Dec 20, 2016
Reduced costs and seasonal staffing are just a few reasons every hospital should consider hiring travel nurses.
This guest post was created by Emily Walters. At eMedCert, we strongly encourage all forms of guest posting. If you are interested in publishing your work on the eMedCert blog, please contact our editorial team at [email protected].
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.
The following are five reasons why hospitals love to hire travel nurses:
1. Getting through the seasonal staffing shortage – Vail, Colorado is absolutely stunning in July, but you may find it to be a bit lonely. People come in droves during the winter months, and the hospitals fill with patients almost as fast as the slopes fill with skiers. Scenarios like these are made for travel nurses. There are situations like this across the country. It makes sense for the hospital to keep a skeleton crew when demand is low, but they must be prepared for the influx of patients. Travel nurses, who typically take 13-week assignments, are the perfect answer to fill this need.
2. Fewer benefit-related costs – Hospitals looking to keep their budgets predictable 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.
3. Easier to fill difficult positions – Small town hospitals may have trouble filling specialty positions because the pool of local applicants isn’t large enough. Travel nurses allow hospitals the opportunity to draw from a larger base of applicants, thus increasing their chances of filling the position quickly.
4. 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.
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 the better option. His or her rates may be greater, but the hospital could end up spending less in the long run. An exception to this is when there’s a clear and obvious need for a full-time RN on staff throughout the year.
5. Less worry about overtime costs – No one can anticipate every time there will be an increased patient-to-nurse ratio. Emergencies happen, people quit and life throws curveballs. In these times, a hospital has two choices. Paying a great deal of overtime 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. The hourly rate on a travel nurse is greater than that of a staff nurse, but it can be considerably lower than a staff nurse’s overtime rate.
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. Their health insurance comes from the agency and not the hospital, but they do receive competitive packages. They also receive compensation for the cost of relocating. However, possibly the greatest benefit of all is in the name itself – having the ability to
travel the country at their own will.
Are you a traveling nurse looking to get certified or recertified in ACLS, PALS, and BLS? Visit eMedCert and complete your courses online from wherever you are. For questions contact us at [email protected].
Emily is an experienced content writer. She has written about an array of topics, from business, healthcare, and technology to travel, culinary, education and even fashion & lifestyle. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling, training for half marathons, and cooking for her family.