Why The Demand for Travel Nursing is Always Growing

Author: Coast Medical Service

Posted: December 2, 2019

Travel Nursing

travel nurses discussing schedule

One of the biggest trends that have been growing for the past several years is the rising demand for travel nursing specialists. Carefully watched by industry experts, all of them predict that the intensive need for travel nurses is far from over. Within the next decade, most hospitals are anticipating a rise in nurse employment of about 15% — if not more!

There has always been a nursing shortage in the United States, but now there is a specific request for travel nurses. If you’re wondering why travel nursing positions are in such high demand, check out what the experts at Coast Medical Service have to say about it.

1.  Retiring Boomer Generation

While the youngest Boomers are in their mid-50s and the oldest already in their 70s, the retirement wave for them began about a decade ago and will continue for another 20 years. With nearly 80 million Americans of Boomer age, hospitals are seeing a major influx of elderly admissions and care needs. In America, Boomers make up almost 25% of the population and as they age, they will need more and more medical care. Per diem and travel nurses are expected to pick up the slack in understaffed hospitals as they start to see the inception of changes caused by so many people aging and retiring.

2.  The Impact of the ACA

affordable care act logo

The Affordable Care Act put into effect by the Obama administration expanded the percentage of people that now have access to medical care. Fortunately, many people aren’t just living with their medical conditions any more. They’re seeking treatment, and hospitals need more nurses to help with the load. Many people have claimed that the only reason they can afford to visit a hospital is due to the new legislation, but the Affordable Care Act is just one of the reasons that people are reaching out for more medical care.

3.  Declining Unemployment

With unemployment generally declining in the United States, more people have the money to visit doctors when they are in need. In addition to a massive pool of retirees burdening hospitals, many who would not have done so before, are coming in for their appointments and checkups. Mandatory health coverage from employers also encourages people to address nagging problems they would have ignored due to lack of health insurance.

While there may be enough registered nurses to attend to everyone’s needs, hospital employment hasn’t caught on quite yet. They still choose to hire temporary or travel nursing specialists for days or weeks they feel overwhelmed.

4.  Improved Profits

empty hospital beds

There was a brief period in hospital history when budgets were tight and they weren’t hiring many full time positions — let alone temporary nursing positions. Now, with hospital profits on the rise, there is more money in the budget to pay for additional staffing. If you’re considering travel nursing as a career, now is the time to push for higher pay and more flexibility. Because hospitals are making so much money and there is still a nursing shortage, you can make more demands.

5.  Unexpected Emergencies

Natural disasters and the occasional epidemic are expected parts of working in healthcare. While it doesn’t make sense to have extra nurses on hand all the time just waiting for a natural disaster to strike, knowing where to look for a pool of versatile and flexible nurses has created a niche for travel nursing. People who are willing to travel all over the United States (and are licensed to work in different states) are the preferred ways for hospitals to fill in the gaps.

6.  Seasonality

Similar to natural disasters, there are seasons where admissions to the hospitals are especially high. Hospitals are very in tune with their admission rates and will hire travel nurses right before or during a seasonal high. Knowing when those seasons are allows you to jump ahead of the crowd and reach out to hospitals right as they need to hire extra travel nursing staff. If you aren’t sure when those high times are occuring, reach out to your recruiter to discuss when you should be on the lookout for seasonal needs.

7.  Convenience for Nurses

nurse walking patient in wheelchair

Many nurses want to maintain their freedom and flexibility as per diem or travel nurses. Higher pay, versatile schedules, and the ability to choose exactly where you want to work ensures there are nurses who shy away from regular, full time employment. This in and of itself creates a type of shortage for hospitals and forces them to hire short term staff whenever they’re overwhelmed. As long as travel nursing pays out well and allows many to experience a highly flexible work schedule, there is no doubt that new graduates will opt for this path over traditional working environments.

Travel Nursing with a Staffing Company

Coast Medical Service has long paired hospitals and clinics with the travel nurses they need. As a respected and experienced nurse staffing agency, we want you to find the perfect travel nursing job for you. Whether you want to work on the East or West Coast, at a private clinic or specialize in a specific field, we can help you discover a variety of facilities that are looking for you.

Utilize our blog to learn more about your options, and discuss your desires with your recruiter today! Not a member with Coast Medical Service? Apply now to join our team.

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