In Healthcare, Preparation is Key

In the midst of confusion and concern about the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the United States, the nation’s attention is focused on the practices and protocols of nurses and other healthcare workers who comprise the front line in patient care.

However, Ebola is merely a high-profile example of the risks that healthcare workers face every day. There is the obvious risk of infection from a blood-borne pathogen through contact with bodily fluids, as is the case with Ebola. However, there is also the potential for injury from biohazardous materials, chemicals, and drugs. According to the World Health Organization, unintentional contact with contaminated needles affects approximately six percent of the global health workforce each year resulting in nearly 100,000 new infections.

Even less serious day-to-day interactions can cause illness or injury to healthcare workers – heavy lifting, patient altercations, and the transmission of far more common airborne illnesses among them.

The healthcare industry can take an important lesson from their current battle against Ebola, including vendors that provide healthcare staffing services to hospitals. While vendors may not have a say in the protocols that their clients have in place, it is their responsibility to educate the nurses and other staff members they employ so policies and protocols can be followed properly. In addition, invest in continuing training to keep nurses at a heightened state of readiness should any serious situation occur.

Comprehensive nurse training and preparation will pay off greatly with fewer days missed, greater nurse confidence, and overall healthier and safer practices. If your nurse staffing agency needs a boost in working capital to invest in your workforce, PRN Funding’s nurse staffing factoring program can work for you. Contact PRN Funding today to apply for immediate funding through nurse staffing factoring.

Which State is the Best for Nurses?

That the nursing industry is changing is indisputable. Social and economic pressures are transforming the industry and will have a continuing impact on new nurses looking to establish themselves in the industry. Where are the nursing jobs? What state offers the best standard of living for its nurses?

WalletHub released a recent analysis of the industry nationwide (including the District of Columbia) with a breakdown of the best – and worst – states for nurses along a variety of criteria. Depending on your area of focus and your career goals, below you will find out which states to pursue…and which to avoid.


Nursing is an overall high-demand field, particularly given the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the insured population. However, some states have more openings than others and provide a more ideal destination for the newly minted nurse in search of a job.

Most job openings: District of Columbia

Least job openings: Alabama

Most healthcare facilities per capita: Oregon

Least healthcare facilities per capita: Delaware


Even the most rewarding position should come with a salary that covers the cost of living and, hopefully, allows an experienced nurse to invest in the future. What kind of price tag comes on your dream job? Find out where you’re likely to get it, and where you may need to pass. (Salary rankings are adjusted for cost of living.)

Highest annual salaries: Texas

Lowest annual salaries: Hawaii


A nurse’s dream job location also depends on his or her specialty. Many specialties – including pediatrics, labor & delivery, and elderly care – are concentrated in a single age group, and choosing a location with low numbers of patients in that demographic means finding the right job will prove difficult. WalletHub projected the concentration of patients over 65 in each state by 2030.

Highest percentage of population over 65: Florida

Lowest percentage of population over 65: Utah

This is just a sample of the data and perspectives available in WalletHub’s survey. For more information, visit their site.

Many nurses choose to start their own nurse staffing agencies to serve hospitals and other healthcare facilities. If you are starting a nurse staffing agency and need working capital to get off the ground, contact PRN Funding to start nurse staffing factoring today.

Survey Shines a Light on Nursing Trends

CareerBuilder recently conducted a survey about the nursing profession, in which they measured nurses’ sense of loyalty and satisfaction with their field, the training they find essential to success, and their opinion of the impacts that changes in health care have had on their effectiveness.

Responses from approximately 900 nurses across the country can help health care executives make better decisions about recruiting, retaining, and properly rewarding their nursing staff.

The full results of the study are currently available, and CareerBuilder will present a free webinar discussing how healthcare organizations can integrate those results into their ongoing strategies. In the meantime, below are five of the study’s most interesting results:

5) 58 percent of nurses believe that health care changes have made the workplace less efficient.

4) Half of nurses surveyed believe technology helps them do their jobs faster.

3) Two out of three nurses reported having a mentor on the job – mostly in hospitals and hospice settings.  In facilities without a nurse mentoring program, 41 percent responded that management has not picked up on the idea and 43 percent say that potential mentors are too busy.

