Ways to Enrich Your Nursing Career

In the fast-paced world of medicine, it can be difficult to remain up-to-date with current trends in nursing. Between completing long shifts, combating burnout, and finding new professional opportunities, nurses can use all the resources they can get in order to enrich and grow their careers. Here is a short list of where to begin whether you’re rediscovering your passion for nursing, growing your professional network, or becoming an expert in your specialty.

Join a Professional Organization

Professional nursing organizations can be valuable resources for nurses in terms of networking and professional development. A professional organization exists to advance a particular profession, support the interests of people working in that profession and serve the public good. They can help nurses maintain practice proficiency and keep professional knowledge up-to-date. Professional nursing organizations can also present a united voice of advocacy in the community and represent the objectives of the members. The American Nursing Association, International Council of Nurses, and the National Black Nurses Association are some examples of professional nursing orgs.

Attend Conferences and Networking Events

Professional nursing conferences are where cutting-edge developments in the field are first showcased to the world. At these conferences, nurses can learn about the latest innovations as well as discuss new concepts and current events in nursing. With the opportunity to attend seminars by renowned speakers, exchange ideas with other medical professionals, and make introductions to potential new employers, conferences are invaluable resources to nurses, especially to enrich your nursing career. Healthcare Traveler’s Take is a conference that focuses on providing new opportunities to travel nurses, so if that’s up your alley, learn more about it here!

enrich your nursing career

Subscribe and Listen to Podcasts

Podcasting is one of the fastest growing media types in the world and provides easy access to new information for nurses. You can listen on-the-go; whether you’re commuting to work or on your lunch break, you can easily tune in and stay on top of industry trends. Check out our list of 5 favorite nursing podcasts for a few ideas of where to start!

enrich your nursing career

Dive Into Peer-Reviewed Journals

Peer-reviewed journals are how most medical research reaches professionals, and they’re available to nurses so they can stay abreast of the latest developments in the field. Nurses can choose from tax-deductible publications dedicated to a wide range of topics from cardiology to infectious disease. Available in print or online, these scholarly articles cover the latest technological and treatment advances and offer tips for integrating them into a nurse’s practice. A good place to start is the American Journal of Nursing, a free resource where you can start reading in-depth about whatever concepts pique your interest.

Tune Into a Webinar in Your Specialty

Professional development can easily be done from home with the help of webinars. Stay current on the latest evidence-based learning and clinical practices by simply logging on to a webinar in your specialty—there are plenty to choose from. These educational sessions offer knowledge and tools to enhance patient outcomes and are available live or on-demand. Check out a list of 2022 nursing webinars here.

enrich your nursing career

5 of Our Favorite Nursing Podcasts

Podcasts are fantastic tools for professional development and feeling connected in the healthcare community. Whether you’re on your commute to work, doing laundry or dishes, or cooking a meal, a podcast is the perfect accompaniment. Here are five of our favorite nursing podcasts.

  1. Good Nurse Bad Nurse

Good Nurse Bad Nurse is a podcast for RNs who love interesting and thought-provoking stories from the field. In each episode, the podcast hosts, nurses Tina and Sam, take turns telling true stories about life as an RN. One story, told by the “good nurse” will be uplifting and inspiring. The other story, told by the “bad nurse,” will typically explore the darker side of the healthcare field—such as complications, mistakes, and dangers on the job. This podcast discusses hot-button issues in the medical field, and sometimes even true crime. It also features special guests and interviews with medical personnel. If you’re looking for a gripping yet fun podcast, with just the right amount of light-heartedness, check out Good Nurse Bad Nurse.

nursing podcasts

  1. The Nurse Keith Show

For nurses who want a podcast that focuses mainly on career advice, check out The Nurse Keith Show. Nurse Keith is a registered nurse, board-certified nursing coach, and specialist in holistic healing. The Nurse Keith Show helps nurses make informed career choices and explores the ins and outs of achieving your goals as a healthcare professional. In addition to career coaching, the podcast also explores current events in the medical field and inspiring guest interviews.

