Find out what the top 5 hottest specialties are in travel nursing with this episode of Onward Healthcare’s Travel Nursing Insider. Travel Nursing Director, Lindsay Francis, reveals the most in-demand specialties and how travel nurses can leverage this demand to land their dream assignments.
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Peter: Hello and welcome to another edition of Travel Nursing Insider brought to you by the folks at Onward Healthcare. This is Peter Clayton reporting. Today we have director of travel nursing, Lindsay Francis and senior recruiter, Suzanne Johnson with us.
Lindsay and Suzanne, it’s great to see you again.
Today we're going to talk about what’s specialties are hot in travel nursing and how nurses can take advantage of this hot market in this hot summer.
Lindsay, give me the top five specialties that are in demand right now.
Lindsay: Well really quickly, Peter, just to touch on the hot market I definitely want to stress that we have seen a great increase in our open position count over the last month or two. All specialties are certainly welcome to reach out and see the new opportunities that have come aboard. In terms of talking about what we’ve seen most recently as the biggest increases, I would say are our labor and delivery positions, our NICU positions (which is our neonatal ICU), OR, our telemetry and our critical care opportunities; we’ve really seen a huge climb in those these past couple of months.
Peter: Is this across the country?
Lindsay: It is. I think the majority of our positions certainly have come into the East Coast – Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York – where we’ve seen a big increase in census due to the summer months and that type of thing but certainly across the country as well – California, Arizona, down south, the Midwest, there has been an increase all over.
Peter: Great. Suzanne, if I’m in one of these hot specialties, what can I expect when talking to my recruiter about a travel nursing assignment?
Suzanne: One of the most important things is that everyone has more options as opposed to limiting yourself to certain states that only have one or two positions available. Most of the states that Lindsay just mentioned have a ton more options, so that’s one of the first things we’re going to talk about is where can we get your profile out to and how many more choices you have today?
I would say the second most important thing to speak with your recruiter about is what are your expectations of a travel assignment versus the expectations of the hospital. You want to make sure the position is a good fit.
Another key thing with the hot specialties is we are seeing increased bill rates which means better pay rates for our nurses, which is always a good topic to talk about.
Lindsay: One of their favorites.
Suzanne: Yes, everyone’s favorite is more money.
One of the most important things is the ability to interview and start right away. Are you licensed in a state that is difficult to get licensed in that has several of these opportunities? If you are and you are able to start right away, those are going to be some of the first things we’re going to talk to you as a recruiter when you’re looking for your next travel nursing assignment.
Peter: That’s great. If I’m an OR nurse and I’m looking to start a new job right away and I call you, how quickly can I get started, Suzanne?
Suzanne: You can get started if you are licensed in the state and you are flexible within the state, we could pretty much get you started within about one to two weeks. Some of our positions are referred to as critical response or rapid response positions and some of those will even want you to get started within the 7-10 days.
If you are able to be more flexible with your location, for example, if you called and asked for one of the Carolina’s and you were specifically looking on the coast but really the best fitted position for you was about 50 to 60 miles away from the coast; if you’re flexible with that, we are going to be able to get you started much more quickly.
Licenses, like I touched on previously, are very important because some of them do take 4-6 weeks and if you know that you want to travel to Massachusetts then Lindsay and I are going to tell you make sure you have the license going in or you’ve already got it pending and waiting and the second that license comes through on their website, we are going to be able to get you submitted out to a position and get your started more quickly.
Peter: Alright then, so I’m guessing there’s still some level of competition. Lindsay, what should these nurses do to ensure they get their pick of the job litter?
Lindsay: Not to beat a dead horse but just to touch on what Suzanne just said, the most important thing for competition that these nurses can do to get themselves ahead of the pack, I can’t stress enough doing your homework before you even call your recruiter. If you know travel nursing is something you’re interested in, you know there are certain locations you want to go to, make a list. Make a list of the top five destinations you’re looking to go to. Google their websites and check out how long it takes to get a license there. Do a little bit of that homework before you’re even calling a recruiter. It just puts you that much more ahead of the game.
The other thing that you can start doing is get prepared to interview. Get prepared to get your submission to a facility and what I mean by that is start working on your compliance paperwork. If you’re an RN and you’ve been working for a year in a facility which is a requirement you need in order to do travel nursing then you know the facilities are going to require you to have titers, have a current physical, have a current PPD, have your certifications up to date.
Make sure you start a folder. I always tell new nurses start a folder, label it travel nursing, start putting copies of all your licenses, certifications, paperwork in that folder. Also keep in that folder the list I just talked about. What are you looking for, what are the locations, what’s the pay you’re looking for? Start writing that list of criteria down so that when you’re talking to a recruiter, you already know the touch points that you want to get on. I would say that, first and foremost, is what you can do to set yourself above.
Also, these recruiters are getting calls from 50 to a 100 nurses a day so what are you going to do to make yourself special so that they’re going to call you back first too. They’re more likely to start working with someone who’s got their list of things together and sounds serious and has been doing their homework up to this point.
Peter: That’s some really valuable information. Thanks. It sounds like these nurses are in a great position career wise and the salaries are going up; how is the market for the rest of the specialties out there, Suzanne?
Suzanne: It is picking up big time, Peter. We have seen a lot of quick turnaround in certain areas such as the northeast – New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey – and this is for specialties across the board, not just the ones that Lindsay specified. Med/surg, like I said, we have a lot of baby nurse positions right now, LNC, NICU, pediatrics. Some of the other states that are moving quickly that I recently have sent some of my nurses to would include Texas and Alaska, those are both pending licensure but really like Lindsay said, every specialty is picking up and we encourage everyone to call in and see the locations that they’re looking for or to discuss the areas that their specialty has available and depending again on their flexibility, we are definitely going to be able to help everybody out.
Peter: Super. Let’s close out the show with some hot opportunities for those big five specialties we’ve been talking about today. Give us some locations that are starving for these nurses.
Lindsay: I would say one to really touch on as far as NICU needs go, Ohio and Alaska. If you’ve got licenses there, those are two really hot states looking for those opportunities. To touch on what Suzanne just said, as far as ICU, labor and delivery and OR is concerned, some of the big ones do happen to be Connecticut, New York, New Jersey – that tri-state area right there in New England, as well as a lot of opportunities in California and Ohio.
Peter: Great. Thanks so much for taking time to speak with us, Lindsay and Suzanne. This has been some really great information today.
Lindsay: Thank you, Peter.
Suzanne: Thanks a lot, Peter.
Thank you for tuning in to Travel Nursing Insider. For more information on the exciting world of travel nursing, you should visit Onward Healthcare on the web at OnwardHealthcare.com or call 1-800-278-0332 to speak to a travel nursing recruiter. You should also follow Onward Healthcare on Twitter at Twitter.com/OnwardHealth, fan them on Facebook at Facebook.com/travelnursing and subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes; just do a keyword search for Travel Nursing Insider.
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