It was recently reported that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the demand for nurses should grow by 18 percent between 2011 and 2018. These predictions bode well for traveling RNs as baby boomers age, healthcare reform kicks in and full-time nurses leave the profession due to burn out and retirement: the need for travelers will rise as a result.

So, what specialties will be “in” in the coming years? Read below:

  • If you have ICU experience, consider yourself as sitting in the proverbial catbird seat. Hospitals and other medical facilities all over the country are always looking for travelers who can hit the ground running in any type of ICU: neonatal, cardiac, peds, even general ICUs. In fact, so in demand is ICU experience, that you shouldn’t be surprised if the lead time (notification time) is as little as three weeks between assignments!
  • Nurses with telemetry experience also are in demand. In fact, if you’re a medical/surgical nurse, you may have noticed that demand has declined a bit. But, the demand for nurses with telemetry expertise has grown, so if you’re a surgical nurse, you should seriously consider getting telemetric experience.
  • Nurses with extensive NICU experience (Level 2 and above) should find themselves in good demand in the coming years. NICU nurses with less than Level-2 experience may find it a bit harder to find placement, so you may have to wait until you have that level of experience before seeking work as a traveler.
  • Operating room nurses, particularly those with perioperative experience, will be in demand as travelers. The looming retirement of many full-time periops nurses as well as the increase in the number of ambulatory surgery centers across the country is fueling this growth.
  • As Boomers age and as more and more people need acute dialysis care, so will grow the need for traveling nurses with dialysis experience. Growth for both acute and chronic dialysis care nurses should grow equally.
  • Labor and delivery RNs also may see an increase in the demand for their services. Experts say the need for them tends to come and go, but when it arrives, it does so in a big way, with medical facilities clamoring for travelers.
  • Emergency room travelers also are in demand today – and probably will be in the foreseeable future. Travelers should have at least four years of experience in the ER, however, to be truly in demand.

Still, nurses in general will be so needed in the coming years that even new graduates may see some opportunity as a traveler, the article concludes.

If you’re an RN – especially if you’re an RN with experience in one or more of the specialties mentioned above – and if you’ve ever thought about working as a traveler, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing today. We look forward to discussing this rewarding and exciting nursing career opportunity with you.