nursing podcasts

 

  1. Nursing Uncensored

Nursing Uncensored is an edgier podcast for the RN who loves (sometimes dark) humor. The podcast is hosted by Adrienne Behning, a registered nurse and entertainer who believes in bringing a little levity into the conversation about healthcare. With everything nurses go through on a weekly basis, Adrienne believes you have to laugh sometimes to get through the difficult parts of the job. With interviews, relatable stories, and the occasional curse word, Nursing Uncensored is for healthcare professionals who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is.

nursing podcasts

 

  1. Bad Decisions with Katie Duke

Motivational speaker and nurse practitioner Katie Duke hosts a podcast that shares stories of both struggle and success. In her show, Katie pushes boundaries to explore the life decisions that don’t always turn out like you expect. In a society that glorifies perfection, nobody wants to reveal their bad decisions. “Bad Decisions” shifts the conversation to prove the importance of owning your failures as a necessity to success, especially in the nursing world.

nursing podcasts

  1. Real Talk School of Nursing

The Real Talk School of Nursing podcast is a bit different from the other podcasts on this list. That’s because, instead of focusing on life on the job, it focuses on life around the job. This podcast is for nurses who want to hear relatable discussions about balancing their work as a nurse practitioner and personal life. Real Talk School of Nursing also interviews professionals in the medical field and discusses personal experiences in this line of work.

nursing podcasts

 

Looking to start a new chapter in your nursing career? Apply for a travel RN contract with Premier!


5 Night Shift Tips for Beginners

Switching to the overnight shift can be a difficult adjustment for many nurses, and without proper preparation, it can be damaging to one’s body and psyche. Shift work disorder (SWD) is a widely diagnosed issue for overnight shift workers and can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, making it crucial to have a game-plan when tackling the transition to the night shift. For night owls, the night shift may seem like a dream. For others, it may require a total lifestyle change and an active effort to maintain a healthy sleep schedule and diet.

So how can a nurse put their best foot forward when embarking on a new night shift schedule? Here are five of our favorite tips and tricks to tackle your first NOC contract with ease.

Pencil in Your Zzzs

There’s no denying that sleep plays an important role  in providing the best care to your patients, yourself, and your family. When transitioning to nights, it’s crucial to plan out when you will get your much-needed rest. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so find a schedule that works for you. Some nurses suggest taking a 15 minute ‘power nap’ at least 5 hours before going into work while transitioning to the night shift. It’s very important to discipline yourself to only sleep a few hours after working the night shift so you can sleep that night. A gradual change in your sleeping habits is key during this time, as a sudden change can disrupt your body, appetite, and energy.

Equip Yourself for More Restful Sleep

Planning on getting enough sleep after your shift isn’t enough. It’s also important to enhance your sleeping experience by investing in a quality night’s rest. Try out a set of blackout curtains to block out the sun during the daytime hours. Only allow phone calls from those you can’t miss (kids’ schools, doctors, etc.) and put the rest on ‘do not disturb’ mode. A white-noise app or sound machine can be a great tool if you live in a busy city or apartment complex. Uninterrupted sleep is the best kind of sleep for NOC nurses!

Nutrition & Hydration are Key

Keeping your diet balanced and healthy is important to avoid hitting that 3 am slump at work. Try packing some healthy, easy-to-eat snacks (like raisins, bananas, or granola bars) and remember to keep yourself hydrated! Staying hydrated during a long shift will help you feel more alert and energized. Some nurses suggest eating a full meal before work and then a light pick-me-up like a salad or a bowl of oatmeal while on shift to avoid fatigue. As for caffeine, many nurses swear by their coffee or energy drinks, but use them sparingly! The caffeine high will always come with a bit of a crash if you overdo it.

Establish a Routine

Routine is the most important element of mastering the NOC shift. Get yourself a nice daily planner and schedule out when you intend to do errands, chores, and exercise. Map out your sleep schedule and even pencil in a little time for yourself to just relax after your shift. Working nights is all about having a routine down…when you find it, stick with it!

