Legal Concepts Nurses Should Know

On top of mastering the hundreds of nursing terms and abbreviations, it’s equally important to learn certain legal concepts as a new RN. I know what you’re thinking: “hey, I went to nursing school not law school.” However, you’d be surprised how many legal implications there are for nurses that affect everyday care. While you may be familiar with a few of them, here’s a crash course in the legal concepts nurses should know.

Confidentiality and HIPAA

Patient confidentiality is one of the most referenced legal concepts nurses should know. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, went into effect in 1996 in an effort to standardize electronic health transactions and give patients greater control over their health information (via Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule). Throughout the course of the nurse-patient relationship, nurses become privy to vast amounts of patients’ health data. As outlined in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses, all nurses are responsible for safeguarding this data and maintaining patient confidentiality. Sharing patient information with unauthorized individuals, whether via email, social media, or through casual conversation, violates HIPAA and can result in serious consequences for the liable party.

Negligence and Malpractice

Negligence

As the name suggests, nursing negligence occurs when a patient experiences unintended harm due to a nurse’s mistake or omission in care (via NursingProcess.org). This can refer to: failing to properly monitor a patient and missing a change in their vital signs, incorrect administration of medication, or not noticing a drug reaction or allergy on a patient’s chart.

Malpractice

Malpractice and negligence are similar terms that are often used interchangeably but have one important difference. While negligence refers to an unintentional failure to provide care, malpractice is considered intentional. Nursing malpractice occurs when a nurse knowingly and willfully does not follow the proper standard of care and the patient experiences harm as a result. For example, administering the wrong medication or wrong amount of medication, not feeding a patient, not notifying the provider about crucial patient information, or charting false information about the patient’s status.

An RN can be held liable for negligence and malpractice when their actions result in serious outcomes like injury or death of a patient, which is why it is among the most important legal concepts nurses should know about before starting their careers.

Mandatory Reporting

Nurses have the status of mandated reporters, which means that when they witness abuse or neglect, they must report it through the appropriate channels. Vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and victims of abuse are often unable to independently seek help, and count on nurses for assistance. Whether a nurse notices signs of abuse in a patient, or a patient divulges that they have been abused, the nurse is required to report it to law enforcement. To read more about mandatory reporting and to see your state’s mandatory reporting laws, check out this resource via ChildWelfare.gov.

Battery

Although you may think of a fist fight or beating when you hear the word “battery,” its legal definition in relation to nursing is quite different. Battery is defined as “touching someone without their consent” according to RegisteredNursing.org.  This is why nurses should always ask for consent before proceeding with any physical touching associated with patient care. Patients reserve the right to deny any physical interaction or treatment by a healthcare provider. Battery is one of the legal concepts nurses should know because if a clinician touches a patient without their proper consent, it can sometimes result in a battery allegation.

Invasion of Privacy

The legal definition of “Invasion of Privacy” is: the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause (via dictionary.law.com). Hospitals are busy places, and in the course of routine procedure, many patients have their privacy violated. Examples of invasions of privacy may include sharing the results of a test in front of family members or other patients without permission, leaving digital health records open for non-medical personnel to access, or gossiping about a patient’s health condition on social media. It is crucial to remember invasion of privacy when talking about work with your friends who are outside the medical profession because you never know when divulging patient information, even in the most casual of conversation, can result in a lawsuit.

Consequences of Breaking the Law in Nursing

These legal concepts nurses should know are invaluable because you can face serious consequences as a result of breaking the law on the job. While the implications vary widely based on the accusations, nurses may face the following:

  • Loss of trust by patients, colleagues, and employers
  • Unpaid leave from work
  • Demotion
  • Job termination
  • Criminal charges
  • Heavy fines or penalties
  • Loss of any specialized board credentials and certifications
  • Cancellation of licensure on a temporary or permanent basis
  • Jail time

Going into your shift each day with a heightened awareness of the legal responsibilities of being a nurse is a great way to elevate your level of patient care and performance as an RN. These legal concepts are reminders of the ethical and moral weight being a nurse carries, and how much rides on following the law.

