Healthcare Staffing Report: June 8, 2017

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Strong year for the travel nurse market

What a strong year 2016 was for the travel nurse market. Our recently completed report of results from our travel nurse benchmarking survey, done in conjunction with the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations, shows travel nurse revenue grew 23% last year. Our survey was limited to the US travel nurse business, which we defined as travel assignments for RNs, LPNs and surgical technicians.

While our full report of results is available to survey participants, we present a few key findings here. 

  • Fifty-one percent of reported travel nurse revenue was billed through an MSP in 2016, and 16% was billed to a standalone VMS. Therefore, 67% of reported revenue was billed through either an MSP or VMS in 2016.
  • The aggregate bill rate across all respondents was $73.88 (including strike business). Aggregate gross margin and SG&A expense were 25.8% and 12.5% of revenue, respectively, leaving 13.3% for operating margin (before depreciation and amortization).
  • We continue to see an increase in lodging stipends and a decrease in company-paid housing as a percent of revenue.
  • Larger firms tended to use more company-paid housing, have a higher fall-off rate, and generate more revenue per recruiter than smaller firms.
  • Aggregate compensation for recruiters was $74,336 in 2016, a year-over-year decrease of 2.6%. Compensation for account managers was $95,621 in 2016, a year-over-year increase of 5.3%. Compensation represented by commissions/bonuses grew more rapidly than salaries, not surprising in a thriving market.

While we are happy with the level of participation in our survey — 21 companies responded, with $2.9 billion of travel nurse revenue, representing 68% of the US travel nurse market — we are always looking to make our survey more representative of the overall market. If you have not participated before, but are interested in joining next year, we would love to hear from you!

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