Focus on the Positives of the Night Shift

A positive attitude can greatly improve your time working the night shift. Be thankful for the benefits you may receive from your new shift, like extra time with your family. Oftentimes, nurses report that they forged the strongest friendships with their colleagues while working nights together.

Whether you are new to the night shift or a NOC veteran, find your next nursing contract with Premier!



Black History Month Spotlight: Estelle Massey Osborne

Estelle Massey Osborne was a trailblazing healthcare hero who helped change the face of nursing as we knew it. As a nurse, educator, and leader, she worked tireless to open healthcare up to women of color at a time when racial lines prevented most Black women from holding top positions in their fields. To say that she deserves to be honored is an understatement, so let’s take some time to learn about her life and legacy this Black History Month.

To be the first at anything is an accomplishment. Estelle Osborne’s vision, fearlessness, and determination allowed her to be the first in many areas. At the time Osborne was applying to nursing school, only 14 of the nation’s 1,300 schools for nursing were open to Black applicants. Yet for Osborne, racial barriers were only meant to be broken. She received the first scholarship awarded to a Black nurse by the Julius Rosenwald Fund in 1928. She entered nursing school in St. Louis, where she developed a passion for bedside care, particularly obstetrics. She was then accepted to Columbia University in New York, where she became the first Black nurse to receive a master’s degree in nursing education in 1931, a significant milestone that would impact future generations of nurses.

In addition to earning her master’s, she was named as a consultant to the National Nursing Council for War Service during World War II. During this time, in an effort to further the progress of those seeking higher education in nursing, she worked with nursing schools to eliminate discriminatory policies.

Osborne defied a system built on racism to help provide quality healthcare for Black Americans. 

She went to work for the Rosenwald Fund as a researcher, studying rural life in the deep South and investigating ways to bring better health education and service to rural Black communities.

In 1934, she took on the presidency of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, which was headquartered in New York City. There, she forged strategic relations with White-exclusive nursing institutions like the American Nurses Association (ANA) and intensely lobbied them to accept Black nurses, particularly those in the South. She also fostered programs to develop post-nursing school opportunities for nurses of color. When she left the post in 1939, she had increased the association’s membership more than five-fold, from 175 to 947.

In 1940, Osborne became the first Black superintendent of nurses at the storied Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, the largest exclusively Black, city-operated general hospital in the world, which served over 70,000 people. She was also the first Black woman director of its nursing school.

In 1959 the NYU Department of Nursing named Osborne the “Nurse of the Year.” In 1984, three years after she died, Osborne was inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame, in recognition of her outstanding achievements. Both NYU Meyers and the Nurses Educational Fund have created and named scholarships in her honor.

Osborne’s legacy lives on in each and every nurse who has overcome limitations based on race or gender to further themselves in the pursuit of delivering quality patient care.

Honor and celebrate her work by sharing her story with a nurse close to you this Black History Month.

Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Travel Nurse Contract

Starting your first travel nurse contract is a very exciting step in your healthcare career, but it doesn’t come without a little nervousness about what to expect. Here are six rookie mistakes to avoid when on your first travel nursing contract.

Being Too Narrow-Minded

If you have a compact license and are eager to explore nursing opportunities throughout the USA, it’s always a good idea to consider places that might not be at the forefront of your mine. While it is great to have a specific location in mind for your first travel RN contract, it is important to be open-minded and carefully consider all the opportunities that your recruiter may show you. Many new travel nurses have discovered that limiting their options too much can make it difficult to get hired. Being open and taking risks is what being a travel RN is all about, so make it a priority to talk to your recruiter about your dream placement but be flexible enough to consider other possibilities.

Skimming Your Travel Nurse Contract Instead of Carefully Reading It

Your contract is the most important document of your travel nursing assignment, so it is crucial that you read it carefully before signing. Check for completeness and accuracy, including your assignment dates, pay rate, shift hours, etc. Your recruiter should be able to answer any questions you have and make corrections if necessary.

