Photo by Carlos Magno on Unsplash

As the United States emerges from a global pandemic and watches its workforce reach retirement in larger proportions, strong healthcare is becoming increasingly crucial.

Nurses are in great demand throughout the nation and can make significant impacts in a state like Texas, which was just named the No. 2 best state for nurses in a study by Forbes Advisor.

Texas currently employs more than 231,000 nurses, the second-highest number in the country behind California's 325,620 nurses. Florida rounds out the top three with more than 197,000 nurses employed.

There are several factors to keep in mind when considering a career as a nurse, but one has been in a lot of recent discourse: the salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says nurses in the U.S. earn a median salary of $81,220 per year, while healthcare company Trusted Health places a Texas nurse's annual salary at $74,540. That's more than enough to cover rent costs in the city.

"Salary is a significant factor in any professional’s career decisions, but it’s not the only one to weigh when deciding where to work," the report's author wrote. "You should also consider job availability, economic demand and licensing processes before settling on a place to grow your career."

Regarding job availability, Projections Central estimated there would be a demand for more than 16,000 nursing positions in Texas between 2020 and 2030.

Texas is also part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which can help nurses transfer their licenses from other states.

"NLC members grant RNs multi-state licenses, which allow them to practice in any NLC-participating state without jumping through the hoops of meeting a new state’s specific licensing guidelines," the report says. "NLC nurses can offer their skills to another compact state in the event of a crisis and provide telehealth services across compact states."

The full report can be found on forbes.com.

Photo by Henry Becerra on Unsplash

This is how much income a San Antonio resident needs to afford rent in the city, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor's note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From new construction to old movies, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. This is how much income a San Antonio resident needs to afford rent in the city. Thankfully, the city's median annual income is higher than what a resident would need for a one bedroom apartment.

2. San Antonio hospital is one of the top 20 in Texas this year, says U.S. News & World Report. Baptist earns particularly high marks for cancer-related care and procedures.

3. Hemisfair prepares to break ground for hotel and residences around San Antonio's new Civic Park. Hemisfair is always looking toward the next thing, but now it's time for the future to become reality.

4. Fun and affordable San Antonio shows up on new list of best cities for Gen Z. San Antonio charms young adults with its vibrant arts and entertainment scene, diverse restaurants, and buzzy nightlife.

5. San Antonio museum collects spooky set pieces for 30th anniversary of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Hope you're sitting down: This year, the classic holiday mashup movie The Nightmare Before Christmas turns 30 years old.

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

San Antonio hospital is one of the top 20 in Texas this year, says U.S. News & World Report

what the dr ordered

A San Antonio hospital has earned a healthy ranking in a prestigious new report: Baptist Medical Center lands at No. 20 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 ranking of Texas hospitals.

It ties for 20th place with Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

"Baptist Medical Center in San Antonio, TX is rated high performing in nine adult procedures and conditions," the report says, adding that the evaluation includes data from St. Luke's Baptist Hospital, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, North Central Baptist Hospital, and Northeast Baptist Hospital.

Baptist earns particularly high marks for cancer-related care and procedures, including leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma; and colon, lung, and prostate cancer surgeries. It also rates "high performing" for procedures related to heart failure, diabetes, stroke, and hip and knee replacements.

Rankings for the annual U.S. News study are based on scores in patient care, patient safety, outcomes, nursing, advanced technology, and reputation; 592 hospitals in Texas were evaluated this year.

Dallas' UT Southwestern Medical Center and Houston Methodist Hospital share the No. 1 spot on the 2023 list. (Last year, Houston Methodist was the lone holder of first-place honors in Texas; UT Southwestern was rated No. 2.)

Overall, Houston hospitals dominated this year’s Texas top 10.


This story originally appeared on on our sister site InnovationMap.

Photo courtesy of Texas Original

Go inside Texas' top medical cannabis facility to see how the life-changing medicine is grown

From Seed to Solution

Did you know that medical cannabis is legal in Texas? It offers a natural solution for alleviating symptoms of over 150 conditions approved under the Texas Compassionate Use Program.

