Cost Outcomes of Supplemental Nurse Staffing in a Large Medical Center

Use of agency-employed supplemental nurses on nursing personnel costs was examined in 19 adult patient care units in a large academic medical center. Results indicated that the modest use of supplemental nurses was cost-efficient with regard to overall nursing personnel costs, but heavy reliance on supplemental nurses to meet staffing needs was not cost-efficient. In addition, there was no statistical difference in hourly personnel cost between the use of supplemental nurses and overtime worked by permanent nurses.