And here’s why that matters to you

We’ve all heard that all too familiar phrase, “home is where the heart is,” right? But if you ask that to a travel nurse, they’ll tell you home can be anywhere.

And as a travel nurse myself, I wholeheartedly agree that home for travel nurses is where you make it.

Nursing shortages are a new reality in the United States because of a changing health care landscape. Add to it the lingering pandemic, and the fact is that travel nursing is now an extremely high-demand profession.

Positions, contracts, assignments, and fantastic short-term jobs shine a light on registered nurses and the travel nurse space.

Many people who have a nursing degree or are enrolled in a nursing program will find themselves with plenty of opportunities because of the nursing shortage and traveler boom.

The nursing profession and industry is a high-growth business and will explode in the near and far future. This growth will result in approximately more than a half-million new nursing openings by the year 2022.

And travel nurses will play a huge role in meeting this demand and providing support in areas of the country facing the most significant shortages. If you’re an RN and have ever considered a career as a travel nurse, then now may be one of the best times ever.

So why do hospitals hire travel nurses?

This is a time-honored question that many nurses, myself included, have at one time asked.

Why bring on a temporary travel staff versus hiring full-time or PRN nurses?

The main reason is speed. You see, a travel RN is usually trained, experienced, and vetted before they ever hit the floor, which cuts down the time it takes to fill roles with newer nurses who perhaps have less experience.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities then work with staffing agencies to find qualified nurses, saving administrative costs and significantly reducing the time it might typically take to fill certain positions. So instead of spending time, maybe even months, interviewing, vetting, and hiring nurses, hospitals can rely on nurse travel firms to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

I fully realized the impact and reason as a nurse working in a short-staffed unit when our facility brought in travelers to quickly fill in gaps.

Whether a hospital is dealing with an ongoing shortage or needs to add support staff to cover for, let’s say, a pandemic overflow, travel nurses and travel nurse agencies are the best and quickest solutions. While a travel RN may typically earn more, hiring a travel nurse can be more cost-effective than paying OT for full-time or even part-time nurses in staff. Plus, travel nurses can immediately impact the workload, preventing nurses from burning out or excessive fatigue. 

Right now, there are an estimated 50,000 travel nurses in the U.S. Travel nurses have been part of the health care system and the nursing ecosystem for decades. Some of these RNs are seeking adventure, some increased flexibility. 

The big question that nearly all RNs ask themselves at some point is this

Is travel nursing right for me?

The truth is it may be the career you’ve been searching for. And for others, becoming a professional travel nurse may be a temporary specialty.

But if you are looking for a career where you have the highest pay potential, you get to see various locations or even the country, then travel nursing definitely deserves a closer look. 

This field will continue to need qualified, dedicated nurses to help hospitals handle staffing shortages that just don’t seem to be going away. Without a clear solution to the nursing shortage anywhere in sight and increasing demands on the healthcare system due to the pandemic, it could be decades before the demand for travel nursing begins to slow.

And the truth is, it may never slow down or shrink.

If I could sum this all up in a nutshell, travel nursing provides the perfect opportunity for you to see the country, save (and make) money and build your resume.

To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.


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