Travel Nurses Are Seeking to Put Down Roots With Employers Who Offer More Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

86% of clinicians with travel contracts are open to permanent employment for the right price – and the currency isn’t always wages, according to Vivian Health’s fourth annual report

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Clinicians on long- and short-term travel contracts are more willing to explore permanent employment in 2023 than in previous years, according to findings from Vivian Health’s Future of Healthcare Work Report. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vivian saw clinicians prioritizing safer and more respectful work environments. This year’s results continue this trend, with other priorities rising to join them: a focus on flexibility, work-life balance, and commute times when considering new positions.

The findings from Vivian Health, the nation’s leading jobs marketplace for healthcare professionals, cover employment settings, wages and benefits, workload, clinician mental health, desired work environment characteristics, and insights into how to attract clinicians to permanent employment. This year’s report emphasizes a rising demand for permanent employment by travel clinicians which could be a saving grace to an industry that has been rattled by staffing shortages. More than half of respondents are over 45 years old, and 28% are over 55, meaning these findings suggest there could also be an opportunity to retain experienced professionals as the industry hurtles toward a retirement cliff brought on by the hardships that came with working during a global pandemic.

“Staffing challenges in the healthcare industry predate and were exacerbated by the pandemic, presenting many difficulties and rapidly evolving conditions for the professionals that have continued to work over the past three years,” said Parth Bhakta, co-founder and CEO of Vivian Health, whose platform is trusted by over one million clinicians. “The increased demand for more permanent, stable, long-term positions serves as light at the end of the tunnel for those who have carried the weight of these shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Eighty-six percent of travel clinicians surveyed said they are open to switching to permanent work, with nearly half (46%) planning to work permanently in 2023. That number has grown significantly from 2022 when only 55% were considering the switch to permanent positions. While these statistics are promising for understaffed hospital systems reeling from the aftermath of the global pandemic, employers will need to make significant investments to create better and safer work environments in order to attract healthcare professionals.

“Healthcare professionals indicated an even greater need for work-life balance and workplace safety when searching for jobs than in previous years,” said Bhakta. “The respondents ranked feeling safe at work, and their commute time as important in their job search, marking a shift from last year, when the most important factors in new job searches included respect from leadership, workload, and support for mental health and well-being.”

Heavy workloads and the inability to take time off can often lead to burnout, exhaustion, and stress for healthcare clinicians. Fifty-six percent of respondents (n=935) were asked every week to work overtime and half of employed clinicians surveyed took just 5 to 10 days of PTO in 2022. The call for additional staff was a common theme in this report, with 57% of respondents indicating their unit was adequately staffed less than 75% of the time.

Vivian asked respondents, “what could your employer do to increase your overall job satisfaction?” Excluding increases to wages and bonuses, the top five responses were:

  1. Increase the number of support staff
  2. Increase the number of nurses
  3. Allow adequate time for meals and breaks
  4. Offer more PTO
  5. Offer flex scheduling

When making the switch to a permanent role this year, clinicians stated that their top five considerations are:

  1. Hourly Wage
  2. Benefits
  3. Workload (Staffing)
  4. Commute Time
  5. Flexible Schedules

"Vivian actively participates in conversations with nurses and has seen an increase in appetite for permanent positions,” said Vivian Health User Research Manager, Rachel Norton, BSN, RN. “Healthcare professionals are looking for the additional stability that permanence offers. Employers hoping to hire and retain permanent talent will have to offer a well-rounded experience and environment to meet their needs.”


Vivian Health found 1,663 clinical and clinical-support staff from across the country using a combination of emails to their proprietary healthcare talent marketplace, online communities, and social media tools. Of the respondents, 65% were registered nurses. Of all respondents, 36% were employed in travel positions with 44% employed in permanent positions. Vivian’s methodological goal was to achieve a diversified, representative sample of the non-physician clinical workforce.


Vivian Health, an IAC company (NASDAQ: IAC), is the leading healthcare jobs marketplace that serves healthcare professionals first. Vivian Health empowers a broad range of healthcare professionals to find jobs they love across many types of healthcare work, including permanent roles, per-diem shifts, local contracts, and travel positions. Built on intelligent matching, transparent information, and the widest selection of job opportunities, Vivian Health offers healthcare job seekers an unrivaled solution for finding their next role. For employers, Vivian Health helps fill roles 50% faster than traditional recruiting practices and at a fraction of the cost, saving them millions of dollars and helping alleviate labor shortages in healthcare. Vivian Health is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Denver. To learn more about Vivian Health, visit


Michelle Traynor

Release Summary

Clinicians on long- and short-term travel contracts are more willing to explore permanent employment in 2023 than in previous years.

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Michelle Traynor