Long Term Acute Care Nurse Staffing: Is Travel Nursing the Next Best Option?

Long Term Acute Care Nurse Staffing:  Is Travel Nursing the Next Best Option?

Travel nursing is a bold solution to staff shortages in health care facilities, including those dealing with long term acute care patients.  Thus, long term acute care nurse staffing companies have also been on the rise.

The idea of travel nursing started in New Orleans in 1978 when contract nurses were brought into the city to help take care of the sick because there was an influx of patients during Mardi Gras.  It has then since become an employment option for registered nurses in the country.

What is a Travel Nurse?

A travel nurse is a skilled healthcare professional who takes assignments in hospitals or other healthcare facilities or communities that have short-term staffing needs.  These facilities opt to hire traveling nurses to cover a short-term demand when they are in circumstances like:

  • A temporary rise in the patient population.
  • Having a hard time finding the right RN for a certain unit
  • Flu season
  • Technology upgrade when training may occupy much of the permanent staff’s time

If you’ve recently been part of a long term acute care nurse staffing for a minimum of twelve months, and you want to hone your skills and want to advance in your career, salary, and lifestyle, you can choose to be a travel nurse.

Being a traveling nurse in an acute long term care facility can give you the opportunity to build your clinical competency while visiting exciting new locations all over the country.

Travel nurses are often required to stay for 13 weeks, although they may stay shorter or longer depending on the need of the healthcare facility.  Others renew again and again and stay a while when they are enjoying their assignment.

Long Term Acute Care Nurse: Is it Appealing for a Travel Nurse?

Nursing jobs are expected to increase by roughly a million between 2014 and 2024 and it was found out that 55% of the nursing workforce is 50 years old or older.  Hence, it is anticipated that over a million of these nurses are going to start retiring in the next 10 to 15 years.

What’s more, by 2030 the number of senior citizens will have increased by 69 million.  There will be an increasing demand for long term acute care nurse staffing to provide support and services for this specialty.

Demand for long term acute care is always high and there will always be a need for long term acute care nurse staffing and LTAC registered nurses will always find many good opportunities in an acute long term care facility.

        What LTAC Nurses are expected to do:

  • Serve patients with complex needs
  • Serve patients who require long-term hospital care
  • Enjoy bedside care: giving baths to patients, helping them eat, and interacting with their families
  • Be open to learning something new on a daily basis
  • Solve conflicts
  • Manage time excellently
  • Be alert

        The basic requirements for an LTAC nurse:

  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Nursing
  • NCLEX-RN passer
  • A license to practice in your state
  • Encouraged to become certified in CCRN, CCNRN-E (Tele-ICU Acute or Critical Care Nursing), and ACNPC-AG (Adult-Gerontology)

The near future for healthcare facilities shows many shortages in nursing professionals.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a nursing shortage could increase to 500,000 positions nationwide by 2025. 

With this in mind and considering that one in five Americans will be considered a senior by 2030, there is undoubtedly a growing demand for long term acute care nurse staffing all over the country.

LTAC Nurse:  Challenging but Rewarding

If you ever find yourself in an acute long term care facility and observe how nurses with unique talent focus on providing quality care to patients most who need it the most, you will begin to admire the dedication, patience, and skill required to be an LTAC nurse.

Long term acute care nurse staffing has provided employment opportunities for registered travel nurses to help improve patients’ lives and play a key role in family interactions for critically-ill patients.  The unique role of LTAC nurses rewards them with a special strengthened bond with their patients and a highly educational investment in their profession.