TTATN 038: The 2017 Travel Nursing Job Market
Play • 43 min

Hey everyone, welcome to the truth about travel nursing podcast. Thank you so much for joining us for episode 38 of the podcast. In this episode, we’re going to take a look at the state of the travel nursing job market in 2017. We’re looking at this topic because there is a lot of talk out there that the job market for travel healthcare professionals is slack. That means there are fewer jobs…or the ratio of candidates to jobs is higher now than it was last year.  

Travel Nurses Are Reporting a Slowdown in Jobs

Just yesterday, I saw a post on social media from a recruiter that said, “ER job posted 2 hours ago and filled in less than that! That’s how things are working right now.” Many travel nurses chimed in to express their frustration with finding jobs. And, as always, there is no shortage of speculation as to what’s going on.  

So, in this episode, we’re going to discuss the travel nursing job market and take a look at the possible causes of the newfound slackness in the market. For those that aren’t aware, when the job market is hot and there are more jobs than candidates, we call that a tight labor market. When there are few jobs to candidates we call that slack labor market.  

I’ll let you know in advance, for clarity, that my personal belief is that there are a number of factors contributing to the slowness. Some of the factors may be weighing more heavily on the market than others, but I don’t believe that there is any one thing that’s causing the slowness.  

Now, this episode is going to be a little different. That’s because I already wrote an entire blog post about this topic back in July of 2017. However, articles like that don’t get very many views. People aren’t searching Google for “travel nursing job market”. If you di, our articles would come up, but people just don’t search for that stuff. And social media is fleeting. So unless something goes viral, an article might get a few hundred views on social media.  

So, I’m going to share that article laced with some additional commentary on this podcast. Trust me, this is going to be very interesting. I promise that you’ll discover a lot of helpful information in this episode. 

TRS Healthcare at the Travelers Conference

But, before I begin I want to share a great opportunity with you if you are attending the traveler’s conference in Las Vegas this year. The conference is actually just a few days away from the launch of this episode. And if you not familiar, The Travelers Conference as it’s called is held annually in Las Vegas. It’s a great way to meet fellow travelers and network with agencies and recruiters. And trust me, you will learn a lot if you attend. There are tons of helpful classes and presentations. It really is an amazing event. I highly recommend it. You can learn more at, that’s 

Anyway, at this year’s event, TRS Healthcare is hosting an after-party on day one of the conference, which is Monday, September 18. The party starts at 7pm at the RockHouse located in The Venetian. They’re going to be buying drinks and auctioning off a Cruise for 2.  

All you have to do is stop by their booth, which is number 219, to pick up your invitation. You must have an invitation to get drinks and be entered in the drawing to win the cruise for 2. Now, think about this. There are only going to be a couple of hundred people in this drawing…so you’re chances of winning are much higher than they are for typical drawings like this. I mean, typically a cruise for 2 would have thousands of entrants.  

Plus, I think you’re going to love TRS Healthcare. This company was founded by an RN who really is an inspiration. I mean, their Marketing Director wrote an article discussing her story for our blog and I was seriously choked up and inspired. No joke, seriously. If you want to read that article, go to  

Trust me, these are great folks at TRS Healthcare. In fact, they are routinely ranked as one of the top 20 companies on the main travel nursing rating websites. They’re honest and straightforward. And they definitely take care of their employees. So be sure to check them out the traveler’s conference. That’s TRS Healthcare at booth 219. 

Article Review

Okay, so let’s dive into this article on the travel nursing job market. I’m pretty much just going to read it and interject here and there with some additional commentary where pertinent. Here we go: 

 You can read the full article here.

Continuation of Trends in Travel Nursing Job Market

Okay, so that’s the end of the article. Again, just to reiterate, both AMN and Cross Country have had their quarterly earnings conference calls since the publication of the article we discussed. And both reported experiencing similar trends. That is, job orders are down, the number of MSP contracts is increasing, their fill rates are up, and prices are up. That said, both companies expressed their belief that the decline in job orders is not a long-term concern. 

Should Travel Nurses Work with Large Companies?

Now, after we published the article, we received a number of inquiries asking us if we thought it was best for travel nurses to simply work with these large companies. The idea being that if these companies are shielded from downturns, then won’t the travelers who work with them be shielded from downturns? 

I think it’s a little bit more complicated than that. First, that strategy has limitations, right? If everyone did that, then there would be no advantage at some point. Essentially, those companies would end up with a glut of travelers and not be able to staff them all.  

Second, as we at BluePipes always recommend, you have to work with multiple companies no matter what you do IF you want to get maximum exposure to the job market. Even the big companies don’t have access to all the jobs. In fact, they typically don’t play nice with one another. So AMN is staffing orders for Cross Country and vice versa. 

Moreover, there are many companies in the MSP game. While AMN and Cross Country are among the largest, there are a number of other companies out there doing the same thing.  

Finally, you have to consider whether or not you want to deal with the differences in service and pay that you’ll experience when you work with the larger companies. As I’ve said before, I am personally inclined to believe that the larger companies are providing great service. How would they be where they are if they provided horrible service? But, and this is a big but, they are routinely rated poorly across almost every rating platform. And you routinely see travelers complaining about poor service and lower pay from them on social media. That’s hard to argue with. 

Working with Multiple Companies is the Best Option for Travel Nurses

At the end of the day, operating successfully in a market like this requires you to be nimble, flexible and ready to go. That’s one of the main reasons we created BluePipes…to help you manage your career more effectively and efficiently. The platform helps you manage your career documentation and communicate with agencies and recruiters without compromising your contact information to the entire industry. I mean, if you’re looking for a job, just go to BluePipes and update your job availability settings. You’ll have 10 to 20 recruiters contacting you through our platform within a matter of days. And they’ll conduct your job search for you so you don’t waste a bunch of time.  

Okay, so, It’ll be very interesting to see how things play out over the next 6 to 12 months, and we’ll keep you posted via our blog and podcast, so be sure to check back with us.  

Also, be sure to check out TRS Healthcare. If you’re headed to the travelers conference, stop by booth 219 and get your invitation to their after-party. And get entered into that drawing to win a cruise for 2. If you’re not going to the conference and then visit them at, that’s 

Okay, that’s it for this episode. You can check out the show notes at, that’s We’ll link to the article we discussed and some helpful resources there. So until next time, have a safe and prosperous travel healthcare adventure. 


Why TRS Healthcare Supports The Travelers Conference

The post TTATN 038: The 2017 Travel Nursing Job Market appeared first on BluePipes Blog.

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