5 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Travel Nurses

While your Next Travel Nursing recruiter will be your BFF throughout your travel experience, getting the most out of your personal technology when on assignment is also helpful. Travel nursing is all about adventure and community—these five must-have mobile apps can help you make the most out of your stay.

1. Waze

Possibly the best-known mobile app on this list, Waze is a navigation app —but better. Waze reports information such as traffic congestion, accidents, and construction. Navigating a new area can be tricky, and rush hour can be a major headache in a large city if you’re not prepared. This app will direct you via the quickest route and help keep you on-time for your new gig and free-time adventures.

2. Google Keep

Everyone knows how chaotic moving can be, even for 13-week stints. Making lists  is a must, especially when moving to a new area with a new job lined up. Google Keep is our top pick for list apps. You can name and keep multiple lists in the app, with check-boxes next to each item to help you as you go. Keep is also useful for keeping important information on hand—you can save notes in the app. The app automatically backs up to your Google account and any other Keep apps you have on your devices (tablet, laptob, etc.), so if you lose your phone, you can have peace of mind that your information is still on your account.

3. BrightNest

BrightNest is a unique app that uses your location to create a list of the stores and services available in the area . The app pulls up a variety of home improvement and organization resources that are ultra-helpful as a renter. Forget a laundry basket? No problem! BrightNest will show you the nearest store in your new city. This app is great for those headed to cities they’ve never visited.

4. Yeti

Half the excitement of travel nursing is getting to explore a new city and state. Yeti is known as the “Tinder of places.” Using your location, the app pulls up great local places to visit, such as restaurants, attractions, and events, all presented in the “swipe” format. Swipe right for more information, and swipe left to see the next suggestion. Users can also discuss their experiences at certain attractions on the discussion board. Pretty sweet, right? Yeti’s a great tool to have in your pocket.

5. Airbnb

Nurses who work with Next have the added advantage of our in-house Travel & Housing department, a team of people who can set up company-paid housing or make knowledgeable recommendations if you choose to set up your own accommodations. However, if you’re working with another agency, or simply plan on taking any overnight trips away from your assignment location, Airbnb allows you to look at and book housing options on-the-go. The app lists apartments and rooms that individuals or families have posted for rent. Many travel nurses find housing arrangements through this app . Airbnb is also a nice way to begin to meet people in the area outside of work. The owners may be able to point you in the right direction for entertainment and attractions in the area.

Want more helpful travel nursing tips? Talk to a specialty-focused recruiter at Next Travel Nursing today!


Travel Nurse Taxes: Last Minute Advice

April 18th is Fast Approaching

Tax season is here and April 18th is fast approaching. It’s time to get things in order so you can file your travel nurse taxes. Your travel nurse salary is already impressive. How do you ensure the most from your refund?  Next Travel Nursing is breaking down four points of making the most of your travel nurse tax refund.

1) Track Everything 📈📝📝

Tracking your expenses will reduce the stress and work you have to do when it’s time to file. Mobile apps, spreadsheets, or pen and paper ledger are options. Just make sure it is accurate.  Remember to track your spending takes some time and effort, but once you’ve got the habit down, filing your travel nurse taxes will be much easier. Lots of items can be deducted from your taxes: travel costs, accommodation, transport in your area of work, and some meals. Not keeping track of them could cost you free money.

2) Receipts are Vital 💻💳📊

Receipts are your new best friend. While you work on tracking expenses, work on putting your receipts in the log. Receipts are essential for travel nurse taxes. They’re a quick and easy way to see what can be deducted. Wondering if there are types of receipts to keep or to throw? Make a point to keep them all including: association or union dues, license fees, uniform and upkeep, medical equipment, cell phone and internet, continuing education, relevant journal subscriptions, etc. Deductions can always surprise you. Make sure to follow the paper trail!

3) Get the Proper Paperwork 📄📃📑

Make sure you have the right tax paperwork. Your agency should provide the proper documents you need to file your travel nurse taxes. 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 be aware of any special tax laws your state or country of origin have. If you have any questions about specific state tax codes call the taxing authority of the state. Travel nurses often work in more than one state over a year, so expect to pay taxes to multiple states. Any questions or concerns, speak to your recruiter. Your agency should give your confidence you’re doing the things correct AND getting the best refund.

4) File Travel Nurse Taxes as Early as You Can ⏰⏳⌛️

You know this, but life gets in the way. Or we can just procrastinate because really? Who likes to fill out tax paperwork? Organization for next filing next year’s travel nurse taxes is going to be your new mantra. Keep your receipts and paperwork in the same place, create new habits, and track it all. You’ll be surprised at how simple taxes become when everything in one spot. The earlier you file, the faster you get that oh-so-sweet refund.

Now’s the time, travel nurses. Get your money!


What to Expect: Psychiatric Travel Nurse’s First Day

First time travel nurse? Not sure what to expect on your psychiatric travel nurse first day? Nerves are an expected part of any first day on a new unit. Position yourself for success by knowing what to expect and how best to prepare. Here are a few things that we’ve found key for a first day on the job as a psychiatric travel nurse.

