As the future of healthcare reform remains murky and the epidemic nursing shortage continues, hospitals managers need to rethink their staffing practices. Asking your staff to work longer shifts isn’t a long-term solution, and finding new perm staff might not be an option. It’s time to consider using travel nurse staffing as a part of your workforce strategy. In fact, below are 5 powerful ways travel nurse staffing can benefit your facility today:
Improve patient safety and quality of care: Past research has shown a correlation between insufficient nurse staffing and higher rates of hospital readmission and patient mortality. Conversely, more nurses on staff translate to better patient outcomes and improve patient safety. Hiring travel nurses is one way to maintain adequate staffing levels and enhance your facility’s patient care and safety standards.
Control spending: According to a recent study in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality, the use of travel nurses can be cost-effective for hospitals. For example, travel nurses can help your facility avoid costly overtime hours and substantially lower high turnover costs due to burnout.
Help fill staffing gaps: Travel nurses can also help optimize your staffing levels during certain times of the year. For example, during flu season, your facility will most likely experience high patient volume, and travel nurses can help your staff take on the increased demand for patient care. Additionally, travel nurses can help cover shifts when members of your perm staff go on vacation or maternity leave.
Prevent compassion fatigue and nurse burnout: In the midst of today’s workforce shortages, many nurses are continually asked to do more with less. As a result, compassion fatigue and burnout are on the rise in the industry. When you use travel nurses as part of your staffing plan, you can create a better work/life balance for your perm staff and prevent nurse burnout before it starts.
Enhance patient satisfaction: Travel nurses can help improve your facility’s overall work environment and increase your perm nurses’ job satisfaction. For example, your perm nurses will be able to devote more time to their patients and feel better about the quality of care they are providing to their patients. In turn, this can lead to higher patient satisfaction scores. Many studies have shown that happy nurses equal happy patients.