Those who work travel nursing jobs or who have ambitions to become a travel nurse can breathe a sigh of relief because their profession is only getting more popular. Staffing Industry Analysts predicts that demand for travel nurses will increase 12 percent this year. That number becomes even more impressive when considering the explosion of growth travel nursing has seen in recent years — 22 percent in 2016, and an astounding 40 percent in 2015.
Demand in 2015 hit an all-time high following a high number of signups under the Affordable Care Act. It has continued to increase as unemployment reaches recent lows, meaning that more people have access to employer healthcare plans, increasing the number of clinic visits and hospital stays.
Those in the travel nursing industry can therefore feel positive since they can look forward to the following trends:
A Continuing Need in Rural America
Rural hospitals need more help now than ever, especially in southern states that declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Ten rural hospitals closed in rural Texas in 2010, and eight closed in Tennessee that year. The healthcare facilities nearby these closures have to take on a more spread out patient base and increasing responsibility.
In this environment, locum tenens assignments are thriving. 22 percent of hospitals surveyed by AMN Healthcare requested temporary nurse practitioners in 2014. Even more hospitals in rural areas will need the support of travelling registered nurses as the demand deepens among increasingly spread out patient populations.
Baby Boomer Snowbirds Boost Travel Nursing Jobs in Destination States
Seasonal demand spurs many temporary travel nursing assignments in the winter months, says USA Today. States like Arizona and Florida play temporary home to retirees who don’t want to spend the winters indoors in their northern states. When these retirees come en masse down south, they lead to an increased strain on the healthcare system as emergencies arise or scheduled appointments are booked.
Because of this increased temporary demand, hospitals in Arizona, Florida, California and other sunny states have some of the highest seasonal fluctuations for staffing needs. To meet these needs, they call on travel nurses and often pay competitive wages to attract top talent.
Best of all, these nurses get to enjoy the sun and fun just like their patients do. Nothing helps make a job more enjoyable quite like a beautiful, tropical-feeling locale.
Travel Nurses Still Deliver a High Quality of Care
Even though many physicians and permanent hospital staff have issues with constant newcomers, the use of travel nurses has no correlation with patient mortality. In a study of more than 600 hospitals, 40,000 nurses and 1.3 million patients, travel nurses who relieve staffing shortages actually have a positive impact on outcomes, reducing the level of patient mortality.
Find Your Next Dream Travel Nurse Assignment
Those who are already travel nurses or want to practice travel medicine can enjoy their next assignment and make a positive impact on patient care when they apply for travel nursing jobs today.