Over-Packing

The life of a travel nurse is one that requires you to be smart with what you bring with you to your assignments. Over-packing is a common mistake for new travel nurses, but you’ll quickly learn the benefits of a more minimalist lifestyle. To avoid bringing more clothes than you need, think of layers and pieces that can serve multiple purposes. Research the average temps for your new home during the time you’ll be there and pack accordingly. Once you have your essentials packed, you can add a few touches of home to your suitcase, like family photos or your favorite cozy blanket.

packing for your travel nurse contract

Not Asking Enough Questions

Every travel nurse who starts in a new facility must learn where things are, who to call, what procedures to follow in certain situations, etc. Even after your travel nurse orientation, there will be times you need to ask for guidance, so don’t be afraid to turn to the staff nurses or administrators for help. Getting all the answers you need when you need them is a great way to boost your confidence and deliver exceptional patient care.

Not Being a Team Player

While travel RNs, by nature, are not permanent members of the hospital staff, you should try your best to be part of the team. Travel nurses are not simply hired because a vacancy needs filling: the staff and patients are counting on you to give your best. Always show up with a good attitude and be prepared on your travel nurse contract. Give extra assistance, remember that you’re there to help the unit, empathize with your co-workers’ concerns, and follow through. Act like you are part of the team, and you will be treated as such.

Keep in mind that you are probably making more money than the staff nurses, so always be courteous and respectful of your co-workers, even though you won’t be there forever.

travel nurse contract

Having too Much or too Little Fun on Your Travel Nurse Contract

When exploring a new city and meeting new friends, some travel nurses have discovered that there is no such thing as having too much fun! It only becomes a problem if you’re overextending yourself, overindulging, and/or neglecting the golden rules of self-care. Schedule  your off-time activities wisely so that you’ll always feel rested and energized when you arrive for your shift. But the reverse is also a problem – all work and no play is not a formula for success. Travel nurse contracts are just a few weeks long (usually 4-13 weeks), so after a few days of settling in, start planning excursions with some fellow travel nurses or staff, so you don’t miss out on the fun. Take time to see the sights, sample the local fare, and enjoy the unique and wonderful things your new location has to offer.

Travel nursing is a great way to challenge yourself as an RN as well as experience life in many different parts of the country. Fill out the form below to start a travel nurse contract with Premier!


4 Ways to Build a Healthy Work-Life Balance as a Travel RN

Nursing can be a very demanding job, and clinicians often struggle with taking the stress of work home with them. This can lead to a cycle of overwhelm, which affects many nurses, especially during the pandemic. Establishing a healthy work-life balance is crucial for travel nurses because it can help relieve emotional and mental strain and feelings of burnout. There are a handful of small changes you can incorporate into your day-to-day routine to improve work-life balance and achieve clarity in all aspects of your life.

Establish a Daily Wake-Up Routine

The life of a travel nurse is filled with uncertainty, and just a dash of occasional chaos. Let’s just say that “stability” takes on a different meaning while moving from place to place and constantly changing contracts. A simple wake-up routine can help establish a feeling of control and steadiness, which can be highly beneficial in a job where no day is the same. Studies show that both your mental and physical health can benefit from establishing a consistent morning routine, which you can personalize to fit your needs. This can be anything from slowly drinking a glass of water when you wake up to 10 minutes of meditation, or even a brisk 15-minute walk outside. These short moments with yourself will help you to mentally prepare to take on the day ahead.

work life balance as a travel rn

Go on a Social Media Cleanse

Taking social media breaks can be a healthy practice for anyone living in the 21st century, but it is especially important for travel nurses. Many of us use our break time at work to scroll Instagram or Twitter to escape reality for a little while. But between juggling patient care and trying to figure out your next contract, social media can add stresses of comparison and unnecessary pressure to the mix. A little break from social media can inspire more personal social engagement, increase productivity in the moments you have to yourself (lunch break included), and improves sleep because this means less blue light intake from your phone/laptop. Instead of scrolling TikTok before bed, try listening to a podcast.

work life balance as a travel rn

Taking a social media break can help reduce anxiety for RNs.

