Monday, July 31, 2006

The Importance of Meaningful Work

I've been working as a Nurse Tech for the PCU for over a month now. And I must say that my impressions thusfar have been favorable, both of the hospital as well as the floor. Yet, before I go any further, I want to tell you something very important I have realized these last few weeks:

Working as a tech is an invaluable foundation for your nursing career!! I highly advise all nursing students to take on a part time job as a tech or aide!!

Make no mistake, tech work isn't easy. It's sweaty and gritty and filthy and exhausting. I often spend 10-12 hours a day on my feet (Which was quite an adjustment for me; I had to buy inserts for some new shoes just to keep from having muscle pain. I've lost a few pounds from the walking). But I feel like it is fundamentally important to nursing care. I feel like, if I can do this part, I can do anything.

And honestly, if you aren't prepared to do the "worst parts" of the job, how can you be expected to do a good job at the easier parts?

The thing I love most about my work is the people I get to talk to. Of my few gifts, I feel that reading people and ministering to their emotional hurt is the most important and relevant for my daily life. Sometimes healthcare workers forget to look at a patient holistically. While I am caring for the body, I also place great value on caring for the mind and spirit. It is SO easy to write people off because of their behavior. It's easy to forget that people are human beings, not just diseases. Every time I go in a room, I take time to hear the person's story (because everyone likes to talk about their health). I feel it is making me not only stronger, but kinder.

But beyond direct patient experience, this job has been good for learning more how the hospital works. I am sent from place to place on various errands, and am finding out where things are located and how to get things done. The nurses often pull me into a room to watch procedures, so I'm gaining extra "class time" of a sort. And, lastly, I am making connections that will prove valuable for my future preceptorships and job interviews.

The only real downside is that I wake up early and am often tired at the end of the day. But I'm a somewhat soft person, so I can't complain too much if my body hurts simply because I'm out of shape.

School starts in the middle of August, so I'll keep you updated on how this job works out for me during the new semester ^_^

Nursing Jobs - Insider Tips On Choosing the Best Employer

Nurses are in high demand and that demand has created an excellent opportunity for those in the health care field. It's not only a chance for better wages than ever before; it's also an opportunity to choose your benefits. That means that you'll look more closely at the individual companies and what they can offer.
So what benefits can you expect as a nurse? Take a look at some options you'll find from the various nursing agencies and health care facilities.
Favorable working conditions and hours - While there's no doubt that more nurses and other health care professionals are constantly in demand, many companies and facilities are offering nurses and technicians time off as an incentive to work for them. These companies do whatever it takes to keep working hours to a reasonable level, including hiring temporary workers from other companies. This means that there's less demand to work overtime, leaving even nurses time for themselves and their families. The goal is two fold. Not only do these companies want to attract and retain quality employees, they also realize that nurses and others health care professionals are more likely to be at the top of their game when they're handling reasonable working hours with adequate backup staffing.
The tangibles - Not only are nurses demanding higher wages than ever before, they're also being offered other benefits that haven't been necessarily associated with professionals in this industry in the past. Most are small incentives that carry little importance to some people, but may become big issues. Direct deposit is one example. Seem like a minor point? Maybe, until you're getting your paycheck on Thursday night, are too tired after working overnight to make the trip to the bank Friday and wind up with a check that still hasn't been cashed the following week.
Part-time, temporary and situational jobs - There are companies out there that offer placement for nurses to meet situational requirements. You may not want the responsibility of a full-time position in a hospital, but want to work only a few weeks at a time. You have plenty of options. Choose travel nursing and spend a few days on the road each month, or a few months out at a time. Pick up part-time work or temporary positions. You have plenty of options without working full time and there are companies that do nothing but placements for people like you. Be careful to choose a reputable company and be wary of signing a long-term contract that limits your work with other companies, but this could be a viable option.
Education - There are some real options available if you want a career in nursing or want to advance your education to make yourself more attractive on the marketplace. Take a year off to get some additional training or take a night class. You can choose online courses or pick up classes at your community college or university. You have plenty of options if you want to advance your career with education.
Pay - Most nurses will tell you they choose their field because of the good they can do other people, but there's no doubt that the money is attractive. And pay for nurses in all walks of the health care industry have never been better.
Scott Knutson is an entrepreneur and writer. For more of his articles visit:
Nursing Uniforms Nursing Scrubs Travel Nursing

