Achieving Personal Growth Through Travel Nursing

Nursing is rarely short of opportunities for personal growth. Whether it’s through your interactions with patients, the daily challenges you have to overcome, or navigating choppy emotional waters, this is a career that contributes to your overall enrichment.

However, certain career paths may provide these personal growth benefits more than others. Travel nursing, for example, tests your nursing skills in a foreign environment — whether it’s in a different community, state, or country. With this challenge, you can learn about yourself as a person and a nurse, truly understand your capabilities, and grow from there.

Let’s take a look at how travel nursing can help you achieve personal growth and a few things you should consider to improve your potential outcomes.

Making Informed Choices

Even though travel nursing in general has the potential to help you grow as a person, it’s up to you to decide where and how you’d like to integrate this career choice in your life.

Base your decision on whether you’re ready to relocate, in general.  If you have a family, it’s certainly vital to examine how traveling might affect their needs, particularly when you have young children who require a sense of stability. Don’t forget to look into whether your intended destination will have the services — recreational, medical, and others — that you need to thrive.

Be honest with yourself about how a shift into travel nursing could impact your career goals. After all, your continued path as a medical professional is key to your personal growth as well as your professional development. Registered nurse jobs are everywhere, but if you’re in a specialized field, is there enough demand to keep you reliably employed? Consider where you’d like to be not just in the next year, but also in the next five years. Would your move into travel nursing disrupt or enhance this? You may find it helpful to look at industry growth statistics in different parts of the world to assess the likelihood of continued enriching opportunities.

Finding the Right Location

You could consider prioritizing locations that are in particular need of your skills. For example, certain regions around the world, especially, rural areas are in desperate need of medical professionals with specialty knowledge such as obstetrics or emergency care. If you’re looking to stay within the U.S., there is certainly no shortage of medically underserved areas/populations (MUA/Ps). You could target destinations that experience a general county-wide lack of primary care services, or those with key populations in need, such as those experiencing homelessness or migrant farm workers.

If you’d like to go further afield, you could join an organization such as Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) or the American Red Cross. Here, you could serve developing nations, populations that are in conflict zones, or people that are in the middle of public health or natural emergencies. These opportunities provide chances for personal growth, exposing you to various cultures and perspectives.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that some destinations have a reputation for personal growth opportunities. You can prioritize your locations based on what traits, skills, or values you’d like to focus on. For instance, Alaska could expose you to both natural wonders and extreme outdoor adventure possibilities. Travel nursing in Italy or Thailand can give you opportunities to be closer to religious centers that support your spiritual growth intentions.

Getting the Most From the Experience

You can get the most personal growth from your travel nursing if you’re more intentional about how you approach it. As you know, simply drifting through any experience is unlikely to result in the most meaningful results. Take the time to put yourself out there and make choices that’ll expose you to new experiences — whether abroad or in the U.S.

First and foremost, be open to exploring new cultures and communities. Remember that some of the greatest moments of growth come from sharing the values and perspectives that are outside of your usual comfort zone. Seek out local events and celebrations. Ask locals to talk to you about the significance of certain activities and traditions. Learn a little of the local language, wherever possible.

Even if you’re just moving to another state, there’s likely to be local cultural nuances to engage with. When you make genuine efforts here, you can better understand what’s important to the people you’re interacting with and the challenges they face. This develops a greater sense of empathy and human connection, which is important both as a nurse and a rounded human being.

Another purely practical way to get the most out of the experience is to save money. This can both reduce the stress you experience when you’re away and give you more funds to put toward activities for personal growth. Utilize methods to cut the costs of travel, including travel reservation apps that provide you with a wider range of options that could suit your budget. See if you can negotiate rates with airlines or accommodation providers, particularly if your travel nursing is to serve communities in need. If you’re running your own nursing business, you may also find your travel is tax deductible, so don’t forget to claim it.


Travel nursing can combine the personal growth opportunities that naturally arise from traveling to new places and from building your career as a nurse.

There’s certainly no shortage of demand for talented nurses across the world today. You should consider this an empowering thought that gives you the space to make the choices that are right for you and where you want your nursing skills to take you.

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Job Opportunities in Nursing: A Sector-by-Sector Breakdown

Do you find fulfillment in helping others and making a tangible impact on people’s lives? If so, a career in nursing might be the ideal path for you. Nursing is not just a profession but a calling that offers diverse opportunities. With an aging population, a rise in chronic diseases, and advances in healthcare technology, the demand for skilled nurses is higher than ever. Let’s explore this rewarding field and examine various career avenues you can pursue.

Overall Growth in Nursing

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the nursing workforce is expected to grow by 16% between 2020 and 2030, surpassing the average growth rate for all occupations. Similarly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) corroborates that the employment of registered nurses will increase by 15% in the same period, mainly driven by an aging population and healthcare advancements.

