States Where Travel Nurses are Needed Most
By Leigh Morgan, Contributor
For nurses who aren't set on working at the same facility throughout the year, travel nursing is an exciting opportunity. Travel nurses are often paid more than staff nurses in the same departments, and they have the flexibility to choose from a wide variety of assignments. Some agencies even provide relocation assistance for travel nurses, making it even easier to take advantage of the many opportunities available in this field. Although travel nurses are needed throughout the country, some areas have a greater need than others.
Top States Where Travel Nurses are Needed
In an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee, Blanca Rubio states that California is going to have a shortage of 140,000 nurses by 2030. Rubio attributes the shortage to the difficulty people have in enrolling in educational programs and completing the stringent requirements. Although the shortage is a serious problem for medical facilities, it represents an opportunity for travel nurses.
Many opportunities exist in California's metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles. Deborah Swanson, a contributor to Daily Nurse on MedPage Today, also claims that rural areas are in need of nurses to provide preventive care, help patients manage chronic health issues and provide acute care in a variety of settings. The California Department of Justice classifies 21 counties as rural, including Alpine County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Del Norte County and Humboldt County.
Georgia is also expected to have a severe nursing shortage by 2030, with some agencies predicting a shortfall of 50,000 nursing professionals, according to Ben Billmyer of WRDW. Where are travel nurses needed in Georgia? Almost everywhere. Mary Caldwell, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, notes that one of the main reasons Georgia has a nursing shortage is because many older nurses are retiring. The increased demand for medical care also means that more nurses are needed to meet patients' needs.
The shortage is not limited to hospitals in rural areas or facilities with poor reputations; even Emory Healthcare is struggling to fill open positions. Other hospitals in Atlanta have also reported a shortage of nurses, especially in key specialties such as cardiology and orthopedics. Many of these hospitals are relying on travel nurses to fill open positions and ensure safe staffing ratios.
FIND travel nursing opportunities in Georgia and other states.
In New York, the nursing shortage is not as severe as it is in California or Georgia, but it's a real concern for medical professionals and patients alike. As older nurses retire and bedside nurses leave their jobs to become nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives, the demand for nurses will exceed the supply. The Center for Health Workforce Studies at SUNY Albany reports that the shortage is expected to hit long-term care facilities especially hard.
If you love city life, the five boroughs of New York City have several hospitals, some of which are renowned for the high-quality care they provide. New York also has rural areas made up of agricultural communities and small villages. These areas are also likely to need more nurses to meet the increased demand for health services and replace nurses who have retired or left their jobs in search of other opportunities.
An article written by Nicholas Bostick and published in the Dallas Observer indicates that Texas is likely to have the second-worst nursing shortage by 2030. Several Texas cities are growing faster than all other cities in the United States, according to Vanessa Romo of NPR. These cities include Fort Worth, Dallas, Frisco, San Antonio and Austin. Texas also has several rural areas that have a real shortage of professionals available to provide preventive care and refer patients to other providers for specialty care.
The situation in Texas is especially concerning, as many patients speak English as a second language and rely on bilingual nurses to explain what is happening during medical procedures and wellness checks.
Start your travel nursing career
A travel nursing career is extremely rewarding, as it gives you a chance to accept interesting assignments in places you might not visit on your own. If you're willing to work in California, Georgia, New York or Texas, you may even be able to find a travel nurse position that starts within the next few weeks.