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Registered nurses who work on short-term contracts through staffing companies have similar education levels, are typically more diverse than permanent staff and are more willing to relocate for employment, AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AHS) reported, quoting a new study led by researchers at the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing.
In addition, temporary nurses may be essential to meeting the challenges posed by the projected nationwide nurse shortage, according to the report.
“Our industry is committed to providing our clients with workforce flexibility and quality talent — especially during times of critical skill shortages,” said AMN Chief Medical Officer Marcia Faller. “This study affirms that supplemental nurses are just as qualified as permanent nurses and are increasingly important in providing outstanding patient care outcomes in facilities throughout the country.”
AMN reports that some of the study’s findings include:
- The proportion of supplemental nurses holding bachelor’s degrees increased to 46 percent in 2008 from 34 percent in 1984. The percent of permanent nurses with bachelor’s degree rose to 50 percent in 2008 from 33 percent in 1984.
- Supplemental nurses were more likely to hold nursing licenses in several states simultaneously and more likely to work in a state other than the one in which they reside.
- One third of supplemental nurses in 2008 were people of color compared with fewer than one in five permanent nurses.
The study was authored by Ying Xue, Joyce Smith, Deborah Freund and Linda Aiken. Aiken has published other studies on temporary nurses.
The University of Rochester-led study appeared in the November issue of Health Affairs.