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KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series: Arizona, “The Grand Canyon State”

Welcome back to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series! This week, we head to the Southwest to Arizona, “The Grand Canyon State.” Arizona is the sixth largest state and is best known for its weather and geography. Did you know you can stand in four states at once at the famous Four Corners? Four Corners is the point where the boundaries meet for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

KPG Healthcare has many opportunities to work for Travel Nurses, Allied Professionals and Physicians in the state of Arizona. Arizona is also home to our newest office in Scottsdale! Let’s take a look at some of the cities we send our healthcare professionals!

Phoenix

As the state capital, Phoenix boasts an incredible array of things to do from hiking the desert, a night out on the town, a self-care day at the spa or eating your way through the city.

Let’s start with outdoor activities. Phoenix is home to the nation’s largest city park (South Mountain Park) with over 16,000 acres and 50 miles of trails making this park nearly 20 times larger than Central Park in New York City. There are plenty of other great hiking trails to choose from including, Camelback MountainMcDowell Mountain Regional Park and Piestewa Peak. If hiking in the desert isn’t your cup of tea then head over to the Desert Botanical Garden or the Japanese Friendship Garden for a relaxing stroll and a peaceful, plant-lovers dream of paradise. More into water sports? The Salt River runs through Phoenix providing Phoenicians the chance to paddleboardtube and raft through its waters.

After a day in nature, head to Downtown Phoenix – the epicenter of culture, college life, delicious food, cocktail culture and more – for some good old fashion fun. It’s here you can explore different areas or stumble across historic streets like Grand Avenue or Roosevelt Row. Grand Avenue was once known for being “the gateway to Los Angeles” before the interstate came. Now, it has transformed into being the city’s boho-chic street lined with galleries, cafes, yoga studios, nightlife spots and plenty of great food. Roosevelt Row is the impressive walkable arts district in Downtown Phoenix, home to award-winning galleries, beautiful murals, local restaurantsboutiques and more.

Phoenix is a city home to a variety of great experiences, activities and natural exploration, but the food scene is top-notch. The culinary scene in Phoenix varies from SouthwesternMexicanAmericanAsianBBQ and more with produce sourced from local farmers. Another great experience for any foodie is checking out farmer’s markets! Here are some of the great farmer’s markets to choose from Uptown Farmers MarketsDowntown Farmers MarketMesa Market and Flea and Schnepf Farms (upick garden). Our Travel Nursing Team in Scottsdale recommends checking out Ziggy’s (Ziggy’s Stardust is a speakeasy located inside), The GladlyDoughbirdLa Grande Orange and The Porch – to name a few.

With year-round sun and warm temperatures, it’s no wonder people are flocking to Phoenix…so why aren’t you?

Things to do in Phoenix: Thrillist’s COVID Things To DoTimeOut’s Best Things To DoUS News Best Things To Do

Tucson

If you’re looking for a true Southwestern experience, Tucson is the place to be. Being Arizona’s second-largest city, Tucson is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and desert beauty with a taste of the Old West and an opportunity to see the stars.

Like Phoenix, Tucson offers visitors plenty of outdoor adventures to choose from including, hikinghorseback ridingrock climbingcycling and stargazing – to name a few. With five mountain ranges and hundreds of miles of trails surrounding Tucson, it’s an outdoor enthusiasts’ playground. To the North you have the Santa Catalina Mountains, to the East you the Rincon Mountains, to the South you have Santa Rita Mountains and to the West you have the Tucson Mountains. Did you know Southern Arizona gets roughly 350 nights a year of clear viewing? Making Tucson one of the best destinations in the world for stargazing featuring some of the world’s most-respected observatories.

Tucson is known for its Southwestern experience, but it’s also known as “an oasis of tranquility” for being a top spa destination according to Orbitz Travel’s 19 Best Places to Travel in 2019. The article mentions visitors can “find calm hiking in Saguaro National Park” and marvel at the tens of thousands of cacti or enjoy the spiritual wellness at the Mission San Xavier del Bac. A perfect way to recharge the batteries and find a balance between mental and physical health.

