What to Expect as a Telemetry Travel Nurse

As you prepare to launch your travel career and head out on your first telemetry travel nurse job, it’s completely normal to feel nervous. To help you prepare for your assignment and know what to expect, try to keep the following three tips in mind:

1. Familiarize yourself with the hospital- and unit-specific protocols.

Once you arrive at the facility, ask questions and take notes 🗒. Try to quickly learn where the crash cards and ambu bags are. Do your best to become comfortable with the way things work in your new environment.

2. Be a team player.

You’re there to do your job, and part of doing your job is making things easier not just for yourself, but for others, as well. Teamwork truly makes the dream work 🙌. If you have spare time and see a fellow nurse that’s behind on passing meds, admissions, or discharge paperwork, offer a helping hand when you can.

3. Be adaptable.

As a telemetry travel nurse, you may be called upon to float to another unit. You also may have a more challenging patient load from time to time. Not being able to control certain aspects of your assignment comes with the territory of telemetry travel nursing. You’ll save yourself a great deal of frustration on the back end if you come into a new role with an open mind. Definitely be assertive if there are parts of your staffing agreement that aren’t being honored, but also understand that there is a give-and-take required in this field.

Advantages to Being a Telemetry Travel Nurse

Telemetry is incredibly fast-paced and is also highly in demand, largely due to the aging of our country’s large baby boomer population. As a telemetry travel nurse, you get to work with high-risk patients that require intensive care. The job is challenging, intellectually-stimulating, and very rewarding.

Final Tips and Advice for Telemetry Travel Nurses

Be sure to familiarize yourself with your contract and responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions throughout your shift. Remember to remain flexible and open to learning new things. Lastly, enjoy yourself! 😊 Enjoy the responsibilities that come with your unique role as a telemetry travel nurse, and let your enthusiasm shine through, even when you’re given a difficult assignment. Your attitude is contagious—if it’s a positive one, the staff and managers will want you to stick around.

See Telemetry Travel Jobs Now

Psychiatric Travel Nurse Jobs Available Now

At Next Travel Nursing, our team of specialty-focused recruiters is proud to work with #awesome psychiatric nurses like you. There is a growing need for RNs who specialize in psychology and mental health, resulting in a growing number of open psychiatric travel nurse jobs.

As a psychiatric nurse, you’re an expert in crisis intervention, mental health, medications, and therapies that can assist patients in overcoming or mastering mental illnesses. The time you invest in each patient is substantial, and the impact you have on their lives and well-being is truly incredible 👏. Whether aiding someone who is suffering from an anxiety disorder or helping someone overcome a history of substance abuse, you’re efforts are extremely important to the American healthcare system.

Our team of experienced travel nurse recruiters is ready to help match you with that perfect travel assignment. With platinum-level benefits, competitive pay rates 💰, an in-house travel and housing team, bonus programs, and a 401(k) plan, Next can help you get the most out of your travel job. What’s more, our team truly cares about your success—in addition to your recruiter, you’ll have 24/7 access to our nurse support team, led by our Chief Nursing Officer.

See Psychiatric Travel Nursing Jobs

Ready to land that next psychiatric travel nurse assignment? Browse the job board below 👇 for the latest opening from Next Travel Nursing.

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Compact License Changes Implemented January 2018: What Travel Nurses Need to Know

This post was originally published on Nov. 8, 2017. It has been updated (Jan. 29, 2018) to reflect the signing of Colorado SB 18-027 and New Mexico Senate Bill 1 into law, enacting Colorado and New Mexico as the newest eNLC member states.

In 2015, the Boards of Nursing updated and revised the Nurse Licensure Compact, creating the Enhanced NLC, or eNLC. On Jan. 19, 2018, the eNLC was officially implemented—here’s what you need to know about the changes to compact state licenses.

Who’s In and Who’s Out?

First things first—not every state in the original NLC is on board with the eNLC. If you hold a nursing license in Rhode Island, you can no longer travel to compact states without additional licensure (and vice versa).

When one door closes, however, another opens, and five states that weren’t part of the original NLC have jumped on the eNLC bandwagon. Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming are eNLC members, and Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont have pending legislation that would allow them to add their names to the list.

Here’s an at-a-glance map of states that have adopted or have pending eNLC legislation.

Updated eNLC map compact statesHave License, Will Travel

If you had a multi-state license under the original NLC compact and your home state has joined the eNLC, you have been grandfathered into the eNLC, meaning you’re good to go—you can travel to and work in any other eNLC state without jumping through additional licensure hoops. For example, if your home state is currently North Carolina and you held a multi-state license under the NLC, you can work in Maryland, West Virginia, or any other state that’s part of the eNLC.

