The study was conducted by Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, a professor of sociology and nursing and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. The purpose of the study was to determine the efficacy of travel nurses, in response to a misconception that travel nurses led to poorer patient outcomes. But the results revealed a lot more than what they were originally looking for.
After examining more than 1.3 million patients and 40 thousand nurses in over 600 hospitals, the study found that:
“There is no association between employing travel nurses and any negative outcomes and find that the outcomes, especially in regard to preventable mortality after common surgical procedures would be greater if the hospitals had not used these agency nurses.”
And while it’s important to debunk myths, what the study unintentionally revealed may have been even more enlightening about travel nursing. Keith Loria of Nursing.advanceweb.com covered the study in greater detail and described the findings:
In the course of the research, Aiken discovered that not only are travel nurses quite satisfied with their jobs, due to the flexibility and career goals, but that nurses working for agencies had a higher job satisfaction rate than permanent nurses do.
It makes sense. Travel nursing contracts will typically only last 13 weeks, which isn’t enough time for nurses to get caught up in the inner-hospital politics that plague permanent nurses. Plus, living life 13 weeks at a time keeps things from getting routine and boring, resulting in more variety.
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