How to Make Temporary Housing Feel Like Home

After securing a travel assignment, the first order of business is finding housing in your new city. Your travel nurse agency should be able to help you arrange short-term housing, which can come in range of options. These include apartments with variable lease terms, sublets, extended stay hotels, and even vacation-type rentals through Airbnb or Vrbo. But all of them have one thing in common—they’re transitional, and by nature, living in them feels a lot different than home-sweet-home. Here are a few tips on how to make temporary housing feel like home when you’re on a travel assignment.

Put Away the Suitcases!

Living out of a suitcase is not only hard, but it’s a daily reminder that you’re living in flux. To combat this, make an effort during the first week of your assignment to completely unpack your suitcases and place everything in drawers and cabinets. Feeling like all your belongings have their place in your new living space will go a long way to make temporary housing feel like home.

Bring Photos

Personal photos are fantastic additions to your new home and will immediately cozy up the place. Surrounding yourself with pictures of friends, family, and places that bring you joy will make you feel comfortable in your new living situation. Instead of busting out the hammer and nails, grab a few tabletop frames for your photographs so you don’t have to make any holes in the wall of your rental. An even more travel-friendly option is bringing a photo album that you can place on the coffee table or nightstand.

Invest in a Houseplant

A surefire way to make temporary housing feel like home is to add a little green to your living space. Check out the local garden store and pick up a couple low-maintenance houseplants or succulents.  Having indoor plants is proven to not only improve the air quality of your space, but also reduce stress.

Use a Furniture Rental Service

When it comes to temporary housing, furniture is one big question mark. Landing a furnished space is not guaranteed, and the last thing you want to do is haul all your furniture to a temporary space, or God forbid, buy all new stuff. This is exactly where furniture rental services like CORT and Inhabitr come in. These services specialize in helping people furnish their temporary homes without stress. You simply select the stuff you need (bed frame, couch, coffee table), and like magic, your furniture appears! Best part? It’s super budget-friendly! You can rent a high-end sofa starting at only $35 a month.

Meet Your Neighbors

Getting to know to your new neighbors is a great way to both combat loneliness on your travel assignment and make temporary housing feel like home. It’s nice to know the people around you, even if you’re not going to be living near them for long. Offer up a friendly smile and an introduction when you first run into them so you can establish a camaraderie. Oftentimes, staffing agencies will place their clinicians in the same apartment buildings or hotels, so you may even meet fellow nurses. You don’t have to actively try to make any sustainable friendships (though certainly do so if you want!) but having a few friendly acquaintances around is a big step in feeling more settled and secure in a living environment, and particularly a short-term rental. While traveling with Premier, our nurses keep up with one another via our Facebook group, which is another great way to meet fellow travel RNs.

Splurge on Little Things that Bring You Joy

Think about what makes you smile when you’re at home and bring more of those little things into your temporary space. It could be a scented candle, plush bathrobe, pretty cutting board, or bobblehead of your favorite sports player. Little tchotchkes from local shops (yes, Target is ok too) are great additions to any travel RN’s living space. As long as these things make you happy, having them around are sure to make temporary housing feel like home.

Looking for a new travel assignment? Apply with Premier!


Common Nursing Terms & Abbreviations: A Guide for New Nurses

You’ve waited for this moment for years: finally getting your very first hospital job after nursing school. While many new nurses are feeling on top of their game after completing all the requirements of their certification, that first day on the job can be overwhelming, especially when all the veteran nurses are shooting around phrases and words you don’t know or don’t recall from your textbooks. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. For a refresher on common nursing terms, check out this list and be ready to tackle that assignment like you’ve been on the job for years.

Code Blue

“Code blue” is one of the most important common nursing terms that a new RN should know. When you hear “code blue” on the hospital floor, it means that a patient is experiencing an unexpected cardiac or respiratory arrest, requiring rescue and resuscitation measures. It is a hospital-wide alert, so chances are you will unfortunately hear more than a few “code blues” in your time as a nurse.