As far as food goes, Tucson is another fantastic city with a diverse arrangement of cuisines with a “rich agricultural heritage, thriving food traditions and culinary distinctiveness.” In 2015, the city of Tucson became one of six Creative Cities in the United States and the only one selected for Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Creative Cities program. Don’t be afraid to dive into new food experiences here in Tucson.

Tucson is another amazing city on the long list of destinations KPG Healthcare sends healthcare professionals. The only thing the city is missing is you.

Things to do in Tucson: US News 14 Best Things to do30 Unusual Things to doTucson Foodie’s 30 Can’t-Miss

Sedona

South of Flagstaff, Sedona is a beautiful and serene desert town known for its red rock formations, canyon walls and being a haven for spiritual wellness. This small yet charming town is sacred land by Native Americans due to its mysterious cosmic forces that radiate from the red rock formations.

Spiritual health and wellbeing is the name of the game in Sedona being home to vortexes thought to be “swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration” according to Sedona’s Tourism website. There are five sites (give or take) to find the Sedona Vortexes – Airport MesaCathedral RockBell RockSpaceship Rock and Boynton Canyon – each with their own set of energy properties. If you’re looking for more guided spiritual experiences, Sedona’s community includes psychics, massage therapists, spiritual counselors, reiki masters, life coaches and shamans to help. There’s also plenty of spiritual shops to take a peek into or buy some charged healing crystals for friends and family.

A trip to Sedona is another outdoor enthusiasts’ playground being surrounded by the 1.8 million acres of national forest, beautiful red rock formations and lush canyons. From biking to climbingfishing to golfing, there is an outdoor activity for everyone of all ages with activities ranging from novice to the more experienced.

Sedona is a small-town with powerful energies and beautiful natural wonders that it makes sense for people to travel from all parts of the world to visit. Let KPG Healthcare get you a travel assignment so you can experience Sedona for yourself!

Things to do in Sedona: Sedona Secret 7100 Things to doUS News 14 Best ThingsTrip Tuner

Flagstaff

A city surrounded by mountains, deserts and pine forests; Flagstaff is rich with Native American history and the destination to experience all seasons and marvel in the natural beauty of Arizona.

Outdoor enthusiasts travel to Flagstaff year-round to partake in their favorite activities including hiking, mountain biking, disk golfcamping and rock climbing. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders from all parts of Arizona come to enjoy the fresh powder 7,000 feet above sea-level. The Grand Canyon, which is about 75 miles North (1.5-hour drive), is just one example of many great outdoor experience’s visitors can enjoy while visiting Flagstaff. With countless other national forests and monuments in Flagstaff’s backyard, finding something to do will come easy for those searching to unplug and recharge their batteries in nature. The city also has its own Seven Wonders all within 10 – 80 miles that include the Wupatki National MonumentSunset Crater VolcanoSan Francisco Peaks and more.

When you’re tired of being in nature, grab a friend and tackle the Flagstaff Brewery Trail featuring nine breweries each with their individual selection of ales to IPAs. Make sure to grab a passport for the trail to get a special-edition commemorative pint glass! The city also hosts a variety of festivals and fairs (before COVID-19), which includes a Mead & Cider Fest, the Coconino County FairBarks & BrewsHeritage Fest and countless others. When in doubt, there is always food and Flagstaff has plenty of good food to offer with over 200 restaurants to choose from.

The only thing left to ask is when can KPG Healthcare get you an assignment in Flagstaff?

Things to do in Flagstaff: US News Best Things to do19 Unusual AttractionsFree Things to do

Scottsdale

Being home to our newest office expansion, Scottsdale is consistently rated among the nation’s most desirable communities to live in, visit and do business in.

