Recent Articles


After the Labor Dispute: 4 Things to Know

After a labor dispute, you can help your staff put the pieces back together again.

Two job actions in 2016 cost the Minneapolis-based Allina healthcare system roughly $149 million, according to a recent Becker’s Hospital Review article. While there’s always a financial cost associated with labor disputes, staff morale also takes a hit.

So, how do you get your facility’s operations and your staff back on its feet after a work stoppage? Here are four ways you can help welcome your employees back with a smooth transition as they return to work:

  1. Review your hospital’s processes: Take a moment to review or create return to work procedures and ensure that your leadership team knows what’s expected of them in the days ahead. For example, it is illegal to single out or discipline employees who participated in a work stoppage.
  1. Repair relationships: Emotions can run high during a job action, so it’s important to help ease tensions with positive communication. Remind your nursing staff you all share the same goals for quality patient care and safety. Let your nurses know you are committed to putting the work stoppage behind you with a plan to move forward and guidelines for expected professional behavior.
  1. Meet with your employees: Determine what caused the job action in the first place and meet with your employees face to face. Communicating with these individuals can help you identify and address workplace issues. Additionally, you should let your nurses know that you are invested in their long-term commitment to your hospital, not just temporary union demands.
  1. Bring in outside help when necessary: Sometimes, to help your facility recover from a damaging work stoppage, you need to bring in outside help. Post-strike specialists, including Nurse Bridge, can help you get back to business as usual when the job action is over.

Has your hospital ever gone through a labor dispute? What helped your staff get back on track in the days afterward? Let us know in the comments below!


Medical Solutions Announces 2016 Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiters of the Year Award Winners

Hollywood may be dusting off their Oscars, but here at Medical Solutions, award season has already arrived! Each year, we like to recognize our top team members with the Traveler of the Year, Service That Inspires, and Recruiters of the Year Awards.

These individuals go above and beyond in the name of outstanding patient care, and we are proud of the amazing work they do.

Traveler of the Year:

Trish O, the 2016 Traveler of the Year, with her son Eric and her traveling partner in crime, Chinook.

Trish O, the 2016 Traveler of the Year, with her youngest son Eric and her dog Chinook.

The Medical Solutions Traveler of the Year recipient is chosen by our clinical team from the pool of 12 Traveler of the Month winners throughout the year. Each Traveler of the Month earned that honor by receiving a perfect hospital evaluation.

This year, the 2016 Traveler of the Year is Patricia “Trish” O!

Trish, who was our June 2016 Traveler of the Month, specializes in Geriatrics, and has nursing experience in Rehab and Med Surg. Trish has been in the nursing profession more or less since she was a teenager, but she only began traveling as a nurse about four years ago.

“I just like to learn and no one is too old to learn anything,” Trish says. “I feel I learn something new every day and it’s great!”

Thank you Trish for your dedication to nursing and representing Medical Solutions!

Congrats to Joe for winning our Service That Inspires Award. Joe (right) is pictured here with his partner Brennen.

Congrats to Joe for winning our Service That Inspires Award. Joe (right) is pictured here with his partner Brennen.

Service That Inspires:

Each year, our Career Consultants nominate their most dedicated Travelers for the Service That Inspires Award. As the name implies, the winner is chosen for his or her exceptional service to others while on the job.

The 2016 Service That Inspires Award goes to Joe W! Joe is a BSN, RN. He’s currently on assignment in Indiana, working in ICU. Joe travels with his partner Brennen, who is also a Travel Nurse, and their English Springer Spaniel, Bailey.

His Career Consultant Jen nominated him because “Joe is the nurse that I would want taking care of myself or my family member. He is funny, kind, caring, compassionate, and he is exactly the kind of nurse that we want representing Medical Solutions.” Jen added that many of Joe’s patients have appreciated his incredible bedside manner. “On multiple occasions, patient families have sung the praises of Joe’s professionalism, character, and his empathy for their situations.”

As for Joe, he thinks the best thing about Travel Nursing is “meeting new people and learning new things.”

Way to go Joe! We appreciate your service to others!

Congratulations to Stephanie! Here's a picture of her from back in the day.

Congratulations to Stephanie! Here’s a picture of her from back in the day.

Recruiters of the Year: Thanks to their Travel Nurses’ glowing recommendations, Stephanie Balkovec and Jon Laubert are our 2016 Recruiters of the Year Award winners. Both Jon and Stephanie exemplify what it means to be a Medical Solutions Career Consultant. They truly care about their Travelers, and are invested in their Travelers’ professional and personal success.