Peds

Pronounced “peeds,” this is nursing shorthand for the pediatric unit of a hospital.

SOPs

Standard operating procedures.

Crash Cart

A “crash cart” is a mobile shelving unit used in hospitals for transporting and dispensing emergency medication and equipment. “Crash cart” is one of the most common nursing terms since there is no other or “official” name for it. This is extremely important for a new nurse to know because crash carts contain life-saving tools that are essential in any unit.

Tachy

“Tachy” refers to tachycardia, or rapid heart rate. Tachycardia can sometimes indicate serious illness in a patient.

Noc

Nocs,” or “nocts,” (short for nocturnal) is one of the most common nursing terms you will hear as you start your career. The “noc” shift refers to the night shift, which in most hospitals is 7 PM to 7:30 AM or 6 PM to 6:30 AM. Before taking your first noc shift, check out these tips for adjusting to working nights.

DX

Diagnosis.

Vitals

Vital signs of a patient. These include body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure.

ADR

ADRs stand for adverse drug reactions. It is super important to know if your patient has any ADRs listed in their chart before treating them.

Hat

In nursing, a “hat” is not something you want to wear on your head. A hat is a device that fits into the patient’s toilet to collect samples to screen for cancers or other illnesses.

Sundowning

The term “sundowning” refers to a patient’s state of confusion or disorientation occurring in the late afternoon and lasting into the night. Sundowning in patients is often caused by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. If you notice a patient getting confused, anxious, or agitated at night after seeming normal all day, they may be sundowning. Sundowning can also lead to pacing or wandering.

Ready to jumpstart your nursing career? Apply with Premier!



6 Tech Must-Haves for Nurses

While many of the classic nursing essentials (stethoscope, bandages, etc.) have been around for over a hundred years, there is a new generation of gadgets out there —and they make nurses’ lives much easier. These tech must-haves for nurses are here to assist you both on your shift and at home and can make even the most hectic days on the job that much easier.

1. Theragun Massager

A good muscle massager like the Theragun will help you recover faster after long days on your feet running around your unit. The Theragun is especially useful for nurses who exercise regularly and want to avoid being sore at work. Try the Theragun Mini, a portable version of the regular Theragun, to keep in your nursing bag or backpack so you can always have access to sweet muscle relief on the go.

tech must-haves for nurses

2. Smart Watch

Lots of clinicians swear by their smart watches, which is why they are among the top tech must-haves for nurses. Whether you want to check your heartrate, read texts, count your steps, or even schedule appointments, you can do it all from your wrist with a smart watch. This is extremely handy for nurses since smartphone access may be limited to break time, depending on your unit. Check out an Apple Watch or a Samsung Galaxy Watch to see what all the hype is about.

3. Amazon Blink Camera

Whether you’re concerned about home protection or just want to check to see what your pet is up to, a mini security camera is a great tool for nurses to have peace of mind while working a long shift. The Amazon Blink Mini is a budget-friendly USB camera that you can place anywhere inside or outside your house to monitor activity on your smartphone. It’s among the top tech must-haves for nurses because it is so easy to set up, and even has a two-way audio system so you can project your voice from the camera remotely (I use it to say hi to my puppy while I’m at work). This is a great feature for travel nurses with pets. See how it works with a tutorial on YouTube and see pricing on Amazon.

This is how I watch my puppy, Stanley, via the Blink Mini.

4. Coffee Mug Warmer

Many clinicians find it difficult to get through a long shift without their reliable cup of joe. However, nurses are always getting called away to deal with one thing or another, and often come back to the break room only to find that their cup of coffee has gone cold. This mug-warming coaster can help solve this age-old problem. This electric disk plugs into an outlet or USB port on a computer and emits just enough heat to keep your coffee (or tea) at the perfect temperature.