However, if you were to move your permanent residency from North Carolina to Maryland (or any other eNLC state), you’ll need to obtain a license to practice in that state plus meet the Uniform Licensure Requirements (ULR) for a multi-state license (more on that in a bit).

Turning the tables, if you live in Florida (which just entered the eNLC and was not an NLC member) and your New Year’s resolution is to embark on a travel nursing adventure, you’re starting from scratch. If that’s the case, you have to check three proverbial boxes: you must apply through your state Board of Nursing, pay a fee (varies by state), and meet the ULR.

The ULR is a set of 11 requirements that broadly fall into three categories: your qualifications ✅, your track record ✅, and your work eligibility ✅. Included in the qualifications bucket is a suitable education, passing an NCLEX or predecessor exam, English proficiency, and meeting the licensure requirements in your home state. The background qualifications include not having active disciplinary actions on your license, no felony or nursing-related misdemeanor convictions, no current participation in alternative programs, and undergoing fingerprint screening. Work eligibility is simply having a valid Social Security number.

If you live in a state that’s new to the eNLC, you’ll receive a notification from your state Board of Nursing outlining the steps to take in order to begin practicing in other states. Applications should be available online now.

Diving into the Details

It’s important for current travel nurses in NLC-to-eNLC states to know that they’re covered. If, by July 20, 2017, you were licensed in an NLC state that adopted the eNLC framework, then your multi-state license should have rolled over to an eNLC multi-state license on Jan. 19, 2018.

There’s consensus that more states will continue to push legislation to become part of the eNLC. If so, that will open up even more opportunities for travel nurses to see the country, embark on adventures, and create lasting memories.

If you have questions about how your compact state license has been affected by the implementation of the eNLC, contact a travel nurse recruiter at Next Travel Nursing today 👍.


Why a Healthy Work-Life Balance is Important and Achievable for Nurses

In the world of nursing, work-life balance ebbs and flows. Considering that roughly 62% of the nursing workforce is in a hospital setting, it’s easy to understand how achieving a healthy work-life balance can quickly become a challenge. Flipping from days to nights (and then back again), dealing with difficult patients, and taking on the stress of the job is not easy. Nevertheless, a healthy work-life balance remains a necessity for all nurses. And why not talk about it now? 2017 is the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Year of the Healthy Nurse, and September’s theme is dedicated to work-life balance. ⚖

Importance of being intentional

When your work-life balance is at a healthy level, you hardly even notice. It seems like just another day—status-quo. Slowly but surely, if you let your work-life balance become skewed one way or another, everything in life seems to get out of whack. Before you know it, your job may feel tortuous and life outside of work just isn’t what it used to be. You’re burnt out. Think of it like this: When you’re healthy, you hardly take note of it. When you’re sick, though, the effects seem to creep into nearly every facet of your life. 😥

Can travel nursing really help?

Travel nursing could be a great avenue for nurses to utilize to achieve their work-life balance needs and/or desires. How so? Glad you asked! Here are three great reasons:

  1. Flexibility: You get to pick where you work and when. If you want a two-week break between jobs, take one! No more fighting for seniority.
  2. Ability to disconnect: Tired of doing the same old thing on your days off? Long for new adventures? Well, move somewhere that interests you! Is it the downtown lifestyle, being on the beach, or hiking in the mountains that gets you excited? Then go there! Not sure? Give them all a try.
  3. Great pay: While travel nursing, you often get housing stipends and competitive pay. We all know that financial issues can lead to significant stress. Not having to worry about that is a big advantage. Plus, being able to afford the activities you enjoy will help get your mind off work when needed.

A healthy work-life balance is essential to the well-being of every nurse. Be intentional to care for yourself so you can provide the best care for your patients! As the airline industry always says, “Put your oxygen mask on first, then help your neighbor.” Taking good care of yourself is synonymous with taking good care of your patients. 👊

Want to learn more about the opportunities travel nursing can provide? Get in touch with a recruiter at Next Travel Nursing today.

Learn more about the benefits of travel nursing with Next.

Why Your Relationship with Your Travel Nursing Recruiter can Make or Break Your Assignment

When working as a travel nurse, one of the most important relationships you can develop is the one with your recruiter. Your recruiter can best serve you if they get to know you and understand what you hope to achieve through travel nursing. Let’s dive deeper into how exactly strengthening the nurse-recruiter relationship can benefit your career.