Located roughly 13-miles east of Phoenix, Scottsdale is better known for its spa resorts and golf courses (most golf courses per square mile in the US), but the city also offers visitors a variety of other great experiencesdelicious food and incredible outdoor excursions for all ages. If you’re looking for a good hike, our Travel Team in Scottsdale recommends checking out McDowell Mountain Regional ParkPinnacle Peak Summit TrailTom’s Thumb (can be challenging), and Wave Cave Trail (located near Gold Canyon). If you’re up for a different outdoor experience, there is a new trend for those who enjoy mountain biking: night rides/hikes. A different perspective of the desert and depending on the season you can experience more or less wildlife wild venturing on the moonlit paths.

A must-do in while visiting Scottsdale is checking Old Town. During the day, you can find yourself window shopping in Scottsdale Fashion Square or run into our Travel Team on their lunch break. When the sun sets, that’s when the party starts. Old Town is lined with more than 100 of the city’s restaurantscocktail barslounges and nightclubs making this the place to be for happy hour. Here are some personal recommendations for restaurants and bars from our Travel Team: AZ/88Diego PopsOlive & IvyMaple & AshPostino’sBevvy and Handcut.

If you’re into trying new experiences, Scottsdale has its very own Wine TrailOld Town Chocolate ToursArtWalkDesert Jeep ToursAfter Dark Desert Tour, plenty of museums to choose from and countless other activities. Some of these experiences are free and some require purchasing tickets/reserving spaces so please double check each website.

Scottsdale is a relaxation paradise with pockets of joy for those who enjoy a night in the town, a variety of food options and plenty of outdoor activities. So, let’s get you traveling with KPG Healthcare…Scottsdale is waiting.

Things to do in Scottsdale: TimeOut’s 12 Best Things to doFree ThingsMost Instagram-Worthy Places

 

Arizona offers all visitors a unique Southwestern experience with each city echoing a different personality through its diverse communities and experiences that attracts people from all parts of the planet. We opened an office in Scottsdale this year and we can’t wait for all the great memories to come.

Arizona is only missing you!

 

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Travel Series: Georgia, “The Peach State”

Welcome back to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series! This week, we are taking a trip to Georgia, also known as “the Peach State”. Did you know Georgia is the country’s top producer of pecans, peanuts, Vidalia onions, and of course, the Georgia peach!

KPG Healthcare is proud to offer travel nursing assignments in Georgia. We staff facilities across the state including Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Macon and more! Get in touch with one of our Travel Nursing Recruiters today or send your resume to travel@kpghealthcare.com!

Let’s take a (virtual) trip to Georgia, starting with Atlanta!

Atlanta

The ATL. Hotlanta. A-town. Otherwise known as the state capital of Georgia, Atlanta offers visitors a deep, rich history, creative minds, nonstop fun and plenty of Southern hospitality. Although coronavirus is still limiting the majority of the activities throughout the country, Atlanta has no shortage of fun things to do.

Interested in American history? You can visit the birthplace and home of the Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., visit a variety of history museums, and find other historic sites and landmarks. At the MLK Jr. National Historic Site, visitors can visit his home, enjoy the roses at the International World Peace Rose Garden, listen to sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church, pay your respects to Dr. and Mrs. King’s Tomb and walk the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame.

A must-do while in Atlanta is to visit the iconic roller-skating rink Cascade. Roller skating is great for people of all ages to get exercise and have fun at the same time. At Cascade, the hours and rates change depending on the day, but you can also visit the rink during one of its weekly events for families, teens and adults. This iconic rink has also been featured in the 2006 hit film “ATL,” so it’s worth checking out!

It must be worth noting that the food scene in Atlanta is off the charts offering flavors for the familiar or the new, family-owned to dining districts, and some killer Southern cuisine. Atlanta was named one of Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Cities for Barbecue,” offering flavors coming from Texas to the Carolina’s and everything in between. Brunch continues to be one of the most popular meals for Atlantans, so it’s worth checking out some of the great spots in ATL. There’s so much food in Atlanta no matter what you choose you will find something to satisfy your taste buds.

