New Study Shows 30% are more satisfied today than before the pandemic;
85% plan to continue their travel nursing careers
BOCA RATON, Fla. – September 19, 2022 – Burnout, turnover, and low morale have all taken a heavy toll on the healthcare profession in recent years. But for travel nurses, the pandemic appears to have increased resilience and galvanized the community, according to a recent survey. The study, Voice of the Travel Nurse reveals that 85% of travel nurses intend to continue in their careers. In measuring their satisfaction levels, 50% are as satisfied today as they were pre-pandemic; 30% say they’re more satisfied today.
Voice of the Travel Nurse was conducted by an independent research firm and commissioned by The Gypsy Nurse, the largest and most active online community of travel nurses in the world. The organization provides a variety of career resources to more than 500,000 followers and members across its digital channels. More than 1,000 travel nurses were surveyed.
“We commissioned this study to gain a more thorough understanding of travel nurse perspectives,” said Steve Curtin, CEO of The Gypsy Nurse. “By knowing what drives – and erodes – their satisfaction, we can provide better resources to the travel nurse community, and to the healthcare facilities and staffing agencies relying on these professionals for critical roles.”
Curtin will present the findings in detail on September 20 in Las Vegas at TravCon ’22, the yearly conference for travel health professionals. (More details on the conference are below.)
Additional Report Highlights
- Current satisfaction: 79% of travel nurses are satisfied or very satisfied with their current role.
- Compensation: Competitive pay attracts travel nurses to the profession, but once they’ve established themselves as travelers, factors other than money take on greater significance in retaining them.
- Satisfaction drivers: Flexibility and the ability to make a difference in multiple healthcare settings are among the top factors contributing to travel nurses feeling fulfilled in their work.
- Other contributors: Healthcare facilities in which travel nurses work and staffing firms that arrange their contract assignments also contribute to satisfaction, with facilities having a slightly more substantial impact.
Room for Improvement
The study pointed to several areas for enhancement. For uncommitted travel nurses – those who are uncertain or unlikely to continue their travel nursing careers – they noted the following areas as troublesome:
- Patient ratios: 33% are dissatisfied with patient-to-staff ratios.
- Treatment: 33% are unhappy with how they’re treated compared to staff nurses. More than one-quarter (27 percent) are dissatisfied with how they’re treated by hospital staff.
Communication is a central issue as well. Among committed travel nurses – those who plan to continue working in travel – only 64% received regular communications from their healthcare facility. When rating their experience with staffing agencies, 72% noted their agency keeps them informed regularly.
Making Meaningful Change
Curtin noted that while cultural changes cannot happen overnight, leaders should begin work now to identify issues so they can rectify them. “Organizations that take time to honestly evaluate their work culture and make necessary improvements will attract more talent,” he said. “It’s imperative for travel nurses to be viewed – and treated – as part of the core team, not a separate group. Leaders who integrate travel nurses into their organizations and keep them informed on key issues will enhance their culture and attract the best talent in the travel community.”
As nursing shortages are expected to increase sharply in the near future, Curtin emphasized that recruiting and retaining nursing staff is a shared responsibility among healthcare organizations and the broader community. “All of us must advocate for safe work environments, better communication, and greater recognition for current and future nurses. To build a workforce that can support our healthcare requirements moving forward, educational institutions, government agencies and the private sector must all work with the healthcare community to advance the nursing profession.”
About The Gypsy Nurse
The Gypsy Nurse is the world’s largest community of travel nurses with an audience of more than 500,000 members across multiple channels including TheGypsyNurse.com and TravCon, the leading healthcare traveler conference. The organization builds awareness of travel healthcare career options and offers travel healthcare professionals the knowledge, tools, and social connectivity required to build successful careers supported by a community of like-minded professionals.
Earlier this year, The Gypsy Nurse acquired TravCon, the yearly conference for travel healthcare professionals. TravCon ’22 will be held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas from September 18-21. The conference is the largest in-person gathering of healthcare travel professionals in the United States. It enables attendees to earn continuing education credits, connect with other healthcare professionals, and be recognized for their contributions and work over the last year.
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For a full copy of the report and/or interviews with Steve Curtin and travel nurses:
travel nurses report travel nurses report