According to the nominations, both Jon and Stephanie’s work ethics and thoughtfulness did not go unnoticed. One of Stephanie’s Travelers wrote: “Stephanie works extremely hard with me as a team to make sure I have the contracts and assignments I want. She continues to meets my needs as a professional Travel Nurse with a personal touch.”

Meanwhile, Jon’s Traveler had this to say about his Career Consultant: “Jon is always willing to do anything and everything in his power to help me succeed. He’s available 24/7 for anything I needed help with.”

Jon’s talent as a recruiter was obvious from a very young age. Congrats Jon!

Congrats to all our 2016 winners! We are grateful for all the work you do!


Get Ready for the 2017 ACNL Conference

Hone your nursing skills this February in Disneyland at the 39th annual ACNL conference!

Hone your nursing skills this February in Disneyland at the 39th annual ACNL conference.

Nurse leaders are like the Mary Poppins of the healthcare world. They know sometimes a spoonful of sugar – or compassion – really does help the medicine go down.

That’s why it’s particularly fitting that the 2017 Association of California Nurse Leaders Conference is being held in Disneyland this February 5-8, 2017.

As this year’s theme “Soaring to New Heights” suggests, the 2017 program aims to empower nurse leaders at all levels. According to the ACNL’s website, several industry leading experts will speak, including:

Jack Uldrich, renowned futurist and author, plans to discuss how you can set the stage for a successful future.

Shelia Antrum,MSHA, RN, NEA-BC, President and CNO of UC San Francisco Medical Center will share tips for moving up the leadership ladder.

Duane Dauner, President and CEO of the California Hospital Association, will summarize on the post-election health policy on the state and national levels.

Libby Hoy, Founder of Patient and Family Centered Care Partners, will discuss how you can partner with empowered patients and families to improve health care.

Laura van Dernoot Lipski, founder of the Trauma Stewardship Institute, plans to examine the effects of witnessing trauma and suffering on a regular basis, and offers valuable self-care guidance.

Amy Garcia, Director and CNO of Cerner Corporation, will explore innovation in patient care and strategies to substantiate the value of nursing.

As a nurse leader, this is your chance to network with your peers and share best practices. Plus, your favorite healthcare staffing company, Medical Solutions will be there too! Don’t forget to stop by our booth for fun giveaways and the chance to win some amazing raffle prizes!

Click here to register for the 2017 ACNL Nurse Leadership Conference today!

Are you already planning to attend? If so, what topics are you looking forward to the most? Tell us in the comment section below.




4 Must-Read Articles for Healthcare Providers

Change is on the horizon for the healthcare industry in 2017.

2017 promises to be a big year for the healthcare industry. Questions abound over the future of the Affordable Healthcare Act, and the healthcare staffing shortage continues to be a hot-topic issue. Plus, flu cases in the US are on the rise. Want to learn more? Take a look at Healthcare Staffing Blog’s 4 must-read articles for this week.

  1. Trump Meets with Top Healthcare Officials: With President-elect Trump poised to take the White House later this month, many political insiders and healthcare professionals are anxious to know the fate of the ACA. This Washington Post article highlights Trump’s meetings with influential healthcare executives and their hopes for a “replace and repair” approach to Obamacare.


  1. Chicago Nurses Care for Homeless On the Streets: This inspiring Chicago Sun Times article shines a spotlight on the plight of the homeless and the nurses who care for them. Nurses of the Night Ministry in Chicago find that many homeless people often suffer from drug addiction, asthma, and undiagnosed diabetes.


  1. Flu Season is in Full Swing: What You Should Know: Becker’s Hospital Review fills you in on what to expect for this year’s flu season. Spoiler alert: This year’s strain has hit some states and cities harder than others. Want to find out if you’re in a flu hotspot? You can get the full story here.


  1. Healthcare Industry Predictions for 2017: It may be a new year, but the national nurse shortage remains a sore subject for many in the healthcare industry. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the healthcare staffing crisis is about to get worse in some states. Among other things, this article also predicts that Obamacare won’t get dumped.

As 2017 continues to unfold, stay tuned to Healthcare Staffing Blog to get your latest healthcare staffing news!

As a healthcare professional, what are your predictions for the industry this year?


