Last week, we talked to Patrice Ballard, MSN; a travel nurse working as a Clinical Educator and part-time ER nurse for 8 months in Globe, Arizona. Part I of our nurse interview clued us travel nurses—eager to blend our medical talents with the spirit of adventure—into Patrice’s exciting months working and traveling the Southwest over. We loved reading about the circumstances behind Patrice’s first travel nurse job and tidbits on her unique housing; this week’s segment dishes on what it takes to succeed as a traveling nurse and why husbands might just fall in love with the travel nursing life, too. Q: Is your current work as a Clinical Educator as rewarding in and of itself, as the compensation and excitement of travel? A: Absolutely! There’s nothing better than preparing my students for nursing careers that will be as rewarding for them, as my career has been for me. Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of this assignment? A: This travel nursing job has reinforced the way I’ve always felt about life: that every person is given the unique opportunity to see the good in things or the bad. I’ve always chosen to see the good, [+]
Clinical Educator and ER nurse, Partrice Ballard, combines a love of travel with preparing nursing students for bright futures American Traveler caught up with Patrice Ballard, MSN for a chat about her experiences working as a Nurse Educator in Arizona. Part I of this two part nurse interview introduces RNs and physical therapists keen on combining work and travel, to a fellow professional who currently enjoys the best of both worlds. Patrice is a wife, mother and full-time Clinical Educator, with the admirable ability to work, also, in the ER once a week. Here, she shares commentary and tips for making the most of an 8 month long travel nursing assignment. Q: What prompted you to pursue a travel nursing career? A: You know, it’s a little ironic—albeit in a wonderful way—that I began a travel nurse career after 15 years in the ER. Friends and family used to describe me as a “hover mother” – couldn’t picture me on an out-of-state assignment, but when the opportunity to work 34 weeks in Globe, Arizona came, I jumped on it. Q: You secured a unique position. How did that come about?[+]
This post was written by American Traveler Staffing Professionals
Pink ribbons have long been synonymous with Breast Cancer Awareness, but there’s another advocacy group helping women who face a different cancer diagnosis: ovarian cancer; its ribbon is teal blue. RNs are a critical part of the medical team treating a woman with cancer, which, you could say, is women helping women; according to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make up 91% of the nursing workforce. If you want to use your skills to help cancer patients, American Traveler Nursing Professional Resources page has a link to the Oncology Nursing Society web site. No matter her specialty, RNs should recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer (bloating, a feeling of fullness before meals, frequent trips to the bathroom, Pelvic and abdominal pain) to help their female patients, as well as know their own bodies well enough to stay healthy themselves. The deadliest of all gynecological cancers, ovarian cancer and the research conducted everyday to beat it, is supported largely by The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA), where teal ribbons and a host of products in the same robin’s egg blue (bracelets, necklaces, pendants, art and more) are devoted to raising money for increased [+]
Movie buffs, rejoice! With the recent announcement of the nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards, it’s officially Oscar season! For the first time, the list of nominees for Best Picture has been expanded to 10. The choices for voters in the Academy run the gamut from serious drama to big-action sci-fi to whimsical animation. With so many nominations, the chances are pretty good that the RN who loves movies has seen (or will see) a good number of these films. The winner will be announced during the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony on March 7. Meanwhile, which movie do you think deserves Oscar glory? Vote in our poll below. Which movie deserves the Best Picture Oscar this year?(survey software) [+]
In today’s difficult economy, workers are realizing the importance of job security and starting to understand that a high-salaried career does not mean much if there are no jobs to be found. With that in mind, job seekers and career changers need to pay close attention to employment numbers and growth. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing and other allied health professions are among the careers most likely to see significant growth in the next eight years. Nursing jobs are likely to increase by 23% by 2018, which is well above the national average. U.S. News and World Report listed nursing as one of its 50 Best Careers for 2010, projecting that there will be a growth of 582,000 nursing jobs between 2008 and 2018, stating that many of those nursing jobs will be in physicians’ offices. A popular option for registered nurses is travel nursing. In 2009, nursing salaries ranged from $40,000 to more than $92,000, with a national median of $62,000, but travel nurses can earn a greater take-home salary than nurses in permanent positions, and they earn a number of other benefits, including completion bonuses, free health insurance, free private housing, and free [+]
