Survey: About One-Third of Hospitals Need Traveling Nurses to Function


SAN DIEGO - About one-third of hospital chief nursing officers (CNOs) say their hospitals could not function without the services of "traveling nurses," according to a new survey.

The survey examines how and why hospitals use traveling nurses, who typically work temporary assignments lasting from a few weeks to over a year. Thirty-one percent of CNOs surveyed said the statement "our hospital could not function without traveling nurses" was "very true." An additional 26 percent said the statement was at least "somewhat true."

Two-thirds of CNOs surveyed indicated their hospitals had used traveling nurses sometime during the previous 12 months to supplement their existing staffs. The majority (58 percent) said that their hospitals currently are using traveling nurses. One-third of CNOs said their hospitals typically use one to five traveling nurses per month, while 30 percent said their hospitals use six or more traveling nurses per month.

The use of traveling nurses is driven largely by the national nurse shortage, the survey suggests. Over 70% of CNOs surveyed said that an inability to recruit enough permanent staff is a "most important" reason for using traveling nurses. Other reasons CNOs cited for using traveling nurses included maintaining quality of care, filling in for retiring or relocating nurses or those on family leave, and preventing revenue loss resulting when beds are closed due to inadequate nurse staffing.

The great majority of CNOs surveyed (93 percent) rated the skill level of traveling nurses as either "adequate" or "equal or superior to" existing staff. Seventy-four percent of CNOs indicated that the value of traveling nurses to their hospitals is either "worth the cost" or "break even."


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

Leave a Comment

Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated. Please do not use a spam keyword or a domain as your name, or else it will be deleted. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for your comments!

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.