The modest use of supplemental (temporary or contract) nurses is a cost-efficient strategy during temporary periods of patient census swings or short-term shortages of permanent nurses at large U.S. medical centers, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. The study also found that the hourly personnel costs for supplemental nurses efficiently offset the overtime costs of permanent nurses.
“Prior research has shown that temporary and contract nurses are just as qualified—through education and experience—as permanent nurses,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “This study shows that supplemental nurses offer the strategic flexibility that hospitals need to augment their workforces during peak times, and to address any interim labor shortages related to leave coverage, vacancies, and expansion of services.”
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