Nursing Pay Gap Persists


blue and pink piggy banks represent male and female nurses

Even in a highly female-dominated nursing field, study reports male nurses still earn more.

Some unsettling stats recently indicated that the nursing pay gap persists. Yes, even in such a female-dominated field as nursing — where approximately nine out of every ten nurses are female — women are not receiving equal pay for equal work.

According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the fact that male nurses earn more than female nurses continues to trend, with male registered nurses earning an average of more than $5,000 higher pay each year than female registered nurses.

The study examined male and female RN salaries from 1988 through 2013 via the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and from 2001 through 2013 via the American Community Survey. In sum, the surveys represented approximately 300,000 self-reported RN salaries. Findings indicate that the nursing pay gap persists in all specialties except orthopedics.

Here are some specific stats broken down by the Becker Hospital Review about the wage gap in nursing:

  • In ambulatory settings, the gender pay gap was reported as $7,678
  • In hospital settings, the pay gap was $3,873
  • At $3,792, chronic care had the smallest pay gap
  • At $6,034, cardiology had the highest gap

“Nursing is the largest female dominated profession, so you would think that if any profession could have women achieve equal pay, it would be nursing,” lead study author Ulrike Muench from the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters.

The study does not offer any reasons for the pay gap, but its researchers have been quoted saying they hope the stats will inspire nursing employers to take a hard look at their pay structures and work towards income equality amongst all registered nurses.

What do you think about the fact that the nursing pay gap persists? Are you surprised by the study’s findings? Share your thoughts in the comments.

March Madness Contest from Tafford Uniforms


Travel Nurse Superhero

It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s Super-nurse!

Do you MARCH through the MADNESS of life as a nurse? We know it can get crazy!

Just for fun during the NCAA basketball championships, we want to hear how you manage to get through it all — long days, not enough sleep, high volume of patients, and trying to take care of family, on top of it all.


FitBit Tracker

Win this FitBit Tracker in celebration of March Madness and keep track of your mad nurse moves!

Tafford Uniforms, a high quality nursing scrubs manufacturer is giving one lucky nurse the chance to win a FitBit Tracker, so you can track your daily activities like the superhero that you are. We know you hustle a lot on the job, so use this device to track your steps, distance, calories burned, and watch how good you feel knowing that you are making progress!

Follow this link to enter and tell us your game tactics in the comments … just one little piece of advice might help you maintain goals and stay fit, even while on the job. We know you do a lot so we want to hear from you!

We’ll pick our winner after this next round of games and announce the winner on March 30th. Make sure to visit the Tafford online store to see all the latest Spring Print Scrubs and Medical Accessories to complete your nurse uniform. Good luck!

Project 24 for World Water Day


Medical Solutions sponsors Planet Water Foundation's Project 24 for World Water Day

The mission of Project 24 is “to move the hands of time forward in 24 impoverished communities by installing and commissioning 24 clean water filtration systems in just 24 hours.”

Travel Nurses encounter so many new places throughout their adventures; each area with its own unique characteristics and qualities. But there’s one thing in common at most every location in the United States, and it’s something many of us take for granted: Clean, safe water for drinking, washing, and cooking.

Did you know that every 24 hours 4,000 children worldwide die from water-related illnesses?

In order to combat such heartbreaking statistics, Planet Water Foundation will celebrate World Water Day 2015, this Sunday, March 22, with its bold, impactful initiative, Project 24.

The mission of Project 24 is “to move the hands of time forward in 24 impoverished communities by installing and commissioning 24 clean water filtration systems in just 24 hours.”

Preah Kau Girl at Well

A young girl without access to sanitary water uses a well in Preah Kau.

Travel Nurse company Medical Solutions is sponsoring one of these installations, which occurs at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 22, 2015, in the Cambodian village of Preah Kau. This system alone will provide access to clean water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning to 122 students, 145 households, and 794 other beneficiaries in the small, rural village. The installation in Preah Kau will be webcast live via Medical Solutions’ Project 24 sponsor site, where you can also learn more about the village and effort, and even donate  if you want to help.

Here are some more statistics about water consumption:

In the U.S.

  • The U.S. wastes 7 billion gallons of drinking water a day.
  • Average daily total water use in the U.S. is 355 billion gallons.
  • The average American’s lifestyle uses 2,000 gallons of water a day.

