees — but obtaining one could certainly improve your chances of being accepted into more graduate programs. Furthermore, gearing your undergraduate degree toward a field such as nursing or chemistry could help you satisfy prerequisites required for PA program admission, including courses like:

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Microbiology

  • Genetics

  • Biochemistry

Earn Professional Experience

Not all PA programs require applicants to have a set amount of experience. However, having some to add on your resume will certainly make you stand out. On the other hand, some programs require you to gain upwards of 1,000 medical exposure hours, which can usually be satisfied through a paying job or volunteer work. During this time, you’ll gain hands-on experience and a better understanding of which specialty you might want to pursue in your graduate studies.

Apply for Your Master’s Degree

After you’ve accumulated enough medical exposure hours, you’ll be ready to take the next step: completing a PA graduate program. Including all coursework and clinical rotations, these programs typically take candidates three years to finish. Here are a few things you’ll need to do in preparation for the application process:

  1. Take the GRE.

  2. Retrieve your undergraduate transcripts.

  3. Ask for letters of recommendation.

  4. Write your personal statement.

Once you’ve narrowed down your top programs and applied, you may be required to interview for admission. While every school has a different process for evaluating candidates, it’s wise to prepare yourself by researching each program and asking friends and family to help with mock interviews.

Take and Pass the PANCE

After studying your way through a PA program, you’ll need to study for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Broken down into five sections, this exam awards those who pass with the title of Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C). After passing the PANCE, you must obtain state licensure before you can officially start your career as a PA.

Work With a Healthcare Recruiter

While it’s not required that you use a healthcare recruiter to help find PA career opportunities, this added step will take your job search to the next level. At HealthCare Support, our team of recruiters will not only match you with relevant PA postings, but they’ll also help you prepare with resume workshops and interview practice. To speak with one of our healthcare recruiters, contact HealthCare Support today at 888-219-6285.

Travel Nurse Contract Checklist: Top Items to Review

From when and where you’ll be working to how much you’ll earn and how often you’ll get paid, your travel nursing contract should lay out every detail regarding your next assignment. Before you accept, decline, or start negotiating, take a look at the five most important items to review in your contract.

Start and End Date

Considering the arrangements you may have to make before your assignment, verbal confirmation of the start and end date isn’t sufficient on its own. Knowing the timeframe of your contract and having it in writing can help you make necessary preparations, such as:

  • Giving notice to your current employer
  • Organizing family affairs
  • Arranging travel and lodging

Ensure that these dates are listed in your contact according to what you previously discussed with the nurse manager.

Pay Period and Rate

When looking over your contract, check for not only the pay rate but also the pay period. Details regarding sick pay — the rate and length of availability — will likely also be listed in this area of the document. In or around this section, check for a disclosed quarantine policy to see whether you’ll be compensated if required to self-isolate at any point during your assignment.

Scheduled Time Off

Do you have a vacation planned during your contract or certain days that you will be unavailable to work? Discuss these with the hiring manager during your interview. When you receive your contract, double check to make sure the dates you requested are included and accurate.

Shift to Work

For some travel nurses, having an ideal shift can make or break contracts. Whether you’re working 12-hour nights or rotating shifts, it should be clearly defined and in writing. If the details don’t align with what you’re looking for or what you previously discussed with the nurse manager, negotiate the assignment or consider another option.

License Reimbursement

If you’re being asked to travel to a new state for an assignment, check your contract to see whether license or certification reimbursement is listed. Reach out to your main point of contact to inquire about whether it can be added if it isn’t included. Some contracts may offer a reimbursement up-front or after you incur the expense.

Healthcare Recruiters Are Here to Help

Navigating travel nursing contracts is critical but sometimes complicated. To have a professional healthcare recruiter by your side throughout the job search process, join the talent network at HealthCare Support. From the right location to the ideal pay rate, our goal is to find travel nursing assignments that perfectly match your preferences. For more information on reviewing travel nursing contracts or to join our talent network, call HealthCare Support at 888-219-6285.

3 Travel Nursing Specialties in Demand During the Pandemic

While it’s uncertain what the state of the coronavirus pandemic is going to look like in just the next few months, it’s clear that the demand for healthcare professionals will continue to change as the areas of outbreak change. As a result, there has been a consistent rise in the need for specific travel nursing specialties. Let’s take a closer look at three of the travel nursing specialties that have been in the highest demand and what this demand means for travel nurses going forward.

In-Demand Travel Nursing Specialties

Below are a few of the travel nursing specialties experiencing the highest mid-pandemic demand.

Intensive care unit (ICU)

The critical care units that needed additional nurses at the beginning of the pandemic and the ones currently experiencing a higher patient load are, for a large majority, in entirely different locations — which means the need for ICU travel nurses has not slowed but shifted.

Emergency room (ER)

In areas with higher infection and hospitalization rates, ER travel nurses are in high demand to support the needs of incoming COVID patients as well as emergency trauma victims.

Medical-surgical/Telemetry

Because many facilities require med-surg and tele travel nurses to be cross-functionally proficient in the same skills, these highly similar specialties are both on the rise as more and more patients recover from critical COVID illness.

How Else Has Travel Nursing Changed?

The pay for travel nursing positions is typically higher than the salaries of permanent ones. However, this gap has widened significantly during the pandemic — with travel nurse pay rising by 76%. In outbreak areas, some travel nursing positions are offering anywhere from $4,000 to upwards of $5,000 weekly.

Healthcare Recruiting for Travel Nurses

Whether you’re a recent nursing graduate or an experienced nursing professional, the healthcare recruiters at HealthCare Support can help you transition into travel nursing. Closely following the travel nursing job market and the demand for specific specialties, we’ll match you with compatible travel nursing assignments and job opportunities that match your wants, needs, and interests. To learn more, contact HealthCare Support today at 888-219-6285.