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December’s Nurse Spotlight: Cara!
KPG Healthcare's December Nurse Spotlight goes to Cara!

Cara is KPG Healthcare's December Nurse Spotlight! The final the spotlight of the year and of the decade.

Drum roll, please…

KPG Healthcare’s December Nurse Spotlight goes to…Cara! Cara is going to be our final nurse spotlight for 2019 and of the decade – woo! Without further ado, here is Cara!

Who’s Cara?

Hailing from Bakersfield, California – Cara’s been a nurse for more than a decade and a travel nurse for four years. She’s a nurse that projects confidence, a depth of knowledge, humility, and kindness. From being an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse to Labor & Delivery (L&D), Cara has had the opportunity to grow and strengthen her skill set as a nurse through the years.

“There are so many avenues to change and better yourself as a person and as a nurse,” Cara explained, “I wanted to be in a field that could make a difference.”

Cara

Her nursing career began when she witnessed her grandfather pass into the next life and it sparked something within her – the promise to always help people. She initially started in housekeeping and eventually moved up during her nursing school studies. After graduating, she began specializing in ICU, Tele and then L&D; however, the burn out from L&D led to her pursuing a travel nursing career.

Cara has experienced her fair share of challenges throughout her career. As a travel nurse, Cara typically accepts assignments that are within a four-hour drive from her home. The challenge with this requirement is the physically exhausting and long drive to and from the hospital after a long shift. However, the long drives allow her the call and catch up with family members who might be out-of-state.

Some of the challenges she faces at work vary between helping new nurses and playing a supportive role from patients to nurses to doctors. “There’s a huge opportunity to teach new nurses” who may need the extra guidance or who may be unfamiliar with certain procedures. There’s an opportunity to teach in every situation and Cara has taken the initiative to help her fellow nurses whenever they may need it.

Every day is a learning opportunity and every day we learn something new that can refine our own skillset. For Cara, patience and keeping a neutral, non-judgmental mindset are some of the skills she picked up and refined through her career. “There are specialties that get different situations,” Cara said, “a lot of it is being understanding and being there for them. You don’t know their story.”

With nursing, it’s not just the skillsets that improve but the mindset and outlook on life. Nursing and travel nursing have allowed Cara to become more compassionate and understanding of people and their situations. She is a firm believer everything isn’t the patient’s fault and “something happened to them and this is the result of that experience – to coop or not to coop.” With that, situations don’t phase her at work anymore, which is the result of the sympathetic and compassion she has for her patients.

However, her sympathy and compassion aren’t solely rooted in her nursing career. At home, Cara is an avid gardener with an army of fur babies – four horses, three cats, eight dogs, and 18 chickens. Gardening and tending to her fur family provides a moment of relaxation and a chance to practice self-care, which is equally important as sleep for nurses. Practicing horticulture therapy improves moods and provides many benefits Cara practices in her daily life on the ranch.

With her fur family in mind, Cara hopes to relocate to Oregon soon where the property is not only cheaper but larger than what California can provide. Somewhere in the mix of moving and working Cara wishes to travel to the East Coast for an assignment in the future with her eyes on Maine, Rhode Island or New York!  

Advice for new Travelers:

  1. Check into the facility before you start, ask Q’s. Traveler – friendly? Ask!
  2. Make sure you are aware of your role – make sure you are qualified
  3. Your first assignment, go with a friend or someone in the area.
  4. RESEARCH

Cara, from all of us here at KPG Healthcare, we want to thank you for your continued support, dedication and outstanding work. We are thankful and grateful to have you part of our KPG Family. Keep up the fantastic work and give your eight dogs a good head scratch for us!

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Where are travel nurses needed in the US?
Where are travel nurses needed in the US?

By 2030, California will have a nurse shortage of about 44,000 - the largest in the country.

Within the last decade, the United States healthcare industry has undergone various changes including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  

According to the US Healthcare Staffing Market Assessment performed by the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the largest geographic shortages of nurses are to be expected in California, Texas, New Jersey, and South Carolina by 2030. 

High Demand States

  • California is expected to have a shortage of roughly 44,000 nurses by 2030, according to the SIA report. This presents an enormous problem for the Golden State considering how large the state and population is. However, this provides an opportunity for travel nurses to come to California to take advantage of the shortage and experience the West Coast.
  • Texas is expected to have a shortage of roughly 15,000 nurses by 2030. Texas, just like California, is one of the largest states in the nation, but the major difference is the population. According to the 2010 Census, Texas has close to 29 million people versus California with roughly 39.5 million people – a 10 million difference. This is yet another opportunity for travel nurses who wish to experience the southern region of the US.
  • New Jersey is expected to have a shortage of roughly 11,000 nurses by 2030. The only state in the Northeast region of the US to experience a shortage. However, neighboring states like New York will experience a surplus in nurses, which can have a positive impact on NJ.
  • South Carolina is expected to have a shortage of roughly 10,000 nurses by 2030, while North Carolina is expected to have a surplus of roughly 16,000 nurses. 

Why this matters?

