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Most Flexible Nursing Jobs

Wouldn’t it be great if you could make your own schedule, not work weekends, or holidays, and take vacation whenever you wanted to? Wouldn’t it be even more awesome if you could have all of these perks plus work close to home and earn a salary that is twice the going rate for your position? Well if you are currently a nurse or interested in the nursing field, then you should know that all of the above is possible when you work as an agency nurse.

What is an agency nurse?

Agency nurses are employed by staffing agencies. They provide coverage to hospitals and other healthcare facilities on a temporary and as needed basis. They can work in a variety of settings and they perform the same duties that are required of a regular staff nurse. Agency nurses can work full time or part time and usually make their own schedules. The staffing agency that the nurse works for will determine the degree of flexibility the nurse has, but many will allow them to choose their preferred shift as well as their preferred locations. Because of this, these nurses are usually not required to work weekends, evenings, or holidays, but if they do, many agencies will provide them with extra pay.

How much does an agency nurse make?

On average, agency nurses earn double the base pay of a regular staff nurse for that specialty. So if the base salary for a staff RN is $20 per hour, the agency nurse will earn around $40 per hour. The salary largely depends on the nurse’s geographical location, specialty, and most importantly which agency they are employed with. It is important to keep in mind that most agencies do not offer benefits like health insurance, paid time off, or retirement.

Why should I consider working for an agency?

Agency nursing is the perfect job for nurses who want to go back to school to further their education, who have full time jobs but want to supplement their income, or who just desire a more flexible schedule so that they can spend more time with their families. The nice thing about working for an agency is that if you find the right one, you will have unlimited opportunities to work as many shifts as you’d like. If you wanted to, you could work seven shifts in a row and earn overtime pay for that week so that you could take the whole next week off; or you could create a “normal” schedule where you work the same days each week.

What are the requirements to work for an agency?

Most agencies will only hire nurses that have a minimum of 1 year of experience, and the experience will need to be in a role/setting that is the same or similar to the setting that the agency nurse is providing coverage. Additional requirements are the same as those needed to work as a staff nurse.

What are the downsides of working for an agency?

Since agency nurses are more expensive to compensate, hospitals and healthcare facilities try to only use them when absolutely necessary. This means that as an agency nurse, you may run into situations where your shifts get cancelled or shortened when the facilities try to save money. Another downside is that if you want to work full time hours, you will likely have to be willing to work in a variety of settings and have open availability of your schedule. If you are only available to work certain days of the week, this will reduce the likelihood of you getting consistent hours.

Another potential downside is having to learn the various processes of different nursing units, which will usually slow down your workflow until you have gotten used to that facility. Some agency nurses may also feel as though they are not a part of the team since they are not employed directly by the healthcare facility; and may not have bonds with the other staff members.

What is the difference between agency and travel nursing?

For the most part these are one in the same. Agency nurses usually work in different facilities within the local metropolitan area that they reside in. Travel nurses also have the option to work outside of their geographical location. As a travel nurse, if you do work in a different state you may be required to hold additional nursing licenses, which are usually covered by the agency you work for. Additionally, the agency will cover your housing, travel expenses, and sometimes your meals.

How long are the agency assignments?

They can be as short as a partial shift covering a few hours, or contracts that extend for months.

What should I do if I want to work as an agency nurse?

Make sure you work in a specific specialty (such as the ER, Med-Surg, or ICU) for at least one year. You can search online job boards or perform a google search to locate a local nurse staffing agency. They are not hard to find! Once you locate one simply apply, submit your credentials, give them your availability, and start working!

 

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About the Author

 

Hi I’m Salimah Jones, I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, author, and Founder of The Nursing Guide, an online community dedicated to helping aspiring and current nurses overcome life’s challenges to achieve their professional goals. Coming from a disadvantaged background, and having experienced the struggles of pursuing a career while working and raising a family, I am now dedicated to helping others find ways to make their dreams a reality. I provide practical solutions to help those who are struggling with finances, learning difficulties, motivation, work-life-balance, or lack of a social support system. I want to show you how to conquer any challenge so that you can become your own success story. Please subscribe to this blog and don’t forget to sign up for your free membership on The Nursing Guide Website. Connect with me on twitter @salimahjones.

