Travel Nursing: What I’ve Learned in My First Year Pt. 1

There has undoubtedly been a surge in the number of nurses making the leap into travel nursing since the beginning of the pandemic. Travel nursing can be a very lucrative way for nurses to make competitive salaries without obtaining an advanced degree. I think the pros of travel nursing are very clear, but there are some things every nurse should know before signing their first contract.

The more nursing experience you have before traveling, the better.

It’s not impossible to get a contact as a novice nurse, but it is very ill-advised. Although the money can be enticing, there are certain aspects of nursing that new nurses just don’t have. When you become a travel nurse, facilities expect you to hit the ground running with little to no orientation. You are an aide to the facility, so you’re expected to be an expert in your respective field, possessing the confidence and critical thinking skills needed to independently care for your patients.

Have money saved up before you travel

While this is not completely necessary, I wouldn’t recommend leaving your staff job without at least 3 months’ worth of bills saved up. From the time you sign a contract, to your actual start date is about 6 weeks to complete the onboarding process. You want to have savings in case your start date gets pushed and/or your contract is cancelled for any reason and your job search restarts.

Rates fluctuate, so be prepared to negotiate

More than once, I’ve found myself negotiating my rate with my recruiter. Once you begin your travel nurse journey, you may find yourself wanting to negotiate for a higher rate. I can’t count the times I’d signed a contract, then found another agency offering a higher rate for the same job. To negotiate, I would contact my recruiter to discuss the other agency’s rate and see what could be done to adjust my rate.  I’ve only been unsuccessful once, due to the facility not being willing to budge.

I’m excited to share what I’ve learned during my travel nurse journey, but I’d love to hear your experiences as well! Feel free to leave a comment below and subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss parts 2 and 3!


How I Cleared My Eczema

Defining Eczema

Atopic Dermatitis is a form of eczema, a common skin condition resulting in red, itchy, inflamed skin.  Eczema does not have a known cause and can appear anywhere on the body. It’s believed that eczema is genetic, and usually begins in childhood. Only about 10 percent of eczema cases begin in adulthood (lucky me).

The Diagnosis

One night, I’m in my bathroom minding my business when my leg starts itching. After a few scratches, I look down to see a dry, flaky, circular area on my outer thigh. My first reaction was to freak out because initially I thought I’d somehow caught ringworm. Upon further examination, I ruled out ringworm but still didn’t know what this dry patch was on my skin. After a few failed attempts to alleviate the flaking and itching, I went to see my doctor.

My doctor took one look at my thigh and diagnosed me with eczema. I was surprised because I’m 28, and never had any issues like this before with my skin. After discussing some of the possible causes for my eczema, she prescribed a topical steroid and told me to call if things got worse.

The Triggers

Although there is no known cause for eczema, there are some things that may initiate or exacerbate the condition. Common irritants that can trigger or worsen eczema are stress, dyes, detergent, cotton & wool fabrics, chemicals (chlorine & bleach), molds, pets and dust mites. Its important to find the cause of your eczema and reduce any triggers by as much as possible to help prevent flareups.

The Treatment

My doctor prescribed me a topical steroid to treat my eczema and instructed me to buy products like Aquaphor. I was instructed to apply the steroid twice a day and the Aquaphor as needed throughout the day. Not only did this method not work, but after a month I started to notice more areas appear over my body. I became fed up, and honestly quite discouraged so I took to the internet to find a more natural remedy.

After a couple weeks of research and testing out formulas I found what worked for me. In addition to making lifestyle changes and reducing triggers, I followed a strict skincare routine which changed my life. I noticed dramatic results after adding full body exfoliation to my routine and cutting out lotion completely. Instead of using store bought lotion, I made my own body butter containing essential oils, which not only got rid of my eczema but the hyperpigmentation as well.

In addition to controlling outside factors, changing what you put in your body can work wonders.  I increased my water intake to no less than 64oz/day, cut down on my dairy intake, and limited my meat intake to only chicken and fish (mostly fish). Not only did changing my diet help to clear my skin in a month, I also was able to drop 20lbs without exercising!

The Body Butter

The trickiest part of making my body butter was calculating the correct ratio of each oil to maximize results. I currently make and sell my body butter to help others overcome their eczema. However, if you’d like to make your own body butter, I will list below some of the oils I use, and how they aid in the treatment of eczema.

