News: According to HTMagazine: Demand for travel nurses on the rise

October 4, 2012

Since joining San Diego-based, national healthcare staffing provider AMN Healthcare Inc. in 1988, Beth Machado, newly appointed president of travel nursing, has witnessed fluctuations in client facilities’ requests for supplemental staff — though perhaps none so drastic as when traveler figures fell during the nation’s recession.

Right now, demand for travel nurses is up and seemingly on an incline.

“We are seeing good, solid indicators in the economy,” Machado says. “AMN Healthcare’s demand for travel nurses has been on an upward trajectory, and we’ve seen significant demand this year for travel nurses.”

Nursing on the whole will be one of the top 10 fastest growing professions in the United States in the next decade, growing 26 percent annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is good news for staffing companies and nurses interested in healthcare travel alike who are seeing more professional opportunities in the market as a number of hospital providers incur staffing shortages.

With critical care nurses caring for more elderly patients with multiple ailments, who require more monitoring and complex treatments, the demand for critical care nurses is estimated to grow as well. “We are already seeing higher demand for critical care travel nurses and expect this growth trend to continue,” says Machado.

“Families are making more trips to the ER,” she continues. “With emergency room visits increasing, so is the demand for ER travel nurses.”

A recent study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce says 5.6 million new jobs in the healthcare sector will be created over the next eight years. Somewhere in the mix, the demand for travel nurses and other clinicians will remain healthy.

As permanent healthcare professionals retire, mobile nurses will have more choices, including the option to work as a short- or long-term traveler.

“It’s not just 13 weeks,” Machado says. “Now, it’s a career.”