As you can see, Atlanta has more than enough to do even with the pandemic happening, visitors can still find so many great things to do. Just remember to wear a mask!

Things to do in Atlanta: Thrillist’s COVID Things To Do20 Free Things To Do20 Best Things To DoTimeOut’s 21 Best Things To Do

Savannah

A coastal city straddling the South Carolina state line, Savannah is a Georgia city known for its beautiful coastline, horse-drawn carriages, architecture and a vibrant history.

Savannah is a history buffs dream come true with historic landmarks and sites waiting to be rediscovered. Did you know Savannah was a gift to President Lincoln in the Civil War? A gift from Union General Sherman after sparing the city from destruction during his infamous southbound march. Beyond that, the First African Baptist Church, history of emancipation, Old fort JacksonTricentennial Park and the Colonial Park Cemetery are just some of the other historic sites to visit while in Savannah.

A trip to Tybee Island, which is 20 minutes from downtown, is a must-do for any first-time or returning visitors. Here you can take a lovely walk along the sandy beaches, visit more historic sites like Fort Pulaskikayak in the Atlantic oceanchow down on some fresh seafood, or even set up a camp. Tybee Island is also extremely dog-friendly – so if you’re traveling with any fur babies then you’re good to go! If you come between May and October, you may be able to see sea turtle hatchlings for sea turtle season.

No trip to Savannah is complete without a visit to the Historic District. The Historic District is full of landmarks, museums22 park squares, 18th-century homes, ghost tours and over 100 restaurants. Also located in the Historic District is the City Market, a collection of bistros, shops, galleries and restaurants. By night, the market transforms into a party scene featuring local street musicians, bands and “to-go” cups.

It is safe to say that Savannah is a coastal city full of American history that likes to party.

Things to do in Savannah: 15 Free Things To DoUS News 15 Best Things To Do in Savannah15 Can’t-Miss in Savannah

Augusta

Nestled along the Savannah River, Augusta is perhaps best known as the home of the Masters Golf Tournament. Besides golf, the city is a wonderful mix of Southern charm and city fun that combines arts and culture, mouthwatering food and a dynamic outdoor recreation scene.

As a city that sits along a river, Augustans are well versed in outdoor recreation with nearby trailsswamps to explore, a river to enjoy and plenty of city parks for walks. Biking is another great option for exploration, exercise and enjoyment with some bike trails along the river. If exercise is not on the to-do list then head to the Augusta Riverwalk to enjoy outdoor concertsriver marketsmuseums and playgrounds for the little ones.

Downtown Augusta is another must do as it is where Augusta’s major attractions, restaurants and nightlife scene really take center stage. Broad Street runs right in the middle of downtown and boasts a unique, artistic and historical personality for the city. Start the evening off with one of the many restaurants lined on Broad Street, then make your way to some bars, clubs or even the James Brown Arena to see some of your favorite artists. Downtown Augusta is the place to be for a night on the town.

Regardless of what you do, Augusta has something for everyone to enjoy.

Things to do in Augusta: Free Things to Do15 Best Things to Do25 Best Things to Do

Macon

Located in central Georgia along the Ocmulgee River, Macon was once home to a variety of Native American tribes for a thousand years. Today, Macon has grown into an urban city with five universities with a thriving agriculture industry.

As we mentioned, Macon was home to four different Native American tribes dating back to the Paleo-Indians during the Ice Age. Those who are fascinated by history can visit the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, which has seen 17,000 years of continuous human habitation. At this national historical park, visitors can witness the great Earth Lodge, which has been reconstructed above the original flooring, and the constructed mounds that were built for the tribe elite. Visitors are also given the opportunity for a Lantern Light Tour of the ground over the weekend.

