Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics put nursing at position five on its list of occupations with the largest projected number of job openings. Growth could occur for a number of reasons, including retirement rates of older RNs, increased focus on preventive care,  and ongoing demand from baby boomers, who are living longer and more active lives. Increase in medicare funding supported healthcare hiring from the late 2000’s until now, but current uncertainty regarding healthcare legislation and insurance is affecting the healthcare hiring market.

“In this market, we all have to think creatively when looking for work,” says Deb Bacurin, Clinical Coordinator at American Traveler Staffing Professionals. “Consider working in a location where your specialty is more in demand. If you’ve been travel nursing, you’re ideally positioned for this kind of mobility and flexibility. You many also need to think about floating or working in a department that may not be your first choice, but is still within your scope of practice.”

Above all, bear in mind that whatever the short term employment trends are, nurses will still be needed and you will be calling the shots again.

According to NBC News, health care jobs are an enormous part of the U.S. economy — making for 18 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Hospitals, clinics, doctors and health care services are major sources of jobs, too.

When demand is strong, hospitals offer more attractive wages and signing bonuses. State and local programs support expansion of nursing schools and other recruitment efforts. And, as we all know, many healthcare organizations increased their reliance on travel nurses.

If you’ve made a career in healthcare, and in particular as a travel nurse or as a travel therapist, your decision is a sound one. Rough patches do come along, but economic forecasters predict that in the long term, the healthcare sector will be one of the leading drivers of growth.

Take heart! A recent study by McKinsey Global rated nursing as one of the most robot-proof professions (only 29% automatable).