Travel nursing jobs have soared. Have you noticed your voicemail and inbox getting more crowded?

Are you a travel nurse? Right now, hospitals everywhere are seeking your talents.  Travel nursing jobs are at a 20-year high in demand.

In a recent USA Today article by Phil Galewitz, Galewitz explores the changing landscape of healthcare and the accompanying staffing needs. He discovered that not only has the demand for travel nurses reached a 20-year high, but industry experts expect the demand for travel nursing to increase by 10 percent this year alone, “due to declining unemployment, which raises demand by increasing commercial admissions to hospitals,” according to Staffing Industry Analyst.

Galewitz writes, “With an invigorated national economy and millions of people gaining health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, demand for nurses…is at a 20-year high, industry analysts say.”

The industry analyst would be Randle Reece, an analyst with investment firm Avondale Partners. According to Mr. Reece, “We’ve seen a broad uptick in health care employment, which the staffing agencies are riding.” He says the demand for nurses and other healthcare professionals are at its highest level since the mid-1990’s.

The national nursing shortage has left hospitals in rural or low-populated areas seeking alternative options to fill staff voids. Many opt for international talent to fill the void, while others rely on travel nurses. The article suggests that expanded Medicaid has made it possible for more hospitals to use travel nursing. “Improved profits — particularly in states that expanded Medicaid — have also made hospitals more amenable to hire travel nurses to help them keep up with rising admissions.”

Travel nurses on average make about $32/hour. That’s a significant increase from the $26 hourly rate of a full-time Registered Nurse, according to Payscale.com. So the additional funds from expanded Medicaid, along with increased profits, have made hospital budgets more flexible and travel nurse-friendly.

This of course means enormous opportunity for any nurse seeking a travel nursing job, but that only applies to a very small percentage of Registered Nurses. Most nurses simply do not move. So for the adventurous at heart, the time to explore the country and make a lot of money doing it is ripe.

Have you noticed an uptick in e-mails and calls from recruiters? Let us know in the comment section below. And of course, if you’re interested in any of the open assignments we have, you can skim them here.