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Travel Nursing Questions: How Much Experience Do You Need?

June 26th, 2012

Working as a travel nurse can be an exceptionally exciting, rewarding and financially smart career choice.

And, while many newly minted nurses look forward to such a career, most –- as in just about all – travel nursing staffing services and their client medical facilities require that someone who wishes to be considered for travel nurse opportunities have at least 12 or even 18 months of nursing experience. In fact, that experience should be acute care clinical experience.

The 18 months isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but is pretty consistent throughout the United States.

Some facilities, units within those facilities and even different cities will have different requirements. Some want as much as two years (medical-surgery, psychology and rehab). Many facilities also are looking for traveling LPNs/LVNs, but they want at least six years of experience under candidates’ wings before considering them for positions.

If you’ve just graduated from nursing, it can’t hurt to contact travel nursing companies such as MedPro Healthcare Staffing to let us know that you’re interested. You can send us your CV/resume, let us know what types of nursing work you seek and where, and keep in touch. Be sure to keep us updated regarding your work experience.

Another tip for aspiring travel nurses: Assess objectively your attitude to change and the unknown. Travel nursing assignments will ask you to change plans on a moment’s notice. You’ll need excellent clinical skills, the ability to think on your feet and the knack of getting along with a vast array of personalities within your colleagues and patients. Can you handle it? Be honest with yourself; travel nursing really isn’t for everyone.

And, yes, working as a travel nurse, even if it’s just for a year or two, can be a terrific addition to your resume/CV. Working travel nursing assignments shows your flexibility and your willingness to learn new ways of doing things. In addition, nurse managers and those in a position to hire understand the critical role travel nurses play in healthcare today. Your work history will be bolstered by your months or years working as a travel nurse.

Whether you’re just graduating from nursing school or you have years of experience, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. New grads: We’d love to place you in our database for assignments in a year or so. Experienced pros: We need you now. We look forward to hearing from you!

Online Nursing Continuing Education Courses: Options for Travel Nurses

May 21st, 2012

Working on a travel nursing assignment doesn’t give you a “pass” to neglect your continuing education responsibilities. The rise of online education has made it very easy for healthcare professionals to continue their CE program of study anywhere in the country.

Read more below about just some of your options.

RN.com offers continuing education courses online that are ANCC accredited. Many are free. New courses offered include:

  • Pain Assessment In Your Spanish Speaking Patient: ¿Tiene dolor?
  • Hazards of Heparin
  • Lab Values: Interpreting Chemistry and Hematology for Adult Patients
  • Critical Thinking: IV Calculations
  • Spotlight on Antihypertensives

Some of their free courses (sponsored by different healthcare organizations) include:

  • Managing Cardiac Conditions During Labor and Delivery
  • Acute Ischemic Stroke Management
  • Prevention of Sharps Injuries in Surgical Settings
Sigma Theta Tau International provides online CE courses that are, according to its website, “designed to help individual nurses improve their specific skill set.”

The organization also offers CE courses in workplace issues, leadership and professional development.

Courses are offered through the New York University College of Nursing.

Some of their online offerings include courses in:

  • Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Assessment and Prevention of Falls in Older People
  • HIV in Aging: HIV/AIDS Issues in Aging Populations
  • Nurse Manager Certificate Program
  • Surviving Your First Years as a Nurse
  • Transforming Nursing Practice through Evidence: The Joanna Briggs Institute Approach

CE.Nurse.com also offers fee and free CE courses online.

Free courses include:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Evidence-Based Effective Nursing Leadership
  • P. Aeruginosa Proves to Be a Tough Foe
  • Collaborative Strategies in Perinatal Quality Improvement

Newest courses include:

  • HIV/AIDS Guidelines
  • Preventing Medication Errors
  • Sexual Assault and Rape
  • Medical Errors

One of the benefits of working as a travel nurse with MedPro Healthcare Staffing is the fact that, we will pay up to $100 a year for pre-approved CE courses. Contact us today to learn more about the great benefits working as a traveling nurse for us provides you!

Increase Your Hireability by Learning a Second Language

May 11th, 2012

Not only is the need for skilled healthcare workers growing in the U.S., but so is the need for those professionals to be bilingual.

