In the past 10 plus years the health care industry has grown more than 10 times faster than the rest of the economy. Truly staggering figures, driven in part by such factors as an aging population (a projected 83.7 million people over age 65 in the US by 2050), and increased access to healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act (nearly 12 million people have newly acquired overage). In fact, since it seems health care might be the one truly recession-proof industry, it’s never been a better time to be a locum tenens practitioner.
The research indicates that by 2025 the nation will be looking at a shortage of about 14,900 physicians and 35,600 primary care physicians. Other specialties are also stacked for shortfalls: general and vascular surgeons, psychiatrists, obstetricians, and internists are among some of the most needed specialties. Complicating the shortage is another factor: that of aging practitioners. About a quarter of the primary care physician workforce is nearing retirement age.
Locum tenens physicians are in higher demand than ever: able to fill openings, but also help bridge the gap for retiring practitioners, locum practitioners play an important part in overall healthcare staffing needs.
If we look again toward 2025, we see a deficit of an estimated 260,000 RN’s. Like primary care physicians, registered nurses are also aging: in 2013 more than half of the RN population was over 50 years old.
Locum tenens RN’s, from those in the twilight of their careers to those just beginning, enjoy placements across the country.
Nurse Practitioners Boom
Nurse practitioners (NP’s) offer primary care treatment in a growing percentage of the United States, particularly in rural populations. With the growth of on-demand healthcare facilitates such as Walgreens and CVS employing NP’s as primary providers as well, NP’s are on the rise and field is set to explode.
Locum tenens NP’s are needed in every state, and locations both urban and rural.
Physician Assistants Surge
The PA profession has doubled every decade since the 1980’s, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, forecasting it to be the second-fastest-growing health profession in the next decade. Fortunately, numbers graduating from programs across the nation are also surging.
From hospitals and large healthcare facilities, to specialty practices to small offices, PA’s provide needed patient care.
Whatever your specialty or experience, locum tenens professionals are among the most in-demand clinicians in the nation. A burgeoning profession in every aspect, from the number of facilities using locums to the number of practitioners choosing this rewarding style of employment and placement, locum tenens is thriving.