Tips and Tools for the Travel and Temporary Nurse

nurse mobile app for professionals

Travel nurses, you have a lot of paperwork to manage. Are you keeping up with it all?

Temp RN’s, haven’t you taken that competency test a million times already.. this year?

Allied providers, when is the last time you even saw that certificate printed?

What about the occasional locum tenens physician, per diem placement, or any other medical professional trying to get by during the pandemic times, are you being empowered to provide healthcare?


The Nurse Backpack team thinks it’s time to just lay it out, straight, a royal flush, just making it plain as day.

You, the healthcare provider, have more responsibilities than a normal employee. We know that, the industry knows that, your facility or staffing agency knows that. So where’s the help, the empowerment, the tips or tricks or tools? Our team spent years in the industry and have seen way too many buzzfeed-esque blog posts repeating the same bad advice.

Now, we’re here to put the cards on the table and see if it can help you be a medical professional and not a filing cabinet.

You don’t need a million mobile apps to make things easier.

Boy this one is a hard pill to swallow (no it isn’t) because we are a mobile app made by healthcare industry veterans. We know there are things to improve on, we’re working on it, but if there are nearly fifty apps on your phone for the same thing and you’re not using any of them.. let’s not pretend.

Things you do need include proper document management. This includes photos and resources, credential and certificate management, license tracking, reminders or renewal alerts and the like.

Just a shortlist of documents needed for placements: state nursing licenses, certifications, personal identification documents, I-9, W-4, State tax form, Vaccination records, physician assessments, respirator fit tests, annual TB testing, TDAP, and the plethora of skills/competency tests we know and love.

Document management should be secure, accessible, and easy to share since you are very likely sending a package as an applicant. Good thing Nurse Backpack is a resume builder on top of document manager and renewal alert system. Planned for release late 2020, we are adding Nursys verification into the app itself so that when you send and share the candidate package to a potential employer, you’re already verified.

For photo storage, things like Google Drive, iCloud, DropBox and more are readily available and likely already connected to your account. Personally, our team has found keeping a monthly or quarterly folder (read: photo album) helps maintain the madness.

You do need to plan in advance, and be sure you have a destination if you’re a traveling practitioner.

Travel nurses, we’re going to let you in on a little known secret: going for a big stipend and lower hourly doesn’t actually get you higher pay; it actually places you and your agency at risk of an IRS audit. Plus, it detracts from the point of the stipend, planning ahead.

Travel housing accommodations like Furnished Finder are the best source of reliable and verified housing options. These renters will almost always be affiliated with a healthcare provider and know what difficulties you may be facing while looking for a place to live, that is near your temporary facility, is still safe, maybe it needs to accommodate your little dog, and many other variables. A few team members here at Nurse Backpack actually rent out a room or two for the traveling nurse, listed on Furnished Finders!

Within a city, transportation can vary but our team does firmly believe you’re already capable of handling this without more advice. Fun fact, your Uber or Lyft driver is a direct counterpart to temp nurses in the transportation industry!

Keep your receipts. That stipend audit can definitely be avoided with proper documentation. Speaking of documentation, how do you know that stipend was even the best bang for the buck?

Pay packages are easily the most confusing aspect of the hiring process for a temp nurse. A staffing agency is considering things like their own margin, the burden of being the employer (things like workers comp.), what the MSP is charging, and only once all of those calculations are considered will the “pay rate” be determined for what you may actually be paid. RapidHire Tool Pay Package Calculator is a great visual tool to help you negotiate a higher pay rate, or stipend if you really want to. You can learn more about why the recruiter (really why their agency) is advertising $18/hourly but the facility pay is around $80/hourly.

If you’re looking a little deeper and asking questions, learn about being your own staffing agency instead of taking reduced pay from a proverbial pimp.

The actual items that will keep you sane aren’t the items you know save lives, but those are important too.

Don’t leave the stethoscope at home, you will still need that. The master list of incredible items that always come in handy:

Hand Cream, Lotion

Personal recommendation: Aveeno lavender vanilla for babies.

Penlight

Any pharmacy or gas station has them, and they can go on your keychain.

Compression Socks

These will save your feet from untold tragedy.

“Grab Bag” or a Tote

Think of it like an overnight bag, because sometimes you may need to work overnight.

Bandage Scissors

Get them for YOUR hands and hold on to those for dear live. Silicon grips are the most comfortable.

Scrubs with Shape

You dont have to look like a blueberry unless you want to, fun fabric helps break ice too.

Soft Soled Shoes

Socks help bloodflow but what about your toes? Check out a prior article about the best shoes.

OTC Medicine

Hey, you get headaches, too. No need to hit the pharmacy if you have your Mary Poppins bag ready.

Medical Reference Book

Think of it like a cheatsheet, or a hint book, or an open book test.

We know there is more to add to this list, let us know if you have any personal recommendations or additions by emailing our team at hello@nursebackpack.com. Thanks for being a healthcare provider, you’re doing great out there!


Nurse Backpack is a free mobile application that enables professional credential management for end-users themselves.  Alerts, reminders, resume package building and sending is possible for free from the mobile app.  Built for nurses originally, school nurses, nursing students, lifeguards and many other professionals also use the app for their license and credential management.

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Nurse Backpack is a free mobile application that enables professional credential management for end-users themselves. Alerts, reminders, resume package building and sending is possible for free from the mobile app. Built for nurses originally, school nurses, nursing students, lifeguards and many other professionals also use the app for their license and credential management.