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      At Hueman, we realize that every person and organization is unique. We learn what makes your business unique and then build you a perfect recruitment solution.

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      At Hueman, our story is about creating positive, people-centric experiences—and we write a new chapter every day.

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        Our company’s story began in 1996 when our Founder, Dwight Cooper, launched a small recruitment firm in his spare bedroom in Jacksonville, Florida.
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Travel Nursing: A Bad Deal for Health Systems and Nurses

Published June 29, 2022
A travel nurse reviewing notes on a tablet

Travel nurses were essential to supplement staffing levels when the patient census surged across the country due to the pandemic. Incentivized by lucrative pay, travel nurses entered high-risk environments where COVID ran rampant.

As the spread of COVID slows, the demand for travel nurses has dropped by about a third. While the nation faces a massive nursing shortage, providers also face uncertainty surrounding travel nurse jobs, leading hospitals to focus instead on recruiting for full-time nurses.

The Problem with Travel Nurses in Health Systems

While hiring travel nurses was a model once successful in filling temporary positions, hospitals and lawmakers argue that travel nursing agencies are now “capitalizing on the current labor shortage to increase their profits.”

Price surges for travel nurses place hospitals in a financial bind. As travel agencies lose COVID-19 funds, travel nursing contracts are being canceled without notice, creating unreliable work circumstances as health systems work to staff their teams.

Contracting through nurse travel agencies can also present legal strains on healthcare facilities. For example, suppose a staffing company faces a lawsuit. In that case, it may also affect hospitals as they carry liability over their workers, further exacerbating the complications of an already highly regulated industry.

The Importance of Full-Time Nurses

While travel nursing may be viable for some, 70% of travel nurses report feeling unappreciated, and 73% feel unsafe at work. According to Nurse.org, travel nurses face a heavier workload due to the high pay they make compared to hospital staff. This leads many travel nurses to burnout as they have shorter breaks and a non-stop demand for care. 

Further, this pay inequity between staff and travel nurses creates a disparity in earnings and a question of ethical pay methods. As one nurse states, “When you’re working next to somebody that’s making quite that much more than you, and you’re doing the exact same job, it feels a little bit dystopic.”

Building nursing teams comprised of full-time nurses can solve this inequity. When staff nurses deal with a constant revolving door of new colleagues, it is challenging to create an uplifting culture and keep team morale elevated.

Quantum Workplace shares that a lack of stability in the workplace can prevent an employee's ability to focus, adapt, and thrive. Not only does this instability create a feeling of physical insecurity, it also plays a psychological role, affecting an employee's ability to trust in an organization's future. This distrust does nothing to help employee retention.

A perfect storm of the surging cost of agencies, travel nurse burnout, and industry labor shortages has placed importance on the need for permanent nursing staff in hospitals.  

Hueman RPO's Travel Nurse Reduction Program

Hueman's Traveler Reduction Program significantly decreases premium labor costs for healthcare facilities, offering long-term savings and financial peace of mind. 

We leverage over 28 years of experience in RN recruitment and dedicate recruiting resources to your traveler positions to help you escape from high premium labor spending. Using our seven-step program, our recruiting teams focuses their efforts solely on replacing travel nurses at your organization. We use advanced sourcing and networking skills to build a robust nurse pipeline for your existing and upcoming requisitions.

The Travel Nurse Reduction Program saves an average $3 million in the first year, with an average of $700k saved when an organization reduces ten travelers with staff nurses.

Ready to reduce your travel nurse costs? Visit out our dedicated solutions page or contact us today.

  • Topics: 
  • Healthcare,
  • Talent Management