By Kerrey Brennan
Like any profession, nurses want their skillset 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 when it comes to 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 healthcare assignments increases even more.
So, which nursing specialties are the highest in demand? Here are some of the most in-demand specialties for travel nurses in 2020.
Operating room nurse continues to be a highly sought-after specialty at facilities nationwide. Because of that (and the fact that surgery is generally a hospital’s largest source of revenue), it’s also one of the highest-paid specialties for travel nurses.
Three categories typically fall under OR nursing:
- Circulating nurses care for patients before and after a procedure, and also document throughout a surgical case.
- Scrub nurses assist surgeons during procedures.
- RN first assistants are allowed to 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.
ICU and PCU
ICU (intensive care unit) is one of the most well-respected nursing positions in the healthcare industry. All ICU nurses 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 get 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.
PCU (progressive care unit) nursing is a similar specialty in high demand. The training for PCU is similar to ICU, but you often don’t need all the same certifications. And, although it’s a level down from being an ICU nurse, you’re still caring for patients who need close observation. You’ll be responsible for assessing and recording each patient’s progress and recovery — so observant, meticulous nurses are best in this role.
Although it hasn’t always been the case, ER nursing is a specialty that’s more and more in demand all the time. In the emergency room, you’ll come in contact with many different acute injuries and conditions — some life-threatening — so you must think quick on your feet and be able to react swiftly. Because of the impressive skillset needed to succeed in this specialty, experience as an ER nurse is all the more appealing to potential employers. Explore travel ER nurse jobs available now.
NICU, MBPP, and L&D
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 the others. You’ll most likely need experience as a MBPP nurse first, and you usually need to become certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), among other certifications.
Medical Surgical Nursing
Newly licensed RNs often take on medical surgical 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. As a med surg nurse, you’ll be go, go, going. 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.
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 people 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.
As the Baby Boomers continue to age, demand for long-term acute care continues to grow. As a LTAC nurse, bedside care is of the utmost importance. You’ll be responsible for helping patients bathe and eat, and you’ll also be the main point of contact with patients’ families. Explore travel LTAC jobs currently available at Medical Solutions.
Demand for these nursing specialties is great, but it’s definitely 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, in the aforementioned and many other nursing and allied health specialties. Search travel healthcare jobs now to find your perfect fit!