Did you know Macon is known as the “Festival Capital of Georgia”? Macon hosts over 20 annual festivals celebrating the arts and culture the city has to offer. Visitors have the opportunity to attend the largest exhibit of sculptural pottery in Georgia at Fired Works or witness over 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees at the annual International Cherry Blossom Festival. There are so many other cultural opportunities to partake in while visiting Macon.

We forgot to mention that Macon is cursed! According to Gateway Macon, legend has it that the banks of the Ocmulgee River are cursed by the elders of the Creek Nation. The curse is a bit odd as it states those who settled along the banks of the Ocmulgee River would “NEVER BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE”. As long as you reframe from camping along the river, you will be perfectly fine!

Things to do in Macon: 15 Best Things to Do

Athens

Just 60 miles east of Atlanta, the city of Athens, named after Athens, Greece, is also known as the “Classic City” and is best known for being the home to the University of Georgia.

While the University of Georgia (UGA) is an achievement alone, the city also prides itself on having an incredible, one of a kind live music scene. The city has produced internationally acclaimed artists like R.E.M., The B-52’s, Drive-By Tuckers and Widespread Panic – to name a few. Today, the music scene in Athens is thriving and more vibrant than ever with regular performances happening throughout the city and providing Athenians the chance to dance the night away.

Being a college town, UGA provides Athenians an opportunity to partake in the university’s collection of art, gardens and a special collections library. The Georgia Museum of Art at UGA houses a permanent collection of over 10,000 works of art and hosts over 20 temporary exhibits throughout the year. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is one of the town’s most popular attraction with over 313-acres of themed gardens to walk, smell and explore. Lastly, the UGA Special Collections Library is a must for history geeks looking to dive deeper into Georgia’s rich cultural history.

Athens is just another amazing reason to take a travel nursing assignment in Georgia offering visitors so much to do and see!

Things to do in Athens: Thrillist’s Things to Do During COVID-19Guide to AthensTop 10 Things to Do in AthensFree Things To Do

 

Although the pandemic has left many cities to close businesses, cancel events and limit the capacity of certain activities, there are still plenty of travel nursing opportunities to tackle! The cities above are just some of the great cities we staff in Georgia, so the next question is – what are you waiting for?

Get in contact with us on where we can get you a Travel Nursing assignment today! Email your resumes to travel@kpghealthcare.com or DM us on one of our social media accounts (FacebookInstagramLinkedIn).

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The behind-the-scenes team of problem solvers

Happy October! We are back with our Employee Spotlight series. Today, we are changing things up with a double feature featuring two incredible ladies from our Travel Nursing Compliance Team.

Please let us introduce Ruthie and Maribel!

Up first for our Compliance Specialists, we have Maribel! Maribel began her healthcare journey working in the human resources department at a local hospital with the goal to identify a niche she could excel at. She always knew she wanted a career in the healthcare industry as it classifies as an essential business. “Regardless of location or current economic environments, healthcare will always have job opportunities,” Maribel explained.

While at the hospital, she gained experience in the credentialing process and overall compliance for the clinical staff. “Once I gained this experience, I knew what I wanted to pursue,” said Maribel. From this point, Maribel began working at a healthcare agency as part of their compliance team, until she heard KPG Healthcare was hiring. From there, the rest is history or better yet, “herstory.”

As a compliance specialist, Maribel is communicating between multiple nurses and facilities to gather then submit required documents while simultaneously ordering health services, chasing down results and running background checks – to name a few. Maribel says she approaches “each day with the same goal and that is to get each nurse cleared by the facility to start their assignment.”

With such a fast-paced role, Maribel faces daily challenges like the lack of communication and urgency from some facilities when trying to submit nurse documents relating to assignment contracts. However, “to overcome this challenge, I try to be assertive with facilities to get clear responses in a timely manner,” Maribel said, “I try to learn from the past challenges by keeping notes on each facility.”