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You Can’t Have It All

Salimah Jones APRN, FNP-C

A few weeks ago, I saw the move “Girls Trip” starring Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Tiffany Haddish. Although this movie was quite explicit, because I am not easily offended, I did appreciate the humor in the movie. What was quite surprising to me was how much I identified with the main character Ryan Pierce, played by Regina Hall, who portrayed a best-selling author of a book entitled “You Can Have it All”. The message in the book was that women can have it all, meaning a successful career, wealth, beauty, a good marriage, and happiness.

The irony in the movie was that although Ryan had this public persona of all these great things going for her in her life, in reality she was struggling with a broken marriage, broken friendships, and self-esteem issues due to her inability to conceive a child. She wasn’t truly living this image of perfection that everyone else saw.

As a professional woman who has achieved a successful career while being married and raising kids, I have often felt that I carry this unrealistic image of perfection. I wanted to write this post debunk this myth, as I am not and never will be perfect. I am and will continue to be God’s work in progress. I encounter the same hardships that so many women have.

My marriage has experienced significant challenges over the years. I struggle with maintaining personal relationships with family and friends. I often fall short in my parenting skills. I wish I could say that my family has a home cooked meal and we sit down and eat at the dinner table several nights a week. We are lucky if this happens once a month. I wish I could entertain guests in my home, but 90% of the time there are piles of laundry on my couch waiting to be folded, dishes piled up in the sink waiting to be washed, and miscellaneous items all over the floors and counters waiting to be put in their place. This is the reality of my life as a professional woman.

I am constantly battling with my feelings of inadequacy. I hate that I can’t keep up with everything. I don’t want to hire a maid, a chef, or any other help because in my mind, this would be admitting my inadequacy. But why is this? Why do we as women put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all? I am sick of the fake and phony and it’s time that I be the first to admit that there is no such thing as having it all. The truth is every day there is a struggle over juggling priorities in my life. In order to accomplish one thing, I must give up something else.

If you are reading this post and are either contemplating nursing school or currently enrolled, or maybe you are already working in the nursing field; if you also are raising a family and/or have a job, please realize that “perfect” does not exist. The struggle is real and certain things in your life will take a back seat while you are pursing your goals. Learn to live with doing what you can and that real happiness comes from being the best version of you that you can be.

 

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About the Author

 

Hi I’m Salimah Jones, I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, author, and Founder of The Nursing Guide, an online community dedicated to helping aspiring and current nurses overcome life’s challenges to achieve their professional goals. Coming from a disadvantaged background, and having experienced the struggles of pursuing a career while working and raising a family, I am now dedicated to helping others find ways to make their dreams a reality. I provide practical solutions to help those who are struggling with finances, learning difficulties, motivation, work-life-balance, or lack of a social support system. I want to show you how to conquer any challenge so that you can become your own success story. Please subscribe to this blog and don’t forget to sign up for your free membership on The Nursing Guide Website. Connect with me on twitter @salimahjones.

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Top Five Highest Paying Nursing Jobs

Salimah Jones, MSN, APRN

There are many benefits to having a career in the nursing field, including enjoying a salary that is well above the U.S. national average. What many people do not realize however is that there are some careers in the nursing profession that offer salaries at or above the 6-figure mark. Here is a list of the top 5 highest paying nursing jobs.

 

Salaries provided are based on U.S. national averages (salary.com, 2017)

#1 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Median Salary: $173,875

These nurses work in hospitals and surgery centers and administer anesthesia to patients. They often work underneath an Anesthesiologist but function independently in their roles. In order to become a CRNA, the nurse has to complete an accredited training program and have a minimum of a Masters degree in Nursing. They must also be licensed as a Registered Nurse and an Advanced Practice Nurse.

#2 Nursing Director 

Median Salary: $138,422

These Nurses Serve as the principle administrative leader over the nursing department in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They are responsible for ensuring quality in the nursing care provided, overhead safety procedures, and ensure policies and procedures are instituted and enforced to comply with legal and federally mandated guidelines. Additionally they are responsible for maximizing profits and minimizing financial loses through budgets and allocation of resources, and managing entire nursing staff. Usually a minimum of a bachelors degree and 5-10 years of nursing management experience is required for this role.

#3 Certified Nurse Midwife

Median Salary: $103,000

These nurses care for women trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and in their post-partum periods. They manage all aspects of the woman’s care including delivery. They may provide care in a healthcare facility or in the home setting. They often use a combination of medical and holistic therapies. This position requires completion of an accredited training program and a minimum of a Masters degree in Nursing. Specialty certification and licensing as both a registered nurse and an advanced practice nurse are also required.

