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Helping Hospitals Navigate the Changing Nurse Staffing Landscape

Darian Khalilpour
Author: Darian Khalilpour
Date: May 17, 2023
Tags: Brand, Hospital Staffing, News, Nursing, Staffing, Travel Nursing

A new report shows that the number of healthcare professionals returning to the hospital setting for local nursing positions is on the rise. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many nurses left hospitals for more lucrative temporary or travel nursing positions but that trend is now reversing in the early months of 2023, as nurses look for more job security, equal pay, and better benefits, according to Becker’s Healthcare. Another report from Staffing Industry Analysts further supports that finding, stating that 86 percent of long and short-term travel nurses are open to switching to a permanent position.

The Becker’s Healthcare report also points out that hospitals are furthering this growing trend by focusing more on converting temporary or contract nurses to permanent positions. According to the data, job openings for temporary nurses are down 51 percent across the country, when compared to last year.

This growing trend comes as many hospitals are facing staffing shortages in units across their facilities. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, 57 percent of nurses surveyed called for additional staffing at their hospitals, reporting that their units were adequately staffed less than 75 percent of the time. As a result, hospitals will need to find new creative approaches to fully staff their facilities.

Before diving into how Amergis Staffing can help hospitals navigate this changing staffing landscape, it is important to look at the factors that may be contributing to this growing trend both for nurses and hospitals.

Why Nurses are Shifting to Permanent Positions

Nursing is a profession known for the demanding nature, dedication, and compassion it requires due to the crucial role nurses play in delivering quality patient care and ensuring positive healthcare outcomes. As previously stated, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many nurses are looking to transition from temporary positions to permanent roles within hospitals. According to the Becker’s Healthcare report, factors like better pay, increased benefits, and more schedule flexibility are helping drive the change. Here is a look at some of those factors, and how they are fueling the shift away from temporary nursing positions:

  1. Job Security: This is one of the biggest reasons why nurses choose permanent positions over temporary ones. Temporary positions often lack the stability that healthcare providers desire, and by transitioning to permanent roles, nurses can gain stability and security through knowing that they have a reliable source of income and a long-term career path within the hospital.
  2. Enhanced Benefits: Permanent nursing positions typically offer comprehensive benefits packages that may include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and professional development opportunities. These benefits are crucial for nurses who seek stability not only in their careers but also in their personal lives, and help make permanent positions more appealing than temporary roles.
  3. Career Growth: Permanent positions within hospitals can often provide greater opportunities for career growth. Many hospitals tend to prioritize internal hiring for leadership and managerial positions, offering permanent nurses a clear pathway for growth and advancement within the organization.
  4. Continuity of Care: Nurses value the relationships they build with patients over time. Temporary positions often result in constant changes in patient assignments and care settings, limiting the ability to develop deep connections with patients and provide consistent care. By transitioning to permanent roles, nurses can establish meaningful relationships with patients, leading to improved continuity of care and patient satisfaction.
  5. Professional Fulfillment: Nursing is a highly rewarding profession, and many nurses find fulfillment in making a positive impact on patients’ lives. Permanent positions allow nurses to develop a deeper sense of purpose and satisfaction as they witness the progress and recovery of their patients over time, which can be sources of immense professional fulfillment.

How Hospitals Can Benefit from Permanent Nurses

While temporary nurses are crucial to meeting hospitals’ short-term staffing needs, the long-term advantages of having permanent nurses can help hospitals better meet their goals of providing high-quality care consistently. By recognizing the value of permanence, hospitals can create environments that foster continuity, growth, and excellence, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes. Below we dive into some of the factors sparking hospitals to seek out permanent nurses, and how the shift to a permanent staff can help hospitals:

  1. Continuity of Care: One of the primary advantages of permanent nurses is their ability to establish continuity of care. Building long-term relationships with patients fosters trust, enables a better understanding of individual needs, and ensures consistent care delivery. By having a deep understanding of patients’ medical histories, preferences, and unique circumstances, permanent nurses can provide tailored, personalized care that contributes to positive patient experiences and outcomes.
  2. Specialized Expertise: Permanent nurses often develop specialized skills and expertise within specific units or patient populations. Their extended exposure to unique cases and conditions enables them to deliver highly specialized care effectively. This specialized knowledge contributes to improved patient outcomes and supports the hospital’s overall ability to handle complex cases.
  3. Familiarity with Hospital Systems: Permanent nurses possess an intimate knowledge of the hospital’s policies, procedures, protocols, and workflow. Their experience and familiarity with internal systems allow them to adapt quickly, effectively navigate the healthcare environment, and seamlessly integrate into the existing care teams, saving time and resources on extensive orientations and trainings for temporary nurses.
  4. Cost Efficiency: While temporary nurses offer flexibility for short-term staffing needs, hiring them can be costlier for hospitals in the long run due to agency fees or higher hourly wage rates. Permanent nurses provide a more cost-effective solution as they require less recruitment and training, and their benefits and salaries can be better structured to fit the hospital’s budget.
  5. Staffing Stability: Maintaining staffing stability is crucial for hospitals to provide uninterrupted patient care. Permanent nurses offer this stability, reducing turnover rates and minimizing the need for frequent recruitment and onboarding. By having a stable workforce, hospitals can consistently meet patient demands, especially during peak periods or emergencies.

How Amergis Can Help Hospitals Find Nursing Staff

As hospitals grapple with this changing landscape, they may need to get creative to make sure all their nurse staffing needs are met. That’s where Amergis Staffing can step in to help. We can provide hospitals with resources to find a mix of local and travel nurses, allowing facilities to fully staff their units, while also lightening the workload on nurses.

“It’s important to highlight that the right answer is not all local nurses or all travel, but rather a mix of both,” said Amergis Staffing Regional Vice President Kyle Billington. “[Amergis] can provide local nurses with our local footprint and we find the best candidates in the market, not on the market.”

That means Amergis Staffing can leverage its over 30 years of staffing experience, and one of the largest nationwide pools of nursing talent, to help hospitals navigate changing trends in nurse staffing. We can help hospitals with finding temporary to permanent nursing candidates, who are not actively looking for new positions, by digging into the local markets with referrals. Amergis Staffing can also help hospitals fill in their staffing gaps when local talent is not available, by relying on our large talent pool to find the best travel nursing candidates across the country. Amergis Staffing’s resources, and expertise in staffing, gives hospitals the ability to hire staff that can fill both their short-term and long-term nursing needs.

“By staffing local temp to perm nurses and travel nurses it allows the hospital to fill current gaps while still being able to run their high skill areas, such as their Cardiac and Operating Room units,” said Billington.

In addition, Amergis Staffing’s nationwide presence with a local footprint allows us to give hospitals in different regions of the country a local point of contact that can help them with developing customized recruitment strategies. We also offer a wide range of benefits, including competitive pay, weekly paychecks, and health insurance coverage to help entice top nursing candidates.

From recruiting nurses, to verifying their licensing and credentials, to training and onboarding them, Amergis Staffing can take care of it all, allowing hospitals to focus time and energy on what matters most – providing the best patient care. Explore how Amergis Staffing can help your hospital find nursing staff.

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