First things first. Who came up with the idea of travel nursing and how did it become this huge layer of the healthcare industry that it is today?
The History of Travel Nursing
According to an article posted to Pantravelers.org the history of travel nursing began like this:
A businessman by the name of Bruce Male was at a cocktail party in Boston in the ‘70s. He overheard some local nurses discussing the nursing shortage across the country. Bruce posted an ad in the Boston Globe looking for "traveling nurses." He wanted to see if he could start a business out of the dilemma. He found some who were interested, and their first stop was New Orleans to help local hospitals during Mardi Gras, since city hospitals would see an influx of patients. Some would say the rest is history. That was in 1977. Before that, though, there were nurses who traveled from the north down to Florida. They went down to work for the winter to help with the incursion of snowbirds, or seasonal travelers who flock south to avoid snow. Travel nursing provided a way for hospitals to fill open positions or handle an unusual arrival of patients without having to take the time to hire and train new staff.
Back then travel nursing didn’t come with the many benefits it comes with today, such as housing and higher wages. It was a profession mostly pursued by younger, single nurses. Much has changed and developed in the world of travel nursing. Now people of all ages and walks of life travel the country as nurses. The concept of being a traveling healthcare worker has also expanded beyond nursing to other healthcare professions such as allied health and physicians. All of these traveling healthcare positions are growing!
So, now that you know the history of travel nursing, it sounds perfect, right? Work for a few weeks doing a job that you love and travel to new and exciting places! Keep in mind that, as with any job, there are challenges that come along with travel nursing. And, Lauren Alston, a recruiting manager for Indiana-based Medical Staffing Solutions LLC, said it best: “The last thing we want to do is sugarcoat travel nursing like it’s a unicorn, because it’s not. It’s a very hard job, but it’s a very rewarding job.” Learn more about travel nursing here!