Travel Medical Professionals Conference 2011 Wrap Up 

LAS VEGAS - On Sept 23, 2011 healthcare travelers from around the country participated in TMPC 2011, the 4th Annual Travel Medical Professionals Conference , held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Participants gave us feedback describing the conference as empowering and informative. They said they got great information to help them move forward in their careers and ended the two day conference with a renewed sense of hope about the profession's future.

Based on feedback from last year's attendees, we made sure we had extra time for socializing built into the schedule during the conference, and most attendees went out together for food, drink and entertainment each night as well. There was universal agreement that everyone had a great time! Mark your calendar for next year's event on October 18th and 19th, 2012. It will be another great time in Vegas! 

Here's a recap of the presentations from this year's conference. Dr Helen Ference gave two fascinating talks, one on the Standards of Practice for nurses and how these core principles can be help empower travelers when they encounter less than ideal work cultures while on assignment. Dr Ference also led a one hour dialogue on the legal aspects of travel nursing discussing strategies to protect your professional license. She offered a compelling argument for purchasing your own professional liability insurance.

Our own CFO, Joseph Smith, gave two presentations; one on tax basics for new travelers and the other was a recap of the sessions he attended at the Healthcare Staffing Summit held in Philadelphia the prior week. Incidentally, the 2012 Healthcare Staffing Summit will be held October 15-17 at Aria Resort and Casino and will be followed immediately by TMPC 2012 on October 18th and 19th - also at the Aria.

The key message was that the projection for healthcare staffing is "not as bleak" as the previous two years. Not exactly the most up-beat choice of words <smiling>, but nevertheless an improvement. Some other interesting particulars taken from Joes presentation:

  • The top 15 staffing companies have a 49% share of the entire healthcare staffing market (see table below for a list of these companies). The estimated size of healthcare staffing industry is currently $8.1 Billion annually and it is estimated to grow to $8.9B in 2012. 

  • Healthcare reform - The Affordable Care Act - is predicted to have a significant effect on healthcare staffing. Increased patient volumes should translate to a greater need for healthcare travelers.

  • A full 55% of hospitals report using a Vendor Management System (VMS) and 10% employ a managed Service Provider (MSP). Over the next 2 years these numbers are predicted to be 73% and 40% respectively.

  • The number of people leaving the healthcare workforce permanently (resigning or retiring) is once again increasing after being flat for the last two years.

Courtesy Staffing Industry Analysts

Other presenters during the two day conference included:

  • Deepa Gleason taught a CEU session teaching enough basic Spanish to perform an initial assessment of a Spanish speaking patient.
  • Epstein LaRue, Author of Highway Hypodermics spoke about the qualities necessary to succeed as a traveler and how to begin.
  • Lauren Robertson, President and Editor-in-Chief at A-Train Education led a discussion on identifying high-quality CEU providers that will meet your needs as a professional and also satisfy the requirements of the BON.
  • David Feller spoke to the audience about the unique challenges travelers face when planning for retirement.
  • Phil gave an overview of PanTravelers and an update on association activities over the last year.

A lively roundtable discussion closed out the conference on day two. TMPC provided the format and panelists, the attendees provided the topics and the energy.  Panel members included Joseph Smith, Cynthia Kinnas, CEO of Clinical One, PanTravelers president, Phil Light, Dr Helen Ference, Author Epstein LaRue, and Lauren Robertson.

One of the topics was fall-off rates, or the percentage of times individual travel assignments fail to complete. This fascinating issue was expanded into a full article by PanTravelers staff called Failure to complete (please log in to read).

Here are some assorted photos from the conference and after-hours social activities, mostly taken by Irene.

Roundtable Panel left to right: Joseph Smith, Cynthia Kinnas, Phil Light,
Helen Ference, Epstein LaRue, Lauren Robertson.

Joseph Smith presenting.

Michelle and Thomas

Rebecca and Wes

Phil - wearing an actual suit! A rare sight.

Joseph and Michelle dancing at the VooDoo Lounge.

Epstein making a point.

Monday night dinner at La Salsa Cantina .

Tuesday night drinks at Rouge in the MGM Grand.

Another view at la Rouge lounge.

A group shot of those who went to dinner at La Salsa Cantina on Monday night.