Texas Original, the state’s first dispensary and leading medical cannabis provider, offers 15 medical cannabis pickup locations and statewide delivery so patients can access the medicine no matter where they live in Texas.

Texans interested in getting a prescription can visit their website and fill out the form to be connected with a medical cannabis prescriber.

But how is the medicine made? Texas Original uses a combination of leading-edge growing techniques and state-of-the-art technology to maintain the highest quality, purity, and consistency.

From seed to solution, the team focuses every effort into make sure patients get the best Texas-made medicine available.

1. Growing high-quality cannabis plants
Texas Original’s high-quality cannabis plants are grown utilizing a strict nutrient management program, integrated pest management systems, and horticultural techniques to ensure the plants receive the proper elements, nutrients, and care for optimal growth.

At Texas Original's indoor cultivation facility, they adhere to strict sanitation guidelines and utilize high-tech controls and sensors to monitor the environment and conserve energy during the growth process.

2. Creating industry-leading cannabis medicine
After the plants are harvested, the feedstock is extracted, processed, and purified into a concentrated cannabis oil that is added to Texas Original’s suite of medical-grade cannabis products, including the state’s first fast-acting medical cannabis gummies.

Texans can try their products with a medical cannabis prescription, which can be obtained in a few simple steps. To get started, visit Texas Original’s website and fill out the form.

3. Ensuring safety and quality
Unlike over-the-counter hemp products, Texas Original’s medical-grade products are strictly regulated and thoroughly tested to ensure safety and purity in every batch. Their analytical testing lab is outfitted with advanced lab equipment and utilizes state-of-the-art instrumentation and analytical methods to ensure quality, consistency, and purity — so patients don’t have to guess about what is in their medicine.

4. Making medical cannabis available across Texas
After receiving a prescription, you can place an order for pickup at one of Texas Original’s locations across the state or schedule a home delivery.

In addition to its Austin dispensary, Texas Original offers several locations to make receiving high-quality, Texas-made medicine easy:

  • Austin
  • Waco
  • San Antonio
  • Houston
  • Fort Worth
  • Dallas
  • Lubbock
  • Nacogdoches
  • Tyler
  • And more

How to become a patient: It only takes three simple steps to see if you’re eligible for treatment and receive a medical cannabis prescription. Get started here.

Texas Original processing

Photo courtesy of Texas Original

Only high-quality cannabis plants are grown.

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods customers can live anywhere in the country after nationwide Amazon launch

365 Days of Amazon

It's been a long time since San Antonio was getting to know Whole Foods Market. Austinites were enjoying the grocer's high-minded products as early as 1980, when the first store opened, with San Antonio 13 years behind. Now it's more people's turn.

Not only is the brand now unrecognizably gigantic, but shoppers' habits are too, especially when it comes to shopping online. August 7 marked the nationwide Amazon launch of 365 by Whole Foods Market. That means that anyone using Amazon can access "hundreds" of these products via shipping across the U.S. Prime subscribers get even more perks with free shipping.

Whole Foods is still mostly relegated to larger cities. (Even from the south end of San Antonio, it can be quite a drive.) Not everyone can make it into a store, so this may be the only way some can access the growing grocery giant.

The company was acquired by Amazon in 2017 for a cash transaction "valued at approximately $13.7 billion," according to a Whole Foods announcement at the time. The crunchy shoppers of Whole Foods balked at the corporate transition, but not much changed that a casual shopper would notice. In fact, the most salient shift was a very pleasant discount at checkout for Prime subscribers.

This rollout will obviously change more of the shopping experience than the original acquisition. Now, online shoppers can set up automatic restocks at a 15 percent discount via a program called "Subscribe and Save."

