Travel nurses – strategies for effective management of documentation and scheduling

April 25, 2022
April 25, 2022

Healthcare has had a thriving gig economy for decades. Travel nurses have long been a part of the healthcare delivery system. An ongoing nursing shortage and more recently, a pandemic, have made the importance of their role and the importance of managing the processes for hiring, onboarding and scheduling them even more critical.

Travel nursing is an attractive option for nurses – the pay can be substantially higher and benefits such as housing, weekly paychecks and hiring bonuses make this an increasingly attractive option for nurses.

Travel nurses manage quite a bit of documentation in order to be able to practice. They need to manage their personal identification, active licenses, references, and drug screening as well as documentation on their health and vaccination status. The organizations that hire these nurses need strategies for verifying and maintaining this information too. They also need strategies for identifying license and disciplinary issues. Once a travel nurse has been hired, the organization also needs processes for orienting and scheduling this population of nurses.

The Pitfalls

Oversights and mistakes in managing these processes can be costly for organizations that are utilizing travel nurses. Nursing shortages and the pandemic have caused a substantial increase in the use of travel nurses which has put more of a spotlight on the issues associated with accurately and efficiently managing these activities.

Ideally, a strong travel nurse recruiting firm will ensure that your organization will be presented with the kinds of candidates that specifically match your requests for licensure, experience and specialty. In addition, your organization will also need a strategy for managing that information on an ongoing basis.

Solutions That Work - Scheduling

Organizations that do not have equitable, nurse-centric scheduling strategies will struggle to attract and retain nurses from a shrinking pool of talent. Technological solutions that help organizations address this challenge are critical and the most effective due to the demands of managing such vast quantities of information.

A scheduling strategy that optimizes existing resources and puts control of their schedules into the hands of nurses can be a significant step towards helping nurses strike the right balance between work and life. It can also help incorporate the growing number of travel nurses into your scheduling process more easily.

Nurse Grid, already the #1 nurse app in the country, gives nurses 24/7 access to their schedules and makes it easy to create and identify the availability for additional shifts. ANSOS helps healthcare leaders to maximize efficiency by aligning staffing and payroll functions and using patient acuity data to forecast staffing needs. Pen and paper systems simply do not work in today’s healthcare environment. ShiftWizard is software that can take the onerous and error-prone task of scheduling and integrate it with your EMR and time and attendance systems to help you better manage the process and make the kinds of staffing decisions that can have a positive impact on patient care and employee satisfaction and engagement.

Solutions That Work – Credentialing

The influx of travel nurses into an organization can create relief for a workforce that may be stretched too thin, but it can create credentialing issues. Relying exclusively on a staffing agencies’ credentialing report can leave healthcare organizations exposed to risk. Workforce Validate can help make this a safe and seamless process from onboarding to ongoing monitoring and it can also be used for your employees and contractor or vendor employees. In addition, it includes information on state and federal exclusions as well as board sanctions.

Solutions That Work – Continuing Education

Travel nurses can bring great skills, but may also need help with continuing education to enhance their careers and to become a better fit for your organization. CE Unlimited can help your entire team access thousands of titles. It can help foster a culture of lifelong learning and professional development. The software makes tracking CEU credits and building reports simple for leaders. Jane, the first clinical competency system that uses artificial intelligence, helps identify gaps in knowledge and critical thinking skills and can build a completely customized education plan for each user. It streamlines the path to competency for learners and for leaders.