Nurse Study Finds Positive Outlook Linked to Lower Risk of Death

A new study found that optimistic women were a third less likely to die from any cause. All the more reason to keep your spirits merry and bright this holiday season!

Have you ever had a friend who likes to point out that the “most wonderful time of the year” also coincides with flu season and nasty colds? Well, you might want to warn your Scrooge-like friends that looking on the bright side of life has its benefits.

According to a long-term study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, a positive outlook could help you ward off sickness. Researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health studied survey responses from more than 70,000 mostly white female nurses taken over 40 years and discovered that optimistic women were a third less likely to die of any cause than did those with the least positive attitudes.

The team behind the study pointed out that optimism alone cannot cure people of serious illnesses, but rather it could be used as a tool to help improve a person’s overall well-being.

In other words, we should all start practicing to see the silver lining in every cloud. After all, it certainly can’t hurt, and it might even help you live longer. Plus, a happy and healthy hospital staff equals a productive team. So, how can you help you and your staff start feeling more optimistic? Below are a few habits of positive people:

  • Find time to exercise: Get your heart pumping and feel the rush of endorphins, those feel-good hormones everyone’s always talking about. When you feel energized, it’s hard to be a pessimist.
  • Put others first: Lend a helping hand to a co-worker, neighbor, or loved one. Helping others naturally makes you feel more positive.
  • Take a break from social media: For all it’s good points, social media can sometimes be a negative place, especially during an election year. So don’t forget to take a breather from your Facebook page every now and then.
  • Write letters of gratitude: It may seem old-fashioned, but writing a thank you note can actually help you feel better about your outlook on life. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to test this one out!
  • Journal about your day’s high point: When you focus on what went right with your day, you’ll spend less time worrying about the negative parts of your day.

As a medical professional, your day can be stressful. What are some ways you try to stay positive?


2016 Healthcare Staffing Summit

Attend this year's networking event and discuss with other professionals how the results of the 2016 election will affect the healthcare staffing industry.

Attend this year’s networking event and discuss with other professionals how the results of the 2016 election will affect the healthcare staffing industry.

Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2016 Healthcare Staffing Summit is just a few weeks away! The annual conference will be held November 8-10, at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The theme of this year’s summit, “New Directions in a New Era” will fittingly focus on the future of the Affordable Healthcare Act, and how the aftermath of the 2016 elections will impact the healthcare staffing industry. According to SIA President Barry Asin, this networking event promises to be exciting because, “we have one candidate who has vowed to extend the ACA, and another who is looking to repeal it.”

If you plan to attend, you can expect to hear from several keynote speakers, including Governor Howard Dean, M.D., and Governor Michael Leavitt. With backgrounds in government and healthcare, both men are uniquely suited to speak to the nation’s political situation and the current challenges facing the healthcare industry.

It’s not too late to register! For more information about the 2016 Healthcare Staffing Summit, click here.

Will you be at this year’s summit? If so, let us know what topics or discussions you are most excited to learn about in the comment section!


Travel Nurses Day 2016 is Almost Here!


Travel Nurses Day comes just once a year! So show appreciation for your facility’s Travel Nurses this October 14th!

Travel Nurses are true heroes in the healthcare field. They’ve reduced the amount of stress on your permanent staff, helped increased staff morale, and as a result, helped prevent nurse burnout.

If you have Travel Nurses at your facility, now is the perfect time to recognize their efforts. Travel Nurses Day is Friday, October 14th.  Created by Medical Solutions in 2013, this annual holiday celebrates the hardworking spirit of Travel Nurses everywhere.

So what can you do to show a little Travel Nurse appreciation? You could send your Travel Nurses a card, buy them a coffee, or just simply throw in an extra “thank you” or “Happy Travel Nurses Day!” the next time you see them.

Even better, you can tell them about, where they can play games, enter contests, or take quizzes to win some amazing prizes, including:

  • A Fitbit Blaze
  • Shiatsu Back Massager
  • $130 Alegria gift cards
  • $120 Dansko gift cards
  • $75 Inkkas gift cards
  • Dickies scrub set
  • Artifact tote bag
  • JBL Clip+ Splashproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Your Travel Nurses will be touched that you thought of them when you share this information. After all, everybody loves to be appreciated! We wish you and your Travel Nurses a Happy Travel Nurses Day!

Click here to learn more about Travel Nurses Day!


