4 Stress Relief Tips for Travel Nurses

Working as a nurse means you face a variety of complicated situations. You work in a high stress environment and you need to handle the challenges of caring for your patients. A travel nurse has the added challenge of adapting to a new environment and taking on high stress shifts in a medical facility. When you work as a travel nurse, you want to take measures to reduce your stress and keep calm in the workplace.

Set a Routine

A routine is not always easy when you work as a travel nurse. You may face challenges with the work environment that relate directly to your work hours. By setting a clear routine, you limit the risks to your health and your mind.

Try to get up at the same time each day. Do not sleep in on your day off, since that can throw off your sleep schedule when you return to your normal work hours. Instead, get up at the same time and follow a basic morning routine. The more you stick to a routine, the easier you will transition into your new position and job.

Take Time for Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a simple way to calm down in a stressful situation. Take a long and deep breath in, hold your breath for a few seconds and then release your breath slowly. Repeat the process until you feel calm and can face the challenges of your work without feeling overwhelmed.

Even though it takes only a few seconds, you focus on your breathing. That gives your mind a short break from the stressful situation and helps you refocus on finding a solution. You can also use deep breathing for stress relief as part of your daily routine.

Consider Meditation

Meditation is shown to have a positive impact on your stress levels. While it is not always easy to meditate, you can benefit from a few minutes of meditation each morning. Start out with five to ten minutes of sitting in a quiet place and allowing your mind to clear. You want to focus on the present moment, so you can use a tool like meditation music, a burning candle or even a flower as a focus. Observe your focus without allowing other thoughts to clutter up your mind. If a thought enters your mind, acknowledge that you have a thought and then let it go. The practice will give your mind a break and help you organize your thoughts.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Diet is often overlooked in a high stress environment. As a nurse, you want to take care of your health so you are able to help others with their health. That means you need to eat a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. Do not skip meals when you are able to eat a meal.

Stress relief is an on-going process for any travel nurse. Since you work in a high-stress environment, you want to take active measures to address your stress levels and maintain your health. The key is taking steps to give your mind and body a break while also giving your body the fuel to handle the challenges of your work.

3 Negotiation Tips for Travel Nurses

Taking on a travel nurse contract does not mean you must give up on your pay and benefits. Even though you take on a nursing role for a short time frame, you do have options to negotiate your pay, benefits or hours before you start a new job. The key is having the right strategies to ensure that you are asking for a fair adjustment to the contract.

Research the Area

Before you take any steps to negotiate with a potential employer, you want to research the local area. Find out about the pay a nurse receives in the local area. You want a per-hour rate as well as a salary rate to have a clear idea of the going rate for the local area.

This is particularly important if you have specialized skills and plan to work as a travel nurse in a specialized position. The pay rate for different areas may vary based on the local cost of living. You should also be aware that a stipend for your rent and other expenses is part of your pay package, so you want to add it to your hourly rate before you assume that you are not paid a similar rate to other nurses in the local area.

Find Out More About the Contract

Do not ignore the contract. Read the details of the specific contract and make sure you understand every detail of the current contract. Even if you have worked in a travel nurse position in other locations, the details of a contract may vary between medical facilities and localities. You do not want to overlook critical information when you ask for an adjustment to the contract.

Take your time and read the details thoroughly to ensure you know everything. You can then make notes about what you want to ask and what you are willing to accept in your contract. Make sure you understand the information if you have any questions or concerns about the original contract.

Give Clear Reasons for Your Requests

Negotiation is a process that focuses on benefiting both parties. You do not want to go into the process with the assumption that a facility is able to pay more for your work or that the requests you want to make will benefit your new employer. Before you go into the negotiation, clarify your reasons for the request. You want to show how the changes will benefit the medical facility. Use your research into the local area and your knowledge of the current contract to help support your requests.

Allow a potential employer to come back with a new offer. You may find that they offer more in some areas and have strict standards in others. The key to successful negotiation is focusing on a fair contract that benefits both parties.

Negotiating your contract as a travel nurse is a process. You want to make sure your prepare in advance to avoid unnecessary challenges with your requests. By taking the time to research the local area and setting up clear standards for what you will accept in your contract, you can get the position that fits your experience and goals.

4 Tips to Prepare for a Road Trip When Working as a Travel Nurse

A travel nurse spends time on the road or transitioning from one job into the next job. That means you want to take measures to prepare for your travel plans before you actually get into a car or get on a plane. It is particularly important when you plan to drive to your next job because you do not want to make your road trip an unpleasant experience.