According to Minority Nurse Magazine, just two percent of all RNs in the U.S. are of Hispanic/Latino heritage. And, even if non-Hispanic healthcare workers speak Spanish, cultural differences still can make communication between patient and healthcare worker difficult.

The website InterHispanica.com reported in 2010 that “[i]n just a few years, the United States will have the second largest Spanish speaking population in the world.” Mexico will be the only country in the world with more.

But before you rush out to learn Spanish, understand that bilingual healthcare workers are needed in a number of foreign languages, especially languages that hail from Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Phillippines, etc. ). In fact, here at MedPro Healthcare Staffing, several of the bilingual positions we fill for hospitals and other medical facilities are for those who speak Southeast Asia languages, particularly Tagalog (number one language of the Philippines).

It naturally follows that if you can speak another language, you greatly increase your chances of being hired. If you’re already a native foreign language speaker, great! If you’re wondering what career to explore, we highly recommend one in healthcare. As stated above, bilingual healthcare workers are critically needed.

But if English is your first language and you want to learn another, you have several options when it comes to learning a new language. Many medical facilities now offer what is known as “medical Spanish.” While you won’t be fluent, this can help you communicate (albeit in a fairly rudimentary) way, with Spanish-speaking patients.

Community colleges and night schools also offer foreign language classes. The going can be slow, however, and the class schedule may not be conducive to your work schedule.

There are many online foreign language learning programs, of course.

If you have the time and the funds, a foreign-language immersion course may be the ticket. Be prepared to live and sweat your new language. But the fact that these courses are so short and are so intense can mean you can learn the language quickly.

If you’re a healthcare professional who’s heard about the great opportunities working as a traveling nurse, PT, speech therapist, radiologist, phlebotomist, and more, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We look forward to hearing from you

Top Job Opportunity: Labor and Delivery Nurse in San Jose, CA

April 17th, 2012

We have many exciting healthcare jobs open, and every now and then we like to highlight one of the travel nursing opportunities we have available, as well provide an overview on the location and all it offers.

This week, it’s a 13-week assignment for a night-shift labor and delivery nurse in a hospital in San Jose, California.

As a labor and delivery nurse you’ll help women before, during and after they give birth to their children. You’ll monitor both mother and baby’s health during the birth process. You’ll probably assist doctors and other nurses to administer pain medication and perform epidurals, episiotomies and C-section deliveries, and more.

The city of San Jose is located about an hour or so south of San Francisco, offering a warmer (less foggy) climate than its bay side sister. San Jose is located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay and only a short drive away from the Santa Cruz Mountains. While there, be sure to take advantage of all culture, sporting events, shopping opportunities.

While in San Jose, you won’t want to miss the San Jose Flea Market, the Lick Observatory, Raging Waters, The Tech Museum of Innovation, the Winchester Mystery House, Japantown of San Jose. These are all great places you should explore during your downtime.

Why should you take this assignment?

Your skills are much-needed to our hospital’s staff, as well as their expectant mothers and newborn children. Contact a MedPro Healthcare Staffing recruiter today to learn more about this and other great travel nurse opportunities.

U.S News Ranks Nursing as 2012 “Top Job”

April 10th, 2012

You always knew that nursing was a great career and the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as U.S. News and World Report have been reporting so for several years now. Healthcare positions often top the charts of “best jobs.”

This year is no different as USNews.com once again lists nursing as the number 1 “Top Job 2012.”

A February 2012 article at USNews.com predicted that the job growth for registered nurses “should see significant growth over the next decade.”

Based on BLS data, USNews.com the article went on to say that “registered nurse employment growth of 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding 711,900 more positions. Solid employment growth and a wide range of job prospects help make registered nursing a top healthcare job, as well as the No. 1 career on our list of The Best Jobs of 2012.”

The article states that the “best-paid 10 percent” of nurses made a bit more than $95,000 annually, while the “bottom 10 percent” made a bit more than $44K. If you want the big bucks, look into personal care nursing or pharmaceutical or medical device companies. As for where you’ll make the most in salary, the article cited the cities of San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco.

The article recommends that RNs “[l]ook beyond the hospital. Nurses are fanning out into a host of jobs, ranging from rehab and long-term care facilities to nurse-run community clinics, schools, or corporations where preventative care and wellness are becoming a bigger focus—and a bigger source of jobs.”

