Ventura MedStaff CEO’s Outlook on the Healthcare Staffing Industry in 2024

Some of the first references to travel nursing can be found in the early 1900s when nurses would travel from town to town to help with different medical needs that had arisen in struggling locations. Fast forward to 1979 when the first travel nursing agency would be created to help address the nursing shortage that had begun to take place. 2020 was another big year for healthcare travelers, as many workers bravely transferred to the states that were experiencing the highest COVID-19 positive rates.

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare staffing, one wonders what this year has in store for the industry. We sat down with Jeff Shaffar, Ventura MedStaff’s CEO, to gain his perspective and answers to the many questions facing the industry at the present day.

Are there any notable trends or shifts in the healthcare staffing industry that you believe will shape the year ahead?

“The ongoing struggle within the nursing sector to adjust to pre-COVID pay highlights a persistent challenge. Despite this, the demand for nursing professionals remains robust and is expected to surge throughout 2024.

Moreover, the healthcare staffing industry is witnessing growth in areas such as Allied Health and Therapy, along with ancillary domains like Locum Tenen and PRN. These sectors are becoming focal points for expansion and development, underlining the dynamic nature of the healthcare staffing landscape.”

Can you share insights on the evolving skill sets and qualifications expected of healthcare professionals this year?

“In response to the changing demands of the industry, healthcare professionals are now sought after for their well-rounded skill sets. Nurses who have diversified their capabilities and demonstrated flexibility in terms of floating and scheduling are increasingly likely to find roles that align with their expertise.

The emphasis in 2024 is on continuous learning, with a focus on additional certifications, especially within the thriving sectors of Allied Health and Therapy. This signals a shift towards a more adaptable and versatile healthcare workforce.”

Are there any specialties or certifications you believe will be at the forefront of 2024?

“At the forefront of 2024, traveling Allied Health and Therapy professionals are set to play pivotal roles in shaping the industry. I also believe that ongoing education and added certifications are essential for any traveler, regardless of specialty.

The acknowledgment that ongoing education and supplementary certifications are essential for any potential traveler emphasizes the industry’s commitment to staying at the forefront of advancements. This reflects a proactive approach to meet the evolving needs of healthcare, ensuring that professionals are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills.”

Do you think there are any specific geographic areas or markets where you predict there will be a heightened demand for healthcare professionals in the coming year?

“Research indicates a notable shift in demand for healthcare professionals towards rural markets, surpassing the available supply. With the closure of numerous rural care facilities, the focus is shifting towards larger facilities and healthcare systems. Providers are urged to redirect their attention to these evolving geographic trends, emphasizing the importance of adapting strategies to cater to the changing landscape of healthcare delivery.”

What are some of the biggest differences you think will distinguish 2024 healthcare staffing from 2023?

“First, I have to say we are prepared for whatever 2024 may bring. Thanks to the experience gained from navigating unprecedented epidemics like COVID-19, the healthcare industry is better able to face future challenges with increased resilience.

Last year, we saw some upticks in pay/bill rates, but for 2024 we are anticipating some stabilization that will reflect a more measured and controlled approach. We expect this year that the emphasis will remain on cost savings, with a call for collaboration between agencies and healthcare facilities.

This collaboration is essential to establish a united plan of action when addressing staffing shortages, regardless of the underlying causes, ensuring a more cohesive and efficient healthcare staffing system.”

Connect with us in 2024

Only time will tell how 2024 will affect the healthcare staffing industry, but no matter the outcome, Ventura MedStaff stands as your steadfast partner. We are committed to our mission of positively changing lives and impacting patient care, and we would love to support you on your healthcare traveler journey. If you’re ready to start your next adventure, contact us to be connected with a recruiter today!

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