Getting Acclimated

A new facility may offer an orientation period as short as one day or as long as one week. Orientation may be comprised of formal classroom training, computer modules, and shadowing on the unit.  Psychiatric travel nurse jobs may also include training on behavioral interventions and the facility’s policy on seclusion and restraints. One of the most valuable tools for the psychiatric travel nurse is adaptability. Expect to walk into a new facility and be expected to roll with the punches 👊. You’ll be a welcomed asset if you can easily adjust to the routine and workflow of your new unit. You can quickly achieve this by making the most of your orientation period.

Ask questions. Take notes and review them regularly. Determine the location of key items (i.e., crash cart, restraints, supply closet, important phone numbers, etc.). Learn the names and roles of various team members. Familiarize yourself with applicable state laws regarding involuntary mental health holds. If you will be facilitating educational groups, observe a coworker facilitate a group to get an idea of the format expected.  You’ve got this.

EHR Systems and Charting

While there may be nothing to prepare you for working with different EHR (electronic health record) systems, taking thorough notes 🗒 during orientation can be immensely helpful. Make certain  what you are responsible for charting each shift and how to access it in the record. Review your MAR and charting prior to the end of each shift. Your coworkers will be grateful they don’t have to clean up after you.

Patient Interactions

Patients on a mental health unit may seek to push boundaries and test limits when they realize you are new to the facility. Set firm expectations and err on the side of caution ⚠. When in doubt, seek the support of your coworkers. If a patient asks a question and you’re uncertain of the answer, let them know you will find out and get back to them. Patients are responsive when you are honest. You will be expected to swiftly respond during an incident involving an agitated and/or combative patient. Remember you’re training and remain calm. If you aren’t feeling confident in the specific procedures at your new facility, start by directing other patients away from the area to ensure their safety. It can be easier to watch how your new team operates in this type of situation rather than to take a hands-on approach during your first code.

Remember—you know what you are doing! You’re already a phenomenal psych nurse and those skills will make you a valued asset as traveler. 😊 If you have questions or concerns, you have a recruiter on the other end of the line. Pick up the phone, drop them a text, write an email. Your specialty-focused recruiter may have more answers than you imagine. Make sure to take advantage of that recruiter-nurse relationship.

Now that you’ve got your toes wet, ready to nail down your next psychiatric travel nurse job? Search for your next assignment below.

See Psychiatric Travel Jobs Now

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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January 2018 Compact License Changes: 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 revised the Nurse Licensure Compact. These updates created the Enhanced NLC, and was officially implemented on Jan. 19, 2018. Licensed in an NLC state that adopted the eNLC framework on July 20, 2017? Your multi-state license should roll over to an the eNLC on Jan. 19, 2018. Here’s what travel nurses should know about compact state license changes.

States Affected by Compact State License Changes?

Not every state in the original NLC is on board with the eNLC, looking at you Rhode Island. If you are a travel nurse and hold a license in RI, there will no longer be travel to compact states without additional licensure (and vice versa). Five states that weren’t part of the original NLC have joined the eNLC. Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming are new eNLC members. Welcome! Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont have pending legislation to allow their states to the list.

Updated eNLC map compact states

Graphic map of states with enacted enhanced nlc and states with pending enhanced enlc.

Multi-State License and Your Home State has Joined the eNLC

If you had a compact state license under the original NLC compact and your home state has joined the eNLC, you are grandfathered into the eNLC. You can travel to and work in any other eNLC state without additional licensure requirements. What does this mean? Home state is currently North Carolina AND you held a multi-state license, you can now work in Maryland, West Virginia, or Florida! Bring on the sunshine. Keep in mind, if you 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 compact state license.

Now, if you live in Florida (which just entered the eNLC and was not an NLC member) you will be starting from scratch. A journey but worth it if you are ready to travel.  You must apply through your state Board of Nursing, pay a fee (varies by state), and meet the ULR.

What is the ULR?

The ULR, or Uniform License Requirement, is a set of 11 requirements that fall into three categories. These buckets can broadly be described as: qualifications, track record, and work eligibility. Also included qualifications are 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 will require 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

Get to know what is new in compact state license changes, especially as a travel nurse. More states continue to push legislation to become part of the eNLC. This means more opportunities for travel nurses to see the country and embark on adventures. More questions regarding how your compact state license was affected? Contact our travel nurse recruiters at Next Travel Nursing today 👍.




Nursing Boards

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.

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 can be questions or uncertainties that arise. Your peers at your assigned facility will likely be able to answer many of your questions, but having a resource 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 any questions. It’s nice having someone understanding on the other end of the line, isn’t it? Your travel nurse recruiter is your BFF on the fly.

Your Recruiter Should Genuinely Care About Your Success.

When choosing a recruiter you’d like to work with (though not every agency provides options for nurses), it’s important to find someone that understands your work experience, your goals, and how you define success. Working as a travel nurse 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. Building that bond means your recruiter really cares about your success and the things that are important to you.

Remember That Your Recruiter is Here to Help You.

Recruiters want to make sure you have the best possible experience on your travel nursing assignment. They should be one step ahead on your behalf. Whether you’re asleep, on a 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 travel nurse 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😬. The team at Next sat down to get some first day tips from one of our med-surg travel nurses, Ashley. Get prepared for your assignment and put those nerves at ease.

Next: What three things med-surg nurses 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 is a Travel Nurse Salary?

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, the best approach when comparing compensation packages is 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, they 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 reach out to an experienced recruiter at Next Travel Nursing today.

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