Opportunities By Sector

Hospital Nursing

Hospitals are the traditional hub for nursing employment. While the BLS indicates that hospital employment is expected to thrive, specialized skills like those in critical care or operating rooms are particularly in demand.

Home Health Care Services

The BLS projected it as the sector with the highest job growth for nurses; home healthcare services cater to the increasing elderly population and those with chronic conditions. If you want to create deep relationships with patients, this setting offers that opportunity.

Physician Offices

Nurses in physician offices work closely with doctors and healthcare providers to offer preventive care and treat illnesses. With less stressful working conditions than hospitals, this sector provides a more balanced lifestyle for many.

Nursing Education

Are you interested in shaping the next generation of nurses? Becoming a nursing educator could be your calling. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), there is an increased need for investments in nursing education and research. The IOM also suggests that nurses should be better prepared and given more authority to meet the evolving healthcare needs.

Rural and Underserved Areas

The AACN and BLS emphasize that the shortage of nurses is acute in rural and underserved areas. If you’re open to traveling or relocating, opportunities here are abundant.

Salaries and Benefits

The financial prospects in nursing are also encouraging. As of May 2020, the median annual salary for registered nurses was $75,330. While the lowest-paid 10% earned less than $51,000, the top 10% took home over $100,000 annually.

How To Excel In Your Nursing Career

  1. Obtain Necessary Licenses: To practice, you’ll need the appropriate nursing licenses, which usually entails passing the NCLEX-RN exam after your nursing education.
  2. Specialize: Specializations like critical care or surgical nursing can elevate your career and increase your earning potential.
  3. Continue Education: Always be prepared to learn. Advanced degrees and certifications can open doors to roles like nurse practitioners or administrators.
  4. Be Adaptable: With technological advances in healthcare, being tech-savvy can set you apart.
  5. Networking: Make connections within the industry. These can lead to opportunities you might not find otherwise.

Nursing is ripe with opportunity, and the demand for skilled professionals is vital. From traditional hospital roles to opportunities in home health care, education, and rural areas, nursing offers a wide array of career paths. Keep your nursing licenses current, consider specialization, and never stop learning. By doing so, you enhance your career prospects and contribute meaningfully to a sector that impacts lives daily.

Article provided by counselingschools

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Contemplating a Career Move in the Nursing Industry – Exploring New Horizons of Healing and Growth

Almost half of all nurses leave the profession entirely after just five years on the job. The reason is pretty simple. Nursing is hard. The hours are brutal. The labor is both physically intensive and mentally exhausting. The pay, though higher than average, fails to appreciate the significance of the work.

It makes sense why a lot of nurses decide that the field isn’t for them. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a total exit is required. There are many enticing alternatives to bedside nursing that pay well and create unique opportunities for the nurse who is pursuing them.

In this article, we take a look at possible career moves you can make as a nurse.

Changing Lanes

If you are hoping to transition into a different specialty, there are several important steps that should take to make sure that you are taking advantage of an opportunity that you will find genuinely rewarding.

  • Research: The first step is to research what types of jobs are out there. You would be surprised by the different roles nurses can play within the healthcare industry. For example, do you or someone you know struggle with diabetes? There are entire nursing professions designed around helping newly diagnosed people with diabetes cope with and manage their condition.
  • Determine what the job requires: Usually, your nursing degree will be adequate for helping you gain employment in a similar field. However, there are certain situations where a special certification may be required. Before you get too far along in the application process, find out what the job you are interested in requires. Note that some jobs may allow you to begin working as you finish up a certification program. It may be worthwhile to speak with potential employers about what qualifications they insist upon.
  • Network: Chances are you probably know a lot of people who have been working within the healthcare industry for a long time. Even your current coworkers may be able to get you a good lead on a new gig. Once you put the word out that you are interested in changing lanes, you may be surprised to find how many opportunities present themselves. Do be careful what you say. Your current employer may not take kindly to the news.
  • Consider the merit of stepping stones: It’s also worth keeping in mind that it may not be possible to pivot immediately into your dream job. Sometimes, it will be necessary to work your way up. Consider the value of transitional jobs. You may not want to work as a research nurse in the long haul, but if it gets you off the night shift while you look for your dream job, it may be worth doing.
  • Get serious about your application materials: Don’t let your guard down just because the demand for nurses is high. Desirable positions can still get very competitive. And because nursing is such a geographically limited position (each area will only have a limited number of hospitals) you may need to be willing to move or take on a long commute to get the job that you want.

Changing your nursing specialty can be a deeply rewarding experience. While there is a process you will need to follow, once you commit the efforts will be worth it. Now that you know what it takes to change lanes, let’s take a look at a few jobs that might be of interest to you.

