The reports are out: demand for healthcare staffing has been on the rise for years, is already enormous today, and will be continuing to increase – both drastically and indefinitely.
Word from the US Department of Labor is that ten of the 20 fastest-growing careers are in healthcare – a whopping 26% of all new jobs. As the demand for qualified healthcare staffing continues to rise (and the Baby Boomers continue to retire), you can be sure that the need for nurses is going to reach unprecedented highs. For travel nurses, this means that a long-standing “buyer’s market” is opening up.
Why Hospitals Take On Travel Nurses
Let’s face it – even when the business is medicine, business is still business. And bringing travel nurses into the fold is a great business decision!
Travel nurses save hospitals a bundle by keeping beds (or even entire units) open. They’re able to step in on short notice during emergencies, nursing shortages, and when temporary vacancies occur (think: maternity leave). When travel nurses are available, hospitals can hire staff based on their day-to-day needs – instead of hiring to potential “worst-case” scenarios.
If the travel nurses work with an agency, the hospital benefits even more. The agency takes on the obligations of health care, vacations, and other employee benefits for the hospital. The hospital is also off the hook when it comes to paying for sick time, worker’s compensation, and unemployment insurance (also handled by the agency).
The bottom line aside, hospitals know that travel nurses are flexible, experienced, and fast-learning participants that bring a lot to the table. Unlike typical nurse staffing, a travel nurse has been integrated into a wide variety of hospitals, possibly from all over the country, and they have a wealth of untapped knowledge to share. Travel nurses are likely to be experienced with equipment that’s new to the hospital, up-to-date on new practices, and aware of innovations that other hospitals are already using.
The Patient’s Perspective
Unlike per-diem or temporary nurses, where a faculty may be receiving the services of a different nurse each week, travel nurses provide long-term healthcare services. This means more consistent service for the patients who are being cared for by adapted and organized professional working full-time with the staff. Travel nurses require less effort spent on hospital-specific orientation and training than temps, and can prove competent for patient care right away.
Additionally, travel nurses, quite literally, save lives. Just how many lives they save has been formally researched by the University Of Pennsylvania, in an article that was published in the Journal of the Medical Association. In this report, it was found that the hospitals most understaffed by nurses report up to a 31% greater risk of patient death. In these cases, travel nurses are positioned to make an extraordinary impact in the quality of patient care.
The Travel Nurse’s Takeaway
Simply put: Travel nurses have it good. You’ll be work in a variety of high-paying positions across the country, with your travel expenses (and often your living expenses) covered. You can count on being in high demand for the foreseeable future, in a job that’s nigh-on invulnerable to recession.
Along with being a high-paid, world-traveling hero, few jobs can advance a nursing career quite as quickly as a travel position can. Be prepared to learn new skills – and to develop your existing ones – at a faster rate than you have before.
A candidate who adapts well and learns quickly will benefit from countless enrichment opportunities, and will quickly become a premium choice for hiring facilities. Of course, if you do decide to leave travel nursing, you’ve had your foot in the door of many hospitals – and will likely be first in line to join their permanent staff.
All that career stuff aside, the importance of the experience itself cannot be denied. As you travel all over the country, you’ll make many new friends, build countless memories, and grow yourself as an individual in countless ways. Ask yourself: Will you always be in a position where you can step out and explore the country and, by extension, yourself? This is too great of an opportunity to pass up!
In a Nutshell…. The Benefits of Travel Nursing
- Beds/Units Kept Open
- Emergency Staffing
- Agency-Managed Benefits Packages
- Superior To Temporary/Per-Diem Staffing
- Introduces Training, Knowledge, & Practices
- Provides Consistent Long-Term Care
- Better Chance Of Surgery Patient Recovery
- Higher Pay
- Job Security
- Paid Travel
- Paid Living Expenses
- Career Development
- Hospital Networking
- Rich Life Experiences
Content provided by Onward Healthcare, a travel nursing job and recruitment resource for qualified candidates throughout the United States. For more information about launching your travel healthcare position, contact us at (800) 278-0332 today!