Supplemental Nurses Are Just As Educated, Slightly Less Experienced, And More Diverse Compared to Permanent Nurses

In the past three decades, the shortage of nurses willing to work in hospitals has been a persistent challenge in the United States. Hiring supplemental registered nurses—nurses on short-term contracts obtained through an external staffing agency—has been common to fill gaps in nurse staffing. But there has been insufficient evidence about supplemental nurse workforce trends to inform workforce policy. To address this concern, we compared qualifications and characteristics of supplemental nurses with those of permanent nurses during 1984–2008.

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