Home Health Nursing

Home health nursing is a specialized field in which the nurse goes directly to the patients, treating them from the comfort of their own homes. The job can vary quite significantly based on the patient’s needs. However, at its core, many of the responsibilities are the same that those a bedside nurse experiences.

The primary difference is that you will be working with the patient in their home setting. This can create a more comfortable and personal work environment that many nurses appreciate.

As a home health nurse, your responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting comprehensive assessments of patient’s health status and developing individualized care plans.
  • Administering medications, treatments, and wound care as prescribed by physicians.
  • Monitoring patients’ vital signs and evaluating their response to interventions.
  • Educating patients and their families on disease management, medication adherence, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Collaborating with physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals to coordinate and optimize patient care.
  • Providing emotional support and counseling to patients and their families.
  • Documenting patient care activities accurately and maintaining up-to-date medical records.

Nurse Informaticist

A nurse informist leverages tech skills to optimize healthcare information systems. Sometimes called informatics nurses, these professionals work directly with data in order to optimize internal operations and improve patient outcomes.

Note that this is a role that will most likely require a special certification.

Research Nurse

Research nurses work in more academic settings, helping to conduct studies, analyze research, and share findings with the wider research community. Research nurses can work for hospitals but also often find jobs at universities.

If you are interested in conducting studies and shaping the field rather than doing hands-on work, this profession may be right for you.

Administrative Nursing

Nurse administrators work in a leadership capacity, helping hospitals oversee budgeting, internal policy-making, and professional development among the staff. While the end goal of your efforts will be to improve patient outcomes, the actual work itself will be based primarily in an office-type setting.


Telehealth nurses work with patients remotely to help answer questions, assess health situations and provide other forms of guidance. The idea behind telehealth jobs is to make healthcare as accessible as possible, even for people who are not able to make regular visits to the hospital.

While the work does not usually involve physical contact with patients, it is highly patient-driven, allowing you to still help take care of people while forgoing some of the more challenging aspects of traditional bedside nursing.

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Pros and Cons of Being an FNP in a Rural Community

Choosing to work in healthcare is a smart career choice. The demand for these services continues to grow as the population ages. Plus, the work can be extremely fulfilling!

Nurse practitioners in particular are becoming a bigger part of the healthcare field, filling in care gaps and helping to improve preventative care. As a nurse practitioner, you can offer a lot of versatility to group practices, hospitals, or communities as an independent practitioner (depending on your state’s laws).

Once you’ve become a family nurse practitioner, you have to consider your options. Would it be better to get a job in an urban environment, where you’ll be one of many NPs working to keep the community healthy? Or would you thrive in a rural community, providing local care to a smaller population?

Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing to work as an FNP in a rural community.

The Demand for Healthcare Providers is Strong in Rural Areas

Many rural communities do not have good local healthcare options. This means that residents have to travel long distances to get the care they need. Ultimately, the lack of local services can lead to poorer health outcomes since people are likely to put off getting the care they need or do not have the resources to travel for their care. When community health services become available, everyone benefits.

It can be hard to attract qualified healthcare providers to rural communities. Why? Because most people prefer to live closer to urban centers and all the amenities they offer. This means that there are more opportunities and demand in rural areas, despite the smaller population numbers.

NPs Have More Autonomy and Scope of Practice

As long as you’re practicing in a state that allows FNPs to have lots of autonomy, you’ll be able to utilize that autonomy more fully in a rural healthcare job. With fewer healthcare providers available, everyone needs to provide a wide range of services with little supervision. FNPs who enjoy a large scope of practice and working independently are likely to thrive in a rural practice.

It’s Easy to Make a Difference and Build Relationships

In a rural community, you’ll really get to know your patients. You’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with them and get to know them. It’s also easier to see the difference you make in people’s lives. As a healthcare provider, you’ll get the chance to help reduce the health disparities that affect rural residents.

Being part of a rural community and providing care can be an incredible experience. Instead of working with thousands of patients and getting to know very few of them, you’ll be working directly within your community and providing care to your neighbors.

Resources and Collaborations Will Be Limited in Rural Practice

One of the downsides of rural practice is the lack of resources. A small hospital or practice won’t have the budget for the latest technology or the patient volume to support certain types of equipment. This can be a challenge and creates barriers to providing top-notch care.

Supplies and technology aside, you won’t have access to the same collaborative environment as a rural FNP as you would in an urban or suburban area. It will be more challenging to work through tricky diagnoses or collaborate on complex treatment plans without a network of specialists nearby.

In some cases, rural FNPs have to refer their patients to specialists that practice in far-off cities. This can be difficult emotionally, especially if you know that someone does not have the means to travel so far and see an expensive specialist.