In Developing Nations/Cambodia:

  • More than twice the population of the U.S. lives without access to safe water.
  • In the world, more people have a mobile phone than have a toilet.
  • Every day women spend 200 million hours carrying water. On average, in developing nations, women spend 25% of each day collecting water for their families. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family, or attending school.
  • 4 out of 10 people in rural Cambodia (where the Medical Solutions-sponsored systems are) don’t have access to clean water.
  • Each year, 443 million school days are lost due to water-related illnesses.
  • 40% of primary schools in Cambodia do not have access to safe water and sanitation.
  • Half the hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from diseases caused by poor water sanitation and hygiene.

Click here to learn more about Medical Solutions’ ongoing support of the awesome work being done by Planet Water Foundation.

Preah Kau Kiddos

These three darling kiddos are just an example of the many children and families being helped through Project 24.

Ask a Travel Nurse: Any advice for someone scared to travel alone?


Travel Nurse takes selfie on bridge

Ask a Travel Nurse: Any advice for someone scared to travel alone?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I am looking to take a Travel Nursing assignment in California this spring, and originally planned on doing it with my best friend but that fell through. I would really love to travel but I’m a little scared to do it on my own. I’m a 27-year-old woman, have never lived on my own, and this would be my first Travel Nurse assignment. Any advice for someone scared to travel alone? On the other hand, are there any blogs where I can find a traveling buddy?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

When I published my book on Travel Nursing back in 2009, one of the first chapters covered the traits that a travel nurse should possess. I mentioned that if you have never lived on your own or done your own laundry, then travel might be a big wake up call.

There is no doubt, having a support system of family and friends, that might be hundreds or even thousands of miles away, can be a bit unsettling. But I do believe that it is only when we push ourselves that we truly grow. Ever had an extremely chaotic shift at work, with a critically ill patient, where you spent the entire shift just trying to keep your patient alive? While it may have been a horrible shift when you were “in the mix,” afterward you likely learned a few things and grew from the experience. It is the same with Travel Nursing.

At 27, I believe you would do okay if you pushed yourself, but I can respect if it’s your decision to want a companion along the way. Try hitting some of the Travel Nursing sites and post what you are looking for in a travel companion.

Some good Travel Nurse forums can be found at,, and the Delphi forum for traveling professionals (go to, look for the box on the right that says “Explore existing forums”, type in “travel nursing” and the top result is a group called Travel Nurses and Therapists).

Pan Travelers is also another good site with a forum as is Healthcare Travelbook, which is a sort of Facebook style place for travelers.

And since you asked for some general travel advice, I hate to make this shameless plug for the book, but I truly do believe that I’ve taken all my travel experience and put it in one great place for those just starting out. It’s called the Travel Nurse’s Bible and while I’ve been working on a rewrite for some time now, I’ve had a chaotic last year. But with all the continued requests for the book, I decided to make the 2009 edition available online in the Amazon Kindle store.

While it is a few years old, during the reworking of the book, I was surprised to see how much of the book, has stood the test of time. Plus, I’ve made it available for less than the price of your next meal at McDonalds. It’s a great place to start even if you do have some knowledge about the travel industry.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free programs or apps to read it from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can find it here.

So, try hitting the forums for a travel companion, but if you can’t find one, consider steps toward gaining more independance, or just go for it and take the big step. If you are still a little uncertain, try a Travel Nursing assignment a few hours away or one state over. That way, if you really need to, you could always head home for a recharge on your days off.

I hope this helps and if you need any help getting started with some great recruiters in the industry, I do always offer to set nurses up with the people I use and trust with my travels. Just email me directly at


Find Hiking and Biking Trails Near Your Travel Nurse Assignment


Travel Nurses Hikes in Forest

Find hiking and biking trails near your Travel Nurse assignment and make the most of spring!

So you just landed in a wonderful new location and spring is about to be SPRUNG.

Whether you’re a serious hiker or biker, or you’re just out for a casual stroll, you want to get outdoors and take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding your latest Travel Nursing location. But as someone who’s unfamiliar with the area, it can be challenging to know where to find the best locales and opportunities that fall in line with your specific preferences.

With that in mind, here are a few resources that will help you find hiking and biking trails near your Travel Nurse assignment:

All Trails

In my opinion, this is one of the best resources for Travelers looking to find hiking and biking trails near them. All Trails’ website has great search functions that let you narrow in on exactly what you want to find. It breaks trails down into hiking, biking, and running, and also includes helpful user photos and reviews as well as info on how pet friendly a particular trail is. This site also offers the 411 on local networking events, which is perfect for Travel Nurses looking to find new friends through organized events! You can also keep a Trail Journal here, which lets you save trails you’ve completed and the trails you hope to do in the future.

