What Impact Do Travel Nurses Have on Hospital & Patient Care?

Hospitals are always looking for ways to improve the quality of their patient care. Finding experienced, qualified medical professionals is a critical component of ensuring care, as well as patient satisfaction. Because of a national nursing shortage, many hospital systems are hiring travel nurses to fill key nursing roles. Learn more about the benefits of the travel nursing profession in this post from AMNY Health Marketing.

What Do Travel Nurses Do?

Travel nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who work at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They typically take on short-term contracts, working at a single location for just a few months at a time. Traditionally, they have been employed by independent staffing agencies that partner with healthcare providers. According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the field of travel nursing increased by 35% between 2019 and 2020, largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it continues to rise.

Hospitals typically negotiate a travel nurse’s contract through the staffing agency they work with, and the agency may handle payroll services, as well. The agency may also provide housing and ensure that each nurse meets the licensing requirements for the states they travel to.

How Do Travel Nurses Support Healthcare Organizations?

Travel nurses can be a major asset, especially in medically underserved areas. The benefits of hiring travel nurses include:

Reduced Personnel Costs

Travel nurses are typically hired as independent contractors. Unlike salaried employees, their contracts usually do not include benefits packages or other personnel expenses. Plus, because a hospital can partner with a travel nursing agency, they spend less time and money on recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding, freeing up HR staff to focus on other work. Using travel nurses can also lower your in-house expenses on overtime pay. Not only does this save money, but it also helps prevent burnout among salaried and hourly staff.

Helps With Staffing Shortages

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates about 194,500 job openings for registered nurses each year until 2030, as many current healthcare professionals retire or transfer to different occupations. High turnover and burnout are major issues in the nursing profession, especially after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many hospitals across the country are facing significant staffing shortages on their nursing teams.

Travel nurses can quickly fill short-term staffing needs while hospitals and other healthcare organizations focus on recruiting and hiring more full-time nurses. They can also help fill in when a member of the nursing staff needs to take a leave of absence for vacation, maternity leave, or medical reasons.

Provides Flexibility

Travel nursing is often a win-win solution for both the contractor and the hospital team that hires them. Generally, travel nurses enjoy competitive pay and feel like they have a better work/life balance. They can choose hospitals or clinic sites that fit their interests, travel to new places, and spend time in different work environments. Their well-rounded experience is often a major advantage at their host site, as they can hit the ground running with minimal training and may have a background in specialty services that the hospital offers.

Higher Patient Satisfaction

When nurses are frustrated and overworked, it inevitably shows – even when they do their best to not let burnout affect patient care. Hiring travel nurses relieves the pressure on hospital staff members who may be stretched thin, and it also means that patients and their family members have a more positive experience. That can lead to better patient reviews and reduce the number of mistakes that can occur when a nursing department is understaffed.

Learn More about Recruitment Strategies for Nursing Staff

Do you need help finding great medical staff? Whether your organization is looking to hire travel nurses or other types of medical professionals, AMNY Health Marketing is here to help. We offer targeted healthcare marketing services to help hospitals find and attract top talent, while making sure you are communicating the value and culture of your organization. In addition to recruitment marketing, our capabilities include social media strategy, audience research, content development, and video marketing. To learn more about how AMNY Health Marketing can help your hospital’s marketing strategy, contact us today.