Nurses continue to be in high demand, and many healthcare providers struggle to recruit and hire fast enough. Since experts expect the nursing demand to stay high (or even increase) through 2030, travel nurses have become an integral part of the healthcare scene.
Let’s look at how travel nurses can benefit hospitals and the quality of patient care.
What are Travel Nurses?
Travel nurses take on short-term roles at different healthcare facilities within a specific area. Travel nurses often take on short-term positions when a hospital needs to fill nursing shortages.
Depending on the situation, a travel nurse might go 50 to 1,000 miles from home for a role, while others travel to different countries. Independent staffing agencies (instead of individual hospitals) often employ travel nurses.
What are the Benefits of Travel Nurses on Healthcare?
Here are some of the major impacts of travel nursing on hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
Filling the Gap in Staffing Shortages
Nursing jobs were projected to increase faster than any other position between 2016 and 2026 — and that was before the 2020 pandemic hit.
At the same time, troubling factors like high turnover and burnout have led to rising nursing shortages.
Thankfully, travel nurses can help to bridge the gaps by temporarily joining hospitals to fill shortages. Nurses employed at the hospital can also take time off when they need it while travel nurses fill their positions for the short term.
Higher Quality of Care
When nurses are unhappy and overworked, it inevitably affects patients. Staffing shortages and stressed out nurses can lead to higher rates of:
- Surgery complications
- Greater patient mortality rates
- Patient falls
- Unpleasant hospital experiences
Travel nurses can have a positive impact. Hospitals that use travel nurses can make sure more staff are available for patients, which leads to higher-quality care.
Fewer Personnel Costs
Travel nurses work as contractors, meaning hospitals don’t spend money on benefits packages and other personnel costs. Taking on travel nurses can also reduce the need for overtime work, which saves additional money and helps prevent nurse burnout.
This benefits the travel nurses themselves, too. Travel nurses often receive higher pay because they are not permanent employees, which means they are more likely to feel fairly compensated for the work they take on.
Greater Flexibility and Job Satisfaction
Employees who feel appreciated and have a better work/life balance are more likely to do the best jobs. This is true for any profession, including nursing — and high-quality care is vital.
Travel nurses enjoy more flexibility than traditional nursing roles. They can experience different areas, learn from various hospitals, and better command their own schedules. Autonomy leads to better job satisfaction, allowing nurses to dedicate more energy to what should be the top priority in hospitals: the patients.
When nurses enjoy their jobs more and avoid burnout — which is so common in nursing — they can provide more attentive patient care.
Healthcare facilities can improve the experiences of nurses and patients by opening their doors to travel nurses. It’s best to start thinking about your recruiting strategies now so that you’re on nurses’ radars by the time they seek your opportunities. To learn more about the best ways to recruit and hire travel nurses, contact Alabama Media Group today.