Some of the products hitting virtual shelves according to a release include:

  • "Spirulina superfood powder, vanilla grass fed whey protein, and adult multivitamins"
  • "Pantry staples like organic honey, French roast coffee, and roasted cashews"
  • "Customer favorites like Cape Cod trail mix, organic strawberry cereal bars, gummy stars, mini dark chocolate almond butter cups and organic teriyaki beef jerky"

In addition to expanding overall access to the store brand and providing discounts, this rollout will also be useful for shoppers who want to send nonperishable care packages. Even some refrigerated and raw items are available if the recipient is confident they can get to the door for them right away.

If loved ones in college need a healthy push, or older parents with health concerns have trouble picking up their own groceries, Whole Foods' stringent ingredient guidelines could save the day — or at least a meal. Among many other rules, products in this line contain no hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners.

Browse the available 365 by Whole Foods Market goods exclusively on Amazon on in stores.

Photo courtesy of Visit Houston

5 soothing facials and helpful ingredients for San Antonians who got too much summer sun

Show some skin

Let's face it – the San Antonio sun is relentless, and sometimes you just forget to slather on sunscreen. No judgment here – relax and recharge your skin with the best facial experiences in town.

Think about what happens in the sun: At the very least, you're losing hydration while sweating. If you've really overdone your sun exposure, we're looking at peeling, red skin, and painful inflammation. By that point it's gone too far and you'll need to wait for things to calm down before messing with them any further — but here's what to look forward to.

Most of these treatments include ingredients that don't just soothe the skin, but completely strip the damaged layer. Then, they deposit more hydration and regenerating compounds to ensure that the newly exposed skin is ready for more action.

But be especially careful after you walk out with all that fresh, new skin! Sunscreen is always important, but your skin will really need extra help for the next few days. Opt for SPF 30 or higher, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Whether it's aloe, CBD, or peptides you're looking for, here are five great facials for mitigating sun damage, listed from lowest to highest price.

The 29 Again facial at Hiatus Spa, $160
Let's face it, time is the one thing we can never get back, but at least you can look like you turned back the clock thanks to the 29 Again facial at the Hiatus Spa. The Pearl's serene spa getaway features gentle skin products and facial massage techniques that target skin regeneration. The end goal, according to the spa menu, is to reduce fine lines and firm up the skin again.

The Jetsetter facial at the Thompson Hotel Spa, $175
Despite the facial's name, this one doesn't require a plane ticket. The Jetsetter facial at The Thompson features AIRO skincare, a plant-based product line created by the hotel's own master esthetician, Daphne Chapman. Some of its sun repair ingredients include botanical hyaluronic acid and aloe. The entire facial is like a cold glass of water for your skin, leaving the face glowing in a way that makeup simply can't.

The Illuminating facial at the JW Marriott Resort's Lantana Spa, $175
The Illuminating facial at the JW Marriott utilizes Eminence products made of potent Arctic berries that exfoliate, peel, and finally firm up skin that needs a refresh. It even targets acne and uneven skin for a smoother, radiant glow — and not just for the face. The esthetician also wraps up your hands and arms for an all-over hydrating treatment.

The Glow-Time Facial at the Windflower Spa, $215
Get ready to glow after a visit to the Windflower Spa at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: The Glow-Time facial aims to calm down inflammation while boosting collagen production. It's a juicy cocktail of natural ingredients like bamboo extract and stem cells derived from Swiss green apples. These should lessen the effects of time on your skin and leave you feeling relaxed and ready to hit the town.

The OTO CBD Firm and Lift Facial at the Loma de Vida Spa, $250
In the mood to splurge a bit more with your facial? Loma de Vida has a relatively new spa treatment, the OTO CBD Firm and Lift facial, that combines several spa experiences. One of the more familiar anti-inflammatory ingredients on this list, CBD may already be in your arsenal of natural remedies, but you also get sound therapy, a bamboo massage, and some serious re-centering overall. (Plus, you get to use the Lantana Spa pool the day of your treatment, and trust us, it's one of the best spa pools in town.)

