You’re probably aware of the shortage of healthcare professionals and the demand that shortage has created, with labor statistics predicting a nurse staffing shortage of 510,394 by 2030 and an overall projected shortage of 3.2 million healthcare workers by 2026. With this need in the healthcare industry comes the opportunity to find employment more easily and a greater chance of remaining employed as more nurses reach retirement age and the need to meet demand of care for the aging population increases. If you’re already a healthcare traveler or are considering making the switch, check out these tips on how to take advantage of the healthcare staffing shortage!
Understand the current job market
While it’s true the need for healthcare workers isn’t slowing down any time soon, it’s important to realize that the healthcare staffing market is still changing from what we known it for the past few years. As COVID hospitalization rates slow down and staffing levels slowly improve in hospitals, healthcare traveler pay is evening back out to closer to what it was pre-COVID. Now, this doesn’t mean there is going to be a lack of fantastic healthcare job opportunities available, but the crisis pay rates we were seeing earlier are leveling out as healthcare crisis funding slows and normalizes.
So, while you’re still in demand as healthcare worker and will continue to be throughout the next decade, know that the current pay rates are going to be a bit lower than what you may have gotten used to in the past couple of years. However, this doesn’t mean that aren’t still ways for you to make the most out of the current market and find the best job opportunities! Here are few ways you can do just that.
Negotiate your contract
While pay rates will vary as the spread of COVID-19 reaches a low point, you still have the opportunity to negotiate as the healthcare demand continues. Make sure to negotiate your pay as a healthcare traveler and understand the details of your travel pay package. Here are some items in your pay package you may consider negotiating:
- Meal stipend
- Housing stipend
- Sign-on bonus
- Completion bonus
- Retention bonus
- Referral bonus
- Overtime rates
- Holiday pay
- Certification & licensing reimbursements
- Travel reimbursement
Some healthcare companies may also be offering benefits like insurance or 401k matches, so be sure to research what agencies offer what and figure out what's important to you. You can also get specific about negotiating other parts of your contract like your start and end dates, shift, hours, and requested days off. Don’t be afraid to speak up for what you want! The worst a recruiter can tell you is no, but you won’t know until you ask.
Choose your recruiter carefully
Navigating healthcare agency and recruiter options can be challenging. You want to be sure you find the right fit with a recruiter and an agency that offers what you’re looking for, but how do you go about vetting your options? Start by reading recruiter ratings and reviews from other members of the healthcare workforce on Fusion Marketplace to see if the recruiters are people you could trust and that they’re not showcasing any recruiter red flags.
The beauty of Fusion Marketplace is that you can filter through healthcare agencies so you can find exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to jobs, clinical settings, location, pay, hospitals, and benefits. Don’t be afraid to browse your options! When choosing a healthcare staffing agency, you want to make sure they’re reputable, transparent, and offer what you need.
Figure out your location priorities
One of the perks of traveler life is getting to choose when and where you work. While you still have that choice, it’s important to identify where your priorities lie when it comes to picking your travel destination in order to reap the most benefits from the current staffing shortage in healthcare. Do you really want to experience life in urban areas you may otherwise be priced out of as a permanent resident? Or do you not care as much about location and want to take advantage of increased pay rates in rural communities or other high-paying travel locations? There are no wrong answers, only personal lifestyle choices!
The current healthcare demand and job market rewards flexibility. You may be able to make more money if don’t have a preference on your travel destination. Remember, you can be a local travel nurse, which means you’re working as a healthcare traveler in your home state or even city. If your local hospitals have a need for healthcare workers, this may be a good option for you, even if it means missing out on food and housing stipends.
Be flexible in the healthcare workforce
The highest travel pay is currently going to members of the healthcare workforce who are willing to move to remote locations and respond quickly to hospitals' needs. That means if you want to make the most money as you can, you need to be flexible and ready to jump on a job quickly. The more flexible you are on hours, location, clinical settings, and other details, the more opportunities you’ll have.
Work with your recruiter to get into the best assignments quickly and be ready with organized and up to date paperwork like licenses and certifications so you can move through the compliance stage as swiftly as possible. If there’s an area in desperate need of healthcare workers, be proactive about getting your license in that state, as some states deliver licenses quickly and others take up to a few months to process. As demand grows, being flexible and organized will help you get the most out of the healthcare staffing shortages.
Utilize Fusion Marketplace as your one stop shop job search
Because there are so many healthcare jobs in demand right now, all the choices you have might be overwhelming. With Fusion Marketplace, you can easily compare healthcare travel jobs so you can narrow down your choice quickly. Fusion Marketplace makes the process of evaluating jobs simple and we ensure access to detailed, transparent information on the factors you care about most like pay, hours, location, length of an assignment, and more. You can also chat with recruiters across multiple agencies all on one platform, so you can find the perfect fit with ease.
Plus, your Fusion Marketplace profile acts as your professional resume, so you can use it to apply for jobs and accelerate your career during this healthcare demand. Once you’ve completed your profile, you can use the “quick apply” feature on assignments that interest you, so you’ll never miss the best opportunities or new jobs! You can also store all your important travel job documents on Marketplace and customize your profile with job and travel preferences, so recruiters know exactly what you’re looking for and can help move you through the process quicker. With Fusion Marketplace, you’re in the driver’s seat of your job search!
The demand for healthcare workers puts you in control, traveler. Use flexibility and the options on Fusion Marketplace to your advantage to find the best opportunities. Make the most of this healthcare staffing shortage and start finding high-paying travel jobs through Fusion Marketplace today!