Travel Nurse Industry: Outlook & Tips For 2023 | Trusted Health

Mar 16, 2023
Paige Schryver, RN

As the healthcare industry slows from the chaos and bursting census of COVID, hospital leaders are working to maintain much tighter budgets. Historically, the summer season has always seen a slowdown in available travel jobs but this year it seems to be hitting at a time where there is an even larger pool of travel nurses. Just like any industry, travel nursing operates on the basic principle of “supply and demand”. This is creating a lot of competition, lowering pay rates, and making it a little more difficult to find that dream travel job - you know, the one in the sleepy beach town with the best pay and the shift schedule you want? We all dream of that one! While travel nursing is not going away anytime soon, you may just have to broaden your horizons a bit for the time being. Here are a few tips for job searching during this season:

Speed is key

Check daily for new jobs and be ready to apply for them. Have your profile (and any relevant requirements for your specialty) completed ahead of time so that you can be submitted to any job that you apply for immediately.  

Be flexible with your assignment requirements

Market pay rates have decreased across the board so waiting to apply to roles with the highest rates may make it difficult for you to land a job. The same applies to specific geographic locations, shifts, and general job requirements. Don’t take a position that is outside of your scope or makes you feel unsafe, but try to keep an open mind to places, shifts, or units that you hadn’t previously considered. It’s all a learning experience after all! It can be helpful to keep a pulse (pun intended) on available jobs regularly - even long before you’re applying - to understand what’s available and set your expectations accordingly. Specific shift requests/scheduling, large amounts of requested time off, and having a travel pair will all make you less marketable during this time so try to be as open as possible.

Use your connections

Have an old Nurse Manager that you’re still in contact with? Check in with them to see if they are hiring travelers and if they can help you get an assignment back on a unit you previously thrived on. If they have availability and can work it into their budget needs, it’s a win-win - they know you’re already suited for the role, and you get a job you know you can do well until the market picks back up. This applies to local assignments too - you can stay at home or with a family member/friend on a contract until you find something in a location you want to head off to next. If a manager is working on making this happen on their side, be sure to reach out to your Nurse Advocate ASAP so they can get the process started on their end, too! There are a lot of parties that need to align and hoops to jump through to seal a “back door offer” - so the quicker that your Nurse Advocate can start getting in contact with everyone, the better.

Trusted’s Care Team will work tirelessly to help get you the best job possible during these times. Join now and start applying to open jobs today!