How to Solve Nursing Staff Shortages with Travel Nurses

Last Updated on January 13, 2022

Group of nurses in their blue scrubs walking across healthcare facility

Nursing staff shortages can be a serious dilemma for facilities of all types. According to a white paper from the American Nurses Association, maintaining “appropriate nurse staffing levels are essential to optimizing the quality of care and patient outcomes in this era of value-based healthcare.”

In other words, attempting to run a facility with inadequate nurse staffing can pose an existential threat to an organization. When outcomes suffer, so too does a facility’s ability to attract new patients or serve its community — both of which are essential goals in an era of increased competition in the healthcare marketplace.

But meeting nursing staff shortages isn’t always as simple as just hiring more nurses, either. There are many factors that can prevent this basic solution: For instance, a facility may be based in an urban area where demand for skilled nursing professionals has outpaced the supply. Or they may operate in a rural area where there simply aren’t enough nurses to hire.

For these facilities, travel nurse staffing could offer the ideal solution to meet ideal personnel levels without incurring significant additional expense. And that’s not all: Travel nurse staffing also offers a variety of other benefits, including meeting seasonal spikes in utilization, preventing burnout among permanent staff, and much more.

Solving Nursing Staff Shortages & More: The Benefits of Travel Nurse Staffing

Cover short-term staffing gaps. From vacations, sabbaticals, and maternity leave to unexpected sick leave, many staffing challenges stem not from the inability to find permanent staff, but from the planned or unplanned absence of those team members. With travel nurse staffing, you can cover those gaps by quickly recruiting nurses from a pool of highly experienced nurses across the United States.

Respond to seasonal fluctuations. In any healthcare setting, some seasons are busier than others. The flu season can sometimes cause a sharp increase in utilization, for instance, while pediatric check-ups tend to spike in the summer and early fall. Travel nurse staffing can help you meet these fluctuations without the need to hire additional full-time staff.

Curb staff burnout. Nursing can be an intense and stressful job, especially in facilities that struggle to stay fully staffed. Even if your staffing levels aren’t in the critical territory, bringing on a travel nurse or two on a regular basis — especially during the busier seasons — can help ease the workload faced by your full-time staff. This can help you not only retain permanent nurses but keep them happy and healthy.

Achieve a more flexible staffing plan. Partnering with a travel nurse provider gives you the power to quickly bring on experienced professionals who aren’t just available at a moment’s notice, but who also come fully trained, credentialed, and knowledgeable about your facility. The upshot is that you can more effectively respond to unexpected needs or shifts in utilization by quickly scaling your staff up or down.

Project a more professional appearance. A big part of patient care is the ability to calm and soothe the people you treat — and the chaos of an understaffed facility can work against this goal. By helping you maintain full staffing, travel nurses can minimize disorganization and general inefficiency, which, in turn, gives patients confidence and helps ease the challenges faced by permanent staff and administrators.

Expand the skill set within your staff. Recruiting travel nurses not only helps you fill shortages, but it also lets you utilize new skill sets and levels of experience. Hiring a travel nurse with outstanding experience in a given specialty or in the use of a particular technology not only expands your care capabilities but also helps you expand the range of knowledge of your current staff.

Fill temporary or permanent needs. Most travel nursing assignments are designed to last about 13 weeks, or about the time it takes to cover the short-term absence of permanent staff, or perhaps source a replacement. Yet many travel nurses are also open to long-term hiring options, meaning that if you find a great candidate, chances are good that you can entice them to stay on a permanent basis.

We Can Help You Solve Nursing Staff Shortages

At CareerStaff, we’re proud to offer travel nurse staffing solutions that can help you accomplish all of the above goals, and then some. With more than two dozen nurse staffing offices throughout the United States, we offer access to a pool of RNs, LPNs, LVNs, CNAs, case managers, and other nursing professionals across all major specialties, and reflecting every range of experience.

Whether you need to scale up your staff quickly to meet an unexpected spike in demand, or want to cover a planned staff sabbatical six months from now, we have the solution that meets your needs. Contact us now to learn more or get started today: You can email us at, or request nurse staffing via our online form.

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