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

New honky-tonk surprisingly two-steps into St. Paul's Square


When Steve Mahoney first relaunched Francis Bogside and sibling wine bar, Anne’s, in the former home of Smoke BBQ, rumors circulated on how he would use the expansive upstairs space. Now, San Antonio has its answer. In a surprise move, the veteran bar owner debuted his latest venture — honky-tonk concept Blayne’s — on September 22.

The name pays homage to the late Blayne Tucker, the former co-owner of the Mix and managing partner of Floore’s Country Store. A tireless advocate for the city’s musical scene, he helped usher in the Save Our Stages Act, assisting hundreds of venues to stay afloat nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[Blayne’s] impact in San Antonio is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Mahoney via a release. “We hope to continue his efforts and support live music in the city.”

Fittingly, music will be in the air at Blayne’s, starting with The Babylonz and DJ Guero Vaquero from 5 pm to 2 am on the soft opening night. A large dance floor, pool tables, and bar games complete the honky-tonk vibe.

Like many of Mahoney’s bars, Blayne’s has a solid food program. The Tex-Mex fusion menu features eclectic pub grub like red curry short rib mini tacos, southwest eggrolls, street corn bites, smoked barbacoa pizza, and customizable nachos. The initial press announcement didn’t deeply discuss the drink options but promised margaritas, house cocktails, and beer.

Though no official announcement has been made, Mahoney has another bar up his sleeve. The Francis Bogside website teases the January 2024 opening of Robert’s, named after Mahoney’s late business partner, Robert Darilek. Details, including the location, are slim, but the landing page touts “feature club-style seating, an extensive whiskey list, and a cigar menu.”

Following the September 22 sneak peek, Blayne’s will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 5 pm to 2 am.

Blayne's San Antonio

Photo by TXTroublemaker

Blayne's food menu includes red curry short rib mini tacos.

Accessible contemporary art sale preps red dots for 33rd year in San Antonio

The eye of the beholder

Sometimes it feels like the only art most people will ever have in their homes is funky craft market finds, but one San Antonio art hub is making its contemporary curation accessible in a popular annual sale. The 33rd annual Red Dot Sale is returning soon.

Held at Contemporary at Blue Star, the exhibition and celebration of local artists officially opens to the public on October 6th. Don't fret if you can't make it to the opening weekend, as the Red Dot art sale will be on display until January 9, 2024. Eager art buyers will even be able to look at pieces for purchase online at the official Blue Star Red Dot website.

There will be a special opening night celebration on October 4 from 6-10 pm, where guests who purchase a ticket will be able to preview the artwork on display and for sale from more than 100 San Antonio based artists. (The event page also teases a silent disco after-party.)

Previous Red Dot Sales have reportedly seen prices as low as $200, so there really are works available for most budgets.

The Red Dot Art Sale is a fundraiser that helps keep Contemporary at Blue Star running year after year. According to this year's call for submissions (now closed), half the proceeds from the event go toward funding Contemporary at Blue Star's ongoing exhibitions, and half will go to the artists who put their work on display.

Continuing the ongoing theme of supporting talented local artists, the Red Dot exhibition also features an honored artist who has consistently displayed dedication to supporting the San Antonio arts scene.

This year that chosen honoree is Cathy Cunningham-Little, an artist inspired by explorations of illusions versus reality.

According to Cunningham-Little's official biography, her central theme in her pieces were inspired by her father's loss of sight due to a genetic disorder.

In Cunningham-Little's own words, viewers of her artwork are, "asked to become an active participant in a dialogue with the work as they experience the dissolution of boundaries between substance and space."

The sale also spotlights Andi Rodriguez as this year's distinguished patron, as well as the MOSAIC Student Artists — a group of high school students who study studio art and business in an after-school program with the Contemporary.