American Trails

This is a great guide to national trails, with a state by state breakdown. American Trails also provides other helpful regional links and information related to outdoors activities of all kinds by state and area. The site also boasts an outdoors advocacy bent and is full of resources on trail design and guidelines, to help pave (or un-pave?) the way for future trails and greenways.

Bring Fido

Are you traveling with your furry best friend? Bring Fido is a great resource for finding pet-friendly trails near your assignment. This site also helps you find pet friendly accommodations, travel options, events, restaurants, and more, as well as a handy guide to pet services wherever in the world you are.

I hope these resources will help you find hiking and biking trails near your Travel Nurse assignment. Happy spring to all!

Ask a Travel Nurse: How picky can I be when choosing a Travel Nursing assignment?


Woman choosing a Travel Nursing assignment

Ask a Travel Nurse: How picky can I be when choosing a Travel Nursing assignment?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David, I kind of have two questions. First, I’ve been told that when looking for a Travel Nurse assignment, you should go through a couple different agencies. True or false?

Well, I did that, and just accepted an exciting job in Washington. When I told my other recruiter that I got a job, she wasn’t too happy with me. And when she was working with me she seemed to want me to take the first hospital that called me for an interview. So, my second question is how picky can I be when choosing a Travel Nursing assignment? Don’t I have the right to go through a couple agencies and find the best job? I’m not sure if the recruiter I was working with is really good or just really pushy and wants to land a contract for her company. Plus, she wanted to me to go to Yuma, Arizona for my first assignment, which I haven’t heard the best things about. What do you think? Thanks!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Using multiple agencies? True, this is the best practice. I’m not sure I know of any seasoned travelers who do not use more than one agency. I hit two decades of travel this year and I am on file with about six or seven agencies to meet my needs.

Additionally, my recruiters know that I use multiple agencies. I have even had one recruiter tell me that she would honestly go with another company for an upcoming assignment. This was due to the fact that her company could not match the stipend ($400/month more) that another company was offering on the exact same assignment (same location, same hospital, even same unit!!).

However, this type of dialog is only possible when you have great recruiters that know that even if you do not take an assignment with them today, you may very well take one with them in the future.

All recruiters want to put you to work and even mine have pushed a time or two when exploring assignment options. The difference is, when I stated my position clearly, they acquiesced and didn’t get mad, didn’t pout, and often played it off with an “Alright, I understand” in a dejected, but pleasant tone.

You are in charge and as I have written many times before, it is not so much the company that you work for that is the integral part of a good travel experience, but rather, the Travel Nurse recruiter with whom you are working.

Plus, at this time of year, if your recruiter can’t get you to Phoenix (a much nicer assignment location than Yuma), then that agency may not have all the assignment options you should have available.

I keep toying with the notion of consulting and putting together a one day education program for the travel companies where I go to their offices and teach their recruiters what they should know about travel … from a Travel Nurse’s perspective!! Every time I receive an email like yours, I truly see there is a need for it. J

I hope this helps and answers all your questions.




Trying to decide who is the best travel nursing company?



One of the most common questions we see about travel nursing is simply “Who is the best travel nursing company out there?”

That question was posed last week on the Gypsy Nurse Facebook Group and the results have just come in. You can check them out here:

The advice we typically give when asked this question is that there is no best company, just the one that is best for you. However lists like these can give you a place to start when you are just beginning to travel or looking for a new agency.

You can also check out the travel nursing company reviews on our site as well.

Ask a Travel Nurse: How is a Travel Nurse housing stipend calculated?


Travel Nurse Housing stipend calculator

Ask a Travel Nurse: How is a Travel Nurse housing stipend calculated?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I understand that the housing allowance varies from region to region and even city to city, but how is a Travel Nurse housing stipend calculated? Is the allowable stipend it based on city/county housing? And how can I find an area’s values?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Unfortunately, the answer will never be the same from location to location and even company to company (one company may allocate more toward housing than another company, even on the very same assignment).

Now companies can have a little “wiggle room” as far as housing or stipends. I have negotiated contracts where they could not do anything with my hourly rate; however, they could increase my housing stipend by a hundred or more a month.

The housing stipend or amount they will spend on housing depends on a travel company’s allocation toward that aspect of the compensation package to the traveler. It’s also based on the compensation the hospital is providing to the travel company for the traveler.