Rural Living Can Be Isolating

Many people who take a job in rural healthcare settings struggle with the transition. It can be very isolating to live in sparsely populated areas. FNPs who decide to work in a rural community need to be proactive with self-care and making friends to fight off the potential for loneliness and isolation.

The Challenge of Maintaining Professional Boundaries

Rural communities are small and often have to rely on one another in many different ways. While that can be a huge positive for community-minded people, there are some downsides when it comes to privacy.

In a small town or rural community, everyone is likely to know your business. It can be difficult to maintain your privacy and professional boundaries when it’s normal in your community to gossip about your neighbors.

Embracing the Rewards and Challenges of FNP Work in Rural America

If you want to make a difference as a healthcare provider and work more independently, then becoming an FNP in a rural community could be a great fit. Embracing the rewards and challenges of healthcare in these settings can be a great way to grow as a healthcare provider while embracing a simpler life.

However, it’s important to consider your preferences and personality in making the decision. Weigh the pros and cons and be honest with yourself about whether life in the country or the wilderness is right for you before you decide.

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The Rapidly Growing Nursing Specializations in 2023

Nurses are in high demand right now, and this will continue into the next decade. Being that nursing is an ever evolving field due to the constant advancements in medicine, technology, and healthcare, the types of specialties will change with those trends.

The nursing field has grown so much in the last 20 years that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has gone out of its way to begin categorizing which of the various fields of nursing are growing quickly.

On the whole, the healthcare field’s demand for Resident Nurses (RN’s) is expected to grow 6% over the next 10 years, while more specialized fields like Midwives, anesthetists, and nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 40% from 2021 to 2031! These numbers are much faster than the average for other occupations. Around 30,200 openings per year are expected for each of the previously named. Much of this demand will be due to the need for the replacement of workers who will soon be retiring.

Regardless of what role in the healthcare industry may interest you, there will be a need in the decades moving forward. The specialized training required to adequately serve the needs in various roles tends to set some positions apart from others. As such, there is an emerging grouping of the most rapidly growing nursing specializations.

Here is a list, though not comprehensive, for 2023.

Travel Nursing

This quickly growing field is one of the most sought after, and for two primary reasons: Travel and incredible pay. The need for nurses across the country right now is very high, so the demand is great. In order to attract the right people, hospitals and healthcare clinics are sometimes doing outrageous things to offer incentives.

Ironically, there is no difference in the role other than the transience and temporary nature of the position. Travel nurses are hired to simply fill in some of open, full-time positions that cannot otherwise be filled, usually for short periods of time, typically no longer than 13 weeks.

Persons interested in this role should be adaptable, personable, and willing to morph to fit into new communities and their various needs quickly. If you have those abilities and the freedom to move around the country, this may be just the specialty for you.


The role of the pediatric nurse may not always be the most commonly thought of when mention of a nurse practitioner arises, but great responsibility lies here. Pediatrics is the area of nursing that specializes in offering care for children. Just as when being around kids in any respect, there is a novelty and playfulness that can accompany the role which helps to make a child patient feel more at home.

This fast-paced and rewarding career carries all the regular responsibilities, from testing, charting, care and cleaning, all wrapped up into a smaller person. Pediatric nurses who have an affinity and level of previous exposure to working with kids will bring valuable perspective into this specialization.

The ability to transfer the knowledge of childcare or psychological development into the day-to-day responsibilities that make up the care of children will make them a valuable member of any healthcare company. Add this to the rewards that come from making a child smile and the prospect of working in pediatrics may be the specialty that fits.


This specialization focuses on working with caseworkers, nursing homes, social workers, and other similar care companies to assist the elderly. It is no surprise that this role is high in demand right now with the baby boomer generation retiring and aging into that demographic.

Nurse practitioners tend to be a more preferred choice for this role because of the need for constant coordination, but LPN’s and RN’s are in high demand too; they only need to earn the additional certifications.


A nurse midwife specializes in childbirth care and support but can also include the education and care of women pre and post-partum. While they maintain all the general training accompanying a nurse, their specialties are focused on all things necessary to maintain healthy pregnancy and births. These nurses often work in accompaniment with doctors and other physicians or healthcare, medical professionals to accomplish that task.


Nurse Informatics is a specialty that combines nursing sciences with multiple bases of information and various analytical sciences all with the goal of identifying, defining, managing, and communicating data. This role takes the clinical and technical languages involved in the healthcare industry and seeks to support clients, patients, customers, throughout the interprofessional healthcare settings. They help to inform administrators and companies in the many aspects of decision making to aid in any respect to client care.

By focusing on the information and data available in the systems, Nurse Informatics goal is communicating in a way that seeks to boost performance for organizations by analyzing and advising. Increased efficiencies, cutting costs, and improving patient care are some of the top goals. They do this by facilitating the integration of data sets from various departments and then distribute that to their colleagues in the workplace.

