Why Do Hospitals Hire Travel Nurses?
Hospitals looking to keep their budgets tight can eliminate the need to pay for health benefits by hiring travel nurses. Of course, this is not a solution for all staff, but it is one of the advantages of hiring these temporary workers. Travel nurse rates are usually higher than those of staff nurses because costs such as travel and medical care are included in their rates. Historically, hospitals have used itinerant nurses to fill short-term staff shortages.
All of these factors, while they can also be considered benefits, make it difficult to plan and meet a budget. Kyle Leffel, RN, suggests that travel nurses use apps on their smartphones to find lower gas costs and learn the cost of living in the new area before accepting a new assignment. To meet demand, healthcare organizations hire travel nurses so that the quality of patient care remains high. These positions can last for weeks or months, depending on the needs of the group. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, research conducted over the past decade has shown that temporary nurses provide as much value to hospitals in terms of cost, quality and patient satisfaction as permanent staff members. Another common problem hospitals face when bringing in travelers is the internal recruitment of nurses for their travel agency.
Travel nurses are usually required to have an active license for each state in which they work, which may require them to plan ahead and obtain a license before accepting a job. However, a “vast majority” of states in the United States fall under what is called the Compact RN license. You must provide a background check, proof of an active license, and a fee, which you or the agency pay to the state board of nursing. According to our reports, some states allow faster processing of temporary licenses so that you can create an assignment in the short term. Also, if you are hired for a specialized position, such as a job in medical/surgical nursing, intensive care, labor/delivery, or the emergency room, additional certification may be required. There are several reasons why travel nursing is an excellent choice for aspiring nurses.
The shortage of nursing across the country makes travel nursing an attractive career option for full- or part-time nurses. And even if a hospital or health center is fully staffed, they can experience seasonal shortages if locals fluctuate or nurses take leave, such as maternity leave. To Healthcare Staffing find qualified nurses to fulfill these typically short-term assignments, these facilities often hire travel nurses. Advanced Health Care Network for Nurses revealed in a study that travel nurses tend to have a higher level of job satisfaction than nurses from the local agency or staff.
Travel nursing organizations or agencies can help hospitals connect their needs with available travel nurses. Traveling nurses, or nurse recorders, are one of health care’s best-kept secrets. Employed by employment agencies rather than hospitals or other health care providers, traveling nurses go where they are needed. Assignments usually last 13 weeks, but can be shorter or extended at the request of the employer and with the agreement of the agency and the nurse. Housing or a housing allowance is often provided, along with one-way travel expenses. Some traveling nurses take jobs in a particular region, while others travel across the country to fill vacancies.
Each role, health center and nursing agency has different requirements, but some hire travel nurses after as little as a year of experience. Even if you haven’t been working as long as they want, they can still work with you and be flexible with your experience. That means you might be able to jump into the travel bow a year or two after finishing your Concordia St. Paul BSN.
One of the benefits of travel nursing is the ability to expand your knowledge base and network and establish valuable and strategic relationships with decision makers in the work environment. According to data from the recruitment website ZipRecruiter, rural hospital nurses are paid an average of $70,000 per year, or just over $1,200 per week. However, some employment agencies, such as Nomad Health and White Grove Placement, offer travel nursing positions that pay more than $5,000 per week. And healthcare recruitment site Vivian has listed several assignments for travel nurses that pay up to $9,562 per week. In addition to visiting different parts of the country, travel nursing offers the unique opportunity to try out different living environments.
While nurses earn an average of $78,559 per year, travel nurses earn an average of $108,342 per year. They also receive tax-free benefits for accommodation and travel when they live far from their home state. Healthcare institutions or employment agencies may also offer other incentives to travel nurses, especially in times of high demand. Travel agencies typically offer comprehensive benefits, including health insurance, a match-match 401 plan, life insurance, and paid sick leave. Some also offer financial support for education if you want to continue your education or earn an advanced degree.
Hiring a travel agency has long been an option for nursing directors who want to increase their staff. But with labour costs for travel nurses skyrocketing, there is a need for a more innovative approach to healthcare workers. A traveling career can be beneficial to your ultimate career goals, especially if you work while pursuing a degree, such as your Master of Science in Nursing.
While travelers can provide tremendous help to health care facilities in the short term, they may not be an answer to chronic shortages, especially with rising traveler labor costs. Nursing leaders must find alternative ways to supplement their staff to provide long-term retention from experienced caregivers. Looking for an alternative solution can also lead to an increase in contingency expenses and retention rates. Leaders need to shift their focus to creating a strong, mission-driven and permanent core staff.