What Do Nurse Practitioners Think About Locum Tenens?
The education and expertise of nurse practitioners impart the ability to provide similar patient care as physicians do. With a shortage of primary care physicians in America and a rising number of nurse practitioners, they could be the answer to some of the healthcare problems facing the country. Most states allow nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat patients, including prescribing medication, but some require oversight from physicians.
This legal complexity sometimes makes it difficult for nurse practitioners to find a position that serves their business goals and desires. Many nurse practitioners find it beneficial to consider locum tenens jobs instead to find fulfilling work. There are many benefits to this type of work, including:
- Enhanced control
- Serve where needed
- Temporary work in between assignments
- Additional income
- Try out a job before committing
This list is just a few of the lucrative benefits that more and more nurse practitioners discover when they take on locum tenens work. What do nurse practitioners think about this type of temporary work? Many are drawn to it for the following reasons.
Find Fulfilling Work Without the Burnout
Many of the places that have a lack of primary care physicians are in underserved communities. Working in these areas can be very rewarding, but they also present certain challenges. These patients might be homeless or dealing with substance abuse. Many patients require care for chronic conditions but are unable to come in for treatment. It leads to hard work and long days, which can lead to quick burnout.
Taking on this type of work on a temporary basis is a way for nurse practitioners to serve where they are needed and at the same time, they do not have to work in that location for so long that they become overwhelmed or exhausted. Nurse practitioners have the flexibility to serve these communities but then take a break when they need it to avoid burning out.
Although a great number of medical facilities want to turn to nurse practitioners for help in overcoming the shortage of healthcare providers, many nurse practitioners believe that there is not a sufficient number to do the work they currently do and provide the additional personnel necessary to fill this gap. In a recent survey, only about a quarter of nurse practitioners believed there were sufficient numbers for the needs.
Locum tenens provides a way to help reduce the shortage. When nurse practitioners are needed in an area, they can come in to provide medical help when it is needed and then leave when the shortage or need is over.
Nurse practitioner jobs are in-demand, and locum tenens nurse practitioners are even more so. The use of temporary non-physician clinicians is on the rise. The number of temporary nurse practitioners used rose from 4.8 percent in 2012 to 12.35 percent in 2014. It is expected to rise even more in the coming years, especially with the Affordable Care Act increasing the needs of medical professionals. Roughly 16 percent of medical facility managers believe that turning to locum tenens nurse practitioners and physician assistants will help with the additional burden from the ACA.
Focus on Patient Care in a Clinical Setting
Temporary work allows you to focus on the patients, not administrative duties.
Nurse practitioner jobs come in many different forms. For those who wish to concentrate on a clinical setting rather than being bogged down in administrative duties, working in locum tenens provides the solution. As an independent contractor, the nurse practitioner does not have any responsibility for the administrative aspect of healthcare. Instead, locum tenens nurse practitioners focus on actually helping and treating patients, only worrying about the paperwork directly involved in patient care.
Opportunities for nurse practitioners are plentiful, but the most desirable jobs might not be in your hometown. Instead of waiting for the perfect job, working in locum tenens gives you a chance to explore different areas and ‘try’ a job before making a long-term commitment. You can provide work in underserved communities and then move on when you need to do so. There are many benefits to this type of work, which is why more and more nurse practitioners are choosing to take this career path.
Ready to find locum tenens work? Apply with us today.