Travel Nursing in 2022 - What You Can Expect

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
February 18, 2022
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Travel nursing is booming, and this growth is expected to continue through 2022. There are several different reasons for this projected forecast.

Nursing Shortage Continues

COVID-19 has definitely taken a toll on all healthcare workers. Many have left the field altogether, while others are looking for better ways to manage their work-life balance.

According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are an estimated 194,000 nursing job openings every year. This is partly because 640,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age. Healthcare facilities are in need of high-quality nursing leaders, and nursing schools are seeking experienced instructors and preceptors.

Experienced Nurses Are Retiring

Not only are baby boomers retiring from nursing, but they will soon become the patients. 10,000 individuals are turning 65 years old every day in the United States. That is over 3.5 million a year.

Problems With Retention

Are healthcare facilities meeting the needs of the newest generation of nurses? Recruiting and replacing staff is one of the most expensive budget items for healthcare facilities. Therefore, it’s important for organizations to focus on building amazing leaders and retaining the great nurses they already have. They are not quite there yet, and that is why travel nursing continues to grow.

Hospital management and leadership cannot keep up with nurses’ growing demands. It’s particularly critical for leaders to meet the expectations of newer Generation Y and Z nurses, as this group is changing the landscape of healthcare.

Generation Y personality traits:

  • Self-confident and ambitious
  • Motivated by work-life balance and flexible working hours
  • Believes that personal learning and development are more important than financial rewards
  • Image-driven
  • Will work with organizations, not for organizations

Generation Z personality traits:

  • Motivated by security and stability
  • Will move seamlessly between organizations
  • More independent and competitive
  • Driven by career and financial goals
  • Follows trends, but will research first

Compact States Make It Easier To Be A Travel Nurse

In some states, it can take up to six months to obtain a state nurses license. Currently, there are 38 states or jurisdictions that allow nurses to work under one compact nurses license. (Guam is one of them, how cool is that!)

If a nurse has the freedom to travel alone or with a family or friend, this is the perfect time and opportunity to do so. Nurses with families might find this harder—especially if they have school-aged children.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

The average hourly wage for a staff nurse is $36.22 per hour. With travel nursing, the average wage is $4500 per week or $125 per hour for the standard three - twelve-hour hour shifts. That is more than three times what you would make as a staff nurse. In certain specialties such as the ICU or operating room, you can earn even double that amount. Sometimes, travel nursing simply makes sense.

Freedom In Time And Travel

COVID-19 has impacted nearly every industry in some way. In particular, it has opened many eyes to the possibilities of working remotely. Travel nursing gives nurses the opportunity to explore new places and enjoy a more flexible schedule. With so many states that are part of the compact licensure, you can choose to spend winters in Florida and summers in Maine or spend 13 weeks in the Pacific Northwest. You could even visit family and friends all over the country.

2022 is still trending in the direction of travel nursing and now is the time to consider a travel nurse role.


Kelli has been working as a registered nurse for almost 20 years in Level I Trauma Intensive Care, Cardiac and Surgical Recovery. Currently, Kelli is working in hospice and palliative Care. Kelli’s passion lies in teaching her patients about their current disease processes and how they can benefit from lifestyle changes. With her hospice patients, Kelli feels it is an honor to be a part of their last journey here on earth.

Health Carousel Travel Nursing

Find the Travel Job that’s Right for You

Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!

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