When on assignment, your recruiter is your lifeline.

When you’re on a travel nursing assignment, there will sometimes be questions or uncertainties that arise—that’s a reality with any job. While your peers at your assigned facility will likely be able to answer many of your questions, having a resource you can count on outside of the facility is incredibly important. Developing a strong relationship with your recruiter helps to build both trust and confidence, meaning you can comfortably come to them with questions. It’s nice having someone understanding on the other end of the line, isn’t it? Your recruiter is your BFF on the fly.

Your recruiter should genuinely care about your success.

When choosing which recruiter you’d like to work with (though not every agency provides options for nurses), it’s important that you find someone that understands your work experience, your goals, and how you define success within the scope of a travel nursing job. Working as a traveler is an exciting opportunity; having that extra support will help you make the most of your assignments. If you’re having trouble, your recruiter is there to listen and help. A strong relationship means the recruiter really cares about your success and the things that are important to you.

Remember that your recruiter is here to help you.

Your recruiter wants to make sure that you have the best possible experience on your travel nursing assignment. What’s more, they can typically be one step ahead on your behalf; whether you’re asleep, busy with your current assignment, or simply unavailable, your recruiter can be searching for your next potential assignment. He or she can act like the link between you and your next travel job. If there’s somewhere you’ve been wanting to travel to, your recruiter can keep an eye out for assignments in that area. While you are a patient advocate, your recruiter is your advocate.

Our team understands that your relationship with your recruiter is so crucial to your experience.  At Next Travel Nursing, you’re able to choose the recruiter you want to work with to help you make the most of your assignments. Yeah, we know. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

Match with Recruiters

What to Expect as a Med-Surg Travel Nurse

Venturing out on your first med-surg travel nursing assignment may have you feeling nervous. In truth, starting any new job in an unfamiliar environment can cause anxiety 😬. To help you better prepare for your assignment and put those nerves at ease, the recruitment team at Next Travel Nursing turned to one of our own med-surg nurses, Ashley!

Next: What are three things every med-surg nurse should know when heading out on their first travel assignment?

Ashley: First, know your basics: nurse ratios, scrub color, location of hospital and floor. etc. Those things should be covered in your first interview, but if they’re not, ask. Every hospital is different; each has its own policies and procedures and general way in which they do things on the floor. It’s very annoying for the permanent staff to hear, “Well, this isn’t how we do it back home,” “That’s not the way I was taught,” or, “You should change and do it this way.” You are a travel nurse now, and with that, you have to quickly pick up on how each hospital functions. It’s not going to help anybody to complain if you’re not used to something.

Secondly, be flexible! You are there for a reason. You cannot expect to have the exact schedule you want, the easiest patients, or asked to never float. It simply doesn’t work like that. The more flexible you are as a travel nurse, trust me, the better it will turn out for you in the long run. If you are easy to work with, it will benefit you.

Thirdly, it’s okay to ask questions. We aren’t expected to come in knowing exactly how the floor/unit runs. The permanent staff would rather you ask than do something wrong. Also, be helpful to the other nurses. If you are caught up, offer to help the other nurses with anything they need. This act will go a long way in the traveler world, just like it does in the permanent-staff world.

Next: What is your favorite thing about being a med-surg travel nurse?

Ashley: I love the flexibility of travel nursing. I love that I get to learn new ways to provide patient care, meet new people, and see the country. I love being put out of my comfort zone and surviving. I love proving to myself that I can pick up new charting systems, policies, etc. It’s very self rewarding to know that you can roll with anything that gets thrown at you as a nurse. It’s nice that, if you find that a particular hospital or unit isn’t quite what you like, in 13 weeks, you’re off on a new adventure and not stuck there. And, let’s be honest, the pay is so much better!

Next: Any final tips or advice you would like to convey to fellow med-surg travel nurses?

Ashley: Strive to be the type of nurse that you would want to work with. Just because you are on a unit temporarily doesn’t mean that you can’t form the type of relationships with people you would as a permanent staff member. Be the travel nurse that the staff, managers, etc., beg to stay, and someone who they are really going to miss once your assignment is over.

From the entire Next Travel Nursing team, thank you to Ashley for her valuable insights on the med-surg travel nursing world 👏. We’re thrilled to help nurses like Ashley find the assignments that best fit her needs and wants, and can help you do the same.

If you’re ready to see what med-surg travel nursing opportunities may be available to you, be sure to contact one of our specialty-focused recruiters today. 📲

See med-surg travel nursing jobs available today.