Budget Time to Try Something New

Stepping outside of your comfort zone every once in a while is a great way to quickly break out of a mental rut. On your next day off, schedule a rock-climbing class, a painting workshop, or finally check out that local trivia night you’ve been wanting to try. Studies show that trying new things essentially acts as a workout for your brain and can improve processing and sharpness. Not to mention that you might find your new favorite hobby along the way. Making sure you are using your free time to learn new skills and better yourself is a fantastic way to enhance work-life balance.

work life balance as a travel rn

Set Healthy Boundaries

We are all familiar with the phenomena of “bringing work home.” The amount of emotional energy nurses give to their patients daily is staggering, which makes it extremely difficult to “turn off” the work brain when it’s time to come home. To foster a healthy separation of work and home, try listening to a guided meditation in the car after your shift that can help quell any lingering anxieties and quiet the racing mind. Any practice to pair a mental transition from work to home with the physical act of going from work to home will help build a cognitive boundary between the two. Journaling is another great practice to move past worries about work and leave them on the page.

work life balance as a travel rn

A healthy work-life balance can improve mood and enhance your experience on the job.

2022 Healthcare Predictions and Trends

It has been another challenging year for the world’s healthcare workers. COVID-19 has compounded the emotional, physical, and mental strain on nurses who were already reporting burnout. The cracks are beginning to show: Healthcare workers are now retiring at a faster rate than anticipated, while demand for them is set to increase in coming years.

However, new technology is coming to the rescue for clinicians everywhere. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Telehealth, and precision medicine technologies are three main players to watch in the healthcare world in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Healthcare Prediction #1: AI Will Help Reduce Clinician Burnout

Artificial intelligence is going to be a game-changer in 2022. AI works by gathering and analyzing data and churning out actionable insights to lighten the workload of doctors and nurses. For example, AI-enhanced software can help reduce the steps involved in imaging a patient by quickly identifying abnormalities in a scan. It can even ease the administrative burden on charge nurses by managing the flow of patients to an emergency room. This frees up clinicians to focus on their core mission: treating and caring for their patients.

Read more: https://www.healthitanswers.net/big-data-analytics-and-ai-could-take-center-stage-in-2022/

 

Prediction #2: Telehealth Will Continue to Help More Patients Get Treated

Regardless of what happens with the pandemic this year, the shift to virtual care and care-at-home will continue to accelerate. Beyond telehealth visits, 2022 will see increased adoption of hospital-at-home and remote patient management because healthcare providers have seen how feasible it is, not to mention the cost savings. Most importantly, patients prefer  to be at home instead of a hospital and all stakeholders are realizing that optimal outcomes can be achieved outside of a medical facility. In addition, telehealth allows healthcare workers to treat patients who may be in rural areas where the nearest hospital is over 50 miles away, as well as immunocompromised people who do not feel safe in clinic or hospital waiting rooms due to risk of infection.

Read more: https://blog.memd.me/2022-telehealth-outlook-virtual-care/

Prediction #3: Precision Medicine Will Revolutionize Healthcare Delivery

For decades, treatment for several diseases and genetic disorders was a one-size-fits-all process. In the case of cancer, patients underwent surgery to remove a tumor, and then endured several rounds of chemotherapy or radiation to kill cancer cells. But nowadays,  it is almost unthinkable to treat cancer patients without accounting for their individual genes and specific disease. That is why nearly all cancer drugs that are currently in development have tests that allow clinicians to quickly diagnose if a tumor has a specific genetic change or biomarker that is targeted by the drug. Thanks to technological advances, especially within genomics, clinicians will increasingly harness precision medicine in 2022 to treat diseases and disorders based on an individual’s genetic fingerprint, environment, and lifestyle. The solutions currently in development are expected to radically change care delivery models and improve outcomes for generations to come.