More and more travel nurses are finding themselves working in a hospital that has a nurses union. What does this mean for the traveling nurse? First, know that this trend is gaining steam. Just this past December, three large RN unions (in California, Massachusetts and Maryland) merged to form the 150,000-member National Nurses United. Its mission? Says Deborah Burger, RN, one of three charter co-presidents of NNU: "We are going to make sure we organize every single direct-care RN in this country. RNs and our patients deserve to have a national nurses' movement that can advocate for them." The NNU -- which is seasoned, well-organized and well-financed -- has a very convincing sales pitch. Among the “pros” of unionization are more security for nurses, more clout when battling administrators, and higher pay and seniority protection for nursing jobs. Thus, many facilities are accepting a nurses union -- and many traveling nurses are choosing to join a union. To join, or not to join? Not everyone is a fan of RN unions. The “cons” include high union dues, having to comply with their bylaws and other regulations, and having one more layer of bureaucracy between the nurse and the patients. [+]
Thousands of nurses across the country are responding to the call for volunteers to provide medical aid in Haiti following its devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. National Nurses United, the largest RN organization in the country, says that more than 12,000 nurses have answered the call to serve, awaiting only funds (the NNU is asking for donations) and logistical arrangements (transportation, lodging, etc.) to be deployed to Haiti. This development presents two types of opportunities for the travel nurse. First, nurses between assignments may choose to do a volunteer stint in Haiti. American Traveler has seen many of its RNs volunteer over the years, and encourages those who wish to serve in Haiti to do so. The second opportunity involves travel nursing jobs that will become available to fill the temporary absences. These are likely to be opening up all across the country; check our rn jobs list often for new travel nursing assignments. In Florida, there has been a particularly large response from volunteers – and thus a looming shortage of licensed nurses. That means there’s a good chance that there will be many excellent Florida travel nursing jobs opening up. To make it even easier and more desirable for a traveling nurse to [+]
This post was written by American Traveler Staffing Professionals
Life has a way of throwing a lot at us. Some of us manage with date books and scrap paper. Now there’s a better way to organize the continuous stream of data inundating us travel nurses on a daily basis, and the good news is, it’s free! With a logo of an elephant (who never forgets), Evernote.com is a digital repository service that allows the user to create notes. What kind of notes, you ask? The answer is anything under the sun: dictated audio memos, clips from webpages, photos, business card scans, attached files—all these and more can be uploaded to Evernote, consolidated and viewed without going home and digging through your PC’s filing system. You can use Evernote on an iphone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile phone, the latest palm or any major smart phone. If you’re a traveling nurse who left these devices behind, or simply don’t want a smart phone, you can still upload notes to Evernote, by setting up a free e-mail account with them; anything you e-mail to that address goes into your repository as a new note. You can also send your notes to Evernote, via Twitter. Evernote has been endorsed by the [+]
It’s a certainty that somewhere down the road, travel nurses will start to miss their families—but now, thanks to Skype.com, any vacationer or on-the-go professional can access high quality communication that’s almost as good as being there. Skype.com proves we’ve come a LONG way since Alexander Graham Bell hooked us up with telephones. Travel nursing careers are compelling stuff, and as good a reason as any to utilize Skype’s services. When traveling nurses want to share tales of their daily adventures, Skype (rhymes with pipe) almost makes it possible to literally “reach out and touch someone” for free! Skype’s video conferencing feature was developed in January of 2006, and has gained much of its notoriety from use on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Talk show hosts and traveling professionals alike use Skype to do everything but clink coffee cups with the person they’re video conferencing; the quality is that crystal clear—in fact, examples of what Skype can do include, from Oprah.com, in progress music lessons, wherein the teacher and her pupil are on opposite sides of the world! But Skype doesn’t have to be that high-tech. You can also use it to make voice calls over the internet and [+]
Because you stay busy as a travel nurse, financial analysts recommend the more hassle-free approach of automatic, consistent contributions to your travel nurse job benefits, such as IRA and 401K savings plans; reading the fine print on your next credit card statement is a good way to get started. See if they offer a Retirement Rewards Program! Here’s an example of how it works at Fidelity Investments Retirement Rewards (American Express): you earn 2 points for every dollar charged on the card; once you rack up 5,000 points—equivalent to $2,500 in charges—Fidelity will funnel $50 into your IRA as a current year contribution. The Ameriprise Financial Mastercard offers a similar program. Considering that 78% of Americans under prioritize their retirement savings, reward programs like these seem like a good way to go—the only caveat: pay off your balances on time, or suffer the ding of a higher (than traditional credit cards) interest rate. Travel nursing jobs pay well. The U.S. Department of Labor reports earning potential for RN’s as anywhere from the upper 50’s to 110K per year; good news for nurses looking to salt away ample retirement funds. With the goal of staying in [+]
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