News: What’s the future for Travel Nursing over the next 5 years

October 1, 2012

If you remember the song from the 80′s, “my future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”, it will be that way for Travel Nurses over the next 5 years and the foreseeable future. It is obvious that more and more patients are coming into the hospitals with serious complex problems and that their will be younger nurses entering the work force replacing retiring nurses. Travel Nurses will become more important because  Travel Nurses have more experience, Travel Nurses are more reliable and Travel Nurses as a whole, transfer knowledge learned.

It is extremely rare when you see a Registered Nurse who is looking to Travel who doesn’t have complete confidence in their abilities and that confidence is usually based on experience. When a Travel Nurse first goes to her new assignment there typically will be 3 days of orientation and then the Travel Nurse is put right into the unit. The existing team of Nurses often expects that the Travel Nurse will help the team reduce the workload immediately because the main reason why the hospital brought the nurse on in the first place is that the staff is being overworked with patient quality suffering. With the new healthcare plan coming into effect, hospitals will not be paid if patients are coming back to the hospital over and over again for the same issue. Nurses are on the front line in this effort making sure that quality care is being administered. Travel Nurses tend to be extremely experienced Nurses which translates into better care.


Unlike per diem staff or even permanent employees, Traveler are expected to not miss shifts, and there is a certain professionalism that a Traveler exhibits because unlike a registry nurse, a Travel Nurse is on board for 13 weeks or more. If a Traveler calls in sick too often or is late, the hospital will not tolerate it and will more often then not, fire the Travel Nurse. For the amount of money that the hospital feels they are paying, they will not tolerate unprofessionalism.  As a result, Travelers tend to be more reliable because if they are not, the reference checks that all Travel Nurse agencies do will cause the Traveler to not get assignments.  References are critical for both the hospital and agency to determine if A Travel Nurse should be considered for a position. This process tends to weed out Travel Nurses who consistently show up late or not at all.

Hospital throughout different regions of the country see a variety of cases and combining this with different hospital procedures, a experienced Travel Nurse is a walking consultant. She brings with her experiences from a variety of other hospital settings and that experienced is often transfer to your staff.  In most hospitals, the nurse executives or managers benefit from seeing a variety of cases but now, these Travelers can also help the younger nurses.

The nurse shortage will return in the coming years due to more patients in the healthcare system, and due to the obesity epidemic, however new technology will also help hospital better deal with complex cases. Travel Nurses will be in the drivers seat to command top dollar and to work in any part of the country they wish. The future for Traveler Nurses will be bright…so get your shades ready.