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International Nurses Vs. Travel Nurses: What Are The REAL Cost Savings?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve explored the traditional 13-week contract and why more acute and long-term care facilities are exploring alternatives. One popular option is recruiting international nurses through specialist staffing agencies like Conexus. 

There are 3 million immigrants already in the US healthcare system, accounting for 1 in 4 workers in that field, according to Harvard Medical School (2019). One of the key benefits of hiring international nurses instead of travel nurses is cost savings, but how much money can they actually help you to save? Here, we take a closer look...

Work With The Right People

A specialist staffing agency that supplies international nurses can deliver significant savings in comparison to travel nurses. While agencies providing travel nurses offer housing stipends, per diem rates, and travel expenses, those supplying foreign nurses charge facilities a flat hourly rate with no extra costs. 

To demonstrate, we’ve provided some working examples of the costs associated with our Conexus international nurses vs. travel nurses: 

Hospital Scenario: ONE RN Specialty Nurse 

Conexus Medstaff International Nurse

Traditional Travel Nurse 

$55/hr x 40 hours

$2,200    

$68/hr x 40 hours

$3,000

13 weeks x 2200

$28,600

13 weeks x 2720

$39,000

52 weeks     

$114,400

52 weeks

$156,000

Hard Cost Savings = $41,600

Hospital Scenario: ONE RN Med Surg (General) Nurse

Conexus Medstaff International Nurse

Traditional Travel Nurse 

$55/hr x 40 hours

$2,200    

$68/hr x 40 hours

$2,720

13 weeks x 2200

$28,600

13 weeks x 2720

$35,360

52 weeks     

$114,400

52 weeks

$141,440

Hard Cost Savings = $27,040

Long Term Care: ONE RN

Conexus Medstaff International Nurse

Traditional Travel Nurse 

$50/hr x 40 hours

$2000    

$60/hr x 40 hours

$2400

13 weeks x 2000

$26,000

13 weeks x 2400

$31,200

52 weeks     

$104,000

52 weeks

$124,800

Total cost savings = $27,040

[Costs based on the placement of one nurse. Conexus does not charge additional rates for Speciality 1 and Speciality 11 Nurses.]

But Wait, There’s More…

International nurses don’t just deliver cost savings for facilities. Other key benefits include: 

  • Time Savings. The continuous turnover of travel nurses every 13-weeks means training and orientation need to be repeated regularly, which sees staff taken away from day-to-day duties.

  • Commitment. A significant driver for international nurses is stability and the opportunity to become part of an organization and community. On the flip-side, travel nurses are usually looking to move on after their assignment and explore a new city or state. 

  • Staff Morale. With Conexus, international nurses commit to extended contracts with facilities, enabling existing nursing teams to build strong bonds with one another, share experiences, and offer support. 

  • High-Quality Nurses. Today’s immigration regulations mean that all foreign-trained nurses are highly-skilled, have a bachelor’s degree, and an average of five to ten years of nursing experience. 

  • Improved Patient Care. The addition of overseas nurses helps to diversify a workforce, which multicultural patients respond positively to. 

Are International Nurses The Ideal Option For Your Facility? 


Find out more about international nurses and other staffing alternatives in our free guide - 'Alternatives to the traditional 13-week assignment'.

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