Check Your Vehicle

This may seem obvious, but it is essential for any road trip. As a travel nurse agency, we have your back and want to help you have a successful and safe journey. You do not want to get on the Interstate only to have your car break down before you travel ten miles up the road. The situation gets worse when your vehicle breaks down at the halfway point between your original location and your new job.

Take the time to check your vehicle. Change your oil and check the other fluids in your car. Fill up your gas tank and get any weird sounds checked by a professional to avoid unnecessary delays in your travel plans.

Plan Your Route

Set a clear route for your trip. Do not assume that your vehicle’s GPS is the ideal tool for your route. The GPS may take you through a complicated route when you are not careful about your plan.

Get out a map and make sure you know your route. Use the GPS as a tool to assist with your plans, but make sure you already know the basics of your route to avoid getting lost or wasting time driving around in circles.

Give Yourself Enough Time

A road trip is a meandering trip. You will not reach your destination after a few short hours. Depending on the distance from your home town to your new travel nurse position, you may spend several days on the road. The trip will take longer if you stop for detours or to check out interesting tourist sites along your trip.

Plan your visits to tourist destinations and make sure you have an idea of how far you can drive each day. You also want to make sure you take stops for meals and short breaks to stretch out as part of your travel time. When you are clear on the time you need to drive the total distance, give yourself at least one or two extra days to account for any unexpected problems.

Pack Snacks and Beverages

Do not ignore your need to stay healthy and hydrated. Pack a few healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables or nuts as part of your trip. You also want to make sure you have some water in the car. Use your judgment for other beverages, but plan out a few snacks and water as part of your trip. It is not always prudent to stop for a meal and you do not want to get dehydrated during your drive.

A road trip is a fun way to enjoy the process of traveling to a new job. The key is preparing in advance to avoid unnecessary problems during your trip. By taking the time to plan out your drive and check on your vehicle, you can focus on the road and on to your career as a successful travel nurse!

Evaluating Taxable Pay in Travel Nursing

Travel nursing pay packages are a complicated process. You have different forms of payment and benefits. Although part of your pay is taxable, you also receive non-taxable income via housing stipends, travel reimbursement and funds for specific needs. By evaluating the package carefully, you can avoid complications with your taxes and prevent IRS red flags when filing your paperwork.

What is Taxable Income?

Taxable income as a travel nurse is the hourly wage you earn from your time in a facility or hospital. The hourly wage may vary significantly between positions and locations, so you should pay attention to the details when you look at your pay package.

Non-taxable income refers to the benefits you receive that do not require taxes. In travel nursing, the non-taxable benefits and income is usually travel reimbursement, a housing stipend and any other funds you receive that are not part of your normal wages. For example, if you receive funds to help with health insurance or health-related costs, then you do not always pay taxes on the funds.

When you file your taxes, you use your taxable income to calculate your tax bracket and your tax responsibilities. The non-taxable income, or benefits, do not require you to pay taxes to the IRS.

How to Recognize a Red Flag in Travel Nursing Pay

Although a travel nurse position gives you a chance to enjoy non-taxable income and benefits, you want to use caution when you look at available positions. You want to avoid any position that has a clear red flag in your payment structure.

A red flag is a pay package that will catch the attention of the IRS when you file your taxes. Essentially, it is a pay package that puts too much into the non-taxable income and keeps the taxable income at a rate that seems too low. The IRS has a large amount of data to draw on for comparisons. When a pay package seems to focus too much on non-taxable income, it may appear that you are not paying the appropriate amount of taxes. That results in the IRS auditing your taxes.

Your Personal Situation

Your personal situation also contributes to your tax responsibilities. If you do not have a mortgage or a property you rent in your hometown, then you may not qualify for certain non-taxable funds. You should also be aware that the IRS may audit you if you do not return to your hometown on a regular basis. A travel nurse has a complicated work situation. You travel to and from different locations, which means you do not spend most of your year in your hometown.

If you do not return home regularly, the IRS may assume that you moved. That may result in the IRS auditing you and requiring you to pay taxes on all of your income. Pay attention to the potential factors that limit your non-taxable income to avoid complications on your taxes.

Taxes are complicated, even when you do not work as a travel nurse. By working as a travel nurse, you want to evaluate your taxable and non-taxable income to find the right strategy for your financial goals. The key is ensuring that you do not lose your tax home by renting out your property, staying away from your hometown too long or giving up your rental property when you travel as a nurse.

