A Cost-Effective Nurse Staffing Strategy to Provide Flexibility and Experience

Registered nurses in the US healthcare workforce have been up against fierce pressure this year, more than any other industry – and more than anywhere in the world. COVID-19 has pushed healthcare services and expectations beyond previous limits.

Healthcare facilities have had to battle supply shortages, financial strain, and staffing issues because of a grueling pandemic. Unfortunately, we are all very aware of autumn arriving and winter on its way, and how this time of year is congenial to viruses and could cause a surge in cases of COVID-19..

In management of a healthcare establishment, ensuring adequate registered nurse cover is essential. Staffing levels are at risk due to shielding, seasonal illness, and staff members leaving the profession. A National Nursing Report discovered that in 2019, 15.6% of nurses were suffering burnout – you can imagine how this has increased during the pandemic.

Yet, a level of competence must still be reached by nursing staff in care towards patients. Reaching such levels will not only protect patients, but nursing staff too – physically and mentally.

In this article, we explain the benefits of using per diem nursing and working with a nurse staffing agency.

We’re Entering a Period of Nursing Shortages

Staffing levels are a common problem for healthcare facilities, and can fluctuate for many reasons. As we’ve witnessed this year, a pandemic causes huge implications:

  • Numbers of patients increase dramatically
  • The attention and care each patient requires escalates
  • The pressure to fulfil these duties is at maximum level

Other circumstances of increased patient numbers can be due to a high-casualty incident such as a natural disaster. And of course, we never know when these are going to occur – but they often do during periods of adverse weather (such as winter).

Unfortunately, as a result, staff numbers can reduce as healthcare needs increase.

At present, nursing staff are also suffering with the effects of COVID-19, and are having to self-isolate, shield, or even fight the virus themselves. This could soon worsen, or be escalated by increasing pressure caused by the colder weather and related diseases and health conditions.

Inadequate Staffing Leads to Nurse Burnout

An aftershock of low staff numbers is often burnout in your nursing staff. According to a study by the PRC Nurse Report, while they don’t want to leave their roles, a crippling 97% of nurses are burned out, leading to feelings of emotional exhaustion.

It would be unethical not to pay attention to this – and devastating to a healthcare facility and the services it provides if large numbers of nurses abandon their careers.

Supporting staff with healthy levels of nursing will provide a backbone to your facility. Working with a staffing agency means you can react quickly to your staffing levels because:

  • Per diem nurses are ‘good to go’
  • Paperwork and certification can easily be viewed
  • There’s no need for you to spend crucial time sifting through resumes and checking accreditations

Consequently, per diem nurses can begin immediately to fill the gaps in your team’s schedule.

Financial benefits

Finding new nursing staff can be a costly business. There’s the cost of advertising and hiring, and the cost of taking on an employed member of staff and their employment benefits. There’s also the time spent recruiting for new nursing vacancies when you’re crucially needed elsewhere.

Partnering with a staffing agency to deal with the recruitment process and paperwork will save you valuable time, while the flexibility of paying for a per diem nursing position can be adjusted to meet a fluctuating budget.

Additionally, if a per diem nurse needs time off, this is not at a cost to the healthcare establishment.

Flexibility and choice

Working with a staffing agency means you have flexibility over your staffing. The staffing agency can help adjust staffing levels with per diem nurses, helping you meet fluctuating demand.

A staffing agency will have highly suitable per diem nurses at the ready, and you may find that certain individuals fit in well with your team. This may be a short-term contract or long-term. Or you can simply let them go at the end of their shift. The flexibility of an employment strategy for per diem nurses offer is highly beneficial to any healthcare facility – both short- and long-term.

Do you require staffing assistance to ensure your healthcare facility is prepared for anything financially and ethically, in support of your staff’s wellbeing and your patients’ care? Then contact QS Nurses today , and learn how we can meet your flexible staffing needs in Kansas.