 

5. UV Light Smartphone Sanitizer

Even if you can’t use your phone during your shift, do you still feel like it’s bringing hospital germs back to your house? Turns out, your scrubs aren’t the only things you need to disinfect upon returning from your shift. Did you know that the average smartphone is 10 times dirtier than a public toilet seat? Simply wiping the device down with a wet cloth isn’t always going to cut it, especially since clinical settings expose your phone to a lot of germs. If you’d like to give your phone a more thorough cleaning, consider getting the PhoneSoap smartphone sanitizer, one of the most logical tech must-haves for nurses. This simple device uses ultraviolet light to clean the phone as it charges. Plus, it’s portable enough to bring anywhere you go. Your immune system will thank you!

6. Tracking Tiles

As a nurse, you have a lot of things to remember at all times and it’s easy to misplace your phone, keys, or wallet during times of stress (especially if you’re adjusting to a new sleep schedule). If you’re constantly losing essentials, you should consider getting a set of GPS tracking tiles to attach to them. These devices hook onto keys and bags and slide into wallets so that important items will never go missing again. If you can’t find something, open the related smartphone app and activate the tracker, which will cause the item to beep until you can locate it.

Tips for Eating Well on a Travel Nursing Assignment

As a nurse, you always encourage patients to eat a well-balanced diet to maintain a healthy body. But do you struggle following your own advice? Eating well on a travel nursing assignment can be challenging for some clinicians. Between 12-hour shifts, commuting, and getting used to a new city, it’s easy for healthy eating to fall to the wayside. But we’re here to help you make nourishing your body a priority, and most importantly, an easy goal to achieve on a travel assignment.

Designate one day a week as “grocery day”

Hate coming back from work with no food in the fridge? You’ll never let your fridge go empty when you designate one day a week to restocking your necessities. Eating well on a travel nursing assignment means always having nutritious food staples stocked.

If going to the store is a hassle for you, try a grocery delivery option like Instacart and let the groceries come to you.

eating well on a travel nursing assignment
Subscribe to a meal delivery service

If you’ve been looking for an alternative to meticulously planning out your dinners each week, a meal delivery service may be a good solution. Services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron will send you healthy, pre-portioned ingredients for meals you pick each week, and most can be ready in 30 minutes or less. This is a great way to cut down on grocery trips, reconnect with your inner chef, and eat delicious, restaurant-quality food.

Meal prep

Many nurses rely on meal prepping to take the guesswork out of eating well on a travel nursing assignment. Prepping your lunches or dinners for the week ahead allows you to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition for your day without having to worry. Set aside one day to prep easy meals and be good to go for the week. For some meal prep ideas, head to this article.

Set attainable nutrition goals

No matter what “eating well” means to you, you should always make it a priority to put your body’s needs first. Whether you’re working on gut health, mindful eating, or simply fitting in more greens, write down your goal and put it somewhere visible in your kitchen to keep your objective in mind when choosing what to eat. This is as simple as putting a post-it on the fridge that says something like “don’t forget your veggies!” Practicing one meatless day a week is another great goal for nurses who are looking to become more eco-conscious while eating healthfully.

Choose local

Who doesn’t love ordering delivery? Eating well on a travel nursing assignment doesn’t always have to involve cooking and meal prep. If you’re treating yourself to a delivery meal, make sure to support local restaurants. For delicious local food on the go, hit up a food truck. If you’re in a town with a farmer’s market, hop over there to grab your produce and other essentials. Not only is locally grown food fresher and more delicious, but you also support local agriculture by shopping at the farmer’s market.

Looking for a new travel assignment? Apply with Premier!


The Ultimate Travel Nurse Packing List

The days leading up to departure on your travel assignment are full of excitement and anticipation…and yes, packing. Packing for a travel nursing contract is more complicated than packing for a vacation, and you may be lost on where to start. We’ve compiled a list of essential items to bring with you on your travel journey. Behold, the Ultimate Travel Nurse Packing List. You can thank us later 😉.

1. Paperwork

At the top of your travel nurse packing list are your important documents. These include: your nursing license and credentials, a copy of birth certificate, your bank information and checks, and a copy of social security card. If you’re old-school and like hard copies, store them in a folder or binder to keep everything organized. If you’re looking for an even more compact way to store your documents, check out the Nurse Backpack to help organize your credentials on your mobile phone.

