Stability is a term we hear a lot when talking with physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and dentists about a locum tenens career.
Many healthcare professionals are hesitant to get into locums work because they do not want to leave the comfort and stability of their permanent position at a hospital or healthcare organization. However, is a permanent position really more stable than locum tenens?
The term “permanent position” is a bit of a misnomer. No position is guaranteed. Just ask the physicians and nurse practitioners working in Connecticut hospitals. Cuts in the state’s hospital funding are threatening staff reductions at some hospitals, and others may even have to close their doors. In a healthcare marketplace where hospital mergers and acquisitions are becoming more common and cost reduction is a top priority, hospital employment can be anything but stable.
On the other hand, the demand for locum tenens providers has remained stable for the last six years. According to the 2013 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends, for the sixth consecutive year, at least 72 percent of healthcare managers surveyed indicated their facilities had used locum tenens physicians sometime during the previous 12 months. For example, at Barton Associates, we have more locum tenens jobs available than we have physicians and nurse practitioners to fill them.
In honesty, locum tenens providers who are open to travel can typically work as much as they want, and because they are independent contractors, locum tenens professionals need not worry about staff cuts or acquisitions.