Labor specialists agree that the job outlook for travel nurses remains strong. The BLS reports that employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026. As hospitals focus on preventive care and deal with growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, demand for qualified RNs will only increase. With the baby boomer population aging and in need of medical care the demand for nursing services is expected to rise.

Healthcare providers also continue to hire travel nurses to supplement permanent staff due to seasonal fluctuations in patient population (see Florida, Hawaii, Arizona). Hospitals may also have needs for supplemental staff due to difficulty hiring local RNs (see Texas). Healthcare facilities that are undergoing labor-intensive conversions in EMR or other technology also require the services of contract staff.  While 2015 and 2016 were very strong markets, and put travelers in the drivers seat, 2017 saw a slight downturn in demand. Reports are that demand is strengthening again in 2018.

Travelers who are seeking to improve their hireability are advised to look into advanced certifications and to broaden their experience by taking assignments in a variety of clinical settings.

Regardless of minor cyclical shifts, travel nursing is still a smart career choice — and one that provides a unique flexibility — travelers go where the jobs are!