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Top Ten Travel Nursing "Hot Spots"

The great thing about being a traveling nurse boils down to one key component – it’s about the travel! For those of us who love moving around and seeing the world, travel nursing is the profession of our dreams. There are many travel destinations available, based on weather, activities, cost of living, and salary. Therefore, I have gathered a list of my “Top Ten” destinations that nurses choose, based on the number of travelers who inquire about each location every month. Are you a travel RN scouting a new assignment? Then I’d like to suggest the following ten “Hot Spots”:
HAWAII – It’s no shock that Hawaii generates over 500 travel nursing inquiries per month. The wide range of outdoor activities from snow-capped mountains to snow-white sandy beaches elevates Hawaii to one of those meccas where you can build a snowman or a sand castle all in one day. Nurses tell me that you’ll discover virtually every type of outdoor activity imaginable—hiking trails that wind through erupting volcanoes, secret beaches, and lush green ranchlands. Many travelers also hunt, mountain bike, go rafting, and golf on some of the world’s most extravagant courses.
ALASKA – Travel nurses are intrigued by the possibilities of Alaska’s rugged mystery. Alaska is a huge wilderness with beautiful scenery, and travel nursing assignments offer plenty of time to see and do everything you want, whether in winter’s darkness under northern lights, or the glorious spring and summer where it’s light most of the time. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy Alaska for its’ wildlife, spectacular natural landscape, and fishing expeditions where the fish really are as big as the stories about which they’re told. Countless day cruises and sightseeing expeditions abound, as well as opportunities to hike, kayak, canoe, ski… Need we say more?
MONTANA – Whether photographer, adventurer, or both, Montana is truly a state that beckons with open arms. River trips, fishing and camping, history, snowy mountain ranges, and waterfalls are what you’ll encounter, along with plenty of open space to explore. Assignments in Montana appeal to those travel nurses who just need some time to break away from their city grind to enjoy marching to the beat of an entirely different drummer. The Big Sky Country boasts some of America’s most famous mountains, canyons, river valleys, forests, grassy plains, badlands, and caverns, and many travelers find it just irresistible enough to keep coming back.
MAINE – Maine’s splendor has inspired artists like Georgia O’Keefe and three generations of the Wyeth family, since the mid-nineteenth century. Travel nurses can’t resist at least one adventure in this charming getaway. Whether you embark on outdoor adventures like skiing and snowmobiling, or if you prefer the cozy ambience of antiquing through charming villages or just strolling or riding horseback on miles of sandy beaches in the smell of salt air, Maine is legendary and offers some wonderful travel nursing experiences. Its’ unique culture is outdoorsy and quaint, and of course you get to enjoy lobster as the locals do—fresh from the ocean!
CALIFORNIA – Warm weather and world-famous beaches make California a favorite choice for traveling nurses. Nine-hundred miles of coastline gives nurses in all locations the chance to spend many hours near the waves; and for nature lovers, California is home to many wildlife parks, remote wilderness areas, and safe-havens for endangered animals. If you’re an excitement junkie, you can scout out a wide selection of theme parks; and no matter what your taste in music, concerts abound in every type of venue. Historic sites and museums invite, as do five-star restaurants and clubs in which to see and be seen. The shopping is unparalleled, whether it’s trendy Melrose Place, La Jolla, or the strand in Venice Beach; and of course it’s home to Hollywood, and, yes, movie stars. Whether northern, southern, or coastal locations, traveling nurses return to California time and again.
WASHINGTON – The Evergreen State boasts the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, the Cascade Mountains, desert experiences, rain forests, towering volcanoes, glaciers, and lush wine country. Washington State rates high on the list of many nurse travelers. Must-sees are the Space Needle and Coulee Dam. The culture here is incredibly diverse; sophisticated, outdoorsy, and loaded with resorts, history, parks, museums, and botanical gardens. Whether touring downtown Seattle for cozy antique and book stores, exploring ancient Indian grounds, or hiking and biking mountains or trails, Washington holds a strong allure for many nurse travelers.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Endless adventure, excitement, fun and exploration represent why South Carolina is always a favorite destination for travel nurses. America’s oldest landscaped gardens frame mansions rife with historical heritage, in addition to pristine beaches and legendary marshy wetlands. For all you golfers, with over 330 golf courses, there’s always a new place to swing your clubs. But what fascinates many traveling nurses is the rich heritage in which South Carolina has paved the roads of culture, art, and folklore in our past. You can visit several historical areas and discovery centers of American history, including the American Revolution and the Civil War.
COLORADO – World-class winter skiing and summer music festivals in the mountains are just two reasons that nurses love traveling to Colorado. Boasting four spectacular seasons, Colorado is where travel nurses get to explore the state’s 18 million acres of state and national parks, forests, and monuments for biking, hiking, fishing, mountain climbing, and kayaking, to name a few. Colorado has many cultural treasures, including ancient Native American sites and dinosaur fossil exhibits, historic ghost towns, and even award-winning vineyards in Grand Junction. And for those who enjoy city life, amid all this natural beauty lie wonderful metropolitan areas like Denver and Boulder, full of shopping, performing arts, and professional sports.
TENNESSEE – From energetic nights of blues on Beale Street, to gorgeous rolling acres of Tennessee Walker horse country, to peaceful Smoky Mountain sunsets, Tennessee is a vacation that offers many world-renowned attractions. Nurse travelers who visit Tennessee will find that they’re within a day’s drive of 75-percent of the U.S. population via quality interstates and highways. Attractions in Tennessee include the Jack Daniels’ distillery, Elvis’s Graceland, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and lots of southern hospitality. And don’t forget the crown jewel of the southern Appalachians, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
ARIZONA – If you adore the outdoors, then the Grand Canyon State might just be for you. The nurses who go there just rave about Arizona’s landscape which takes in tall mountain ranges, swift rivers, grasslands, sand dunes, and cactus forests all set against a beautiful sky that glows pink in the sunset. The traveler nurses who enjoy history will find plenty of it here, including Old West reformations, Native American nations, and Spanish-influenced areas all in one state. Arizona is also home to the nation’s greatest golf courses, resorts, spas, cabins, and ranches.
As you can see, limitless possibilities exist for those nurses who want travel, fun, and adventure to be part of their daily lives. If you’re a nurse who travels and it's time for you to move on to a new location, try one of these top travel nursing destinations and see what new experiences lie ahead.
Janet Fikany is a "Placement Diva" for HealthCare Staffing Network. For travel nursing advice, please visit HSN online at, or call Janet toll free at 1-877-385-3097.
If you want to find a specific job as a traveling nurse just click on the links below the pictures at the top of this page.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Travel Nursing - The Best Of Both Worlds. Find out how travel nursing can help your career and your life today.

