advantages of rural locum tenens healthcare staffing

The Advantages of Working with a Rural Locum Tenens Staffing Agency

Exploring a career in rural locum tenens offers contracted healthcare providers a unique blend of professional freedom, financial benefits, and the opportunity to make a real difference in underserved communities. Partnering with a rural locum tenens agency, like Wilderness Medical Staffing, can simplify the process, ensuring you reap the full spectrum of advantages, from improved work-life balance to enhanced earning potential.

Rural residents often encounter barriers to healthcare that limit their ability to obtain the care they need, according to the Rural Health Information Hub. One of the most significant barriers to accessing healthcare includes workforce shortages of providers and access to healthcare services. Often, healthcare providers don’t want to move to rural areas to provide healthcare permanently. Locum tenens work can allow for an approach to healthcare where the provider temporarily provides coverage without relocating permanently.

For healthcare providers who want to practice medicine while making a lasting positive impact on the healthcare needs of rural communities, finding communities in need of locum tenens and securing work can be challenging. Having outside help with this process can be beneficial in multiple ways. Let’s explore the advantages of working with a rural locum tenens staffing agency like Wilderness Medical Staffing.

Competitive Compensation

compensation of rural locum tenens staffing agnecyIt’s no secret that many healthcare providers take locum tenens assignments because providers can earn more than they would working as a full-time employee. Demand for high-quality healthcare workers in rural areas can translate to competitive wages for locum tenens healthcare providers. Rural staffing agencies like Wilderness Medical Staffing negotiate rates ahead of time and typically are forthcoming with the pay details within public online job postings. With most agencies, your travel costs will also be covered for your assignment, as well as your cost of housing. Additionally, the staffing agency will work with the client before the assignment to coordinate housing and details of the assignment, so you just need to worry about arriving on time.

It’s important to remember a few things as you consider which assignments to take. It’s not uncommon for competing positions through the same agency (or different agencies) to pay different amounts, even if the job skills or requirements are similar. Pay ranges for the same type of provider with similar skill set needs can be based on a myriad of factors, such as client budget, location, type of facility, or duties required. Pay can also be broken out by hourly pay, day rates, or pay for additional working time, such as call or call-back. You can find pay rates for posted jobs with WMS by visiting our website. Be sure to read through all the details of a position, and if you have questions about our positions, you can always ask!

Since locum tenens providers are not employees but instead 1099 contractors, you must pay taxes on your earnings since they won’t be deducted automatically. As a contractor, you oversee your business, so it’s important to talk to an accountant or financial representative who can guide you on managing your earnings best as a locum tenens healthcare provider. This will also help you to calculate your earnings after you account for business expenses, like taxes.

Flexible Scheduling

When you work with a rural locum tenens staffing agency, you have the autonomy to work as much or as little as you desire. For some providers, they will make locum tenens their full-time job. For others, they will take assignments that fit in with their regular working schedule.

At Wilderness Medical Staffing, we work closely with our clients to create assignments and shifts that work for the needs of our clients and providers. Sometimes, this will mean setting up rotating schedules so providers can do month-on, month-off work, for example. Other times, it will mean longer shifts that come with higher pay. You may even come across assignments that only last a few days or a weekend, so you can earn a little extra money and then get home to your family.

Whether you’re looking for short-term stints or considering making a rural location your permanent home, staffing agencies can tailor opportunities to your needs. If you’re specifically interested in rural medicine, working with an agency that best understands how to schedule assignments for rural facilities is beneficial. This approach ensures patient needs are met without compromising the provider’s well-being.

Reduced Burnout

rural locum tenens staffing agency reduce burnoutThe demanding nature of the healthcare sector heightens the risk of burnout, with long shifts and high-stress situations being commonplace. Rural locum tenens positions can often offer a reprieve of a better work-life balance due to smaller patient populations and lower daily volumes. Spending time getting to know your patients during appointments is often encouraged!

When you partner with a locum tenens staffing agency specializing in placing healthcare providers in rural locations, your staffing team can work with you to select locations where the balance between professional duties and personal time matches your needs. Time spent on assignment can often come with less bureaucracy, especially for providers who are there temporarily.

Additionally, if you want to vary your work locations, it’s an option as a locum tenens. This can also reduce burnout because you can pick where you’d like to work and switch up the locations, allowing for a literal change of scenery.

Diversity and Culture

rural locum tenens staffing agency culture and diversityWhen clients work with healthcare staffing agencies, it’s the responsibility of the staffing agency to relay information about the location of their assignments to providers who are interested in working with them. If you know your passion lies in rural medicine, partnering with an agency that genuinely understands rural health can be highly beneficial. Rural medicine is different in many aspects than its urban counterpart, requiring different approaches to staffing.

While this is not always the case, rural facilities often have fewer resources or staff support. The logistics of traveling to rural healthcare facilities can often be more complex than getting to urban destinations – for both patients and providers. Rural populations may experience higher rates of chronic conditions.

In rural areas, you may come across a wide variety of diversity in the patients you treat, depending on the communities where you work. Whether you’re in a small ranching town in rural Montana or a tiny island village that Alaska Natives call home, providers often cite the diversity of patient demographics as a fulfilling aspect of their work. It’s common for the healthcare providers we work with to send us photos from their time on assignment, including their involvement with the local community. Often, rural assignments also come with picturesque scenery and opportunities to visit areas you likely never would otherwise – a bonus that many providers enjoy!

Working with a rural locum tenens staffing agency, you’ll experience cultural, social, and economic diversity, building unique relationships with grateful patients in communities that truly need your expertise. Agencies like Wilderness Medical Staffing facilitate placements that cater to your professional growth and enrich your personal life through cultural immersion and meaningful connections. In fact, at WMS, one of the services that we take pride in is having local knowledge of the communities where we work. You can be assured that you are helping the communities that need you the most!

Rural Locum Tenens Staffing Agency Support

Partnering with a rural locum tenens staffing agency simplifies your career as a self-employed professional. Comprehensive support services ensure that you have assistance with administrative tasks, like credentialing, while having a variety of assignments to choose from and help with assignment logistics, like travel and housing. Having a team of experts helping to guide you through working on assignments allows you to concentrate fully on providing excellent patient care.

Many agencies, including Wilderness Medical Staffing, offer medical malpractice insurance coverage, lifting a significant concern off your shoulders and ensuring peace of mind. By closely aligning with your career aspirations and lifestyle preferences, staffing agencies do their best to ensure each placement is a perfect fit, paving the way for a fulfilling career journey. Dedicated support allows you to immerse yourself in the unique advantages of rural locum tenens work.


In conclusion, the journey with a rural locum tenens agency is more than just a career choice; it’s a gateway to unparalleled professional freedom, diverse experiences, and the chance to impact communities in need profoundly. At Wilderness Medical Staffing, we’re ready to navigate the logistics, offering support that ensures a seamless transition into roles that meet and exceed your expectations for work-life balance, compensation, and fulfillment. By choosing this path, healthcare providers embrace a unique opportunity to redefine their careers on their terms, all while delivering invaluable services to those who most in need. Embrace the adventure, and discover how rural locum tenens can transform your professional life and the lives of your patients. Reach out to get started with us today.

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