The Great Nursing Shortage: How Nurse First is Dodging Nursing Turnover Trends

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There is no question that nurses were—and still are—the healthcare heroes during the pandemic. When hospitals and other healthcare facilities have the appropriate amount of nurses, it improves patient safety, mortality rates, and overall patient outcomes, according to the Patient Safety Network. However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, nurses and other healthcare workers have had to grapple with the nature of an unknown, deadly virus and juggle caring for an influx of patients, all while functioning with a nationwide nursing shortage that created additional stressors to hospital systems.

The healthcare industry has experienced firsthand staffing shortages due to worker burnout along with other challenges like increasing patient numbers and lack of PPE. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare leaders warned that hospitals face a nursing shortage and could feel the weight of dwindling healthcare staff for years previously. Now, hospitals and other facilities are struggling to meet staffing needs on a daily basis.

The nursing shortage is a complex problem with several causes, the root stemming from a larger-than-ever aging Baby Boomer generation and nursing burnout. Nurses are arguably overworked and underpaid within their profession, so it is no surprise that an unprecedented number of nurses are retiring early and exiting the workforce or quitting their hospital employment for something different altogether. The combination of these factors—a more significant older population and burnout—is a driving force behind the nursing shortage, causing an intimidating snowball effect within the healthcare industry.

Since burnout is often caused by short staffing and job stress, which in turn leads to nurses leaving the field, the burnout cycle will continue until the nursing shortage, and the needs of nurses can be addressed. However, addressing the lack of nurses cannot be done overnight—it has been a critical issue for the United States for nearly a decade. It is expected to continue for several more years. In fact, around 1.2 million new registered nurses will be needed by 2030 to meet the current healthcare demands.

One solution to the ever-growing problem? Travel nurses. 

The Mission of One Travel Nursing Agency

Due to the lack of physical and emotional support, and poor working conditions that existed before the pandemic and have only worsened, many nurses are seeking other employment options that provide them with more control over where and when they work. Travel nursing provides these options at a higher rate of pay.

For decades, travel nurses have been a part of the nursing workforce, rapidly and flexibly providing critical staff during temporary crisis needs. They are extremely valuable to hospitals. Although travel nursing is considered a niche profession, the American Nurses Association notes that approximately 25,000 travel nurses are working in the U.S., with more joining the field each year. 

Nurse First, a travel nurse agency, has been able to ease the issue of nurse shortages while providing rewarding, motivating opportunities for their contracted nurses. As the name suggests, this agency is focused on putting the well-being of nurses first to ensure an all-around superior experience in whatever facility they choose. 

“The most significant aspect people were missing was feeling appreciated and valued by their employers,” explained Jeremy Commisso, CEO of Nurse First and former travel nurse. “The cultural shift that travel nurses feel coming into Nurse First from a hospital, healthcare system, or a competitor is that our primary focus is the nurse's experience and the experience of the hospital employing the nurse.”

Nurse First was able to pivot against these trending issues within their profession and provide realistic solutions to provide relief to the healthcare industry and nurses themselves. Almost 80% of people who have worked with Nurse First before have come back a year to date. Jeremy has also seen an influx in candidates considering travel nursing as a career post-pandemic. 

“Credibility is directly tied to consistency. To best battle the Great Resignation, you must really focus on doing good by keeping the employees and their satisfaction at the forefront,” he said. “Propelling the company is taking ownership of the name on the front of the jersey instead of focusing on the name on the back.”

The United States nursing shortage is driven by many factors, including an increased need for care, large numbers of the workforce reaching retirement age, and nursing burnout. Unlike many other fields that face employer shortages, there is no way to minimize the demand for healthcare, but there is a solution for slowing it down. Travel nursing is an option that’s both viable and valuable. Travel nursing agencies provide the additional help numerous facilities need to stay on top of their patients and labor needs.

This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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