Where are travel nurses needed in the US?

Within the last decade, the United States healthcare industry has undergone various changes including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  

According to the US Healthcare Staffing Market Assessment performed by the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the largest geographic shortages of nurses are to be expected in California, Texas, New Jersey, and South Carolina by 2030. 

High Demand States

  • California is expected to have a shortage of roughly 44,000 nurses by 2030, according to the SIA report. This presents an enormous problem for the Golden State considering how large the state and population is. However, this provides an opportunity for travel nurses to come to California to take advantage of the shortage and experience the West Coast.
  • Texas is expected to have a shortage of roughly 15,000 nurses by 2030. Texas, just like California, is one of the largest states in the nation, but the major difference is the population. According to the 2010 Census, Texas has close to 29 million people versus California with roughly 39.5 million people – a 10 million difference. This is yet another opportunity for travel nurses who wish to experience the southern region of the US.
  • New Jersey is expected to have a shortage of roughly 11,000 nurses by 2030. The only state in the Northeast region of the US to experience a shortage. However, neighboring states like New York will experience a surplus in nurses, which can have a positive impact on NJ.
  • South Carolina is expected to have a shortage of roughly 10,000 nurses by 2030, while North Carolina is expected to have a surplus of roughly 16,000 nurses. 

Why this matters?

Nurses are the life and blood of hospitals. Travel nurses often provide valuable work to the hospital staff by filling in where demand is needed. With the shortages, nurses on staff may be overworked, which can lead to some issues including mental health, physical health, illness, or decreased work performance. 

It’s important to understand what is happening within the industry because without nurses hospitals may crumble. 

What does it mean for nurses?

California and Texas are the most populous states in the nation but also have the largest demand for nurses. This presents an abundance of opportunities for traveling nurses to fill in at hospitals throughout California or Texas. A nurse can start in Southern California and work their way up to Northern California to not only experience two different regions but to fulfill the nursing demands across California.

Other states like Alaska, South Dakota, and Georgia are also expected to have a shortage of nurses. However, the demand for nurses in these states isn’t as high as California or Texas with demand reaching as low as 2,000. 

The majority of states in the US have enough nurses to fill hospitals, but that should not discourage anyone from applying! There will always be competition for any travel nursing position, so put your best foot forward and be open to different possibilities! As a traveler, you should always expect the unexpected.

What’s next?

The next step for any travel nurse is to do research! Knowing the requirements to apply for out-of-state positions beforehand will help during the application process and avoid any delays. Each state is different and each state will have a different process to receive a certification to practice medicine, so please be cautious! 

Get in contact with one of our travel nursing recruiters and we can give a rundown on the requirements to be considered for a travel nursing assignment with KPG Healthcare. You should also sit-down with yourself to figure out where you want to go and what the necessary steps are to get to where you want to go. 

Overall, travel nursing provides opportunity, flexibility and exploration within yourself and the world. It’s important to remember to have a plan, do research and know your options! KPG Healthcare offers assignments across the US, get in touch with one of our recruiters ([email protected]) to get more information!