Speaking of a “bigger source of jobs,” check out work as a traveling nurse. You’ll hone and improve skills – and very likely learn new ones – all while traveling to different cities and healthcare facilities throughout the country. Contact MedPro Healthcare Staffing today to learn more about these terrific opportunities.

Google+ Hangouts: A Great Free Tool to Stay Connected While Traveling

April 6th, 2012

Taking on a travel assignment can be one of the best things you ever do for yourself, both professionally and personally.

But it can get lonely.

After all, all your friends and perhaps family are “back home,” hundreds — possibly even thousands — of miles away. Plus, you don’t know anyone in your new city and, while you’ll undoubtedly make new friends quickly, they may not be as deep as you need.

Google+ Hangouts to the rescue!

Google+ is Google’s “answer” to a social media platform. It’s different than Facebook in that it allows you to group your “friends” by “communities” so that your grandmother, for example, won’t read the posts you send to your fellow singletons as you look for love (unless you want her to, of course!).

Google+ Hangouts is the site’s video chatting service. Hangout allows you to “hang out” with your different communities via webcams. These chats can be made public or private. If public, they are broadcast on the Hangout On Air feature (via YouTube). The private feature allows you to webcam with up to 10 people, while On Air allows your video chat to be seen and heard by anyone anywhere.

What’s more, you don’t need to have a webcam – you can download a webcam plug-in when prompted as you set up your Hangout account.

If you already are a member of Google+ and want to start a Hangout with some of your community members, go to the green “Start a Hangout” button that’s located in the third column of your stream page.

Follow the instructions.

It’s that simple!

If you’re not yet a member of Google+, simply go to plus.google.com and follow the instructions to sign up.

You can schedule times for short or lengthy Hangouts with your friends and loved ones. Watch YouTube videos together, share photos and favorite songs…just about anything that you could do together in person if you had a smartphone between you.

If you’ve the travel bug and you have at least one year’s experience as a nurse, therapist or pharmacist, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing about many of the great travel assignments we offer healthcare professionals. We look forward to hearing from you!

Travel Nursing Isn’t for Newbies: Travel Nursing for Later in Your Career

April 2nd, 2012

Travel nursing is such a great career opportunity for registered nurses that we often get newly-certified RNs asking about assignments.

As much as we’d love to assign a newly-minted RN to a travel assignment, we rarely do so. The reason? When our clients ask for a nurse for a short- or long-term travel assignment, it almost always means they are in great need – often desperate need – for a nurse who can hit the ground running and be successful and useful from day one.

New nurses rarely have that kind of experience.

Yes, our client sites will train you in “their way of doing things.” But they need a nurse who knows how to perform procedures quickly and correctly. Who has considerable experience handling all types of cases and emergencies. Who can commiserate with the teen who broke his foot during football practice to the father franticly wanting to know why his 2-year-old lost consciousness so suddenly.

Generally, we look for RNs who have been working in a hospital setting for at least one year. We do prefer nurses with more than three years’ experience, however.

If you’re a new nurse, we hope this hasn’t discouraged you. Time will fly quickly on your first job. Please send us your information and let us know you’re interested in a travel assignment once you have more experience. We’ll be happy to keep your information on file; travel nurses are in great demand and we’re always looking for new recruits.

Much success with your new nursing career!

5 Reasons to Consider a Travel Therapist Career

March 28th, 2012

There are perhaps countless reasons to think about becoming a travel therapist. Here are the top five:

First, an explanation: a travel therapist is a licensed therapist (physical, occupational, speech) who travels around a state, region or even the United States on short-term assignments at different therapy facilities and hospitals. Most assignments are about three-six months in length, although they can be longer or shorter [some assignments can last a year.

Reason 1) Not only will you be able to travel the country, seeing new sights and meeting new people, but your therapy skills will improve tremendously. Why? You’ll be practicing in all manner of facilities – from hospitals in well-to-do locations to free clinics in rural areas and all types in between. You’ll help patients from all socio-economic backgrounds. You’ll learn new ways of doing things and you’ll work with some of the most high-tech (as well as low-tech) equipment available today.

Reason 2) Free housing. That’s right: Free! Not all travel staffing firms offer free housing to their traveling therapist, but most do (and MedPro Healthcare Staffing is one of them). We’ll provide you with a modern and clean apartment in a safe and pleasant complex near your assignment. Many of our apartments have pools and even fitness facilities! If you prefer to find a place on your own, we can give you a housing stipend to help you pay for the most of your housing or even all of it.