Again, while this list is not comprehensive, it does serve as an introduction to which roles and trends in the healthcare industry are becoming popular. Further research will reveal what other roles are available.

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

5 Steps to Become a Medical Director

A medical director is a physician who provides oversight for a clinical program or department within a healthcare organization. As a medical director, you will be responsible for ensuring that the quality of care provided meets or exceeds expectations and complies with all regulatory requirements. If you are interested in becoming a medical director, follow these five steps.


Earn Your MD or DO Degree

The first step to becoming a medical director is to earn your medical degree from an accredited institution. You will need to complete four years of undergraduate coursework followed by four years of medical school. Once you have earned your degree, you will need to obtain a license to practice medicine in your state.

Complete Your Residency Training

After you have obtained your medical degree and license, you will need to complete a residency training program. Residency training programs last for three to seven years, depending on your specialty. During your residency, you will receive hands-on training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.


Obtain Board Certification

Once you have completed your residency training, you will need to obtain board certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). To be eligible for board certification, you must pass an examination that tests your knowledge and skills in your chosen specialty. Once you have passed the examination, you will be considered board-certified in your specialty.


Join a Professional Organization

After you have obtained your medical degree, completed your residency training, and become board-certified, you should consider joining a professional organization such as the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American College of Physicians (ACP). These organizations offer many benefits such as networking opportunities, educational resources, and advocacy on behalf of physicians.


Apply for Medical Director Positions

Once you have completed all of the previous steps, you can begin applying for medical director positions at healthcare organizations. To increase your chances of being hired, it is important to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position and highlight any relevant experience or skills that you possess. Additionally, networking with individuals who work at the healthcare organization where you would like to work can also help increase your chances of being hired for the position.


If you are interested in becoming a medical director, follow these five steps: earn your MD or DO degree from an accredited institution, complete a residency training program, obtain board certification, join a professional organization, and apply for medical director positions at healthcare organizations. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goal of becoming a medical director!

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

10 Things You Should Know Before You Apply to Work at a Rehab Center

by Patrick Bailey

The healthcare sector can be one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding fields to work in. When we niche down in healthcare even more, we see a sub-field in healthcare that yields a present relevance–rehabilitation centers. What is it like to work in a rehab center? Below are some of the things you should know before applying to work in this healthcare field.

What comes to mind when we think of rehab centers? Do we think of people in white coats and scrub suits, leading away patients who seem to have issues too deep to bear? This may be a common stereotype, but rehab centers are more than that. In fact, there is fulfillment in the calling of helping those who are suffering from substance use.

Current job growth in rehab centers

In the US alone, there are 25 million people suffering from substance abuse. The rates of people being admitted to rehabilitation centers continue to rise as the substance use problem persists. This includes patients who are admitted because they are undergoing abuse of illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medications. Some rehabilitation centers are also dedicated in curing different types of psychological disorders stemming from abuse or life circumstances.

Here are some interesting facts about job growth in rehabilitation centers:

  • All healthcare sector jobs, including those involving rehabilitation medicine, have an average job growth rate of 7%.
  • Those who are interested to work in addiction counseling can expect to have better employment opportunities as job growth will be 22% in the next 10 years.
  • Rehabilitation nurses can expect a job growth rate of 19%.

These statistics may be encouraging to any potential employee, but it is important to know the realities of working in a rehab center foremost. Below are 10 things you need to know before applying for a job in the rehabilitation healthcare field.

1. Understand your credentials first.

Even if you are interested in helping people with substance use problems, it should be clear to you what role you want to fulfill in this multi-disciplinary field. Just like fields in science or education, rehabilitative healthcare also has different positions to fill in.

Do you want to be a doctor in rehabilitation medicine? It is important to understand the career path of being this type of doctor first. Perhaps a specialized nurse may also be an option, but you also need to ensure that you have the right type of license in the state you are residing. Addiction counselors also have their own set of credentials that are important for employment. If you want to work for the best rehab centers in US, you need to perform your research about the specific occupation you wish to take.

2. Get to know the reputation of the rehab center you want to work in.

Before applying for a specific rehab center, it is important to also do your research regarding the company. Are they a registered, reputable institution? Do they have verified reviews from previous workers and clients?

This is essential because many reports have been made about rehab centers’ fraudulent activities. Some people and insurance companies are scammed, giving poor quality or non-existent services to clients while they take advantage of the payments being made. If you end up working in a center like this, you may not have the proper compensation for your job.

3. Understand the treatment philosophy of the rehab center.

As you study and gain experience to become a worker in a rehabilitative healthcare field, you may have developed a school of thought that echoes your beliefs about how patients should be treated.