2) 67 percent of nurses reported that on the job training was as helpful as or more helpful than their formal training.

1) More than 80 percent of nurses would recommend a career in nursing to others. (Is your job satisfaction that high?)

For more in-depth applications of the study’s information, we recommend taking advantage of CareerBuilder’s webinar scheduled for June 5.

If you provide nursing staff to hospitals and other healthcare facilities, don’t let poor cash flow stop you from keeping them satisfied. PRN Funding can customize the ideal nurse staffing factoring program to meet your needs – contact us today to learn more and get started!

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Are Temporary Nurses More Cost-Effective Than Overtime?

A Columbia University study suggests that hospitals can cut their costs and improve the quality of patient care by paying overtime instead of hiring temporary nurses, but other recent studies tell a different story.

The study, which focused on 900,000 admissions in the Veterans Administration health system over the last four years, correlated shorter patient stays with lower costs and better treatment. Researchers also suggested that paying overtime to a core staff of nurses resulted in more positive results than bringing in temporary nurses because of the “rhythm and routines” they establish.

Columbia’s conclusions counter those of a 2012 Penn State study, as well as a different Columbia study published last year. The results of both studies indicated that poor hospital environments are the greater contributor to adverse patient outcomes, regardless of the employment status of the nurses. The Penn study went even further and cited the hiring of temporary nurse staff as a potentially life-saving move – and, at least, that their use “does not appear to have deleterious consequences for patient mortality”.

A co-leader of the earlier Columbia study pointed out in a press release that temporary nurses are often scapegoated for lower patient outcomes that result from poor work environments that turn away qualified permanent staff. Dr. JingJing Shang also touted the benefits of a traveling nurse arrangement that creates ongoing assignments for nurses in the same facility.

Other potential issues with Columbia’s cost-benefit analysis include the potential for nurses working overtime to make costly and life-threatening errors because of burnout, a result that may be mitigated by using temporary nurse staffing.

PRN Funding has offered exceptional cash flow solutions to temporary nurse staffing agencies for more than a decade. To learn more about healthcare factoring for temporary nurse staffing and receive an application, contact us today!

ACA: Employer Mandate Receives New Extension

Earlier this week, the IRS released its final rule on the employer mandate. Among provisions regarding employee transition periods and how to classify employees for counting purposes was a new extension of the employer mandate.

After a previous extension moved the start date to January 1, 2015, the mandate is now postponed until 2016 for employers with 50-99 full-time employees. In addition, while large companies with more than 100 employees are still subject to the mandate in 2015, they only have to offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-time workforce for the first year the mandate is in effect.

The Obama administration explained the extension as an effort to give affected companies additional time to come into compliance with the mandate. Two percent of U.S. companies are classified as mid-size and two percent are large, but those companies employ as much as 70 percent of the total labor force in the United States.

Criticism of the announcement centers on frustration that the individual mandate, seen by many to be more of a burden than the employer mandate, went into effect on its originally schedule date of January 1, 2014. Consumers still have six weeks, until March 31, to enroll in a qualifying healthcare plan. The delay of the employer mandate could push a number of those consumers to the online marketplaces if they are unable to obtain a policy through their employer.

The staffing industry is also frustrated with other provisions of the IRS final rule, which limit staffing agencies’ ability to classify their employees as variable-hour or to take advantage of look-back periods to determine their status for insurance purposes. This could potentially raise healthcare costs for these agencies if they are required to provide coverage to employees who are later determined to be variable-hour or part-time.

If you have a nurse staffing agency or work in the medical field and are worried about rising healthcare costs, PRN Funding’s healthcare factoring program can help you turn your receivables into immediate cash. Learn more about healthcare factoring and contact us to get started today.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

merry christmas

As we prepare to observe Christmas celebrations with our loved ones, we at PRN Funding want to wish you a joyful and prosperous holiday season – whatever your holiday.

We give special thanks to the nurses, EMTs, and other healthcare staff who will work through some or all of the holiday to keep others safe and healthy. May the hours move quickly so you can be home with family and friends.