2. Travel essentials

A huge part of the travel nurse life is, unsurprisingly, traveling! Whether you’re road tripping, taking the train, or flying to your next assignment, your travel nurse packing list should include some essentials for the journey.

A nice memory foam neck pillow is a must-have for airplanes. It will help you catch some (much-needed) ZZZs while keeping your head supported in the plane seat.

Noise-cancelling headphones are a must for plane or train trips. Whether you’re listening to podcasts, playlists, or streaming a movie or show, you can use these ear buds to tune out the ambient noise (and crying children) for a more relaxing experience. Noise-cancelling headphones are also a great tool for a guided meditation on-the-go.

A reusable water bottle is every travel RN’s best friend. Not only is it great for the environment to avoid using plastic bottles, but it’s also a fantastic tool to stay hydrated. Not to mention, most airports and public transit hubs have filling stations for reusable bottles.

If your travel journey is a particularly long one, it’s smart to invest in a portable charger. This device is great for keeping your phone or tablet charged no matter where you may find yourself. This one is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

3. Home essentials

No matter where your travel nurse career takes you, it’s always important to make your temporary housing feel like home.

Having some portable exercise equipment of your choice is a great way to stay fit while on a travel nurse assignment. Check out our complete Travel Nurse Exercise Guide for fun ways to work out while on your contract!

Love cooking but don’t want to haul all your pots and pans along to your travel nurse assignment? This is the perfect kitchen companion for the RN who loves to chef it up. The Always Pan by Our Place is a fry pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucepan, spatula, and spoon rest all in one beautiful piece of cookware.

We all know that coffee is a nurse’s best friend. To avoid the expense of daily Starbucks trips, bring along a portable coffee maker to make those pre-shift hours a little easier. This single-serve coffee maker by Keurig is a great travel-friendly option.

A great way to customize your space (however temporary) is by hanging up some photos of your favorite people and places. To easily transform snapshots from your phone into beautiful, framed photographs, use Mixtiles. This way, you can turn any collection of photos into a stunning gallery wall. Not to mention, they are small enough to pack up and move from place to place.

4. Nursing essentials

Your travel nurse packing list would be incomplete without your RN basics. While you may already have all the nurse gear you need and these suggestions may be no-brainers, here are the nursing essentials you don’t want to miss bringing on your assignment.

A fun-yet-practical ID badge holder is a great way to inject some of your personality into your nursing garb. Since you’re jumping into a new facility and new staff, your ID badge holder can be a great conversation starter; and you can even customize one with your pet’s face!

Make sure you check with your new facility to find out if there is a certain color scrubs you should be wearing and bring multiple pairs. Some popular brands among RNs are: FIGS, Jaanuu, and Dickies.

Don’t forget about your feet! Invest in a high-quality pair of nursing shoes before starting your next assignment. A crowd favorite for 2022 are HOKAs.

An insulated lunch box is a must-have for your shift. This budget-friendly neoprene bag will keep hot food hot and cold food cold, so you can skip the hospital buffet line when dining at work.

5. Adventure essentials

No travel assignment should be all work and no play! Here are items to include on your travel nurse packing list to help you explore your new surroundings and enjoy the outdoors.

A fanny pack or belt bag is a great, compact carrier for everything from granola bars to dog treats. Whether you’re out on a long hike or just meandering around the city, a fanny pack is a super useful travel companion. This one from Lululemon is a viral favorite this year!

If you’re keen on exploring the natural beauty of your new surroundings on your travel assignment, purchasing a National Recreational Area pass is a must. This will give you access to the national parks, historic and natural monuments, forests, and lakeshores in your state.

Whether you’re a city slicker or backwoods explorer, a good pair of sunglasses is a must-bring for any travel nurse. To best protect your eyes, pick a pair of polarized lenses like these ones from Amazon.

The best parts about any travel nursing contract are the new people and places you get acquainted with while on the road. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the travel nurse life or debating starting your first contract, get in touch with a Premier recruiter to see where travel nursing can take you next!