It is difficult to work in a place that doesn’t align with your own principles of patient care. Rehab centers have different ways of how they operate and treat their patients, so it is important to find the ones that you agree with the most.

4. The work can be challenging.

Some people with substance use problems often display symptoms of aggression or any other type of heightened emotions. If you do plan to push through with working in a rehab center, be prepared to receive unexpected remarks from patients or even moments of aggression. You will be oriented on how to handle these situations and how to keep you and your clients safe.

Understand that this is all part of the job–you are intervening a problem that runs deep physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is important to depersonalize these statements and place yourself in your patient’s shoes.

5. You will meet people from all walks of life.

The problem of addiction does not discriminate–it can affect people from all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Be prepared to meet people from all walks of life. On some occasions, they can be as familiar as a neighbor, or even an individual who speaks a different language. In rare instances, they can even be high-profile personalities, and at any point you have to understand the importance of confidentiality.

If you are someone who wants to experience the challenge of dealing with a diverse group of people, then you may truly consider working in a rehab center.

6. The work requires patience and endurance.

Just as substance use disorders took time to develop, it also takes time for patients to recover. You may be happy that a patient you have worked with recently got discharged, only to find out that he is back the following week after a relapse. This may make you question if you have done your best to help or if made any difference at all.

This is why this job requires patience and endurance. You need to have the power to motivate, encourage, and show empathy to your clients. These are people who may have gone through difficult life situations, and many of them are still going through some. It takes a strong worker to see through these needs and respond to them lovingly.

7. Sticking by the rules is not optional.

One of the ways to find success in working in the rehabilitation healthcare field is abiding by the rules. This applies within your job description, the rules within your rehab center, and how you administer patient care.

In other fields such as art or even research sciences, it helps to be creative and find out-of-the-box ideas to accomplish a task. However, working in healthcare, especially those in rehabilitation requires evidence-based practice and working by these principles to ensure that you give the best quality of service.

8. The job requires continuous training.

Speaking of evidence-based practice, it is imperative that all professionals working in rehab centers should always be updated with the current methods that are effective for treating patients.

Whether you are a doctor, a nurse, a counsellor, or someone who performs administrative tasks in the facility, the protocols often evolve and further training is required. Make sure that your company also offers these growth opportunities for you, because it is also for the sake of your clients.

9. It can be a rewarding vocation.

Working in rehabilitative healthcare means you are directly impacting lives–you are playing a role in the 180-degree turn of someone’s life. As patients decide to go on rehab, they are placing their trust upon you to help make that change. This is a high calling that can lead a person towards a better path.

No wonder there is a strong demand for professionals in this field–it’s because people desire change, but they need agents of change to help them. Understand that although it can be challenging, the rewarding feeling of helping re-shape someone’s path is also a joy in itself.

10. Your patients appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

When patients pass throughout your years of working in rehabilitative healthcare, it may be easy to assume that it can be a “thankless job” sometimes. However, just like how we appreciate teachers, doctors, public servants, and any other job–know that in the back of a patient’s mind–they appreciate you more than you’ll ever hear or know.

Take a changed life as a form of gratitude towards your profession. Although you may not always expect to hear words or encouragement, promotions, or even material gifts from thankful clients, this may be small compared to the contributions you have made to help shift someone’s course in life.

Considering work in a rehab center?

If you are planning to work in a rehab center, take note of these things. Set a realistic mind towards what you are facing ahead, and you are better off making a wise decision about your career path.

Patrick Bailey is a professional writer, mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Planning on Med School? 4 Benefits of Shadowing Doctors

by Emma Sturgis

Deciding to go to med school is a big decision. You don’t want to end up going through schooling, only to find out it’s not the right path for you. However, if you shadow doctors, you could come out ahead. Not only will it make you more confident in med school to avoid dropping out, but you could enjoy 4 other benefits:

Seeing Procedures First Hand

Knowing what kind of doctor you want to be is a tough decision to make. While you have some time in med school to figure it out, you don’t have that long. You need to understand what you would be getting yourself into with each specialty. Shadowing a doctor will introduce you to the different procedures and day to day activities you would be doing. That way, you don’t get blindsided on day one.

Understanding What the Questions on the Test Mean

If you are taking med school seriously, then you will already be getting your hands on MCAT prep materials, asking others in the field what their suggestions are, and studying every chance you get. However, it helps to have first-hand experience and see the real live application of what the textbooks say. That is one of the biggest advantages of following a real doctor around for a set period of time.

Professional Networking

If you think getting your dream job will be as simple as completing medical school and getting an offer, think again. Networking is just as important in the medical field as in any other profession. Knowing the right people can make all the difference between working at the best hospital in the city or having to move entirely.

