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By July 14, 2008 0 Comments

Nursing Shortage: A Two Sided Coin


Being a Traveling Nurse or Allied Health professional these days has proven to be a lucrative alternative to a permanent position within many healthcare facilities. Many choose to leave their staff positions to become a traveling healthcare professional due to the slowing economy and the continuing repercussions of 9/11. As pay has plateaued for many staff RNs, many of them are now choosing to leave and become a traveling nurse. Many cite reasons for leaving other than pay, such as, flexibility and the opportunity to learn about new advancements in medical technology. Others stated leaving their permanent position to deal with less hospital politics and for the excitement of discovering places they’ve never been and meeting fresh faces. If I were a nurse, this is certainly the route I would choose. I have no commitments other than my cat (many agencies will accommodate for pets) and I’m single and love to discover new places. Those things would not be afforded to some without being a traveling nurse, so to me, it’s a no brainer when choosing to be a traveler.

There is however the other side. Some may not have the luxury of choice and like any job, it is not for everyone. Many are not able to travel as a result of family or other priorities. Like I mentioned earlier, the state of the economy is a major factor in the swing of appeal, or lack thereof. Some staff nurses are now having to pick up other shifts because their partners have lost a job or received pay cuts due to budget restraints. There is a plus side to this though, some of the hospitals experiencing the upswing in nurses wanting shifts is no longer experiencing a shortage… at least until the economy picks up again. When do you see the economy bouncing back?

As traveling nursing becomes more appealing to talented and experienced staff nurses, many hospitals will turn to traveling healthcare agencies such as Medical Solutions. Take the time to weigh your options and make sure you are prepared to become a traveler. You can learn more about what it takes to do so by reading the many other posts here at

Posted in: Career Advice

About the Author:

Patrick Fuerstenau here. Born in Kentucky, raised in Germany, landed in Nebraska and still here. I've been involved with Marketing and Advertising for over a decade. It all began with an internship at an ad agency in Omaha, followed by a 9 year stint as a graphic artist at the lone major newspaper in Omaha. A friend of mine told me about an opening at her company and said that it was the best gig she's ever had... So I decided to spread my proverbial wings and see what I could do for them and vice versa. So here I am at Medical Solutions as a Marketing Specialist for a great travel nursing company. This by far has been a major blessing in my life. I love the work I get to do just as much as I love the people who make up this fabulous company. I can see myself here for a long time... As long as they'll have me. Now that we've got the career timeline out of the way... Let me tell you a little about who I am. I am oh so passionate about the game of futbol! I've been playing soccer since the age of 8 and am still playing today. If I couldn't at least kick the ball around, I don't know what I would do with myself. I fear getting old. I also have a strong love for the arts... Music, Visual arts, Film, Design... pretty much anything and everything arty. I'm happy go lucky and am always looking to have a good time. Just ask my manager! And I love writing about travel nursing.

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  1. Beth says:

    I’m confused. What do “the continuing repercussions of 9/11” have to do with being a travel nurse?

    Or are you saying that the current slowing of the economy is due to 9/11?

  2. Yes, what I was saying is exactly that… The slowdown in the economy was due in large part to the events of 9/11. With the “war” and unemployment and oil prices on the rise, many nurses who may have in the past taken on less shifts are now returning and asking for more work to compensate for possible lost income with their spouses and so forth. What this means to travel nurses I guess, is that there may be less of a need right now. But that may only be present in certain markets and is definitely not the situation nationwide. Hospitals may experience some relief, but staff nurses will notice that the pay is not comparable to those who decide to travel. There is still the opportunity to generate more income as a traveler, that will continue to be the trend for years to come. I hope this clears up any confusion to my post? Thanks for your reply!

  3. Very nice post, I share the same position about this.

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