It’s old news that the United States is experiencing a drastic shortage of nurses. In fact, the nursing shortage is a growing problem that places much stress on the working nursing staff all over the country. Some of the biggest contributing factors to the nursing shortage include:

  • patients are living longer lives;
  • nursing education programs are difficult to complete and time-consuming; and
  • the incredibly high turnover rate of healthcare workers, in particular, nurses.

Many students who are going through nursing school programs are well aware of these shortages. Being able to provide care and help people who desperately need it is one of the motivating factors that drives people to pursue a career as a travel nurse in the first place. Another reason this resonates with student nurses is that they know there will always be a need for their skills.

In both physical and occupational aspects, there are several areas of the profession where nurses are needed the most. If you are called to make a difference in the lives of patients, here are five facts about the nursing shortage that could influence your decision of whether or not to work as a travel nurse.

1. Of all the States, California has the Biggest Need for Nurses

Regardless of the fact that California employs the biggest number of registered nurses out of all the states, it still needs more. Not just a little bit more – but a lot more. A 2017 report conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration, predicted California to have the largest nursing shortage in the country and in need of 45,000 registered nurses.

For decades, California has been a popular place to live because of its thriving metro areas and a strong economy. If you’re thinking about working in California as a travel nurse, check out our available opportunities for travel nursing jobs.

2. Rural Towns Desperately Need Travel Nurses

If you are one of the many travel nurses that would trade the hustle and bustle of the city for small-town life – then you’ll be glad to know that rural hospitals across the country are waiting for your help.

When I took my first travel nursing assignment, it was important to me to be close to a beach and to work at a small community hospital as that was the experience I had as a staff nurse. With so many options available for travel nursing assignments, I was able to land a contract at a small Florida town called Englewood, which is right on the beach on the Gulf side (white sand). The hospital was a small community hospital, much like the type of facility I was already accustomed to.

There are a couple of drawbacks to working in rural locations. One is that pay rates are often lower for staff nurses. However, if you are working as a travel nurse, you will be earning higher pay rates anyways. Another reason is that the social scene might be a bit dull – so if you are looking for an exciting nightlife – you might want to keep searching.

3. The Demand for Specific Nursing Specialties Grows

As if finding a registered nurse wasn’t hard enough already, hospitals and healthcare facilities across the nation are finding it very difficult to find nurses who have focused their practice is certain specialties.

There are several different types of in-demand nursing specialties, including. but not limited to:

  • certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs);
  • certified Nurse Midwives;
  • certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN); and
  • pediatric Endocrinology Nurses (Ped ENDO).

4. Nurse Educators have Never Been Needed as Much as Now

A 2017 study in Nursing Outlook showed that one-third of all the current nurse educators will retire by the year 2025. The younger faculty members who will eventually replace them do not have nearly the same level of experience.

If you decide to advance your nursing career, there are many different nursing programs and organizations that provide funding for nurses who seek doctoral degrees. If you are a nurse educator, you can consider working as a travel nurse to serve those who need your help the most across the country.

5. Hospitals Rely on Travel Nurses to Fill in the Gaps

Travel nursing emerged in the 1980s as a way to help deal with the nursing shortage and it’s still going strong today as the top way hospitals find the RN workforce they need. As a travel nurse, you accept short-term contracts at hospitals all over the United States, and in return, you receive much higher pay rate than other nurses and you will have all of your housing and travel expenses covered.

If you’ve always dreamed of traveling the country and providing care to patients who need you the most, travel nursing could be the perfect opportunity for you.

If you’re ready to search for travel nursing opportunities – we want to hear from you. Give us a call at 208-378-1338.

Ready to start working with Elite?

Want to improve your nursing career?

We send our information, data, stories, and snippets of sunshine straight to your inbox.

Written by Miranda Booher, RN

As a twelve-year Registered Nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and healthcare marketing, Miranda brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has a impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Uruguay, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her hanging out on the beach with her loyal husband, three crazy kids, and their beautiful German Shepherd-Husky dog.

Share This

The more we share, the more we have!

Thanks for stopping by! Please share this little snippet of sunshine with your friends, colleagues, or anyone else who could use a little joy!