The Future of Travel Nursing

By Soliant Health


Very few professions offer the job security that working in the healthcare field does. This is often an understatement when it comes to conversations regarding career choice. Even through the Recession of 2007-2009, while employment in other sectors of the market was hit hard, the machine of healthcare was spared(i). The engine kept chugging and churning along, as health is generally a non-negotiable. Even now, we can all be rest assured: the healthcare sector is set to boom for years to come.

In the most recent projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor for the next decade, 13 of the 20 fastest-growing jobs are in health care-related fields, with the top three all being medically related(ii). Similarly, US News and World Report found that not just the top ten, but the top fourteen fastest growing jobs projected for the next decade are related to healthcare - all of which have an even more impressive 30-50% growth rate projected(iii). Clearly, the sign of the times are in our favor.

In particular, nurses are in very high demand. To be fair, it is hard to find a time in the recent past when they were not in demand; certainly the same remains for the foreseeable future. In the same report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses can be found at the number two spot -- beat out only by personal care aids - for the highest projected increase in employment with 526,800 new jobs expected to be created through 2022(iv). In fact, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow faster than the average for all other occupations -- 19 percent from 2012 to 2022(v) - which is exciting, to say the least.

Changing demographic structure

Considering the remarkable increase in our nation.s aging population, coupled with the subsequent steep incline in the need for chronic care management and overall primary care, not to mention the newest Affordable Care Act which accounts for 15 million new patients -- it is abundantly clear why our country is in need for more nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states than additional 1.1 million registered nurses will be needed to address the demand by 2020(vi). Whether to increase the numbers through nursing education, recruitment or retention is the basis for all of latest debate in the nursing world -- and one that has yet to come to consensus.

For workforce analysts and nursing educators, these numbers look dark and grim, but for nurses already high educated and skilled in their specialty, literally, no time is better than the present! Shakespeare said it best: "the world is your oyster". With an immediate need to fill the gaps, travel nurses have never been in such an enviable position.

Where to find travel nursing jobs
Nurses who are willing to travel and make the most of the facilities with the highest demand are left with a golden opportunity. Massachusetts, Maryland, California, New Jersey and Hawaii are the highest paying states currently in the country, which makes for appealing contracts in these areas as nurses flock to help meet the staffing needs in these states(vii). But, not just the highest demand facilities are hiring -- the nursing shortage is a pervasive issue that everyone is feeling to some degree -- and perhaps a facility around the corner from you is also willing to negotiate a short term contract.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics unfortunately does not report on travel nursing specifically, it is safe to assume that with nursing jobs on the rise and hospitals in need of overall nursing staff, travel nursing provides health care organizations with the perfect solution. As the demand increases, travel nurses can also look forward to increased benefits, perks and opportunities within the travel nursing industry for years to come. The conclusion is clear: travel nursing is a niche business that continues to grow leaps and bounds. Many lucrative contracts are up for grabs for the seasoned or industry naïve travel nurses. All in all, this is the time to travel!

Submitted by: Soliant Health

Sources:
i) Health Capital Topics. (2011). Healthcare Employment Resists Effects of Recession. Vol. 4, Issue 3. Accessed April 20, 2014 from http://www.healthcapital.com/hcc/newsletter/3_11/recession.pdf
ii) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Fastest Growing Occupations. Accessed April 20, 2014 from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm
iii) Graves, J. (2014, March 6). The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs this Decade. U.S. News and World Report. Accessed April 20, 2014 from http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2014/03/06/the-20-fastest-growing-jobs-this-decade
iv) U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Most New Jobs. Accessed April 20, 2014 from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/most-new-jobs.htm
v) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Registered Nurses. Accessed April 20, 2014 from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.html
vi) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Employment Projections 2010-2020. Accessed April 20, 2014 from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.nr0.htm
vii) Healthcare Salaries. (n.d.). Nursing Salaries. Accessed April 10, 2014 from http://www.healthcare-salaries.com/nursing/travel-nurse-salary


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