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Travel Nurses Provide One Solution To Nursing Shortage
by: Terry McDermott
Copyright 2005 Terry McDermott

America is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to get worse as baby boomers age and the need for health care increases. Complicating the nursing shortage problem is the fact that nursing schools and universities across the country are having difficulty maintaining enrollment levels that remain insufficient to meet the projected demand for nursing care.

Based on a recent survey, it is common knowledge that there is a nursing shortage and this is viewed as a serious issue. The study revealed that 75% of Americans think that the nursing shortage is a very real and very important health care concern. The general view is that the nursing shortage will have a negative effect on health care services. The poll indicates that 81 percent of the population is acutely aware of the nursing shortage and fully 65 percent believe that the nursing shortage is nearing crisis levels.

The survey also found that, despite the nursing shortage most Americans are confidant that nurses' opinions on medical issues are highly credible and that the nursing profession is generally respected and admired. Because of the nursing shortage there are many more nursing positions available than can be filled. This is despite the fact that average nurse salaries match up quite well with other professions.

Many potential solutions, such as travel nursing, are being developed to address the current nursing shortage. The position of travel nurse was created more than 20 years ago in order to address shortfalls in staffing in states that experienced dramatic swings in seasonal population. Now, being a travel nurse is regarded as operating in a specialized nursing category and has become a crucial factor in potential solutions to the worsening nursing shortage.

Becoming a travel nurse opens the door to a world of possibilities. Agencies that specialize in travel nurse placement will help locate a variety of travel nurse positions in areas of the U.S in which a nurse has an interest. A travel nurse assignment will normally last for about 90 days but may continue for up to six months. After selecting the region or state the nurse must decide which travel nurse position tol accept. It is entirely up to the nurse which type of program and which type of medical facility to join.

The compensation for a travel nurse is well above average and is attracting more nurses into the travel nurse profession. The salary or a travel nurse is well above the norm. What's more, the travel nurse package usually includes complimentary housing. Plus, travel expenses are also covered. A travel nurse will also receive generous benefits such as health insurance or a retirement plan, if it is a good travel nurse agency.

Most travel nurse assignments provide a substantial bonus upon completion of a tour. The collective compensation for a travel nurse is far greater than permanent, local nursing positions. In many cases being a travel nurse can result in a six figure annual income.

About the author:
Terry McDermott is the administrator of,a website that specializes in providing resources and opportunities for travel nurses and other medical professionals.

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