The question as to why healthcare facilities and hospitals must hire contract staff from travel nursing company still remains to be a million dollar question. History says that to fulfill short-term staff needs hospitals used to hire traveling nurses. Now, what basically is this short-term staff need? It is but a vacancy that is created in hospitals when a permanent staff like a hospital nurse goes on medical or maternity leave, an out of the blue influx of patients during a tourist season of a flu outbreak etc. However, over the years the pattern in which the healthcare industry works has undergone several changes and so has the reason for employing travel nurses.

What led to the inception of a Travel Nursing Company?

The job market for the healthcare industry has changed drastically over the decade. As a consequence, more and more hospitals today, in situations of staffing shortage are rapidly turning to travel nursing companies. After all, it is for the hard-to-fill positions that the travel nurses were made because of the simple fact that they are always ready to take on the job wherever they are required and are adventurous and adaptable. Due to the changing HR and economic needs, hiring travel nurses has become an attractive option.

Traveling Nurses: The Basics

The basic assignment tenure for travel nurses is 13 weeks which might be subjected to being less or extended as per the employer’s request and the agreement of it by the nurse and the travel nursing company. Travel nurses are not directly employed by hospitals. Rather, there are certain staffing agencies or travel nursing companies that hire them. There are some who prefer working within a particular region while the others fill job vacancies by traveling nationwide.

Why do hospitals hire Travel Nurses?


Traditionally, the scenario of hospitals hiring travel nurses was much more expensive than having their own nurses. But, today with the rapidly changing employment costs, hiring travel nurses to fill up some positions have cost-effective and thus, hospitals are taking advantage of it.  Identifying their benefits is not difficult. Hiring traveling nurses will save hospitals from paying for retirement, health insurance benefits and also save them the cost of recruiting, training and neither are they entitled to allow paid leaves. There certainly cannot be a better deal for hospitals.


Full-time hospital nurses who go off duty for personal or health issues are covered for by traveling nurses. This is the history of hospitals hiring traveling nurses to even out short-term staffing shortage needs. Travel nurses are also hired to provide additional support to the full-time employees when there is a huge influx of patients during an occurrence of flue-outbreak or a busy season. This is actually the most common reason why hospitals hire travel nurses from staffing agencies.


Traveling nurses generally work in specialized nursing fields like pediatrics, dialysis or psychiatric nursing. These are the specializations that encounter frequent turnover and frequently replacing hospilal employees is evidently highly expensive. Thus, preventing gaps in coverage, the traveling nursing agencies can fill these frequent vacant positions easier than hospitals.


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