Temporary Nursing

Check any news outlet, and chances are that labor shortages are featuring prominently in the news. The situation is especially serious in the healthcare sector where a lack of staffing or continuous understaffing is putting patients at risk. Temporary nursing helps mitigate and minimize these risks whilst also creating new career opportunities for registered nurses.

What is Temporary Nursing?

Temporary nursing refers to nursing and medical staffing contracts that generally last no longer than 13 weeks. Hospitals need temp nurses to help cover staff shortages or a sudden increase in patient numbers. The latter was especially critical at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. However, as the pandemic continued to put pressure on permanent healthcare staff, some started suffering from burnout syndrome and needed to take a break from their careers. 

Temporary medical agencies and the nurses registered with them came to the rescue and filled the gaps. 

What do Temp Nurses do?

Temp nurses do everything their permanently employed counterparts would do. They look after patients, hand out medication, and monitor a patient’s condition, for example. The main differences between temporary and permanent nursing staff are:

  • Length of contract
  • Changing work location
  • Higher pay

Temporary nursing contracts tend to last 13 weeks, although longer and shorter contracts can be agreed upon. Most temporary nurses are happy to travel to some degree. Some stay within their state, whilst others seek jobs in different parts of the country and plan their contracts around opportunities to travel. Temp nursing is one of the few careers allowing such a large degree of flexibility. 

Types and Specialties of Temporary Nursing Jobs

Registered nurses of all specialties are needed on a temporary basis. There are no exclusions of specific specialties, although some are requested more than others. The most sought-after specialties include intensive and emergency room care, alongside surgery and telemetry as well as operating room care. 

Temporary nurses need to prove that they have at least one year of acute care experience in their chosen specialty before becoming eligible for temporary nursing jobs. Depending on the temp nursing agency they want to join, candidates may need to provide references and letters of recommendation, too, before being accepted. 

One of the most demanding jobs within the travel nursing sector is strike nursing. These contracts usually open up at the last minute and require nurses to pack up and go to a location sometimes within hours. Because of the high degree of flexibility required, these contracts tend to be most highly compensated. 

Benefits of Temp Nursing

Temp nursing benefits hospitals, patients, and nurses alike. 

With the help of a temporary medica agency like TrueCare, hospitals can maintain a high standard of care, even if there are staff shortages. Patients benefit by receiving the best care possible with a level of personalization that would be impossible without temp nursing. 

Nurses themselves can take advantage of highly flexible contracts and higher pay. Temp nursing is also an excellent career stepping stone, allowing nurses to learn more about new specialties and different approaches to care. 
Temporary nursing creates a win-win situation for all involved in the process.