Take the time to reevaluate your company’s goals for 2014, to form new ideas and get rid of old ideas that are not working for you. Make a plan to pursue even greater success, or to overcome the greatest challenge facing your company today.

Finally, regardless of your company’s position, consider gifting yourself with peace of mind from money concerns. PRN Funding is here to help you beat your cash flow woes with a flexible healthcare factoring program perfect for a variety of services and industries. Of the gifts under your company tree, factoring is the gift that will deliver continued success year-round.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

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Nurses May Face Challenges Finding Hospital Jobs

Throughout the recession, nursing was a thriving career field sought after by students who were searching for a stable, long-term opportunity. However, nurses may have a harder time coming across hospital jobs in today’s job market, as many major hospitals across the country are cutting tens of thousands of jobs.

Nurse in hospital

As the number of hospital admissions declines, many hospital chains are receiving lower reimbursements from the government, as well as insurance companies. Nevertheless, although many hospital jobs are being eliminated, other opportunities for nurses and other healthcare workers are opening up in other places, ranging from outpatient clinics to rehabilitation centers. Although these jobs offer slightly less pay than what nurses typically expect, these settings are fueling growth for the field of nursing, according to healthcare experts.

Nurses and students who had hoped to work in a hospital setting are now contemplating their future. In the past, finding a hospital job after college never used to be an issue for nursing students. Nursing students used to receive several job offers before they even completed their degree, and hospitals would constantly be on the hunt to fill plenty of nursing positions.

Nevertheless, patient admissions and overall revenue continues to decline. As a result, many hospitals say that they are forced to cut down on jobs, consolidate labs, and even abandon some programs. Meanwhile, nursing jobs are still plentiful in other settings, such as patient homes and walk-in clinics. Furthermore, the nursing industry is experiencing a shift from high-acuity care, which involves specialized staffing and pricey equipment to treat seriously ill patients, to lower-acuity care, which requires less intensive treatments.

Despite nurses’ concerns about their future, many continue to work in hospital settings. Currently, about 60 percent of the country’s 2.7 million registered nurses are employed by hospitals. However, unlike past years, national experts say that nurses should not just assume that they will receive several job offers.

Luckily, there is still good news for nursing employment. According to a news release issued last week by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nursing students who obtain a bachelor’s degree are much more likely to receive job offers upon graduation than the national average among all other professions. Hospital staffing may be slow at present, but the industry expects a wave of retirements in the near future. Not to mention, nurse staffing ratio laws and the Affordable Care Act may boost demand for nurse staffing.

PRN Funding is dedicated to helping nurse staffing agencies grow through accounts receivable factoring. We work with start-ups and seasoned healthcare staffing companies to provide a steady source of working capital for payroll and other expenses.   Cash flow challenges are common in the staffing industry due to slow paying clients and periods of rapid growth. Don’t let lack of working capital slow your business. Contact us today to learn more about factoring for nurse staffing agencies.

Younger Nurses Feel Positive About the Future of Nurse Employment

In a recovering economy, many older nurses are considering retirement or have plans to pursue another career. Although the job market still hasn’t full recovered, a recent survey shows that many younger nurses hold a positive outlook for their profession and plan on pursuing higher education in the field.

According to the 2013 Survey of Registered Nurses conducted by AMN Healthcare, nearly 190,000 nurses admitted that they were thinking about leaving nursing or retiring as the economy continues to improve. Additionally, one in four nurses age 55 and up said they would change their career paths entirely by searching for work in other industries.

When it comes to furthering education, less than half of the nurses who held an associate degree or diploma said they were planning to pursue higher education in the field of nursing. Conversely, younger nurses are more likely to be interested in additional education. The landmark Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, advises that 80 percent of nurses in the U.S. should hold a BSN or higher degree by the year 2020.

Although nurses among all age groups reported that they were highly satisfied with their profession, the survey found that younger nurses (19-39) held a more positive outlook than nurses 55 and older in regards to the current quality of nursing. Furthermore, 66 percent of nurses 55 and older believe that the quality of nursing care has declined.