Why Cultural Competence is Important in Healthcare

Cultural competence is growing a focus in all industries including healthcare. The American Hospital Association (AHA) defines a culturally competent healthcare system as one that “acknowledges the importance of culture, incorporates the assessment of cross-cultural relations, recognizes the potential impact of cultural differences, expands cultural knowledge, and adapts services to meet culturally unique needs.” Cultural competence is so important in healthcare settings because it aims to reduce racial, economic, ethnic, and social disparities when meeting a community’s health care needs.

How can I develop cultural competence as a nurse?

Developing a culturally competent healthcare environment starts with awareness of your own cultural background and experiences. No matter what your upbringing looked like, we all carry certain biases based on our cultural backgrounds. As a nurse, it is important to limit the influence of these biases when interacting with patients whose identities and life experiences differ from your own.

Beyond this starting point, cultural competence requires an understanding of and respect for other cultures. It is important to educate yourself and be open to learning patient’s backgrounds to effectively meet their care needs. For example, learning about a Muslim patient’s prayer schedule and planning infusions around their prayer times will allow them to feel seen and supported during their hospital stay.

cultural competence in healthcare

Focusing on Patients’ Cultural Needs

The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics states that nurses must “practice with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.” The only way to treat all patients with compassion and dignity is by understanding their cultures and responding appropriately to their needs. Unfortunately, this often does not happen in practice. The following three examples from a Regis College blog post demonstrate how a lack of cultural understanding may add to a patient’s stress:

● A Native American man tells emergency room staff he is following the “old ways” of dying and asks that his family be around him. Instead, he is transferred to an intensive care unit (ICU) hundreds of miles away for the extensive treatment he did not want, and his family cannot join him. He dies two weeks later, after being resuscitated twice, and his wife is the only family member with him.
● A Chinese patient admitted to the ICU after heart surgery asks the medical staff to allow his wife to cook a therapeutic meal for him that contains special herbs and that only his wife knew how to make. His nurses did not understand his initial request, after which he stopped asking because he was afraid of how they might view him.
● A newborn is too ill to be discharged with his Vietnamese mother, and the nursing staff becomes concerned that the mother appears not to be bonding with her new baby. A specialist in transcultural nursing care explains to the staff that in rural Vietnam, many people believe spirits are attracted to and may harm newborns, so they try not to draw attention to babies. What had seemed to the staff as uncaring was in fact a reflection of the mother’s love for her child.

Important Skills for Cultural Competence

Nurses with strong leadership and communication skills are needed to successfully implement cultural competence in healthcare settings and avoid these situations. Addressing the needs of underserved communities requires that nurses recognize and adapt to the social, ethnic, and linguistic needs of the people in these communities. This includes:
● Participating in lifelong learning to understand the cultural preferences, worldview, choices, and decision-making processes of patients.
● Communicating with appropriate language and behaviors, including the use of medical interpreters and translators.
● Educating fellow nurses and colleagues about cultural similarities and differences patients, families, groups, communities, and populations.

Cultural Competence Beyond Healthcare Settings

RNs are on the front lines of integrating cultural competence not only in healthcare settings, but also in their communities. Nurses have the opportunity to promote cultural competence principles in their communities through initiatives to improve healthcare access and equity (defined below) for vulnerable groups. Informed by their work in hospitals and clinics, many RNs are invested in the uplift of marginalized groups. Culturally competent nurses are the key to making change at the ground floor, which is why they are becoming increasingly important in the healthcare world and beyond.

5 Tips for Travel Nursing with a Pet

If you are thinking about travel nursing with a pet, there are many factors to take into consideration before taking the plunge. Whether your best friend is a seasoned traveler or new to the nomad life, bringing your pet on travel nursing assignments is a big step for both of you. Here are a few tips to make the transition easy on your pet and keep the stress levels down for you as an owner.

Tell your recruiter!