During the pandemic, Maribel’s routine has had to shift to adapt to working from home all of a sudden. Creating new habits and boundaries to separate herself from her work and personal life has helped even though her “office” is now in her living room. However, the beginning of the pandemic was particularly stressful to manage with weeks of nonstop work desperately trying to fill urgent hospital needs. While at the same time processing the new life which was thrust upon us.

What got her through these obstacles was reminding herself that she had to do her part so healthcare workers can treat patients across the country. “Suddenly, not taking a real lunch break or being tired just didn’t compare to the nurses we’re sending out to work the frontlines,” Maribel added.

There can be many moving parts that are in play for a single nurse to be cleared to start an assignment. This a very detailed oriented role with each nurse being different with a variety of specialties with specific documents or requirements. This role is not for the faint of heart.

On her downtime, Maribel has taken the opportunity to revisit some of her and her boyfriend’s love for old movies with the occasional karaoke night. She’s discovered a new love for old action movies and “all I have to say is… Charles Bronson.”

Keep up the fantastic work Maribel! We thank you for your hard work and for continuing to play an integral role in the growth of KPG Healthcare The Compliance Team is a force to be reckoned with but always make sure to find time for yourself!!

Maribel’s Top 3 Pre-pandemic Things She Misses:

  1. Hugging her parents
  2. Spending time with family
  3. Spending time with friends

Everyone, please say “hi” to Ruthie! Ruthie’s KPG Healthcare journey began when she ran into an old friend/coworker who was working here at the time and mentioned to Ruthie we were hiring. Now, Ruthie is coming up on her fifth anniversary with us as a compliance specialist and will hit her mark in November.

Working in healthcare has always been her chosen career field as it is a more reliable industry during both good and bad economic situations. As a compliance specialist, Ruthie’s day can be a bit hectic and describes some days “like I’m putting out fires. Not one day is the same and you never know what you’re going to get.”

Like every member of the compliance team, Ruthie juggles multiple tasks at once while staying in constant communication between facilities, nurses and recruiters. From gathering nurse documents to maneuvering facility changes at the drop of a dime, Ruthie tackles each task diligently.

However, Ruthie also faces challenges as a compliance specialist. “One thing that can make my job hard is quick starts,” Ruthie said, “because it means closer deadlines.” Quick starts are contract assignments from facilities that are looking for nurses to start as soon as possible. “You have to get it done no matter how busy you are, so working long hours into the night or weekends to get it done in time is how I overcome these challenges,” Ruthie explained.

Although quick starts can be Ruthie’s biggest challenge as a compliance specialist, she enjoys her role at KPG Healthcare. She finds the most rewarding aspect of her role is the feeling of making a positive difference for communities by filling hospitals with nurses. “If I can help make the compliance process a little easier for [nurses], then they’ll want to continue working with us,” Ruthie explained.

When the pandemic hit in March and the majority of the American workforce was forced to work at home, some people may have struggled. For Ruthie, her transition into working from home full-time was an easy one as she had already begun working from home two days a week. From time-to-time she will come into the office to get that sense of being back to pre-pandemic status, “during these times we are all seeking a little normalcy,” Ruthie said.

“We’re not just compliance, we are problem solvers.”

At the end of the workweek, you can typically find Ruthie unwinding by putting on one of her favorite shows or professional sports (Dodgers, Lakers, or 49ers). You can also catch her watching YouTube videos on Disney Cruises, Disneyland or Disney World as it “helps to escape being trapped at home during the pandemic.”

Ruthie, thank you for being an integral part of KPG Healthcare for (almost) five years! Truly is a milestone accomplishment and we are so excited to see what the future has in store for you. Keep up the great work and we look forward to your continued growth. Go Team Compliance!!

Ruthie’s Top 3 Pre-pandemic Things She Misses:

  1. Disneyland
  2. San Francisco
  3. Going out to eat without the fear of catching COVID-19.
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