The Red Dot exhibition and sale will also feature augmented reality (AR), thanks to a partnership with a San Antonio-based art tech startup called Kaleido. Guests who attend the show will be able to utilize Kaleido's AR to hear straight from the artists about their work (as opposed to reading a placard describing what the artwork is supposed to be).

“I am thrilled that Red Dot celebrates San Antonio’s vastly rich community of artists,” said the Contemporary’s Executive Director Mary Heathcott in a release. “I am also excited to partner with Kaleido, which has the potential to share Red Dot works and artists across the globe. With innovation being one of our pillars, this new partnership will elevate the Red Dot show to an immersive augmented reality engagement.”

Tickets ($75) for the opening event are still available in a limited quantity — purchase them via Eventbrite.

Gamestop stock saga gets fun, star-filled movie treatment with Dumb Money

Movie Review

The stock market feels like one of those aspects of American life that only a select few truly understand. The rest of us acknowledge it as something that exists and affects our lives in some way, but how and why any particular stock is traded and becomes more (or less) valuable can be a complete mystery.

Dumb Money tackles one of the most interesting recent stories to come out of the stock market, the surprising inflation of Gamestop stock in late 2020/early 2021. The film bounces around to a variety of characters, but centers mostly on Keith Gill (Paul Dano), a YouTuber who went by the name of Roaring Kitty. Gill, an amateur stock trader, took an early position about liking the lightly-regarded Gamestop stock, regularly posting videos and on the Reddit thread WallStreetBets about how his significant investment in the stock was doing.

Concurrently, hedge fund managers like Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) were actively trying to short, or bet against, the stock. That began a battle by Gill and other similarly-minded individual investors to fight back against what they saw as unfair trading practices by the big firms, resulting in Gamestop’s stock rising astronomically in a relatively short period of time.

Directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) and written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, the film is notable for what it is not, a deep dive into the inner workings of the stock market. Instead of getting into the nitty gritty details, the filmmakers treat it as the ultimate David vs. Goliath story, with Gill and other everyday people like a nurse, Jenny (America Ferrera), Gamestop worker Marcus (Anthony Ramos), and college student Harmony (Talia Ryder) going up against billionaires like Plotkin, Steve Cohen (Vincent D’Onofrio), Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman), and Vlad Tenev (Sebastian Stan).

Paul Dano in Dumb Money

Photo by Claire Folger/Sony Pictures

Paul Dano in Dumb Money.

It doesn’t hurt that Gill is an eccentric character who wears cat-emblazoned shirts and a headband, and that the Reddit community he inspires communicates primarily in memes, upping the entertainment factor of their side immensely. The story is also a suspense in a way; as the variety of individuals drive the stock ever higher, their net worth – on paper – also grows exponentially, and the longer each of them holds on without selling ups the potential that they could be burned.

Because the real-life event happened during the thick of the pandemic when it was still up in the air as to the full impact of COVID-19, the story takes on a little more significance. Characters mask up regularly, conversations take place on the phone or over Zoom, and a general feeling of unease permeates the film. That may or may not have influenced how certain people approached the situation, but in the context of the film, it definitely seems to play a part.

The back-and-forth between the haves and have-nots takes up so much time in the film that it barely has time for such well-known actors as Shailene Woodley, Dane Dehaan, Olivia Thirlby, and Pete Davidson, among others. Each of them plays a supporting character to one of the main people, and all of them deliver that little something extra in what could have been throwaway roles.

Dano is a chameleonic actor who’s gone between drama and comedy with ease throughout his career. This role is a mixture of both, and he has an effortlessness about him that makes everything he says instantly believable. Rogen is great casting as Plotkin, amiably playing the buffoon of the story. After her big role in Barbie, Ferrera once again shows that she deserves as many showcases as Hollywood can give her.

Storytellers can rarely go wrong in showing people with little power taking on those with great wealth, and the fact that the story shown in Dumb Money is (mostly) true makes it that much better. You may not understand the stock market any more than you already did at the end, but you’ll be so entertained that it won’t matter.


Dumb Money is open in theaters now.