10 High-Demand Specialties for Travel Nurses

Job Seeker, Travel Nurse Jobs, Travel Nursing Jobs

Nurse in an operating room wearing scrubs below says High Demand Specialties for Travel Nurses

Like any profession, nurses want their skills and specialty to be in high demand. When it comes to travel nursing, that’s how you gain job security, a higher salary, and more options with choosing your assignment. Also, once you acquire at least one year of experience in a high-demand specialty, your chance of getting hired for great travel nursing jobs increases even more.

So, what are the high-demand nursing specialties right now? Here are some of the most in-demand specialties for travel nurses in 2024.

1. OR Nursing

An operating room nurse continues to be a highly sought-after specialty at facilities nationwide since success in the OR is important to many patients and their families. Three categories typically fall under OR nursing:

  • Circulating nurses care for patients before and after a procedure, and document throughout the surgical case.
  • Scrub nurses assist surgeons during procedures.
  • RN first assistants can assist during surgery (under the supervision of a surgeon) in making incisions, suturing layers of the surgical wound, and so on.

If you’re calm in intense situations and have a keen attention to detail, OR is a great specialty for you. Medical Solutions has lots of great travel OR nurse jobs currently available.

 2. Cardiac Nursing

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., which means nurses specializing in cardiovascular are constantly in high demand. The great thing about cardiac nursing is that there are several specialties within this one specialty, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all position. For example, you can become a CVOR nurse or CVICU nurse, which both are considered specialties with the highest paying travel nurse jobs. Each specialty differs by environment worked in, day-to-day responsibilities, and types of patients/cardiac conditions, so it’s important to make sure your travel nursing goals line up with the area you want to go in.

3. ICU Nursing

ICU (intensive care unit) nursing is one of the most well-respected nursing positions in the healthcare industry. All nurses looking for ICU travel jobs must pass the NCLEX-RN, get licensed in their state or the state they want to practice in (compact licensing makes this easier for all specialties), and have at least one year of experience to travel. To become an ICU travel nurse, you’ll also need your BLS/CPR certification, your ACLS certification, and it’s highly recommended that you become a CCRN (critical care registered nurse), as this will allow you to work in all different ICU units. As travel nursing evolves, positions like virtual ICU command center nursing positions also become available.

4. Emergency Nursing

Although it hasn’t always been the case, ER nursing is a specialty that’s constantly in demand. In the emergency room, you’ll encounter many different acute injuries and conditions — some life-threatening — so you must be able to think quickly on your feet, adapt immediately, and react swiftly. Due to the impressive skillset needed to succeed in this specialty, experience as an ER nurse is more appealing to potential employers. With more than 136 million people taking a trip to the ER each year in the U.S., demand is consistently high for ER nurses, which means there are tons of travel ER nurse jobs available now to explore!

5. NICU, MBPP, and L&D Nursing

Demand for women’s health nurses is on the rise, so a specialty in any of these categories is a great option. Patience and empathy will help you succeed in these nursing specialties — especially in NICU — as you’ll be working primarily with mothers, fathers, and their babies at some of the most monumental moments of their lives.

The path to becoming a L&D nurse can be a little more intensive than other specialties. You’ll most likely need experience as an MBPP nurse first, also known as a Mother/Baby RN and post-partum RN, and you also need to become certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), among other certifications.

 6. Medical Surgical Nursing

Newly licensed RNs often take on med surge nurse roles because it’s a great way to get started as an RN. If you know symptoms and diseases off the top of your head and you’re a born multi-tasker, this is a specialty to consider. From administering IVs to dressing wounds to monitoring patients recently released from the ICU — you’ll do it all. A med surg nurse is responsible for coordinating a patient’s care from the minute they walk through the door to the moment they leave, so you’ll have a lot of face-to-face communication with your patients. You’ll also get to treat many different kinds of patients, which is great experience for any future path you choose to take. Not to mention, there are tons of med surge travel nurses jobs out there.

7. Telemetry Nursing

Telemetry nurses are similar to med surg nurses, as they also work with a variety of patients (all different ages and conditions) and they’re in constant contact with patients. If you’re a decisive person, travel positions in telemetry nursing will be a great fit for you. Tele nurses often care for critically ill patients, monitor changes in condition, record and interpret vital data to assist with patient assessment, and are responsible for educating patients on home care.

8. Psychiatric Nursing

The need for better mental health care continues to grow in the United States and the demand is higher and consistently rising for psych nurses, which means there are many well-paying psych travel nursing jobs in exciting locations nationwide. As a psych RN, you’ll work in various inpatient and outpatient settings to help assess, stabilize, and treat patients with quick and compassionate care. While the education and certification requirements are the same as other specialties, some facilities look for travel nurses who have two years of experience as a full-time RN and 30 hours of mental health nursing in the last three years.

 9. Home Health Nursing

As the population of Baby Boomers continues to age, the demand for home health nurses has increased exponentially. The goal of home health is to provide continuous care for patients with illnesses, chronic conditions, and injuries in a home setting instead of a hospital or clinic. The great thing about working in home health is that an array of healthcare professionals can work in this setting like RNs, CNAs, LPNs, LVNs, PTs, OTs, and speech therapists. And because the demand is consistently growing, that means there are many high-paying home health travel nursing jobs nationwide.

10. Oncology Nursing

Oncology nurses specialize in providing care for people who are going through cancer and is one of the most intense and selfless areas of nursing. With cancer being one of the second-leading causes of death in the U.S., oncology is a high-demand specialty that needs RNs who will help patients and their families navigate through diagnoses, administer treatments prescribed by physicians such as chemotherapy, and keep track of symptoms, especially those in remission. Whether it’s a hospital, clinic, or hospice care, oncology nurses are in demand and there are lots of travel nursing jobs for this specialty nationwide.

Demand for these nursing specialties is great, but it’s most important to choose an area you are passionate about. If you’re already an RN with at least one year of recent hospital experience, Medical Solutions has lots of current openings you can choose from, both the above high-demand nursing specialties and many other nursing and allied health specialties. Search travel healthcare jobs now to find your perfect fit or let our recruiters help you find the right job for you when you apply today!

Original post created by Sarah Wengert Oct. 6, 2022

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Elle Reed is a content specialist with a knack for writing that informs, uplifts, and makes a difference in the healthcare realm. With an educational background in English and psychology, she combines her love of storytelling and knowledge seeking to ensure clinicians are constantly in the know and appreciated. She’s based in the Midwest with her husband and her baby pup, Porter.