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?

Travel nursing provides many benefits that permanent positions in healthcare facilities most likely cannot, including the flexibility to experience a new environment every few months, access to a recruiter that understands your needs and wants, and, in most cases, lucrative financial incentives. 

Travel nurses are typically paid very well compared to their full-time, permanent peers. In many situations, hospitals desperately need travel nurses to fill open positions and care for their patients. If you are going to fill critical gaps in a healthcare facility’s staff and learn the ins and outs of a new work environment, you should be compensated well during your contract with the facility. Never be embarrassed or afraid to ask what a travel nurse makes—arming yourself with this information can help you get the most of your next travel assignment.

What is a travel nurse salary?

As with staff nurse salaries, a travel nurse salary can vary quite a bit depending on where you are in the country and what type of nursing you are going to do (med-surg vs. critical care, for example). According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median pay for nurses is $32.91 an hour, or an annual salary of $68,450 per year; according to Indeed.com, the hourly rate for a travel nurse is $44.81 an hour. However, as a travel nurse, often the best approach to take when comparing compensation packages is to focus on weekly net pay. This is the estimated net amount that will be deposited into your account for working the contracted weekly hours—essentially, your actual take-home pay. 

How is weekly net pay calculated?

To calculate net pay, subtract the estimated weekly taxes from the weekly taxable wage and add the remainder to the total weekly tax-free stipends to calculate the weekly net pay for a contract. For an even more detailed breakdown on calculating take-home pay, reach out to a Next Travel Nursing recruiter.

Wait, so do travel nurses really make more than staff nurses do?

Simply put, yes, the average travel nurse makes more than the average staff nurse doing exactly the same job. Sometimes a travel nurse can actually earn a lot more than the staff nurse can. Think about it this way: To attract travel nurses, hospitals need to pay an attractive hourly rate. So, the travel nurse salary is already higher, just as an hourly rate.

Then add in a housing stipend . The staff nurse has to pay to rent or a mortgage; the hospital usually pays for the travel nurse’s living expenses. Some programs offer pretty decent reimbursements for travel, too. You may need to submit receipts for travel, but if it is a flat rate, any amount you don’t spend on travel goes right in your pocket. 

Does your contract offer a sign on bonus? Does your contract offer a completion bonus? Can you earn overtime? Can you get bonus pay for holiday shifts? When you think about everything that goes into a travel nursing salary, you have to add up all of these pools of money that aren’t usually offered to staff nurses.

Are you ready to make more as a travel nurse?

If you have questions about travel nurse salaries and the financial benefits that could be available to you, reach out to an experienced recruiter at Next Travel Nursing today.

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How to Become a Travel Nurse

Travel nursing is often an attractive career opportunity that includes great pay, the chance to see different regions of the country, and many more benefits. What it takes to become a travel nurse, however, is not always clear to those new to the field. To help, the Next Travel Nursing team has assembled a list of five steps to becoming a successful travel nurse.

1. Meet the necessary qualifications.

To become a travel nurse, you must:

Without meeting these qualifications, most travel nursing agencies will not consider registering your details.

2. Have a registered home address to access tax-free earnings.

Having a registered home address/state isn’t an absolute necessity to become travel nurse—but, if you want to earn money on a tax-free basis, this is something you need. There’s no exact rule about how far from your home address a job needs to be to be considered a travel nurse post, but the team at Next considers 75 miles the typical minimum standard. 🗺️

3. Be flexible.

As a nurse, flexibility is likely something you utilize at your job each and every day. As a travel nurse, the willingness and ability to be flexible is even more critical.

Most travel nursing jobs span between 13-26 weeks, so the flexibility might not necessarily be tied to your ability to travel on short notice ⏰. However, if your employer wants you to cover staff across a number of different departments, flexibility comes in very handy.

4. Make sure you’re licensed to work in the state you are considering taking an assignment in.

Another important travel nursing requirement is being licensed to work in the state in which your assignment is located. If you are qualified in or have worked in a compact state, you are automatically licensed to work in 25 U.S. states 🇺🇸. If you haven’t, you will need to find out what license you do need and apply for it. (A Next recruiter can help guide you through this process.)

5. Be personable.

Another soft skill that’s beneficial in travel nursing is exhibiting a friendly, approachable demeanor when on the job. This will help you quickly mesh with the many teams and colleagues you’ll be working with. This type of attitude can also help you fit in wherever you work and to avoid office politics.

