3 Benefits of Being a Locum Tenens CRNA
As a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), you already understand that your skills are in demand, providing a variety of job opportunities just waiting to be explored.
But did you know that some jobs will pay you to travel as a CRNA locum tenens provider?
Yes, you read that right. Locum tenens jobs are not just for physicians. In fact, locum job opportunities for CRNA locums are plentiful, and there are countless benefits of being a CRNA locum tenens.
3 Reasons to Work as a CRNA Locum Tenens
1. Take Control of Your CRNA Career
Demand for CRNAs continues to increase, especially as U.S. healthcare facilities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasted that CRNA jobs would grow by 14 percent between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than most occupations. This kind of demand translates into power for CRNAs, allowing them the opportunity to select when and where they want to work.
This growing demand was the focus of a 2019 white paper by Merritt Hawkins, entitled CRNA Supply, Demand and Recruiting Trends. The report outlined the importance of CRNAs, especially in the rural healthcare setting.
“CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling health care facilities in many medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management and trauma stabilization services,” the authors wrote, adding, “In some states, CRNAs are the sole providers in nearly 100% of rural hospitals and they are the sole anesthesia providers in about two-thirds of rural hospitals nationally.”
The report noted that “CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered, including traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities.”
This wide variety of practice settings are also available for CRNAs who want to travel as a locum tenens provider. In fact, locum CRNAs have so many options, they can often negotiate their schedule, days worked, vacations, and other contractual terms. Recruiters can help CRNAs find the assignment that is just right for their skills and personal preferences.
2. Earn Great Compensation
According to the BLS, the 2021 average salary for CRNAs was $202,470, which is the highest among all advanced practice nurses. CRNA locum tenens assignments can boost your earning potential even more, including contracted pay rates and bonuses. As independent contractors, locum tenens are paid an hourly rate, which will vary depending on location, the facility’s need, and other factors.
In many cases, rural settings may allow for higher pay rates than those in bigger cities, as a way to attract nurse anesthetists to underserved communities. Additionally, working on major holidays can oftentimes result in higher pay. Some full-time locum contracts also offer the opportunity to work overtime at a higher rate, while part-time contracts can provide additional income, on top of your normal salary.
In addition to attractive compensation plans, other benefits of being a CRNA locum tenens include free housing, travel reimbursements, medical licensure assistance, malpractice insurance, and professional liability coverage.
3. Experience Personal and Professional Fulfillment
CRNA locum tenens jobs allow you to explore the country and expand your career, all at the same time. By working in different locations, types of facilities, and clinical settings, you have the opportunity to learn from other talented colleagues, as well as share your knowledge and skills with others.
The locum lifestyle also allows you to create a work schedule that focuses on balance and personal fulfillment. Looking forward to a vacation in the future? You can plan your next CRNA locum tenens assignment around that planned time off. Or, if you are just looking to pick up extra hours or help out a facility in need, you can take a local assignment while keeping your permanent work. The options are many—and the choice is always yours.