Read more: https://baptisthealth.net/baptist-health-news/the-promise-of-precision-medicine-means-hope-for-cancer-patients/

2022 healthcare predictions MRI

Finding Financial Freedom Through Travel Nursing

While travel nursing is a career with many benefits, it is often very busy and can leave clinicians with little down-time. As a result, travel RNs often find themselves scrambling when it comes to finding time to manage their personal finances or think about long-term financial stability. As precious as free time is, it’s important for travel nurses to take time to focus on their finances. To help, we’ve consulted with Andrew N., a travel nurse with Premier Medical Staffing Services,  about how he was able to achieve his money goals.

How to Achieve Financial Freedom Through Travel Nursing

What budgeting tips would you recommend to travel nurses who may want to save up for a large purchase, pay off loans, etc.?

First and foremost, anyone wanting financial freedom needs to set up a budget and stick to it. Travel Nursing just fast tracks that whole process. Also, paying off debt before increasing your savings or saving up for a large purchase should be your priority. Anytime you’re in debt you are losing money to the lender. Dave Ramsey’s steps to financial freedom are what I used to get started in the right direction. He helped create a budgeting app called EveryDollar that I used, and it’s incredibly easy.

financial freedom, travel nursing, budgeting for nurses, financial freedom through travel nursing

Tell us a little bit about how you were able to pay off your car and your student loans. How was travel nursing able to help you achieve that milestone?

Over the course of 6 months, I paid off $69K in loans between my student loans, and my truck I purchased in Jan ‘20. I maintained a small enough savings that I had a safety net if I needed it, made a budget for my monthly bills/entertainment money, and then the excess went to debt repayment. Travel Nursing really put me on the fast track to being debt free because I was able to allocate $3K/wk to rent payments. Using Dave Ramsey’s snowball technique, I paid off my smallest loans first while maintaining minimum payments on the larger loans. Each time I paid off a loan, all the money allocated towards that smaller loan got added on top of the minimum payment for the next smallest loan.

financial freedom, travel nursing, budgeting for nurses, financial freedom through travel nursing

What are other money goals you hope to achieve in your nursing career?

With the help of travel nursing, I’m working towards investing in ways to earn passive income. Currently I have two avenues of passive income I’m looking at. I am already invested into mining cryptocurrency, and I’m looking to buy some rental properties that I can rent out for monthly income. Lastly, I hired a financial advisor to help me save towards retirement. Under his direction, I’m hoping to be able to retire early.

financial freedom, travel nursing, budgeting for nurses, financial freedom through travel nursing

More resources to help you reach your financial goals while travel nursing:

Nursemoneytalk.com

Investopedia’s Ultimate Guide to Financial Literacy

Ramsey Solutions: How to Get Out of Debt With the Debt Snowball Plan

Skincare For Nurses

Nothing says “I work in nursing” quite like chapped hands from rigorous washing, dark circles from long overnight shifts, and let’s not forget about the occasional bout of “maskne” (mask acne). Skincare for nurses is especially important, and we sourced a few expert tips to help keep your skin happy and healthy both in and out of scrubs.

Your Skin and PPE

We’re all familiar with the skin imprints, breakouts, rashes, and bruising following the extended wear of multiple masks at a time. Hours of wearing PPE can exacerbate existing skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, and acne. So, what can you do to prevent this?

  1. Apply a barrier cream to your face such as Vaseline before donning your PPE. This can help reduce friction.
  2. After your shift, apply a wound cream to soothe irritated skin.
  3. Make sure to use gentle washing solutions before and after wearing masks. Popular choices are: Cerave Hydrating Wash, Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and Neutrogena Hydroboost to prevent acne. RN Annie B. recommends using a face wipe before and after putting on masks so the skin stays clean and blemish-free.
  4. Do your best to avoid irritants such as powerful toners and astringents, as they can further irritate the skin.

Moisturizer is Your BFF

Many nurses suffer from dry, chapped, and even cracked hands from washing and using alcohol-laden sanitizers. This is why a good moisturizer is a nurse’s best friend and should a staple in your skincare routine.

Some nurse-recommended moisturizers include: CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream, and Udderly Smooth Hand Cream.