On some contracts, the compensation from the hospital may allow the travel company to provide a good rate and good housing or a stipend. On other contracts, the money the hospital is offering, compared to the housing market in the area, may make the profit margins “tight” for the travel company and they may not be able to offer a good rate coupled with a high stipend or premium housing. So unfortunately, there are not many constants when it comes to the stipend or housing allowance offered.

If your company is not offering enough of a stipend to allow you to find quality housing in the area, then voice this to them. They may or may not be able to offer more. But if the company simply cannot provide enough of a stipend to allow good housing options (perhaps due to factors beyond their control), then you may need to choose another location.

One easy way to see neighborhood rents is on a site like or

I hope this helps answer your question.



23 Things People Get Wrong About Nurses


nurse ratched

Beyond Nurse Ratched: Check out 23 things people get wrong about nurses.

In case you missed it, BuzzFeed recently posted an article (or listicle, as they call them) titled 23 Things People Always Get Completely Wrong About Nurses.

These 23 things people get wrong about nurses were generated from a previous post at BuzzFeed Community asking: What’s The Most Infuriating Misconception About Nurses?

In that post they acknowledge that nurses are the “unsung heroes of medical establishments everywhere” and that nursing is a very commonly and highly misunderstood profession.

Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

#1 — “First of all, ‘Why didn’t you just become a doctor? You’re too smart to be a nurse is a rude thing to say.”

#2 — “And no, people can’t just apply for nursing licenses before being educated and rigorously trained.”

#4 — “ … nurses are not just there for their ability to ‘nurture’ and ‘mother’ patients; they’re there to use science and critical thinking to save lives.”

#7 — “The reality is that doctors rely heavily on the knowledge and observations of nurses to make decisions about patient care.”

#9 — “Nurses are actually more like a doctor-social worker-respiratory therapist-pharmacist-phlebotomist-physiotherapist-receptionist-X-ray technician-transporter-housekeeper-caregiver hybrid.”

#13 — “When nurses are ‘just taking blood pressure’ they are simultaneously assessing a dozen things about a patient’s condition.”

#16 — “Saying nurses are so lucky to work three days a week ignores how much recovery time and rest is needed after long shifts and demanding work.”

#20 — “ … when a nurse clearly knows the answer to your question and you say, ‘Can you ask the doctor?’ you’re undermining their expertise and their profession.”

Numbers 21 and 22 get the point across that despite the many misconceptions about nurses and nursing, nurses let it roll off their backs because what they care about more than anything is providing quality, live-saving patient care!

Click here to check out the complete 23 Things People Get Wrong About Nurses post over at BuzzFeed.

Did they miss any of your pet peeves? Let us know in the comments!

Happiest States in the U.S.


Happy group of young Travel Nurses

“Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth!”

In addition to being an excellent location to take a Travel Nursing assignment, folks in Alaska led the nation in well-being in 2014.

That’s according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. (And we all know Gallup knows its stuff — having conducted an Honesty and Ethics poll, which named nursing the most honest, ethical profession for the 13th-year running in 2014!)

The top 10 happiest states in the U.S., meaning the states with the highest Well-Being Index score in 2014 are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Hawaii
  3. South Dakota
  4. Wyoming
  5. Montana
  6. Colorado
  7. Nebraska
  8. Utah
  9. New Mexico
  10. Texas

“These state-level data are based on more than 176,000 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states, conducted from January to December 2014,” according to

According to the website, the scores consider metrics affecting overall well-being, in addition to the following five aspects of well-being:

  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

Gallup’s findings have implications from a healthcare perspective, too. Previous research has shown that “high well-being closely relates to key health outcomes such as lower rates of healthcare utilization, workplace absenteeism and workplace performance, change in obesity status and new onset disease burden.”

From a Travel Nurses’ perspective there are a couple of ways to look at this data. First, you may want to take a Travel Nurse assignment in one of the top 10 states — where you’d be surrounded by happier, healthier folks. Or, second, you may want to take an assignment in a bottom 10 state — where your nursing skills can make an even bigger impact upon a population in need.

The good news — for the happiest states in the U.S. and even for states placing in the bottom 10 — is that since measurements began in 2008, factors related to well-being have improved nationwide to an all-time high in 2014.

Regardless of where Gallup-Healthways ranks them in terms of the happiest states in the U.S., there are SO many amazing places to try Travel Nursing in the United States … Go ahead, find your dream job now!