Insights From Wapiti

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Locum Tenens Demand Predicted to Grow

Locum tenens demand is expected to remain strong according to a new report from Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA).

SIA says earnings in the healthcare staffing sector have tripled since 2019 to an estimated $68.7 billion in 2022. COVID-19 played an enormous role in this surge, but now the focus is shifting to broader challenges like navigating tight labor markets, managing turnover, and mitigating attrition.

SIA’s unique insights offer a nuanced understanding of recent trends across the healthcare staffing subsegments.

Following incredible growth, SIA predicts the travel nurse industry is poised for an adjustment period in 2023 and 2024. Last year, the travel nursing segment dramatically exceeded expectations, reaching its zenith with growth six times greater than in 2019. Unfortunately, SIA predicts a 30% decrease in 2023, followed by a 5% decline in 2024.

SIA believes this pullback from the peak demand observed during the intense pandemic phases is inevitable, as health systems maximize their resources by strategically reducing reliance on travel staff and optimizing operational efficiency.

Unlike the projected declines in travel nursing, the locum tenens demand is forecast to remain strong, with see robust growth in 2023 and beyond. SIA predicts a 12% expansion in 2023, with sustained growth anticipated in 2024. As the aging population increases, the demand for health services—especially those for chronic and complex conditions—is growing. At the same time, physician retirement is limiting the supply of providers. To counter this, advanced-practice providers are taking up roles in team-based models, and staffing firms are leveraging their talent pools to provide locum tenens to fill the gaps.

Staffing firms are leveraging their expansive reach to secure healthcare professionals for their clients. Through the strategic use of locum tenens providers, these firms are helping to address the evolving needs of the healthcare landscape and support clients facing growing demand.

Wapiti can help you explore how locums can benefit your hospital or clinic. Our consultative approach can help your facility achieve its staffing goals.