Because of severe shortages of nurses across the country, travel nursing has become "big business" If you're one of the nurses not familiar with travel nursing you owe it to yourself, and your bank account to investigate further.
Family Keeping You At Home?
Many nurses with children have the idea that travel nursing is off limits. Not necessarily true. There are advantages of travel nursing that can benefit you as well as your children. For example, as a travel nurse many recruiting companies will provide you with free housing. This provides you a place for your family without all the hassles of finding it on your own and moving your household items.
Another benefit to the children is the fact they have the chance to see other parts of the country and a variety of lifestyles. It's almost like vacationing while you're working. You and your family get to see the places you've always dreamed about visiting... yet you're still earning a regular salary.
You can also choose travel nursing and work within areas close to home. You'll be working in familiar areas, keeping the family in one location and earning more. That's right most travel nursing pay scales are anywhere from ten to fifteen percent higher than the pay of a regular staff nurse.
Pick and Choose
Another advantage of travel nursing is you'll get to choose the area you work as well as the type of nursing. If you're feeling a bit stagnant in your career, travel nursing is a great way to pursue other specialty areas of nursing without being locked in as a staff nurse. You'll get to try whatever you choose without being stuck if you find you don't care for that particular nursing specialty.
Most travel nursing companies assign you a recruiter. Your recruiter will work to find out exactly what you're looking for and find it for you. This includes salary, type of nursing, and geographical location.
You can write your own ticket to wherever and however you choose to work.
Increase Your Skills
Travel nursing offers you the opportunity to increase your knowledge base. By choosing to work in a variety of settings and nursing areas, you'll build a long list of experiences that will make you in high demand. Travel nursing skills gives you unlimited opportunities and puts you in great demand. Investigate today for your future.
About the Author: Steve Ford
Copyright©2006 Visit for
travel nursing, travel nurse agencies and traveling nurse resources.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

