In general, nursing has always been a field that is looking for more professionals to join the community. The demand for skilled nurses continues to be unmet, which will also carry over into the field of travel nursing. According to several sources the future trends of travel nursing will continue it increase over the next 5 years.
In case you are not familiar what a travel nurse is, travel nurses:
- work as independent contractors, and usually get hired through an agency
- take assignments at different hospitals, all over the country, for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months
- are hired to fill in “specialty” gaps at medical facilities and hospitals
- can also enhance their skill sets through experiences they may not have been exposed to at their home hospital
- get to travel while having their expenses paid for and making a pretty decent salary
- have the ability to set their own schedule, take time off when they want, or work year-round
- get to pick their assignments, if they are asked to work somewhere they do not find appealing they can say no
Shortage Continues to grow for Travel Nursing
Overall, there will continue to be a demand for certified RNs. There is actually expected to be approximately 1 million jobs available for registered nurses over the next five years. One of the issues is stemming from more and more nurses retiring and less and less nurses in the field.
Another issue coming into play is that as a country are healthcare needs are increasing. People are living longer and as a whole we have more senior citizens than ever before. Due to an increase in our ability to keep people healthier longer people are requiring healthcare longer.
As a result those senior citizens will need more registered nurses to take care of them creating more and more jobs. And in some cases it is less expensive to bring in travel nurses rather than hire full-time RNs.
A third issue, that could affect the future trends of travel nursing, to be factored in is the fact that in recent years approximately 20 million people gained health insurance coverage, due to the Affordable Care Act. Having 20 more million patients to take care of required health insurance companies to act quickly. In some cases their solution was hiring travel nurses.
Giving Nurses more Responsibility
Along with the shortage of nurses there is also a shortage of doctors. As a result, more and more health facilities are giving their registered nurses more responsibilities. That is why many of us have seen an increase and nurse practitioners seeing patients. Not only is it more affordable for the patient but also takes a bit of the burden off the doctors.
It should also be noted that along with the affordability for the patients it is also cheaper for the health facilities and insurance companies. Nurse practitioners don’t make as much money as doctors. By hiring nurse practitioners hospitals able to hire less doctors reducing costs significantly.
With the need for more nurse practitioners health insurance companies have looked to recruit traveling nurses by working with travel nursing agencies. This allows the health insurance companies to specify what skills and certification they are looking for.
Being able to bring in our ends with the proper certification and skill sets and save a medical facility a lot of money because less errors will be made. Putting a nurse who does not have the proper level of experience just because she works the facility is not the answer.
Great option for seasonal locations
Travel nursing is a great option for healthcare facilities in locations like Florida where their senior citizen population increases four parts of the year. Rather than hiring a full-time staff person who may not get utilized in the off-season the healthcare facility can hire a travel nurse.
Future Trends of Travel Nursing Show an Increasing Demand
Future trends of travel nursing should continue to see an overall increase in the need for registered nurses. With the increase of people being able to obtain healthcare coverage, an increase in our numbers of senior citizens and the increased responsibility of RNs and nurse practitioners travel nurses will be able to find plenty of work opportunities.