Gale Healthcare Solutions (Gale), the industry leader in on-demand healthcare staffing, released new survey data today showing that gig-style work options offering flexible schedules and quick pay to workers can address the national nursing shortage and retain sought after nursing staff.
With temporary nurses often seen as the last line of defense against crisis-level understaffing, it's crucial to understand what these clinicians are looking for in a job.
The survey was conducted October 7-30, 2022 and included responses from 501 clinicians who work for Gale Healthcare in nursing homes, assisted living centers and other extended care facilities on a per diem basis (as needed or temporary).
"Temporary nursing professionals play a critical role in acute and post-acute care, and their valuable skills have never been more needed," said Tony Braswell, President and Founder of Gale Healthcare Solutions. "This survey provides important insights on who these caregivers are, what they value, and how we can collectively keep more of them at the bedside so people get the care they deserve."
See the report online: How Gig Work Can Help Address the National Nursing Shortage.
Today's Temporary Nursing Professional
The survey showed that the average temporary nursing professional working in nursing homes and other extended care facilities is 36 years old, with 74% having at least one dependent at home. These workers are experienced caregivers, with 70% having worked in long term care for five years or more. 69% are nurse aides or the equivalent, reflecting the industry's reliance on support staff to provide the majority of hands-on, bedside care.
The Gig Economy Effect
As the gig economy grows, more nursing professionals are looking for alternative work options. 65% of respondents use temporary work options as their primary employment, with many - 45% - working at least 30 hours a week And yet, more than a quarter - 26% - reported they would quit nursing if they had to accept a permanent position.
When asked why they choose temporary nursing, 87% of respondents ranked control over their schedule as the leading factor, followed by pay rate (63%) and a quick pay schedule (42%).
About one-third of clinicians surveyed work in a full-time, non-agency healthcare job, in addition to their temporary staffing work. Of these clinicians, 78% work full-time in the same long-term care or similar extended care setting. 90% of these full-time clinicians said earning extra income quickly is the top reason they also work per diem shifts.
In another sign of how much gig-style workers value fast pay, the vast majority of clinicians - 89% - said they strongly prefer getting paid daily or sooner versus waiting for weekly or biweekly pay schedules. This finding held true across all age groups, not just younger workers.
The Impact of Understaffing
While the shortage of nurses today means nurses have many work options, understaffing also creates on-the-job pressures. Of those with full-time jobs, 59% said they are asked by their employer to work an extra shift at least once a week.
Studies continue to show understaffing and related stress are leading some nurses to quit. In fact, 34% of nursing professionals participating in this survey reported they have considered leaving. Yet, 74% said their love of the job keeps them in nursing.
"As the nursing shortage grows, it's more important than ever that we find ways to meet the needs of nursing professionals," said Braswell. "At Gale, we've created an on-demand staffing platform that gives clinicians the flexibility and quick pay they want, while still offering the advantages of W-2 employment. It's the best of both worlds, and a model that can help keep more nurses on the job."
About Gale Healthcare Solutions
Gale Healthcare Solutions is a leading technology-enabled healthcare services and payments platform that provides per diem, contract, and travel temporary staffing services and software licensing services in post-acute and acute healthcare settings. Designed to address the national nursing shortage, the mobile and web-based Gale app connects nursing professionals directly to healthcare facilities in need of clinical staff, and provides caregivers with daily pay. Gale workforce management solutions include recruiting, credentialing, scheduling, time and attendance, communications, and pay. Based in Tampa, Gale offers a national clinical workforce of 55,000 clinicians and serves clients in 40 states. For more information, please visit galehealthcaresolutions.com and follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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