How to Maximize Your Potential as a Traveling Nurse

It never fails to surprise me how many nurses express their frustration with the world of travel employment. Most often, they wonder why they aren’t finding the assignments they want and deserve; they wonder why placements can take so long; and they wonder why their agencies aren’t doing more to help.
It’s understandable nurses feel like this. Finding the right opportunity can be a timely, stressful, or ultimately unfulfilling process, especially if their placement agency isn’t putting in a lot of time on their behalf. However, what many nurses fail to realize is that to be successful as a travel nurse, there’s some work that should be done on their part, too! As with any job, you will get out what you put in -- your potential is directly related to your involvement in the placement process. In light of all this, here are some tips to help guide nurses in being proactive during a job search to help find the best possible assignment each time.
First, always be prepared to demonstrate your qualifications at any time. Nursing placement agencies will need copies of your current Nursing, Operating-Room Technician, or Allied Health Professional licenses. You will need to show experience in your specialized field. And you will need to verify all of your certification, education, and experience. Candidates who are not prepared to verify their qualifications often end up with the less-desired positions.
Second, know what types of facilities are most desirable to you, and make your placement agency aware of this too. For instance, do you like teaching or non-teaching facilities? Large metro facilities or small rural hospitals? High or low volume staffs? If you make clear your preferences from the beginning, you are more likely to find placement in the type of work environment that best suits you.
Third, do your best to have a grasp of the time frame you are planning to remain. Although the industry standard for nursing assignments is a thirteen week period, many assignments may be shorter or longer. Know when you plan to leave, or if you’d like to apply for one or more extensions. When you give your placement agency this type of information, you give them the time they need to find you a position that fits your future and moving schedule.
Fourth, understand the concept of pay rates in the travel nursing business. In many cases, the higher paying positions offer more money for a reason. Before you accept a big pay position, make an attempt to understand why it is big pay. For some nurses, a pay increase is not worth working at hospitals with low nurse-to-patient ratios, extended emergency hours or extremely needy facilities. If you do this research before you accept an available position, you are less likely to step into something unexpected.
Fifth and finally, read the entire contents of your contract. Although, in the past, many travel nurses often worked around verbal agreements, contracts are absolutely necessary. Read over yours carefully. Contact your recruiter with any questions or concerns before signing. If anything is not specific enough, ask for changes. The more specific you are on contract details, the more control you have over your job assignment.
If you supply all this information, you will give your placement agency the tools to be able to effectively go to work for you and be there every step of the way. They will have everything they need to ensure you the best travel nursing experience possible. Most importantly, you will be satisfied to know that your extra commitment to your job future did indeed help you to maximize your potential as a successful travel nurse.
About The Author: Janet Fikany is a "Senior Placements Specialist" for HealthCare Staffing Network. For travel nursing advice, please visit HSN online at, or call toll free at 1-800-388-2610.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not Happy With Your Nursing Career Or Need To Start One? Travel Nurses Are In Great Demand!

If you are a nurse or plan to be one you may want to check out travel nurses. The benefits are huge and the demand for nurses in the United States is in dire need.

In the United States the number of young people entering the nursing field has declined, so much so, that it is feared that when the baby boomer nurses, who will soon retire, will put an immense strain on the medical profession.
With this great demand come many incentives to entice nurses to relocate, for example:
1) If you are coming from another country, you can be sponsored to obtain visa green cards and a social security number that will allow you to start work immediately. If you have a husband and children, they also can get green cards so they can remain with you and live and work in the States.
2) The agency can assist you with moving expenses and help find a suitable lodging for you and your family.
3) Free dental, health and life insurance are often offered as an incentive,
4) 401Ks with company matches may be offered to you.
5) License and NCLEX reimbursements may be offered to you.
6) Great pay!
It helps greatly to have experience in your field because if you do become a travel nurse you can be placed in a new hospital or facility and work in your specialized field immediately.

