As a traveling nurse or traveling allied health professional going from city to city and state to state you have probably have heard or are seeing firsthand all the major corporations and banks declaring bankruptcy, thousands of people losing jobs to layoffs and many other economic detriments. Now is not the time to be thinking of selling your house or making any other life changing decisions like switching jobs, unless of course you stay with healthcare. The unemployment rates are at dangerously high levels and the stock market worldwide is losing ground rapidly. With many of these people out of work and more importantly without health insurance, how can an industry like healthcare still be going strong against the grain of the economic and financial forecasts?
There are a number of jobs whose industry is strong and the need for workers is steady; these include those within the education, government and software fields as well as the healthcare sector. Nursing in particular will always have a need for help. According to the American Hospital Association, the United States is experiencing a shortage of nearly 120,000 registered nurses, and within a decade that number could triple. We are all familiar with the reasons of the shortages… Baby boomers reaching retirement age, including a large number of currently registered nurses. Advancement in medicine and technology plus the constant growth of the population. This coupled with the lack of educational outlets to teach those who have a strong interest in joining the field of healthcare, are all factors to the shortage.
So what does all this mean to you as a traveling healthcare professional? Well for one, there will always, always be a job for you somewhere. More often than not, you will have a choice to where you want to work and for how long. Just be sure you have found a trustworthy agency and recruiter to help you find your way. With your skills and talents you are sure to find an assignment and one that you could extend into a longer duration. Instead of looking at your traveling position on a 13 week basis, look at as a longer commitment. With all the perks and benefits afforded to you as a traveling nurse like paid housing and per diem’s, you are sure to make more money than you would at a permanent position. Take this one step further and choose a city where the cost of living is much lower than say a place in California. Sometimes making a concession can be the best thing. Sure, the climate and atmosphere might not parallel that of San Francisco, but you can save enough money while working to visit those types of places on your own some other day.
Yes, the United States is going through quite the crunch and many of us should be so lucky to have a job, home and the like. Lucky for you, you are in an industry that shows no signs of slowing down. So use this time to your advantage. Find a company that will find you a placement that will benefit greatly from your clinical skills and knowledge, one that listens to your needs and one that has options for you to choose from. With that you should be able to beat this economic turn down and make the best of bad situation.
To learn more about how the economy is effecting nursing and healthcare, here are a couple articles.