Top 5 Trends Reshaping the Healthcare Industry

According to a recent study. the shift from volume to value-based care will have the biggest impact on the healthcare industry in the next decade.

A recent Healthcare Finance News article highlighted the findings from a PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute study, which included the top 5 trends reshaping the healthcare industry today. We’ve listed them here for your reading pleasure:

  1. A Shift from Volume to Value-Based Care: The healthcare industry is transitioning to a value-based care method, where patients are provided with a continuation of care across the healthcare system. According to Healthcare Finance News this trend will “have an immediate impact on the healthcare industry.”
  1. Wellness and Health Management: The HRI study found that our healthcare system is also moving toward an emphasis on wellness and prevention, which allows patients to be more active participants in their own care. The popularity of Fitbits, shifts in the American diet, and even employer-driven wellness programs are all examples of this movement in action, according to Healthcare Finance News.
  1. Consumerism: Patients are now acting more like consumers as they shop around for healthcare providers. The study also noted that this trend can lead to revenue growth in the industry as consumers are steered toward more convenient and more efficient healthcare options.
  1. System decentralization: More patients are now seeking virtual care, remote patient monitoring, and visiting retail clinics in higher numbers.
  1. Technological advances and digitization: The HRI reported that 3-D printing, machine learning, and the use of digital health data will likely help advance the healthcare industry to be more efficient and effective in the long run.

Click here to read the full article from Healthcare Finance News.


ANA New Nurse Managers Workshop: Your Roadmap to Success

Brush up on your leadership and communication skills at ANA's New Nurse Managers Workshop this November.

Brush up on your leadership skills at ANA’s New Nurse Managers Workshop this November. The new class is designed to help nurse leaders transition from bedside to boardroom.

Many times, nurses are promoted to the manager level with little to no previous experience in leadership roles. In some cases, nurse managers can end up feeling overwhelmed and overworked, which can trickle down to their nursing staff.

So, in an effort to educate new nurse managers nationwide, the American Nurses Association is launching a new two-day seminar, called “New Nurse Managers Workshop: Your Roadmap to Success” on November 7th and 8th in Silver Spring, Maryland.  This class aims to arm nurse managers with the necessary leadership and business skills they need to succeed.

According to the ANA’s Leadership Institute website, at the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Synthesize essential skills of nursing leadership and their impact on staff and the work environment
  • Translate performance gaps into implementation strategies
  • Design a roadmap to achieve leadership success
  • Describe key competencies for nursing managers

Keynote speakers Joyce Batcheller, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN and Rose Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN will cover a range of topics and issues facing nurse leaders today, including nurse fatigue, budgeting, staffing concerns, communication skills, and leadership roles.

If you or someone on your hospital staff would like to learn more about this workshop, click here.


Travelers Conference 2016: 3 Reasons Why Hospital Leaders Should Be There

Travelers Conference 2016Travelers Conference 2016 in Las Vegas is just around the corner. This year’s weekend-long event, held September 25-27th, helps Travel Nurses connect with travel agencies around the country. But Travelers Conference isn’t just for nurses — it’s also an excellent opportunity for hospital leaders to learn more about the traveling healthcare profession. So, here are the top 3 reasons why healthcare leaders should attend Travelers Conference 2016:

  1. It’s in Las Vegas: Travelers Conference is the perfect opportunity to mix business with pleasure. From its brightly-lit casinos to its various show-stopping performances, Las Vegas offers fun experiences for just about everyone. When you think about it, Travelers Conference could also be ranked right up there as one of the city’s main attractions — but that’s probably just for the folks in the traveling healthcare industry. This year’s conference will host speakers and other participants, including RNs, nurse managers and educators, staffing company reps, writers, travel industry experts, and financial advisors.
  1. Debunk any myths about hiring travel nurses: You’ve probably heard one or two rumors about hiring Travel Nurses. For example, Travel Nurses are unreliable or they take too long to train. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Many travel staffing agencies have a rigorous application process, so your facility only interviews the best of the best candidates. When you do hire a Travel Nurse, you’ll find that they are capable healthcare professionals who truly want to work at your facility.
  1. Find a travel staffing company: That being said, you’ll want to work with a respected staffing agency to help you find the most qualified Travel Nurses. It’s not always easy to determine which agency to work with, but attending a networking event like Travelers Conference is a step in the right direction. Plus, you can stop by and chat with Medical Solutions’ experienced staff!

It’s not too late to register! Click here to learn more about Travelers Conference 2016.

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