New Research Shows No Difference in Patient Care Quality between Travel and Staff Nurses
A new study provides compelling data on a long-standing problem in the healthcare industry: do travel nurses provide the same quality of care to patients as nursing staff?
According to a new study that analyzed the quality of nursing care and indicators of patient satisfaction, the answer is “yes.”
The research report, based on data from the nursing units at the Regional Hospital of the Southern United States, is published in the June 2017 nurse’s newspaper.
“We have found that the variation of percentages of travel nurses in five hospital units produced no significant difference in quality of care or patient care experience,” said co-author Marcia Faller, PhD, RN, Director Clinical trial at AMN Healthcare.
These data allow clinicians to better understand the benefits of nursing and nursing techniques when traveling, he said.
Quality unchanged with increased nursing travel
The researchers examined the use of nurses to travel for a three-year period at a regional hospital in one of the fastest growing regions in the country. The data on the quality indicators were extracted quarterly from October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2015, from five adult intensive care units: medicine, oncology, neurology and ortho surgery.
The travel nurses, who were all nurses, were sent to the 64-agency hospital. The use of nurses in hospital trips was 0% -44% of total hours per nursing unit per quarter on average 9%.
Overall, the analysis indicated that the quality of care and patient satisfaction did not change as the trip increased nurses’ employment.
“This study adds to a growing body of research that shows that nurses provide the same quality of care as nursing staff,” said M. Faller. “The importance of this research is that you see real examples of bedside care over a long period of time in various nursing units.”
With the quality of care and patient experience among the top priorities of the health industry, it is the quality of care provided by nurses of the vital journey, he said. He pointed out that this is especially important given the growing nursing shortage in the US. Will require increased use of travel nurses in hospitals and other health centers in the foreseeable future.