Taking a Trial Run

Medical school is one of the most difficult things you will go through when becoming a doctor. The hours are long. The tests are tough. You will have little downtime. However, the end is worth it. However, you should verify that this is really what you want to do. Shadowing a doctor is the perfect way to take being a doctor for a trial run so you can be that much more confident in your decision.

Becoming a doctor is an exciting prospect. However, you need to plan it the right way. By shadowing doctors, you can learn the industry. You can avoid common pitfalls that others fall into. In addition, it will help you with med school itself. So give some real consideration to shadowing a doctor before you have your first day of medical school.

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.


Your Nursing Job: The Same Old Bed of Nails or a Comfortable Old Shoe?

Complacency be just as bad for your career as outright misery. Whether you’re stuck in a rut or actively feeling pained by your job, it might be time for a change.

From Nurse Keith’s Digital Doorway

Some of us have nursing jobs that are feel like a bed of nails, and some of us nurses have jobs that feel like comfortable old shoes. Have you ever fallen into either of these categories in terms of your work experience as a nurse? I posit that either one can be detrimental to your career in the long run.

The Old Shoe Nursing Job

If you’ve been working at a decent enough nursing job for a number of years, it can begin to feel like an old worn shoe: comfortable, fraying at the edges, and perhaps less supportive than it used to be.

Perhaps you’ve had a work experience that reflects at least several of the following characteristics:

  • You like your colleagues well enough
  • Your bosses are decent
  • The work you do is relatively enjoyable — or at least tolerable
  • The salary is stagnant
  • Benefits (if you have them) are acceptable but not overwhelmingly generous
  • You’re not learning very much over time
  • You feel like you’re just this side of career stagnation

I hear from many nurses who are in a nursing position that matches a number of the above-named aspects. When a nurse feels stuck and in a rut, there are plenty of questions to ask, including but not limited to:

  • What about your current job is and is not satisfying?
  • What kind of learning happens for you on the job?
  • Do you feel like you’re growing professionally or just marking time?
  • Are you treated well enough? Could you find a more positive and supportive workplace culture?
  • Do you feel that you’re valued for what you do, or are you just a cog in an organizational wheel?
  • If you think about leaving for another opportunity, what kinds of thoughts and feelings do you have? Is it just too scary to consider?
  • Are you afraid to leave because it’s relatively comfortable? Are you avoiding looking for another job because you feel beholden to stay for your colleagues and/or your patients?
  • Do you simply not know what you’d rather do otherwise?

These types of questions can lead to very interesting discussions about self worth, career development, personal and professional history, and how you view yourself as a healthcare professional and nurse.

An old shoe may be comfy and familiar, but it can lose its supportive structure and allow your feet to really take a beating. Is your current job kind of like that old running shoe you just can’t let go of?

The Nursing Bed of Nails

A nursing job that feels like a bed of nails is just a bad fit. In this scenario, it hurts to get up and go to work. You feel pained, uncomfortable, and vaguely aware that this is a form of torture that would probably be good to escape from, but you may very well feel stuck and unable to move.

Don’t get me wrong: a challenging job that pushes you beyond your current comfort zone isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This type of situation can be good for your career as it can often motivate you to learn, grow, and take your skills and knowledge to the limit without violating your scope of practice or endangering your patients or your nursing license.

Having said that, many of us have likely been stuck in jobs that felt dangerous, edgy, beyond our ken, and simply too much to handle. A nursing job that pushes you too far and feels unnecessarily painful and difficult can have some of the following characteristics, as well as others not listed:

  • You feel as if you’re regularly pushed to work beyond your scope of practice
  • A bully (or bullies) stalk the halls and make people’s lives miserable
  • Management is inept, if not downright hostile
  • The workplace is riddled with gossip and backbiting
  • You don’t readily connect with the patient population and feel like caring for them is like nails on a chalkboard
  • You don’t feel challenged, and your skills, knowledge, and expertise are stagnating
  • You feel nauseous, anxious, or plainly fearful when you arrive to work
  • Overall, work is just a consistently unpleasant slog

Being miserable, stagnant, and pained at work is no picnic. And you know what? It’s not necessary at all — you always have the choice to make a move, look to a new horizon, or otherwise exit gracefully, stage left.

Do you have the gumption and wherewithal to leave? Even a bed of nails can feel oddly comfortable and familiar — after all, the devil you know can sometimes be better than the devil you don’t. Right?

Finding a New Career Frontier

Whether your job feels like a bed of nails or a comfortable old shoe, there’s often something that needs to change. If you’re not making plans to leave, consider where your resistance is coming from. Is it fear? Is it discomfort with change? Or is there a lack of self-confidence that needs to be overcome?