As a result, a generational gap exists among nurses in regards to their overall perspective of their practice. The survey revealed that younger RNs often hold a positive opinion of the nurse supply. Regardless of shortages in the industry, nurses between the ages of 19-39 said they remain positive about the supply of nurses, and believe that they are capable of meeting the expectations brought on by the new healthcare initiative. Additionally, while 45 percent of younger nurses said the shortage has improved throughout the past five years, 41 percent of older RNs between the ages of 40-54 held the same belief.

The survey also measured nurses’ overall satisfaction with their current jobs. Among the respondents, 90 percent of nurses reported that they were happy with their careers, while 73 percent said they were satisfied with their current profession.

Peter McMenamin, healthcare economist and senior policy fellow for the American Nurses Association, said that this survey projects an optimistic future for nursing. Additionally, he said that the findings revealed from the survey are consistent with research conducted by the ANA.

The future of nurse staffing looks promising. Is your nurse staffing agency primed for growth? PRN Funding offers accounts receivable factoring programs designed exclusively for the nurse staffing industry. Cash flow can get tight during times of growth, but nurse staffing factoring provides a steady source of working capital to cover payroll and other expenses. Learn more about factoring for nurse staffing.

Hospitals Taking Steps to Avoid Patient Falls

For weak and elderly hospital patients, a fall while in the hospital can extend a hospital stay or, in some cases, cost a patient his life. Hospitals nationwide are responding to this glaring safety concern with a blended approach between technology and human care.

To reduce the number of falls, deemed “never events” (as in, they should never happen in the hospital), many hospitals are relying on high-pitched bed alarms to alert nursing staff when a patient is up from their bed. The alarms use weight-sensitive pads in a bed or chair that emit a noticeable alert when they detect a decrease in pressure.

A study led by Ron Shorr at the University of Florida late last year, however, demonstrates that reliance on bed alarms is simply not enough to reduce the number of falls in a hospital. In a blind comparison of 16 hospital units in which eight units used bed alarms and eight units relied on standard care, there was more than one fall fewer per 1,000 patients in the units relying on standard care procedures. The results are not significant enough to blame bed alarms for more falls, but do call into question the contention that they result in fewer falls.

Nurses cite understaffing as a larger concern that results in other hospital risks. They argue that there is no replacement for capable nurse care. After all, an alarm is only effective if there is a nurse to respond, and hospitals that have increased their staff and provided comprehensive safety training have drastically reduced the number of falls they experience without the added technology.

Nurse staffing agencies are uniquely poised to help hospitals add vital staff to their units, but many may find it difficult to thrive when waiting on extended payments. PRN Funding’s nurse staffing factoring program converts your open invoices to immediate cash that you can use to hire nurses, pay your expenses, and pursue lucrative new contracts with hospitals in need.

Learn more about nurse staffing factoring with PRN Funding, and contact us today to get started.

Insurance Companies Helping to Delay Nurse Practitioners Role in Primary Care

While demand for primary care providers is projected to increase dramatically following implementation of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies and physician groups remain opposed to the credentialing of nurse practitioners to provide primary care services.

Advanced practice registered nurses hold a master’s degree and have an additional 700 hours of supervised clinical experience, allowing them to diagnose and treat many common illnesses as well as to administer anesthesia or deliver babies with the proper specialization. Despite their licensing, however, many states do not allow nurse practitioners to operate without physician oversight and many insurance providers will not credential them as primary care providers in their plans.

Physicians argue that the clinical role of nurse practitioners is different from that of doctors and that ensuing confusion could affect the quality of patient care; however, there is also a financial element regarding the current requirement that nurse practitioners bill through a physician’s office for service.

The American Nurses Associate submitted comments on the federal rules governing the national healthcare marketplace, set to open enrollment tomorrow, in which they encourage the Obama administration to include provisions requiring insurance providers to credential a certain number of nurse practitioners for independent practice. For their part, insurers are more focused on increasing access to primary care through other, “team-based” means.

At present, roughly half of the 250,000 advanced practice nurses in the United States work in physicians’ practices; many of them, it seems, would open their own practices if they were able to bill patients directly and insurers would include them in provider listings.

Learn more about funding options for nurse practitioners and other primary care providers.