Reason 3) Terrific per diem rates! You could end up making more per diem than the “permanent” colleagues with whom you’ll work while on assignment. In addition, MedPro offers loyalty and referral bonuses to our therapists. You could win up to $20,000 more a year in referral fees. You also could earn one or more Apple iPads!

Reason 4) Travel staffing services such as ours also provide generous health benefits and 401(k) retirement plans.

Reason 5) You’ll be working in facilities where your expertise will be highly valued. Our partner healthcare facilities come to us for their staffing needs because they are short-handed and/or have a large patient case load. They often are desperate for the help you provide them. You’ll be a true hero to the facility as well as to their patients.

If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits working as a travel therapist provides, contact one of recruiters today! We look forward to hearing from you!

Tips for Building Recommendations While on a Travel Assignment

March 27th, 2012

If you’re working on a travel assignment and wondering how to receive recommendations from supervisors and colleagues, the process is pretty much the same as it would be if you were working in a more permanent position at a hospital or medical center.

Basically, do your best work and then ask for recommendations.

Step 1) Doing your best work. This pretty much goes without saying. Yet working as a travel professional makes it a bit harder to do your best work. After all, you’re in a new environment and are being asked to get up to speed quickly in the facility’s way of doing things. This can be a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

Work hard, ask questions and volunteer to do more when your current tasks are complete. In addition, start scoping around for people/colleagues whom you know are happy with your work. These individuals would make good people to ask when it comes time for you to ask for recommendations.

Step 2) Then ask. As your assignment nears its end, you’ll want to go to the people you’ve identified in Step 1 for recommendations.

A good way to approach them is to say something along these lines:

“I’ve enjoyed working with you. Do you feel you know my work well enough to write a good letter of recommendation for me?”

(Note: It’s important to ask if the person will write a “good” letter of recommendation. You might assume that when you ask someone to write a recommendation letter for you, she knows you mean you want a good letter. But some people won’t assume this and may write what you consider to be a “bad” recommendation letter, one that doesn’t sing your praises and may even portray you negatively. So just be safe and be sure to ask if the person will write a good letter of recommendation.)

Provide the individual with an updated copy of your CV/resume.

If the person is pressed for time, you can offer to write the letter for him or her (or the rough draft). You’ll want to be sure to give this letter to the individual so that he or she can sign it and/or re-write it/edit it to more accurately describe their recommendation of your work.

Speaking of recommendations, don’t forget that working with a travel staffing service such as MedPro Staffing can bring you a great wealth of positive recommendations and references from facilities all over the country! Contact us today to learn more about our healthcare travel assignments!

Nursing Ranked as One of 2012’s Top Jobs

March 25th, 2012

USNews.com has ranked the top jobs for 2012 and the career of nursing sits in the top spot.

The website compiles its “Best Careers” list each year based on the Labor Department’s employment projections.

The top 10 careers are:

  1. Registered Nurse
  2. Software Developer
  3. Pharmacist
  4. Medical Assistant
  5. Database Administrator
  6. Web Developer
  7. Computer Systems Analyst
  8. Physical Therapist
  9. Computer Programmer
  10. Occupational Therapist

U.S. News based its rankings on “for the Best Jobs of 2012 on professions that should hire abundantly over the next several years.”

Nursing, it continued, should see a growth of more than 700,000 jobs this decade (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), rising by about 26 percent.

The article goes on to say that “[f]or a better chance at landing a nursing job, you’ll want to determine your niche early, consider using virtual networking tools, and look for employment outside a hospital setting.”

The only other health professions position that made the top 25 jobs for 2012 was paramedic, at No. 15.

U.S. News said it based its rankings by

“…comparing their projected growth up to the year 2020 with the current employment rates of the industry to which they belong. Other components that contributed to each job’s overall score and rank include its average salary, predicted job prospects, and a quantitative assessment of the job satisfaction of those who are currently or have previously worked in the profession.”

If you’re a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, pharmacy professional, etc. and are interested in looking into our many healthcare travel assignment opportunities, contact a MedPro Staffing recruiter today. We look forward to hearing from you!