A Look at Travel Nursing Trends: 2024 Edition


June 7 2024 by Transplant Housing
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Travel nursing is a popular career choice for healthcare professionals who want to use their skills in an exciting and rewarding way while exploring new places. Over the past few years, this industry has seen significant growth, with more and more nurses opting for travel assignments.

This article will look at current trends in travel nursing and what we expect to see in coming years as it benefits both nurses and healthcare facilities. Whether you’re a nurse looking for new career opportunities or looking to support travel nurses via housing or staffing, this information will be valuable.

(Learn how to become a travel nurse here.)

Big Changes are Coming for Travel Nurses and Other Professionals

The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving thanks to technology and how care is provided, and travel nursing is no exception. As we look towards the future, it’s clear that big changes are on the horizon for this industry.

These changes will impact nurses and healthcare facilities, but they also present incredible opportunities for growth and development.

Travel Nursing in Rural and Underserved Areas

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Travel nurses have always been in demand in rural areas with a shortage of healthcare professionals. With people facing financial struggles and affordable care close to home, we expect to see an even greater need for travel nurses in these areas.

From primary care to maternal care and other specialized services, travel nurses will have the opportunity to work in underserved communities and significantly impact patient outcomes. This type of work can be demanding but equally fulfilling for those looking to make a difference in areas where healthcare is limited.

Shifting Toward Longer Contracts

Constant turnover and staffing shortages are major challenges for healthcare facilities. Training new travel staff every three months is cumbersome and costly, and many medical clinics are recognizing that. Thus, they offer incentives for nurses to stay in one location longer.

Longer contracts mean nurses can build relationships with patients, co-workers, and the community while gaining valuable experience in a specific area. Nurses who enjoy stability and prefer less frequent moves will also appreciate this change.

How long can a travel nurse stay in one place and still receive benefits, such as daily stipends, for their work? The answer can vary slightly, but generally, the rule is 12 months or less.

Telehealth is Changing How Medical Care is Provided

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Over the past few years, telehealth services have become an essential tool in providing care. They have led to better cost efficiency and flexibility for patients and practitioners. Plus, they allow providers to check in more often with patients who are homebound, in rural areas, or have limited access to transportation, which can improve patient outcomes.

Many facilities now offer a hybrid approach to patient care, offering a mix of in-person and virtual appointments. This change will continue to impact how travel nurses provide care and communicate with patients and their healthcare teams. Thus, they can expect to be trained on how to use telehealth technology and adapt to this new way of providing care (if they haven’t already).

Facilities might be interested in specific areas of interest, such as virtual reality (VR) training and AR-aided surgeries, as well as monitoring patient vitals via wearable technology to provide personalized medical advice. Understanding this technology can give nurses a competitive edge when selecting their next position.

A Growing Focus on Mental Health and Well-Being for All

Increased awareness of the importance of mental health is two-fold. For travel nurses, maintaining their own mental health while working is crucial. Things like mental health days, access to counseling and wellness programs, and the importance of better work-life balance are becoming more prevalent in the industry.

Offering mental health support for patients and normalizing conversations around mental health is also becoming a focus for healthcare facilities. Travel nurses with experience in addressing mental health concerns within the general population can offer valuable insights and skills to facilities that are looking to improve in this area.

See more about the pros and cons of being a travel nurse.

Favoring Specialized Skills and Certifications

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As the healthcare industry continually becomes more specialized, so do travel nursing assignments. While general medical-surgical nurses are always in demand, facilities increasingly seek specialized skills and certifications to meet specific patient needs.

Having advanced training or certifications in areas like emergency care, critical care, pediatrics, or neonatal nursing can make a nurse stand out and increase their chances of being hired for desirable assignments. This trend is only expected to continue as healthcare facilities strive to provide the best possible care for their patients.

How These Trends Apply to Rental Property Owners Catering to Travel Nurses

Understanding the trends in travel nursing can help rental property owners better cater to these professionals and maximize their tenant satisfaction. Providing long-term housing options for travel nurses on longer contracts can ensure a steady stream of income. Additionally, amenities like telehealth-friendly workspaces and a cozy oasis for them to take care of their own mental health when off-duty should be considered.

For example, telehealth-friendly spaces will require strong internet connections, comfortable workspaces, and privacy for virtual appointments (perhaps a cozy office setup). Plus, access to green spaces and outdoor areas or offering a few exercise tools (weights, mats, etc.) can also help alleviate stress for travel nurses, who often work long and demanding hours.

See more information on how to successfully rent a space to travel nurses.

Keeping a Pulse on the Trends

Overall, staying up-to-date with the changing landscape of travel nursing and healthcare can benefit both professionals in the industry and those looking to support them. As we continue to adapt to new technologies and prioritize mental health and well-being, travel nurses will have even more opportunities to make a positive impact while advancing their careers.

So, whether you’re a current travel nurse or considering this career path, keep an eye out for these changes, as they are sure to shape the industry’s future. Let’s embrace these changes together and create a brighter future for healthcare professionals (and their patients) everywhere!