6. Reach out to an experienced travel nursing staffing agency.

Ready to take the first step towards becoming a travel nurse? Or, simply want to learn more? Reach out to the team at Next Travel Nursing today to get your questions answered or to begin your travel nursing journey.

Learn more about the benefits of travel nursing with Next.

What to Expect as a Labor and Delivery Travel Nurse 👶🍼

Embarking on your first L&D travel nursing assignment can be nerve-wracking experience—that’s the reality of starting any new job in an unfamiliar environment. To help you have a better idea of what to expect, we turned to a veteran Next L&D travel nurse: Lauren!

Here’s what Lauren had to say 💬 about labor and delivery travel nursing:

Next: What should every L&D nurse try to learn when heading out on their first travel assignment?

Lauren: The first thing to know is what roles the L&D nurse and nursery nurse fill on that specific unit. For example, are you the nurse for the delivery or the recovery? And does that include the baby, as well?

The second thing you should know is the acuity of the unit and how many deliveries, on average, are done. 

Finally, ask questions about the communication between the staff and doctors. Ask if the unit is LDRP or not, C-section circulating/scrubbing, and what type of charting is done.

Next: One thing you wish someone would have told you when you were starting out as a L&D travel nurse?

Lauren: Get as many details as possible about what your expected role will be as far as being the nursery nurse and postpartum nurse, along with your L&D role.

Next: What is your favorite thing about being a labor and delivery travel nurse?

Lauren: I love getting to see how other facilities run their labor units and learning new ways of assisting families with the delivery of their newborns.

Next: Any final tips or advice for fellow L&D travel nurses?

Lauren: Be flexible and assertive. Make sure to ask questions prior to taking the assignment and once you start. Each unit does things differently; go with the flow and take opportunities to learn new things. Ask about scheduling with the managers there and what they expect as far as making your schedule, not calling you off with low census, and shifts you’ll be expected to work. 

Special thanks to Lauren from the entire Next Travel Nursing team for her willingness to share her experience and advice. 👏

Think travel nursing might be the ideal next step for your career? Simply want to learn more about L&D travel assignments available? Reach out to a Next recruiter today to learn more or to get started as a travel nurse.

Learn more about the benefits of travel nursing with Next.

Some Better-Late-Than-Never Tax Advice for Travel Nurses!

Everyone’s most dreaded time of the year is here and April 18th is rapidly approaching. That’s right, tax time is here, which means it is time to get things in order so you can file. Taxes are always inconvenient. But keeping an accurate account of your income and expenses throughout the year will make things SUPER easy this time of year.

A travel nurse salary is already impressive, but here are some way to ensure you get the most out of your refund. So without further ado, our tax advice for travel nurses:

Track Everything 📈📝📝

Accurately tracking your expenses will reduce the stress and work you have to do when it’s time to file. You can use a mobile app, a spreadsheet, or a good old fashioned pen and paper ledger. The important thing to remember is to track how you spend your money. Many items can be deducted from your taxes, such as travel costs, accommodation, transport in your area of work, and some meals. If you do not keep track of them, you won’t be able to identify which expenses can be deducted.

Receipts are Vital 💻💳📊

It’s annoying, but you gotta do it. Keep all of them and log them for ease. Receipts are essential for a travel nurse’s taxes because they are a quick and easy way to see what can be deducted. There are all kinds of receipts to keep in mind, including: association or union dues, license feeds, uniform and its upkeep, medical equipment, cell phone and internet, continuing education, relevant journal subscriptions, etc.

Get the Proper Paperwork 📄📃📑

Make sure you have the right tax paperwork to file. Your agency should provide the proper documents you need to begin filing.

Individual states and countries have specific regulations concerning taxes, and it is up to you – or your agency – to know them as they apply to travel nurses. The more you know about local tax codes, the easier it will be to complete your taxes in a timely fashion. You should also be aware of any special tax laws your state or country of origin have.

Of course, travel nurses will often work in more than one state over a year, so expect to pay taxes to the state you work and your home state. But make sure you work closely with your agency because any good one will ensure you’re doing the things you should.

File as Early as You Can ⏰⏳⌛️

DUH! Why else would you be reading this??😛  Seriously though, in the future try to not do this. The key to an easy tax season is organization. Keep your receipts and paperwork in the same place, maybe a simple filing folder. You may be surprised at how simple this is when you’ve put everything in one spot.

And of course, you can always call call the taxing authority of the state. Find their information here for more assistance.

So that’s it. Get those taxes filed and get your money! And if you want to join a Top-10 agency that ensures its nurses are ready for tax time – and anything else – click the button below!

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