3 Details to Include on Your Travel Nurse Resume

Travel nurses play an important role in a medical facility. They step in when a facility needs extra staff members or temporary relief due to unexpected circumstances. They provide assistance without getting involved in the political side of a medical facility. The flexibility a travel nurse brings into the hospital or facility helps the permanent staff. When you work as a travel nurse, you want your resume to tell potential employers that you are the right person for their needs. That means you want to include specific details and information that sets you apart and shows that you can step in and help out as soon as you arrive.

Give Your Past Experience

As a travel nurse, you may feel tempted to leave out some of your work experience. You may be moving regularly to fill in at different hospitals and medical facilities. That means you have a lot of details about your previous experience that you may get bogged down in the details.

While you do not want your resume to look too crowded, you also want to discuss your past experience. If you worked in a trauma hospital, then write it on your resume. If you have experience working with young children, then explain where you worked with young children and the role you played in their medical care. Get specific on the details about the hospital or medical facility. Explain the type of facility, the number of beds and the type of care provided in the facility. That will help set you apart on your resume.

Focus on Specific Skills

When discussing your role as a nurse at a specific hospital, talk about your specific skills. What was your role in the hospital? Do you have specific skills from your work experience? For example, if you worked in a hospital ICU, then you want to discuss the work you performed in the ICU. Do not overlook the value of giving details about your specific skills.

You also want to mention if a previous role was a travel nursing position. A medical facility may feel more comfortable working with nurses who have previously taken on travel nursing roles. Since you have experience as a travel nurse, you are able to step into the role and handle the challenges of settling into a new position.

Showcase Your Measurable Contributions

The final detail you want to include on any travel nursing resume is your measurable contributions to a hospital or medical facility. A measurable contribution is any aspect of your job that made improvements to a previous place of employment. For example, if you took action to improve patient safety by 20 percent, then explain your contribution to make an improvement in patient safety. Write about any awards or achievements that apply to your previous work experience.

Working as a travel nurse is challenging. You take on a variety of responsibilities and must step up quickly to provide care for your patients. Your resume is the first impression you make on potential employers, so you want to ensure that you provide the details they need to understand how you will fit into their hospital or medical facility.

4 Interview Tips for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses interact with many different parties throughout the interview process. You work with an agency to connect you to hospitals or medical facilities. You also work with the medical hiring staff. That means your interviews can seem complex and even a bit confusing. By keeping a few ideas in mind, you will make a positive first impression.

Don’t Ask About Pay Packages at the Hospital

When you get to the interview with a hospital’s hiring manager or a medical facilities hiring staff, do not talk about your pay package. The pay package goes through your recruiter. If you have questions about the pay package or your benefits, then you want to talk to the recruiter or a representative of the agency connecting you to the medical facility.

Listen to the Other Party

Whether you are interviewing with a recruiter or the staff at a medical facility, allow them to talk. They will discuss your role at the hospital or facility. They also want to make sure you have listening skills. Do not talk over the other person. Allow them to talk and wait until they ask a question before you respond. Do not anticipate questions, since that may result in making a negative first impression.

Prepare for a Phone Conversation

A travel nurse does not always have the luxury of an in-person interview. Depending on the location of the position, you may not be close enough for an interview in person. That means you will usually have a series of phone interviews before you travel to the hospital or medical facility.

Prepare for phone interviews. Practice talking on the phone with friends or family members. Ask them to ask interview questions over the phone so you have a chance to practice for your interviews. You want to make sure you do not rush your answers or get nervous while talking on the phone. You also want a friend or family member to help you identify areas of weakness when you talk on the phone. For example, if you talk too quietly, then you want to practice speaking up to avoid miscommunication.

Ask Questions

Travel nurses face a variety of challenges when they move and start working in a new location. Before you agree to a new contract, take the time to ask questions about the medical facility. Ask if the facility has an orientation process and how the orientation process works. Ask if the facility has parking or if you must pay for parking. Ask about the size of the facility. Focus on questions related to the hospital or medical facility to ensure that you are a good fit for the role.

Interviews are the foundation of getting a new job. As travel nurses, you will go through several interviews as you take on new roles and exciting positions across the country. The key to making a positive first impression is ensuring that you ask the right questions and you prepare for the interview by practicing.

