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May 10, 2023
May 22, 2023

The locum tenens industry is enjoying a period of substantial growth. As staffing shortages continue to persist in healthcare facilities around the country, locum tenens work has become a viable solution for medical professionals, even as the pandemic subsides.

But will the growing demand for locum tenens continue? Let u's take a look at the state of the locum industry in 2022.

Trends of Staffing More NP/PAs

Locum tenens Physicians are an essential part of the locum tenens industry but Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician's Assistants (PAs) are also fundamental to the success of staffing healthcare facilities in need. Many facilities in the US are not able to fill the primary Physician care gap and are increasingly relying on NPs and PAs to provide necessary care.

And since there is such a high demand for quality care, certain hospitals and clinics may be willing to pay a premium for locum tenens Nurse Practitioners. The compensation earned from locum tenens jobs is generally higher than that of a standard full-time, permanent position.

Rates Per Physician vs. Advanced Practitioner

As you might expect, locum tenens Physicians can expect to earn more than Advanced Practice Professionals contracted through a locum tenens staffing firm. The exact rates that a Physician can earn in a locum tenens career depends on their particular specialty. Most locums Physicians can earn between $100-$300 per hour.

Advanced practitioners (NPs and PAs) can command highly competitive rates for locum tenens work. Like Physicians, certain Advanced Practice Providers will earn more depending on their specialty. On average, Advanced Practitioners can earn between $65 to $115 per hour.

How to Replace a Physician with 2 NPs

As a growing demand for quality patient care sweeps healthcare facilities across the country, many providers are turning to Nurse Practitioners to fill the roles of Physicians. There are, of course, differences in the medical education and clinical experience of Physicians and NPs, but oftentimes, Nurse Practitioners are able to provide comparable care for basic patient needs.

An understaffed facility might benefit from hiring two locum tenens NPs to meet care demands rather than seeking a Physician. NPs can diagnose conditions, prescribe treatments, and act as primary care providers in lieu of a Medical Doctor. While a single Physician can have trouble keeping up with their daily patient care needs, two NPs will be able to handle more patients and drive efficiency.

Can NPs Do a Physician's Job?

While NPs can perform many of the basic duties of a Physician, the fact is, there is no replacing the expertise of a trained Physician. They have undergone years of strict medical education and clinical practice to be a doctor. In dire circumstances, NPs can make a worthy stand-in for a Physician but do not have the same level of medical expertise.

Rules for PAs by State

In an effort to provide the most effective patient care, many states are expanding the practice authority of Physician's Assistants. Each state has different rules for PAs, and knowing a state's specific scope of practice laws could help connect locum tenens candidates with the right PA job.

NP vs. PA

Though sometimes confused with one another, there are distinct differences between NPs and PAs.

Nurse Practitioners are licensed clinicians that can work in almost any healthcare setting. Their primary responsibilities involve diagnosing patients and prescribing medication. NPs often work in specialty fields.

Physician's Assistants are Advanced Practice Providers trained to perform much of the same medical work as Physicians in primary care settings. PAs perform physical exams, diagnose patients, and prescribe medications. PAs work in general medicine under a Physician or surgeon.

How Has 2022 Affected the Locum Industry?

According to locum tenens experts, 2022 was arguably one of the best years for the locum tenens industry ever. Many locum tenens staffing firms enjoyed record revenue, and more healthcare facilities are receptive to locum tenens solutions for their staffing problems.

Looking to the Next Year and Future

In the near future, we can expect continued growth in the locum tenens industry. As more healthcare staffing agencies seek locum tenens candidates, we can look forward to innovative solutions for providers and patients alike.

Learn More with Health Carousel Locum Tenens

If you are interested in starting your locum tenens career, get in touch with the locum tenens experts at Health Carousel Locum Tenens today. Our specialty-focused recruiting teams will work to find the right position, compensation, and schedule for you.

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