New Online Tool Helps Facilities Compare Nurse Labor Costs

August 24, 2011 - Good planning isn't just good business--today it’s integral to the bottom line. That’s why hospital leaders are looking for ways to reduce burgeoning costs, driven in part by healthcare reform and reductions in reimbursements which represent only a few of the challenges placing upward pressure on labor costs.

According to the recently published KPMG 2011 U.S. Hospital Nursing Labor Costs Study, healthcare leaders surveyed indicated that an ideal ratio of permanent to contingent staffing resources is 90:10. However, long-held perceptions about the cost and value of temporary labor have discouraged some employers from exploring the possibility of using a mix of temporary to permanent labor. This approach could in fact not only benefit patients but help facilities to optimize their clinical staffing budgets by reducing cost.

To help hospitals and healthcare facilities meaningfully compare full-time nurse staffing costs to both the U.S. average and the typical cost of a travel nurse, AMN Healthcare has developed an RN Labor Cost Comparison Calculator. Using information from the KPMG study for its calculations, the calculator provides a quick and simple tool to look at true staffing costs and compare them.

“With just a few inputs, employers can better understand overall staffing costs and improve the fiscal decisions made on behalf of their facilities,” said Bonnie Owens, regional vice president of client sales for AMN Healthcare, the nation’s largest healthcare staffing and workforce solutions company.

The free, online calculator is designed for ease of use. By inputting real data such as average base wage, overtime, average work week hours and PTO (paid time off) users can receive a detailed RN labor cost assessment for their facility. The end product, according to Owens, is “an across-the-board comparison of the total, ‘all-in’ hourly cost of a registered nurse for a specific facility, the national average and contingent labor cost comparisons.”

KPMG's 2011 Labor Costs Study reveals several trends regarding RN labor costs and travel nursing. It points out, for instance, that contingent staffing is widely used today and is expected to continue to trend upward. In addition, as the economy shows signs of recovery, resource management and total cost of labor will continue to be a focus for healthcare facilities. This focus will make tools like AMN’s online calculator more important than ever for those organizations who are striving for the most efficient use of their clinical labor.

For more information about the RN Labor Cost Comparison Calculator or KPMG's 2011 Hospital Nursing Labor Costs Study, visit the AMN website or call (866) 871-8519.


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