Skincare = Self-care

After 10-12 hours of caring for others, it is extremely important to carve out some time to care for yourself. Here are a few of our favorite ways to unwind and give our skin a much-needed refresh.

  1. Use an eye mask to help ease the intensity of dark undereye circles. Not only does this help hydrate the face, but the cooling sensation also helps you unwind after a long day. Do this before bed to give your eyes some
    well-deserved R&R.
  2. Mix some collagen powder into your morning smoothie to help promote soft, hydrated skin.
  3. Invest in silk pillowcases. Silk pillowcases are proven to help reduce drying and irritation of your skin and hair. While this may sound like a luxury indulgence, you can find some affordable silk pillowcases like this one, on Amazon for only $20!

The RV Life: Travel Nursing on the Road

It is often hard for travel nurses to feel a sense of home when they are always moving from place to place for contracts. Travel RNs Tess and Kyle Stecker transformed a 1994 RV into a home that can move wherever they find themselves for work. Now, they live by the motto “home is where we park it.” We talked to them about the RV life, how they got into travel nursing, and tips for first-time travelers.

What made you choose travel nursing?

What made us choose travel nursing was just the ability to travel and see new places while also working. We both haven’t really been to many other places besides Wisconsin, so to have the opportunity to travel more before we are ready to settle down is a dream come true.

What made you choose to live in an RV for your travel nursing jobs?

We have a dog and so we did some research on the cost difference between an RV vs places that accept pets in different states and we realized it would save us so much money. Also we liked the idea of always sleeping in our own bed, having all of our stuff with us at all time and being able to pick up and go whenever we need to.

What are some of the benefits of RV life?

Some benefits of living in an RV is that first you can make it basically like your home away from home. You have all your stuff with you at all times. You get to sleep in your own bed and don’t have to worry about having landlord. We have found that it is cheaper for our life. Living at campsites we have also met so many amazing people that have incredible stories.

How did you turn the RV into a home? Any tips/tricks for other travel nurses wanting to retrofit a van/RV to make their home?

The first thing we did before purchasing our RV was we went to camping world and looked at a couple different kinds of RVs to get a feel for what we wanted. Then we started looking online for some used ones because we knew we did not want to have to take a loan out for one. We did not have any experience with RVs or trailers so once we found the one we wanted we really did not inspect it as well as we should have. For our renovation we knew everything was going to have to get redone. It was a 1994 RV that had lots of water damage and things were very outdated. So we first drew up a sketch of what we wanted the floor plan to be and in the winter did lots of research on what kind of style and products we wanted to turn this RV into our little dream home on wheels.

Some tips for other travel nurses wanting to renovate an RV:

  1. Give yourself time.

Renovations can start out small but once you start going with a project it can turn into something much bigger. When we started renovating we gave ourselves 5 months to get our project done. We did lots of pre-planning during the winter when we couldn’t be outside renovating.

  1. Be flexible.

Things will not always go according to plan. Being flexible and having alternative plans when renovating will help alleviate some stress when you come across unexpected things in renovation.

  1. Do your research.

Like I said before, we knew nothing about RV’s or renovating before tackling this project. With the help of so many resources on Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest, we were able to get some good advice and tips for starting out.

 

What is your favorite place you have been in your RV?

We just started out traveling with the RV so we have not gone too many places yet, but some places we are excited to take to are Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, and Maine.

In your opinion, what is the best part of travel nursing?

Having the ability to work when we want to and taking off when we want. We have our contracts scheduled so we will always have off for Christmas and then we come home for the summer to spend time with family. Travel nursing as also given us so many opportunities to see places we might not have been able too if we didn’t start travel nursing.

What is any advice you would you give to a first-time travel nurse?

Be kind and friendly to full-time staff members. They know you are making more money than them, being kind and helping out on the unit when you aren’t busy will show that you care. Also ask questions! You typically get two days of orientation, which is not enough time to learn everything. Don’t just guess or act like you know something you don’t, just ask questions!

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Interested in becoming a travel nurse with Premier?