The benefits and drawbacks of Agency Nursing vs. Core Staffing in Hospitals will help nurses make more informed judgments about which professional route to pursue. Some of the most critical challenges for today’s nurse include schedule flexibility, work-life balance, and engaging in regular self-care activities. When deciding on a nursing career path, one should evaluate what is most relevant to them in terms of these aspects. Furthermore, with today’s increased demands on our healthcare system, such as COVID-19, ongoing salary disparities, and a lack of autonomy in making decisions that best serve our patients and profession (Jenkins, 2021). Nurses are constantly on the lookout for methods to improve their working environment and job happiness. Staff nurse jobs are less flexible in terms of scheduling, but they do provide stability in terms of pay, benefits, and paid time off. Although agency nursing allows for a lot of flexibility in scheduling, it does not come with any benefits or paid time off.
The advantages of core staffing in hospitals include a steady income, PTO, and benefits, the ability to create rapport with coworkers, comprehensive orientation with a mentor/preceptor, facility-provided ongoing education, and the ability to quickly conform to facility policy and protocol. The disadvantages of core staffing in hospitals include less flexibility in scheduling, more work-duty demands from facility management, lower pay per hour, inability to take vacation when you want, heavy involvement in facility politics, and reliance on others for promotions and reviews. The benefits of agency nursing in hospitals include greater hourly compensation, schedule flexibility, the ability to travel to new areas, meet new people, learn more about nursing, get other experiences, being less involved in facility politics, and raises and reviews based on agency reputation. The disadvantages of agency nursing in hospitals is that hours are not guaranteed, there is no PTO or benefits, there is little or no orientation, hours are dependent on patient census, there is limited facility access/restricted access, no facility-provided continuing education, and there is the possibility of being away from family and friends during contracts (Jenkins, 2021).
Currently, the state of Mississippi has been named the state with the highest amount of nursing shortages due to traveling agencies. Nurses have been stretched pass capacity. The ratio for nurses to patients has been lifted to 1:7 and sometimes even 1:8. After a year of working in this type of environment. Agencies around the world are experiencing a demands in all locations over the world. After all, nursing is one of the cornerstones of healthcare, although some factors such a such aging population, nurse practitioner retirement and new legislation has a major part in the demand for registered nurses. Let’s talk about what travel nurses actually are and what they are required to do when selected for a specific contract.
Travel nurses are registered nurses from different clinical backgrounds that are assigned to fulfill short term employment where it is NEEDED, and specific specialization are required. These assignments are typically located in states of high demand such a New York, Mississippi, and California. These contracts usually include higher pay, benefits, wide schedules, and also being paid to experience different locations. Surprisingly, what began in late 2019 as a temporary solution to a national shortage has now become a full-fledged extended branch of nursing. One that the healthcare system is now beginning to accept as a new norm and key part for delivering that care that is needed. The facts are plain and simple. The Department of US Bureau of Labor Statistics are predicting that registered nurses will continue to experience this dramatic growth spurt through year 2026. Averaging about 1.1 million nurses will be needed to continue to avoid a further shortage. Given the change in political and economic climate, what exactly does that mean for the future of travel nursing?
On the legal landscape of things, the affordable care act has resulted in an additional 20 million people gaining health insurance. This means a proposed laws for the patient nurse ratio will be raised (as it is now) providing a larger budget for pay rises, more locations needed the same demand of nurses and ultimately, patients being cared for means healthier people overall. This will also eventually create a set number of nurses for every shift, along with more qualified practitioners as well. The aging population has experience the highest amount of residents over the age of 65 than it has before, which expected to continue to grow. The American Nurses Association has also reported that nearly 500,000 nurses are expected to retired bye the end of 2022. What this means is the population is living longer with a greater need for health services. After my research I believe these changes indicate that this increase in demand for registered nurses will continue as long as a shortage exists, there will also be a greater demand for travel nurses providing more opportunities for higher wages, flexibility within healthcare with the ability to travel.