When travel nursing with a pet, the very first thing you should do is tell your recruiter that you plan to bring your furry friend with you on your contract – and the more advance notice the better. This will allow your recruiter ample time to research pet-friendly housing options for you. Housing resources are great travel nurse benefits, but most rentals will require a pet deposit. Some housing options may also have restrictions on pet size or breed, so be sure ask your recruiter for details.

travel nursing with a pet

Pack accordingly

Packing for your furry friend is crucial to ensure a smooth transition into travel life for your animal. Make sure you select a proper carrier for your pet: one that is spacious enough for wiggle room but compact enough to feel safe for them on long car rides or plane trips. Portable, collapsible water and food bowls are great to bring along while traveling. It is also important that your pet is equipped with an updated I.D. tag with their name and your phone number clearly visible on it. Travel nursing with a pet can be super rewarding, as long as both you and your animal are calm, cool, and collected. If your pet is prone to car anxiety, make sure to ask your vet about medications that can help so your pet can feel comfortable on the ride, and you can keep your eyes on the road.

Stick to a routine

It is no secret that all pets thrive on a steady routine. A lot can change when you begin a new travel assignment, and it is important to keep your pet’s needs in mind. Make sure you take time to help them adjust to your new schedule by keeping exercise, bathroom breaks, and meals consistent. For example, if your dog is used to a morning walk before work, but now you are working a night shift, wake up a few hours before you need to leave in the evening and make sure your dog gets their walk in then. As long as there is consistency with routine, your pet will adapt to your new schedule in no time.

travel nursing with a pet

Get to know your local vet

Before you begin travel nursing with a pet, get in touch with a veterinarian in your new town. Give them all the important information on your animal (age, breed, medical history) and let them know that you will be living in the area for the next few months. Establishing a vet in your new neighborhood is a great way to ensure that your pet will have access to proper care while away from home.

Make it feel like home

The best way to make your pet feel comfortable anywhere your travel nursing career takes you is to adorn their space with all the creature comforts of home. Dogs are very scent-oriented, so instead of going to the store to get a new bed, bring the old one that smells the most like “home” to them. This will immediately make them feel at ease. Keep in mind that going from place to place is sometimes tough for pets, so don’t forget to bring their favorite blankets, toys, and treats with you wherever you go.

Premier pup, Mia, loves that her owner, Meaghan, brings all her favorite things along when she comes to the office.

Do you and your pet travel together? Send us a photo of your travel nursing companion here!

Why You Should Try Contract Nursing in Your Hometown

When discussing contract nursing, the trope that usually comes to mind is a travel RN who moves around the country from one far-flung location to the next. While a travel journey is great for some RNs, contract nursing is not a one-size-fits-all career. Lots of nurses are taking up contracts at facilities right in their hometowns. Local travel nursing is a growing sector of the contract nursing world, and there are many reasons it is attractive for certain RNs.

You’ll save time and money by avoiding travel

Traveling provides wonderful experiences, but at a greater expense than staying close to home. Contract nursing in your hometown is great because you’ll save money by avoiding air travel and long car rides (not to mention being more eco-friendly). The nomadic travel RN life isn’t for everyone, and one big draw of staying close to home for your next contract is that you don’t have to spend all that time condensing your life into a carry-on and a checked bag and having to find short-term housing every few months.

contract nursing commute

Friends and family are accessible

When travel RNs are asked why they chose contracts in their hometowns, they often say that that being near friends and family was the biggest reason. Contract nursing close to home means you’ll never have to miss a family function (but you can still use work as a good excuse if you don’t want to go). Travel nursing on the road can sometimes cause feelings of loneliness, and some RNs would much rather have the security of their community rather than a new set of coworkers every 13 weeks. Your hometown comes with a built-in set of familiar faces, which is a great reason to take up a local contract.

contract nursing family and friends

You’re already familiar with the area

Contract nursing in your hometown also means easy access to all your favorite places. Craving a slice from your favorite childhood pizza joint? It’s right down the road. Can’t wait to see your favorite local band? They’re playing at your neighborhood bar next Tuesday. All the creature comforts of home are within arm’s reach for a local contract nurse. Familiarity is a huge reason local contract nursing is gaining popularity in the travel RN community. Not to mention, contract nursing in your hometown gives you the opportunity to explore new spots in your city or home state…there’s nothing like playing “tourist” in your own town!

contract nursing local restaurant pizza

No need for additional licenses

One massive barrier to entry for travel nurses is the fact that many states require a compact license to work there. If you are already licensed to practice in your home state, you won’t need to go out of your way to acquire an additional license. This makes contract nursing locally a lot more attractive for some RNs.