If you are not an experienced nurse then you may want to get that under your belt. Some hospitals want you to contract with them, but if you have any desire to relocate then you may want to pass that up and continue to train for that much needed experience. Some agencies will also place therapists and technicians.

If you are an adventurous type of person and want to experience many different facilities then you can be placed for 8 to 13 weeks at a particular place where your accommodations are taken care of for you. If you provide your own accommodations then you can get a generous subsidy for it. You can discuss what type of assignment you want and how long you want to do it and how many facilities you would like to work at. When your assignment is done you may want to consider a permanent residence or you may decide to resume a new assignment at a later date.

You will be providing a much needed service, travel to different parts of the country and meet lots of new people. It is an excellent way to find out the opportunities available and what kind of pay range there is and possibly relocating permanently.

About the Author: Willie Jones
Willie is a researcher, writer and artist that has an interest in putting information on health and well being into the hands of the public.

Friday, July 14, 2006

St. Joseph Hospital (Orange, Calif) sponsors conference on Pain Solutions:evidence based approaches...

St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California is hosting a conference on October 22, 2006 entitled
"Pain Solutions: evidence based approaches to the care of persons experiencing pain". 8 contact hours will be available for this conference; registrations must be be received by September 22, 2006. Please use this registration form. For more information, please contact Cheri Cancelliere at or call 714 771-8000, x7345.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Show me the Evidence by Catherine Spader, RN

Infusion therapy nurse Eun Kim, RN, BS, C, CRNI (right), shares with Mary Sampson, RN (center) and Judi Murphy, RN, BSN, PNAP III, a new method to clean central line dressing sites that has reduced infection rates by 50%. The method employs chlorhexidine gluconate in place of Betadine Solution. Photo by Winslow Martin

An article in Nursing Spectrum Feb 27, 2006 carries the same title as our blog "show me the Evidence". It describes some real life examples of implementation of EBP by med/surg nurses at Winchester Hospital in Winchester, Mass.

Julie's July Picks from the Nursing Literature

Some of these recent nursing articles really caught my eye. SJH/CHOC staff can obtain these online or request them from Burlew Medical Library. Nurses who are not at SJH/CHOC should check with their own medical libraries.

1. 2009172202 NLM Unique Identifier: 16620259. Ballen LE. Fulcher AJ.
Nurses and doulas: complementary roles to provide optimal maternity care.
JOGNN: Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. 2006
Mar-Apr; 35(2): 304-11. (34 ref)
Burlew carries this journal

2. 2009165829. Tracy S. Dufault M. Kogut S. Martin V. Rossi S. Willey-Temkin
Translating best practices in nondrug postoperative pain management.
Nursing Research. 2006 Mar-Apr; 55(2S): Supplement: S57-67. (61 ref)
Burlew carries this journal

3. 2009139524 NLM Unique Identifier: 16601511.
Newhouse RP.
Evidence and the executive. Selecting measures for safety and quality
improvement initiatives.
Journal of Nursing Administration. 2006 Mar; 36(3): 109-13. (27 ref)
Burlew carries this journal

4.2009157318 NLM Unique Identifier: 16553707.
Elliott R. McKinley S. Aitken L.
Adoption of a sedation scoring system and sedation guideline in an
intensive care unit.
Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2006 Apr; 54(2): 208-16. (23 ref)
Burlew has some years.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Create Change Website: the changing environment of digitial scholarhship

The Create Change Website, a resource on scholarly communication issues, has been updated to provide faculty with current information, perspectives, and tools that enable them to play an active role in advancing scholarly information exchange in the networked environment. The new Create Change Website is based on the idea that the ways faculty share and use academic research results are changing rapidly and irreversibly. The Website includes sections on digital scholarship and new modes of communication, examples of change in diverse fields, and ways to stay informed about new developments.