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Best Practices for Managing Short-Term Nurse Contracts

signing a contract

Since the Coronavirus Pandemic, many healthcare organizations have turned to utilizing contingent staff to fill gaps wherever necessary. Despite the decrease in virus cases, it appears that contingent workers — particularly in nursing — are here to stay in the post-COVID era.

Contrary to common belief, using travel nurses does not have to break the bank. It is possible to utilize them more strategically by employing best practices for short-term nurse contract management.


1. Standardize Contracts

Start by evaluating where, when, and how to utilize contingent nurse staff. By standardizing contingent staff contracts, your organization can effectively streamline the hiring/recruiting phase and improve onboarding by having protocols in place to keep pre-screening consistent. Additionally, you'll be able to track costs and utilization rates across multiple vendors by centralizing all data regarding requirements.


2. Enlist a Managed Service Provider (MSP)

An MSP is a type of third-party business that manages certain departments or operations on the business' behalf. This can be particularly useful when it comes to managing contingent staff and short-term nurse contracts because an MSP can function as an internal staffing and marketing agency that more efficiently attracts top talent and manages their contracts accordingly. Not only does this save time and headaches for the organization's HR department, but it also gives the facility more meaningful access to a wider talent pool.

Further benefits of an MSP include, but are not limited to:

  • Containing staffing costs
  • Finding more and better-quality contingent staff
  • Providing one master contract rather than many individual ones
  • Focusing HR duties on full-time staff and patients


3. Create and Manage an Internal Talent Agency

This may sound like a daunting task, but with the help of an MSP, it has never been easier. Internal agencies can procure and manage a myriad of healthcare workers — full-time and contingent workers, specialty staff, and per diem nurses across multiple facilities. An internal agency makes it much easier to manage individual items within a contract including vacation hours, pay, insurance, licenses, accreditations, and more. 

Short-term nurse contracts that are managed through an internal talent agency have the added benefit of gaining experience in a multitude of hospital departments and settings, giving the traveler more valuable experience for the future.

Creating your own internal agency will provide, on average, around 10-15% in staffing cost reduction shortly after its implementation. HWL's internal agency resources also provide added benefits such as:

  • Real-time market data: Provides insights and transparency into market rates on local, regional, and national levels of pay data to ensure you're keeping up with demand. This allows you to fill positions at lower costs.
  • Keep up the competition: Allows you to compete with other entities in the space so you can win out on the race for talent. 
  • Expertise: The implementation of internal agencies is led by executives who have vast industry experience in optimizing fill rates and containing costs. You will receive the best guidance on staffing economics and contract management.
  • Reduce administrative burden: By relying on an internal agency, your administrative and HR duties are streamlined so those departments may place their focus on other organizational imperatives.


HWL Is Your Best Resource for Nurse Contract Management

Recruiting short-term nursing talent for your healthcare organization has never been more crucial. But with influxes of contingent staff come the additional stress of managing staff, contracts, wages, credentials, and more. 

By following the outlined industry best practices, your organization will be set up for success in the future and containing costs in the short term.

HWL can assist your organization in optimizing and improving your healthcare workforce, so your organization remains resilient and flexible, even during volatile or unpredictable times. Our state-of-the-art, proprietary talent management technology leverages customizable functionality to meet your organization's unique needs.

Find out more about our platform or schedule a demo here!

May 26, 2023/By Jeff Niles
TAGS: Nursing
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Author: Jeff Niles

Jeff is Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Healthcare Workforce Logistics and has been in healthcare contingent workforce management for over 15 years. Jeff has led sales, implementation, and client services to some of the largest and most influential healthcare providers with technology and solutions installed in over 3,000 hospitals in 50 states and the UK. Jeff is inspired to work with transformational leaders that have a vision to achieve the highest levels of efficiency, transparency, compliance, quality and cost savings. Contact Jeff at jniles@hwlmsp.com OR 630-913-6629
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