Gives you the opportunity to decide whether travel nursing is the right career for you

If you are new to the contract nursing world and are debating whether a travel career is right for you, starting out with a contract in your hometown is a great way to build confidence in the field while staying local. You can still make travel nursing money while staying close to home, and the experience will help you decide if you’re ready for a travel career.

Looking for contract opportunities in your hometown? Apply with Premier!

How to Be Eco-Friendly as a Travel RN

As a travel RN, you’re constantly on the go, moving from one facility to the next. Unfortunately, long drives and airplane trips also means burning lots of fossil fuels. According to the EPA, a typical passenger vehicle emits 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, and a single cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles emits about 20% of that. Of course, travel nurses still need to get from point A to point B, which leaves many wondering what they can do to be eco-friendly while traveling. Here  are five easy ways you can help the planet on your travel assignment!

1. Invest in Reusable Water Bottles and Tote Bags

One of the easiest swaps for a travel RN trying to be better to the planet is cutting down on single-use plastics like water bottles and grocery bags. Instead of buying plastic bottles of water, use a reusable water bottle and bring it with you everywhere. Many hospitals these days have water bottle filling stations which make it easy to stay hydrated on the job.

Another way to reduce plastic waste is to switch to reusable grocery tote bags. Next time you hit the supermarket, instead of filling up many flimsy plastic bags, use a tote bag to carry your goods. Not only are they superior grocery receptacles (no breakage or holes), but they will also cut down on your plastic consumption which is great for the planet. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. If you make the easy switch to reusable bags, it will not only benefit Mother Earth, but make your grocery trips a lot better too.

2. Eat and Drink Local

When you and your travel RN friends are out and about looking for places to eat and drink, try restaurants and bars that utilize locally sourced ingredients. The concept of the farm-to-table restaurant is growing in popularity, and many restaurants across the nation are adopting this style. Farm-to-table is a trend that many dining establishments are adopting because it allows customers to have access to fresh, healthy food all year round as well as supporting local economies. Food waste costs about $220 billion per year in landfills, and farm-to-table can drastically reduce that cost as well as the amount of waste going into the earth. In addition, try to buy local, responsibly sourced food, and only buy fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. To do this, check out your local farmer’s market!

3. Try One Day of Meatless Eating Per Week

While going vegan or vegetarian is not for everyone, a small reduction in meat consumption one day a week can prove to be extremely beneficial for the planet. The meat industry uses vast amounts of Earth’s fossil fuels, water, and grains to feed livestock, which is extremely unsustainable. In fact, about 1,850 gallons of water is needed to produce a singular pound of beef, comparable to only 39 gallons of water per pound of vegetables. Meat production also is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which has proven to contribute to the climate change crisis. If you are looking for a way to do your part in encouraging sustainable food consumption, try participating in Meatless Mondays! One meatless meal a week can save 133 gallons of water. Not to mention, plant-based meals are often more budget-friendly, which is great for the travel RN trying to save some money as well as the planet.

travel nurse burrito bowl

4. Practice Energy Conservation at Home

It’s easy to forget that the power you use in your home costs more than what you see on your utility bill.  Electricity, water, and gas all have an impact on the environment, so being conscious of what you’re using is important. Unplugging electric devices when they’re not being used, using only necessary lighting sources and LED bulbs, and using water sparingly are ways to save energy at home.

5. Volunteer with a Local Environmental Group

One of the best ways to reduce loneliness on a travel assignment is volunteering. Local environmental groups offer myriad ways to get involved in the betterment of the planet such as trash pick-ups in county parks, community garden tending, and advocacy events for climate change. Getting involved in these efforts not only help the planet but will help connect you with other like-minded people in your town.

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