                                        Coconut oil – Very nourishing and moisturizing to the skin. Has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.  

                                        Shea butter – Helps the skin to retain moisture which is crucial with eczema prone skin. Also provides itch relief and has anti-inflammatory properties.  

                                         Vitamin E oil – alleviates itching, flakiness and dryness associated with eczema.

The Regimen

Below is my skincare routine broken down step by step!

  1. Clean and exfoliate skin (exfoliate at least 3x a week).
  2. Pat dry.
  3. While still slightly damp apply body butter, giving extra attention to the affected areas.
  4. Reapply body butter as needed throughout the day and to hands after washing.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 at night.

The main factor to my successful treatment of my eczema was consistency! It took me about 6 weeks to completely get rid of my eczema and around 12 weeks to completely get rid of the hyperpigmentation. Stay the course and you’ll see results!

*email me or comment below if you’d like to purchase my body butter*

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Should You Get The COVID-19 Vaccine?

NOTICE: FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine


DISCLAIMER: this post is not to tell you whether or not to get the coronavirus vaccine. The information provided in this post is to strictly help you make an informed decision about what you feel is best for your health and well-being.

There is a lot of fear and speculation surrounding the coronavirus vaccine. A lot of people are leery of this vaccine for many reasons. Regardless of your feelings about the coronavirus vaccine, it is important to have factual, up-to-date information to make a well-informed decision.  

Is the coronavirus vaccine safe? I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen on social media that the coronavirus vaccine will “mess with” your DNA. Respectfully, this is simply not true. The coronavirus vaccine is a mRNA vaccine; however, it does not actually enter the nucleus of the cells where DNA is located. This means that the vaccine does not and cannot alter your DNA.

The fact that this vaccine does not alter your DNA, does not completely speak to the safety of the vaccine. Since mRNA vaccines are still new, and clinical trials are still underway, there is no concrete evidence that speaks to the safety and long-term effects of the coronavirus vaccine.

That being stated, the CDC states that “Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use.”

The current form of the vaccine being developed in the US does not use a live virus, meaning the vaccine will not “give” you the coronavirus. Keep in mind, that there are other forms of coronavirus vaccines currently in development.

I wish I could provide a definitive answer on the safety of the vaccine, truth is, we will have to wait and see. The CDC does have protocols in place to monitor the safety of any vaccine once its accepted by the FDA such as vaccine safety monitoring, but even still, you can’t predict how individuals will be affected by the vaccine.  Please keep in mind that this holds true for any vaccine, not just the coronavirus vaccine.

Who can take the coronavirus vaccine? It’s projected that the first round of the vaccine will be limited. The vaccine will first be offered to healthcare workers and those in long term care facilities. Afterwards, the plan is for the vaccine to be administered to those aged 16yrs and older.

If I have already had COVID-19, do I still need the vaccine? If you have already had COVID-19, you may think you are immune to the virus. That is not completely true. Just as you can catch a cold and the flu over and over, you can catch the coronavirus multiple times as well.

The CDC website states, “At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person.”

 It is not yet known how long immunity will last after recovering from the coronavirus, which is why it may be recommended to you to receive the vaccine.

Will the coronavirus vaccine become mandatory? There are some vaccines that are mandatory for children to attend public schools, daycare, and for adults to hold some jobs. i.e., working in a hospital. Knowing this information, it is fair to question if the coronavirus vaccine will become mandatory for students and employees. However, at this time there is no evidence supporting/or refuting whether the vaccine will be deemed mandatory.

The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to maintain proper hand hygiene, quarantine when experiencing symptoms and/or exposed to someone who has tested positive, wear a filtered mask and maintain a social distance of at least 6ft from others when in public areas.

The information in this post was obtained from ONLY evidence-based, credited resources.

I truly hope this post helps make your decision a little easier and allay some of your fears. Everyone is entitled to their feelings regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and their decision to vaccinate or not. It’s important for us to be respectful of the opinions of others, especially during these uncertain times. Please feel free to leave any questions or opinions in the comment section below.

When researching information, be sure to always use credited resources. For help finding credible information, you can visit this site: Finding Credible Vaccine Information | CDC

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