Nurses are the life and blood of hospitals. Travel nurses often provide valuable work to the hospital staff by filling in where demand is needed. With the shortages, nurses on staff may be overworked, which can lead to some issues including mental health, physical health, illness, or decreased work performance. 

It’s important to understand what is happening within the industry because without nurses hospitals may crumble. 

What does it mean for nurses?

California and Texas are the most populous states in the nation but also have the largest demand for nurses. This presents an abundance of opportunities for traveling nurses to fill in at hospitals throughout California or Texas. A nurse can start in Southern California and work their way up to Northern California to not only experience two different regions but to fulfill the nursing demands across California.

Other states like Alaska, South Dakota, and Georgia are also expected to have a shortage of nurses. However, the demand for nurses in these states isn’t as high as California or Texas with demand reaching as low as 2,000. 

The majority of states in the US have enough nurses to fill hospitals, but that should not discourage anyone from applying! There will always be competition for any travel nursing position, so put your best foot forward and be open to different possibilities! As a traveler, you should always expect the unexpected.

What’s next?

The next step for any travel nurse is to do research! Knowing the requirements to apply for out-of-state positions beforehand will help during the application process and avoid any delays. Each state is different and each state will have a different process to receive a certification to practice medicine, so please be cautious! 

Get in contact with one of our travel nursing recruiters and we can give a rundown on the requirements to be considered for a travel nursing assignment with KPG Healthcare. You should also sit-down with yourself to figure out where you want to go and what the necessary steps are to get to where you want to go. 

Overall, travel nursing provides opportunity, flexibility and exploration within yourself and the world. It’s important to remember to have a plan, do research and know your options! KPG Healthcare offers assignments across the US, get in touch with one of our recruiters (travel@kpghealthcare.com) to get more information! 

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Halloween Time at KPG Healthcare!
Halloween Time here at KPG Healthcare!

Halloween time is arriving fast and KPG Healthcare is a lover of costumes. Check out our #TeamKPG's favorite Halloween memories!

October is the time for pumpkin-spiced everything, fall foliage, and Halloween! Halloween is an opportunity to show your creative side while creating memories that will last a lifetime with friends and family. 

Here at KPG Healthcare, we wanted to share some of our favorite Halloween memories throughout the years. Let’s get spooky!

Halloween Time!

The goodest boy, Bedner, dressed as hot dog accompanied by all the necessities – ketchup, mustard, relish and hot buns!

This is Samantha – well Samantha’s dog, Bender! Bender is a Golden retriever, and the goodest boy, dressed as a hot dog for Halloween in 2017. Decked with everything – ketchup, mustard, some relish and, of course, some big fluffy buns!

Veronica as Little Bo Peep without the sheep and her Shepard’s Cane, but we still love it!

This is Veronica! Veronica is one of our Account Specialists Managers for our Travel Nursing Division. This is her first. Costume. Ever. She went as Little Bo Peep but had to skip the Shepard’s Cane because it wasn’t allowed at school! She also had to stand all day in order for her dress not to pop upward…on the plus side, she can’t wait to dress her daughter this Halloween!

This is Anjelica’s (spooky) family! Her husband, top left, Anjelica, top right, Anjelica’s son, top right, Anjelica’s daughter, bottom right, and her two dogs!

This is last year’s Halloween for Anjelica’s family! Anjelica is part of our Las Vegas team! Her husband, top left, is dressed as Billie the character from the viral Youtube dance video called “Billie Bounce,” her daughter was Vamparina, her son was a pumpkin, Anjelica was a scarecrow, and their dogs were Winnie the Pooh and a Redskins player. They love dressing up for Halloween and making sure they include the entire family – even the fur babies!. This year they will be various scary movie villains. Spook on Anjelica!

This is Peter as Superman during last year’s Halloween!

This is Peter! Peter is a Junior Recruiter for our travel Nursig Division and this was taken at the LA Times parking lot in 2014. The top of the parking lot was empty, and he was dressed up on his way to work and thought, “Seriously.. how about that view?”  It would have been wrong not to take a pic.

This is Marc as Batman as he stares deeply into his reflection contemplating his heroic duties.

This is Marc – young Batman Marc. Marc is part of our Allied Health Professionals team. Here is what he had to say about his favorite Halloween memory. “Halloween is my favorite holiday and aside from celebrating horror movies my favorite part is putting a makeshift costume together. Growing up my mom would help me put together a Batman costume out of a T-shirt, ski mask, black towel, and plastic mask. I was Batman almost every time I went trick or treating, with the exception of one year when I was a tiny Freddy Krueger. To this day every costume is DIY and I refuse to use store-bought costumes.”

Baby “Teeks” dressed as a ninja from Mortal Kombat. Watch your backs.

Tiko is part of our Travel Nursing Divison as the Recruitment Manager. Here is what he had to say about his Halloween memory. “I was a little karate kid, martial arts was my favorite sport until I hung up my hat with a black belt and switched to wrestling. I always wanted to be a ninja when I grew up & I loved Mortal Kombat so it was only natural that I dress as a little warrior!” Fight on little Teeks.

From everyone here at KPG Healthcare, we wanted to wish you a Happy Halloween! 

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