5 Tips to Make Your Nursing Resume Easier to Find with an Applicant Tracking System

Modern applications for a job are complex. Employers use an applicant tracking system, or ATS, to cut back on the number of resumes that reach a hiring manager. Nurses must take measures to get past the ATS by setting up the right resume and having access to the right jobs.

Give Your Address

A concern associated with the application process is the location of a potential employer. When you do not live near the employer, you may assume that the ATS will automatically put your resume at a low rank when compared to candidates who live closer to the facility. That leaves a temptation to just avoid putting your address on the application. The problem with ignoring your address is the ranking system. If you do not put your address, then you may end up with the last rank, which means your resume will not make it past the tracking system.

Keep Your Format Simple

Formatting is always important when you apply for a position online. Keep it simple and stack the information in reverse chronological order. By keeping the format simple and maintaining normal spacing, you prevent your resume from confusing or choking the system. That means your resume is more likely to reach a hiring manager.

Use Keywords from the Job Posting

Evaluate the job posting and choose keywords from the posting. By using keywords from the job posting, you increase the chances that the ATS will notice your resume and send it through. Keep in mind that you want the keywords to fit into the context of your resume. Use words that apply to your experience and fit in with your description of your job responsibilities. The tracking system does recognize when your resume has keywords in context and when you list the keywords for a higher ranking, so make sure you use the words in the context of your resume.

Use Action Verbs

Action verbs show your skills, so you want to make sure your resume contains action verbs and tells the reader what you in your previous nursing job. The action words have two roles: they tell recruiters and hiring managers about your skills and they help the tracking system identify quality candidates. Keep in mind that your resume should not keyword stuff or add fluff to beat the system. You want your resume to go through the system and reach the right person to give you an interview. Even though ATS does not always catch keyword stuffing, a hiring manager will notice.

Check your Grammar

Always check your grammar! Applicant tracking systems use grammar, spelling and other details to identify the right candidates. If you forget a period or do not capitalize your words, then the system overlooks your resume or gets thrown off when evaluating your resume. Always double check your spelling and grammar before you send in your resume.

Competition for a job in nursing is complex. The modern application system means you need to do more than just stand out to a hiring manager. You need to fit the candidate mold and make sure your resume passes through the tracking system and appeals to a hiring manager.

3 Tips to Evaluate Travel Nurse Pay Packages

When you look at travel nurse positions, you may notice that the details about pay packages are not the same. Recruiters give a quote with differing numbers and different details. The result of complicated pay packages is that you can face challenges determining the best options for your career goals. By learning to evaluate a travel nurse pay package, you can compare your options.

Don’t Confuse the Hourly Rate with the Hourly Equivalent

The hourly rate is not the same as the hourly equivalent. An hourly rate is the amount you make per hour of work. The hourly equivalent is the hourly rate plus a housing stipend, incidentals and any other benefits associated with the position. Expect the hourly equivalent to exceed the hourly rate, since it includes more information.

Always look for the hourly rate and a break down of other benefits before you assume that a position offers the pay you want. In some cases, you will notice that the actual pay is lower than other positions and roles.

Pay Attention to the Variables

The variables are the details given in a pay package or a quote that impacts your total income. Quotes may offer different details in the variables, but most will include incidentals, a housing stipend, your hourly rate and a travel stipend.

Keep in mind that the travel stipend is for the entire length of your contract. Also, in your Travel Nurse Pay is housing stipend is for your monthly housing costs. Incidentals are calculated on a weekly basis and usually give you funds for meals and other necessities. Your hourly rate is taxable and is determined by the number of hours you work.

The variables may differ for each travel nurse position. Keep in mind that quotes may offer different figures and positions may have additional benefits. Do not assume that the position that breaks down into the higher income level is always the best deal for your goals.

Prepare to Ask Questions

Do not be afraid to ask questions about a position. You should keep in mind that each state has different laws and recruiters may overlook details when given a quote. For example, in California you are paid overtime for any work above eight hours in one day. That means if you are working a 12 hour shift, then you are paid overtime for four hours of your work. A recruiter may assume you know the facts about the state’s laws and may overlook the details when you look at a quote for a position. By expecting a few mishaps and miscommunication, you can prepare questions to clarify the details before you assume a pay package works for your needs.

Looking at positions and Travel Nurse Pay packages as a nurse is not always easy. The details vary for each position and recruiters are not always clear about the details. By taking the time to ask questions and comparing the benefits, you can find the right position for your next travel nurse job.

