Travel nurses are becoming increasingly popular in hospitals and other medical facilities around the world. Reduced costs and seasonal staffing support are just a couple of the reasons every hospital should consider hiring travel nurses. In this blog, we will delve into the 5 main reasons behind the surge in this profession.
For a while now, experts have been predicting a shortage of registered nurses to spread across the country. Perhaps even more alarming, however, is that there is no clear solution in sight. This shortage is forecasted to continue through 2030, and some fear it will go far beyond that.
Luckily, where there are shortages, there is an increased need for travel nurses. This creates an opportunity for nurses who want to travel, and it fills the void for short-staffed hospitals. It’s a win-win situation for many reasons, and it can be a very smart career choice for many aspiring nurses.
What is a Travel Nurse?
According to TravelNursing.org, “Travel nurses fill gaps in staffing needs for hospitals and facilities across the country for specific periods of time.” They serve to take over for other nurses who may be out of work for any number of reasons, such as maternity leave or disability. In addition, they make up for staff shortages when necessary. In essence, travel nurses serve to fill in whenever the need arises at various locations throughout the country, and thus they are highly valuable.
According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “the nursing profession continues to face shortages due to lack of potential educators, high turnover, and inequitable distribution of the workforce.” This has resulted in a shortage of nurses worldwide. To make up for this shortage, an estimated 11 million additional nurses are needed in order to keep up with demand.
Thus, travel nurses have become extremely popular. They can make up for the shortage at any given hospital and can relocate as needed.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring Travel Nurses?
There are many benefits to hiring travel nurses, which makes this an exciting potential profession for many burgeoning nurses. Some of the main reasons why travel nurses are so appealing to hospitals are:
1. Travel Nurses Can Help With Seasonal Staffing:
There are many areas across the country which thrive on things like tourism. In the winter months, warmer climates boom as people flock to try to get their dose of sunshine. On the other hand, areas that are popular for winter activities such as skiing will see a decrease in population when the summer months roll around. There are situations like this across the country, which means that hospitals, just like any other business, must adjust their staffing when there are fewer people to tend to.
Thus, it makes sense for the hospital to keep a skeleton crew when demand is low. However, they must still be prepared for an influx of patients when the need arises. Travel nurses, who typically take 13-week assignments, are the perfect way to fill this need.
2. Travel Nurses Require Fewer Benefit-Related Costs:
Hospitals looking to keep their budgets tight can eliminate the need to pay health benefits by hiring travel nurses. This isn’t a solution for all staffing, of course, but it is one of the perks of hiring these temporary employees. Travel nursing rates are typically higher than those of staff nurses because costs like travel and healthcare are included in their rates. However, they are an overall cost-effective option for hospitals.
3. Travel Nurses Make it Easier to Fill Difficult Positions:
Small-town hospitals may have trouble filling specialty positions because the pool of local applicants isn’t large enough. Additionally, even larger hospitals may find it challenging to find someone with the right skills and experience to fill a position, especially when there is a critical need. Travel nurses allow hospitals the opportunity to draw from a larger base of applicants, thus increasing their chances of filling the position quickly.
4. Travel Nurses Allow for Reduced Turnover Costs:
The cost to replace a registered nurse can range from $22,000 to over $64,000. These massive costs include things like payment for unused vacation, advertising and recruitment costs, and interviewing and onboarding costs. Thus, in some cases, hiring a travel nurse simply makes more sense financially.
When the need first arises to expand staffing, hiring a travel nurse is often an excellent solution until a more permanent one is found. While a travel nurse’s rates may be slightly more expensive, hospitals can still end up spending significantly less in the long run.
5. Travel Nurses Reduce The Need for Overtime Pay:
No one can anticipate every time there will be an increased patient-to-nurse ratio. Emergencies happen, and employees quit or require time off for any number of reasons. In these times, a hospital has two choices. Paying a great deal of overtime to existing staff nurses is one of them. The other, and likely more cost-effective choice, is to bring on travel nurses.
When a hospital leaves the option open for hiring temporary nurses, they can save a great deal on overtime. While the hourly rate of a travel nurse is often greater than that of a staff nurse, it can still be considerably lower than a staff nurse’s overtime rate.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse?
Just like some of the best relationships, the hospital-travel nurse pair is mutually beneficial. Although hospitals benefit from sidestepping additional health insurance and overtime, travel nurses are well compensated overall.
First of all, a travel nurse’s health insurance comes from their staffing agency rather than the hospital. Thus, while the hospital is benefiting from a reduction in cost, a travel nurse is still being taken care of. In addition, travel nurses also receive compensation for the cost of relocating.
However, possibly the greatest benefit of being a travel nurse is in the name itself: travel. Travel nurses have the ability to travel the country at will. This can provide not only exciting new changes but can also allow them to attain a plethora of experiences and build their resume while touring the country.
Travel nurses provide hospitals with many benefits. They allow medical facilities to reduce their staffing costs and also help them to fill in the gaps when there is an increase in need. In addition, being a travel nurse can be an extremely rewarding and exciting career.
If you are a travel nurse looking to get certified or recertified in ACLS, PALS, or BLS, visit eMedCert today in order to complete your training online from wherever you are. For more information regarding our courses, visit our website or send us a message.