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How travel nurses can combat understaffing

Written by Chelsea Idzior on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Posted in Industry News

Nurses are essential to any healthcare team. They play a vital role in patient care and perform important tasks such as patient observation, medication and treatment administration, and medical documentation. But with its current nursing shortage, the United States is failing to meet the growing need for nursing care, which has led to understaffing in the healthcare industry.

Understaffing in the healthcare industry

Nurses are in greater demand than ever before due, in part, to aging baby boomers and fewer adults applying to nursing schools. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 26 percent increase in job growth for nurses from 2010–2020, which is greater than average. Also, as the Affordable Care Act continues to unfold and more Americans search for healthcare, the demand for medical professionals, including nurses, is expected to increase.

The bottom line? Hospitals and healthcare facilities are becoming understaffed.

The negative effects of understaffing

Understaffing is detrimental. Staff can become overworked through increased patient loads and longer hours, causing burnout and employee turnover. Also, patient care can suffer, resulting in decreased patient satisfaction and a worsened facility reputation. Staffing partners are one solution to help alleviate the burden of understaffing, especially through the services of travel nurses.

Advantages of travel nurse supplementation

Travel nurses are highly qualified, experienced professionals, available for temporary supplementation of a medical staff. Consider the following advantages of temporary staffing with travel nurses:

  • Reduced stress. Travel nurses can fill nursing positions quickly and easily. Travel nurses are screened and hired by the staffing agency; so healthcare facilities will be placed with a best-fit, seasoned professional who's ready to hit the ground running.
  • Reduced stress for staff. Travel nurses can be plugged into staffing gaps to help cover full-time employees for vacations, medical or maternity leave, or during times of increased patient loads.
  • Improved patient care. High employee morale helps increase teamwork, productivity, idea sharing, problem solving and ultimately, patient care. Plus, by utilizing travel nurses, healthcare facilities can access staff from a nationwide pool.      Hospitals will be matched with nurses best suited to meet the unique needs of their patients and facilities.
  • Increased savings. With temporary staff coverage, staff burnout and turnover can be prevented. This helps      healthcare facilities avoid the expense required to locate, interview, hire and train new nursing staff.

The staff is the most important factor in the care a hospital or facility provides its patients. By drawing on the services of travel nurses, they can supplement and preserve their full-time staff.

HPC Nursing consistently exceeds the expectations of its clients with placement of high-quality, experienced and dedicated travel nurses. Contact one of our recruiting specialists today to learn how we may assist you. We look forward to hearing from you!