Trends Shaping Locum Tenens Staffing

Among the many ways the Covid-19 pandemic changed this country in profound ways was how it helped in the growth of the locum tenens staffing industry. 

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) reported in October that healthcare (as a whole, not just locum staffing) “reached $68.7 billion in 2022, more than three times the market size in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the growth in travel nursing, per diem nursing, allied and locum tenens over the past three years.” 

SIA believes the “demand for healthcare staffing is now less about Covid-related care and more about tight labor markets, turnover and attrition.” 

We believe the Covid emergency, with EXTREME burden placed on healthcare professionals, is a direct cause of the current tight labor market

After all, as we mentioned in a previous post, more than 145,000 healthcare workers had left the profession as of July 2023, many citing burnout due to overwork during Covid. 

The SIA article goes on to state that it believes that the per diem and travel nurse markets would see a decline of a “holding steady” in 2024. 

Yet it believes the locum tenens sector will grow

How much growth? Last year (2023) should have seen the sector grow by 12 percent, according to the article.  As for 2024? SIA predicts “continued growth.” 

Trends contributing to this growth:

  • An aging population that will demand more healthcare services for complex/chronic illnesses. 

The youngest of the baby boom generation turned 60 in 2023. These youngest boomers will have turned 65 by the end of 2028, just five years away. 

Meanwhile, the oldest boomers (those born in 1946) just turned 77, about the age that these types of chronic/complex conditions tend to make themselves known. 

  • Retirements are coming in a huge way

Boomers are aging, Let’s not forget that the first members of GenX will turn 60 this year and they’ll start retiring over the next two decades.

And on it goes. 

  • Advanced-practice professionals will remain in high demand (according to SIA).

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are expected to fill in the gaps while also working as part of a team-based model where these types of professionals play an important role.  

Locum doctor/nurse practitioner staffing agencies likely will help bridge this looming healthcare professional gap

Locum staffing agencies can help medical facilities fill the gaps in their professional workforce when patient demand rises, staff take vacations/family leave, team members retire or quit, and so on.  

Short-term locum doctor providers such as SUMO Staffing should come to play an important role in providing these healthcare pros to medical facilities needing temporary staff quickly. 

Learn more about how our nurse practitioner staffing agency can help ensure your staffing levels remain high.