Tips to Make Your Nursing Resume Summary Effective

Writing an effective resume starts with a strong first impression. Your summary is the first thing a recruiter reads or skims when looking at your resume. The problem is that they only look at the summary for six seconds. You want to make a strong impression in that short window of time. By writing an effective summary, you will make a positive impression.

Keep It Short and Concise

The first consideration is the length of your summary. Try to keep it within two to three sentences. Short and concise summaries have a positive impact on your resume. They help you make a point without taking up most of your page.

Use a simple format for your summary. Writing in a paragraph format is a common way to set up your summary. You do not want to deviate too much when it comes to the format. The key is making your summary short and to the point without giving up on telling the recruiter what you want from your career.

Use Bold to Highlight Your Summary

Format your summary with bold print. The bold letters will stand out from the crowd and set your resume apart. It also draws the eyes of the reader and tells them to pay attention to the summary.

If you do not feel comfortable highlighting the entire summary in bold, then use bolding to highlight your main points. It will naturally draw the eyes to the main points and makes it easier to skim the summary. The ideal strategy is setting the entire summary in bold and then writing the remaining resume in normal fonts.

Make it Easy to Read

Do not write complex sentences. Make your summary easy to read. You do not want to complicate the process with long-winded sentences and run-on paragraphs. Keep it simple. Assume your reader will skim the summary. Keep your sentences short and to the point.

Give Some Personal Details

Your summary can give an overview of your resume. For example, if you have three years of experience as a nurse, then tell the recruiter that point in the first sentence of your summary. Do not hesitate to explain your skills in a short and concise sentence.

The summary is an overview of your entire resume. Do not ignore the personal details. It shows that you are willing to go out on a limb and showcase your skills. It sets you apart from the crowd because you are telling the recruiter what they get when they hire you.

Tell Them What They Will Get

A hiring manager or recruiter in a medical facility does not want to know what you want as a nurse. They want to know what you bring to the table when you work in their facility. Use your summary to tell them your skills and what they get when they hire you. For example, if you are detail-oriented, then tell them that you focus on the details in your summary. If you are an extrovert, then explain how that benefits their patients. Tell the hiring manager why they want to hire you.

Your resume summary is the first thing a hiring manager or recruiter reads. You want to write an effective summary that helps you stand out. Highlight your main points and help your resume stand out with clear, concise and simple sentences.

4 Things You Need to Know About the Nursing Job Market

Completing your education and getting your license as a registered nurse doesn’t mean a job will fall into your lap. You need to take measures to accomplish your career goals by evaluating the job market. The nursing job market sounds amazing when you look at the national information, but it does have downsides to consider when you start out in a new career.

A Nursing Shortage Doesn’t Apply to All Locations

The first consideration is the nursing jobs shortage. When you hear that the nation has a shortage of nurses, it seems like common sense to start a nursing career. The problem is that a shortage on a national level doesn’t apply to every location. Your local area might not have a shortage. In some locations, you will find stiff competition for a single position.

Take the time to research the area before you apply for a job. If you want to find a job that fits your goals, then make sure you apply for a job in the right locations. You will find more opportunities if you are willing to research the local job market.

You Have Opportunities in Unexpected Places

Opportunities in nursing apply to a variety of locations and fields. You may find that you have an unexpected opportunity for your job. The key is looking into non-traditional job opportunities. For example, you may have a job opportunity in a long-term care facility, a nursing home or even an out-patient treatment facility.

Keep an open mind when you apply for jobs. Nurses can work in a variety of fields and different types of facilities. You may find that the perfect position is in an unexpected place. Do not assume you must start working in a hospital or an emergency room.

Economic Factors Impact Your Job Opportunities

The economy impacts medical careers. When you have a bad economy, people are less likely to seek medical care for minor ailments. They will only visit a hospital or medical facility for major problems.

Look into the economy of your local area. A bad economy means you will want to look elsewhere for a job. A good economy allows you to find positions in different facilities that fit your goals. Be flexible when you look into job opportunities to find a position that fits your education and experience.

You Might Need to Move For Your Career

The final consideration you need to know about the nursing job market is the impact of location on your long-term goals. In some situations, you will need to move to advance in your career. You also need to be willing to move for a position if you are applying for a new job.

The nursing job market sounds simple when you look at the national figures. Many nurses are starting to retire and the opportunities for advancing in your career help you reach out for new goals. The challenge is making sure you apply for the right positions and jobs to fit your needs. You need to research your local area and the areas you want to work to ensure that you find a position that helps with your career aspirations.