#4 Certified Nurse Practitioner

Median Salary $101,837

These nurses are healthcare clinicians that practice nursing and medicine in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They are trained and licensed to perform physical exams, diagnose, order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and provide ongoing management of acute and chronic health problems. This position requires completion of an accredited training program and a minimum of a Masters degree in Nursing. Specialty certification and licensing as both a registered nurse and an advanced practice nurse are also required.

#5 Clinical Nurse Specialist

Median Salary: $99,742

These nurses provide educational and administrative leadership to the nursing department in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Their ultimate purpose is to foster quality patient care and improve patient clinical outcomes. They implement policies and protocols within their facilities that adhere to evidenced-based-guidelines and research. They are responsible for ensuring all members of the nursing staff are adequately trained and competent in performing their job skills.

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About the Author

Hi I’m Salimah Jones, I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, author, and Founder of The Nursing Guide, an online community dedicated to helping aspiring and current nurses overcome life’s challenges to achieve their professional goals. Coming from a disadvantaged background, and having experienced the struggles of pursuing a career while working and raising a family, I am now dedicated to helping others find ways to make their dreams a reality. I provide practical solutions to help those who are struggling with finances, learning difficulties, motivation, work-life-balance, or lack of a social support system. I want to show you how to conquer any challenge so that you can become your own success story. Please subscribe to this blog and don’t forget to sign up for your free membership on The Nursing Guide Website. Connect with me on twitter @salimahjones.

 

 

 

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How to handle “haters”

So you’ve decided that you want to go to nursing school and now your soul is flooded with feelings of anticipation, excitement, and perhaps some uncertainty as to what’s to come. You may even be downright terrified of starting the whole process. Making a life decision as big as this one is bound to come with a whirlwind of emotions as that is totally normal.

Unfortunately what is also the norm is running into negativity and criticism from people in your life, and the sad thing about this is that this often comes from people who you may consider to be close friends or even family.

Why is it so difficult for people to support you in your life endeavors. Whether your dreams and aspirations are small or grand, they are YOUR dreams to pursue. Yes some people will fail or realize its not for them, but that is for them to figure out on there own. We need the people in our lives to believe in us and give us encouragement to pursue our goals.

Recently a good friend of mine applied to a  registered nursing program and was not accepted. She was heartbroken and I could tell the rejection completely broke her spirit. Having already traveled the nursing road, I suggested that she consider applying to an licensed practical nursing program. I advised her that once she became a LPN it would be a lot easier for her to get accepted in RN programs if she chose to continue her education. I gave her this advice because this was the exact road I had taken years ago when starting my nursing school journey. I could see that this new option had completely revived her energy and hope to continue pursing her goal.

I learned shortly having this conversation with my friend that she was no longer considering pursing LPN programs. She had discussed this with one of her best friends and was given a tremendous amount of backlash. Her friend said things to her such as “why are you doing that?” “That is such a waste of time?” and “you shouldn’t do that, that’s stupid!” Really?

When I heard this I was appalled. Why is someone that isn’t even in the nursing field themselves qualified to say such awful things? Furthermore, why would a “friend” just completely shut down a person’s goals like that?

Sadly the story above is not a unique situation. Whenever you decide to pursue a challenge or set a goal, you will almost always run into a negative person who wants to sabotage your success.

This has happened to me in my life an unbelievable amount to times, not just in my pursuit to become a nurse, but in various things I have tried to achieve personally and professionally.

My message to everyone is simple. If you have a goal, as Taylor Swift said it best, when it comes to haters, they are going to “hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”, but you just need to “shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake em off!”

Did you enjoy this post? Like, share and comment below. Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

About the Author

Hi I’m Salimah Jones, I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, author, and Founder of The Nursing Guide, an online community dedicated to helping aspiring and current nurses overcome life’s challenges to achieve their professional goals. Coming from a disadvantaged background, and having experienced the struggles of pursuing a career while working and raising a family, I am now dedicated to helping others find ways to make their dreams a reality. I provide practical solutions to help those who are struggling with finances, learning difficulties, motivation, work-life-balance, or lack of a social support system. I want to show you how to conquer any challenge so that you can become your own success story. Please subscribe to this blog and don’t forget to sign up for your free membership on The Nursing Guide Website. Connect with me on twitter @salimahjones.