Whatever the feeling is that’s keeping you from busting out and moving on, consider the notion that change can be exciting, renewing, and occasionally revelatory. Fear can either be motivating or demotivating — which would you prefer?

Consider that if early homo sapiens and other ancient human species were overly afraid of change, they never would have crossed the Bering Straight and populated far-flung continents. If Civil Rights leaders had been too fearful of the reactions of white supremacists, they never would have marched, boycotted, and pushed back against the egregiously racist status quo. And if Florence Nightingale didn’t have the courage to buck the system of the good ol’ boys of medicine and create biostatistics and crucial practices of infection control, modern nursing might still be in the Dark Ages, serving coffee to physicians who see us as nothing but unskilled non-professional handmaidens.

Consider these questions:

  • Is your current job satisfying?
  • Are you learning enough to keep engaged and interested?
  • Does your workplace feel congenial enough?
  • Is the workplace culture positive and supportive?
  • Is management responsive and self-reflective?
  • Is this job leading somewhere in the context of your career?

A bed of nails and a comfy old shoe can be equally difficult to disengage from, albeit for different reasons. If you’re stuck in either of these scenarios, what would it take to get out of bed or throw that old shoe in the trash? What would you need in order to take that leap of faith and move on?

Nimbleness, professional and personal growth, forward movement, and the willingness to pivot throughout your nursing career are hallmarks of living and working in the 21st-century healthcare universe — are you ready for nice new nursing shoes and a more comfortable bed? If you’re feeling like you’re at the end of your rope, I’ll hazard a guess that you’re more than ready. What are you waiting for?

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the well-known nursing blog, Digital Doorway. Please visit his online platforms and reach out for his support when you need it most.

Keith is co-host of, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses.

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century,” and has contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession. Keith has written for,, MultiViews News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline, StaffGarden, AusMed, American Sentinel University, the ANA blog, Working Nurse Magazine, and other online publications.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, podcaster, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Tricky Nursing Interview Questions (And How to Answer Them)

The pay may be great, but that isn’t the answer to give when asked, “Why do you want to work here?” Here’s how to answer that and other hard interview questions.

Interviewing, in general, isn’t easy, but some questions prove tougher than others. Here are three questions that notoriously trip up even the most seasoned nurse and how best to answer them.

“Tell me about yourself.”

While not technically a question, this can be one of the hardest parts of any interview. While some people love talking about themselves (research suggests this is simply because it feels good), others do not, and even if you do like talking about yourself, landing in the sweet spot between giving the interviewer too little and sharing too much can be tricky, especially if you’re an anxious or nervous interviewee.

Instead of sharing your life story, and giving away too many personal details which may reflect poorly upon you, keep in mind that the interviewer is asking this because they want to know your background, more than anything, and a bit about your personality. Cover the basics about your education, professional experience, career goals, and strengths, while tying in some clues about your personality, such as, “I’ve always loved children and I’m upbeat by nature, so pediatric nursing was a seamless fit for me.”

“Why do you want to work here?”

The truthful answer to that may be, “Look, lady, it’s because I need a job,” or, “The pay is GREAT,” but those answers are not what the interviewer is looking for—and should definitely not come out of your mouth at any point during the interview process. They don’t want to hire any ol’ nurse, just as you don’t want to work at any ol’ hospital, so do your research, not only so you can impress them by knowing they were ranked #1 for neurosurgery by so-and-so publication, but so you can see if they are the right fit for you, as well.

Before you interview, Google them and read up on the organization, including their corporate values and culture, and be prepared to tell them why you’d be a good fit to work there. For example, perhaps the facility caters to a population you prefer to work with, they use progressive methods you are eager to learn, or have a reputation for professional advancement that aligns with your career goals. Or maybe it’s something as simple as they are a small practice with a family feel, and you are tired of working in hospitals where you hardly see the same person twice. Whatever it is that truly interests you in working there, from a professional standpoint, find a way to convey that in a way that shows you’re excited to be a part of what they’re doing.

“What are your weaknesses?”

No one likes to own up to their faults, particularly not in a setting where you’re trying to impress. However, we are all human. We all mess up. We all have less than desirable traits. And pretending like you don’t just comes across and being inauthentic and dishonest, and those are not desirable traits in an employee, let alone a nurse.

Whatever your weaknesses may be, find a way to tell the interviewer what you have learned from them, showing you are committed to self-improvement and professional growth. It is a best practice to sandwich your weakness between two positive attributes. For example, if you sometimes feel overwhelmed, try saying something along the lines of, “I’m committed to providing a high level of patient care, but sometimes I find myself getting a little overwhelmed when a patient or their family asks a lot of questions. I know that’s just the patient and their family wanting to be well-informed about their care, though, so I’ve learned to be more understanding, as a result.”

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.