Travel nursing companies play a central role in a travel nurse’s career. Therefore, it’s understandable and beneficial for travel nurses to discuss their company related experiences. These days, it’s common for such discussions to take place on social media. For the second time in as many years, Healthcare Research and Analytics studied those discussions to measure brand awareness and sentiment towards travel nursing companies among the travel nursing community. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the most recent study and what it has to say about the most popular travel nursing companies according to travel nurses on Facebook.
Travel Nursing Company Social Media Study Overview
Healthcare Research & Analytics (HRA) is a large, respected market-research firm. They’ve been in business for over 40 years. As their name indicates, they conduct research on the healthcare industry. Social media is one of the many channels they utilize to conduct their research.
Their most recent study on the travel nursing industry is titled “Social Listening: Evaluation of Travel Nurse Companies”. HRA completed a similar study in 2015/2016. We reported on the previous study in August, 2016 with an article titled “The Top 11 Travel Nursing Companies According to Travel Nurses on Social Media“.
Like the previous study, HRA’s new study focused on two Facebook Groups. The two groups were “Travel Nurse Network – The Gypsy Nurse” and “Travel Nurse Housing – The Gypsy Nurse”. Both groups are (or were) “Public”, so every post is available for public review.
HRA reviewed each individual Facebook post from these groups between October 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. In the process of doing so, they extracted all posts that mentioned a travel nursing company. Then, they removed all posts from recruiters and other agency personnel. This ensured the study considered only posts from travel healthcare professionals.
Next, they determined whether each post exhibited positive, negative or neutral sentiment toward a travel nursing company. To do so, researchers considered both context and keywords. Finally, researchers discarded neutral posts from the study’s results.
In all, HRA discovered and evaluated 6,245 total comments. The final report highlights the companies that received 80% of the comments combined. 61 companies combined for 1,189 comments, or 19.03% of the total.
Meanwhile, just 12 companies accounted for 5,056 comments, or 80.09% of the total. The 5,056 comments came from 1,127 total commentators. Some of the commentators commented on multiple companies. Researchers counted these commentators as unique commentators for each company they commented on. Factoring that in, there were 2,885 unique commentators.
Travel Nurse Sentiment Toward Travel Nursing Companies
HRA found that 4,168 of the 5,056 comments were positive. The remaining 888 were negative. That’s a split of 82.4% positive and 17.6% negative.
Of course, HRA also determined travel nurse sentiment toward the individual companies. The study categorized companies as having “positive sentiment” if the company received 71% positive comments or higher. Companies with 70% positive comments or lower were categorized as having “negative sentiment”.
Of the 12 companies receiving the highest number of comments, eleven were categorized as having positive sentiment. The only company with negative sentiment was AMN Healthcare (defined as American Mobile and all of its subsidiaries). In fact, the study determined that only 40% of comments referencing AMN Healthcare were positive.
Taking AMN Healthcare out of the equation increased the aggregate positive sentiment score from 82.4% to 90.2%. Overall, this is great news for travel nurses and the industry as a whole. It’s a strong indicator that travel nursing companies are providing a high level of service that is overwhelmingly appreciated by travel nurses.
The Salience of Positive Comments About Travel Nursing Companies
Similar to the previous year’s study, HRA reviewed the comments to get an overall idea of salience. Here again, researchers assigned salience based on the terms and context. For example, if a commentator said they, “loved!” a particular company, then it would convey high salience.
Of course, different companies exhibited different levels of salience. The final report cited 3 companies as having highly salient comments. They were Atlas Medstaff, Aya Healthcare and PPR. Similar to last year’s study, the positive comments regarding AMN Healthcare exhibited low salience.
Travel Nursing Company Mindshare Among Travel Nurses
In addition to sentiment, the HRA study also measured “mindshare”. We referred to this above as “brand awareness”. Mindshare is defined as “relative public awareness of a phenomenon”. For the purposes of the study, mindshare was defined as “the total number of comments by unique respondents”.
By this measure, HRA determined Aya Healthcare to have the highest mindshare among the travel nursing community. Aya had nearly 10% more unique respondents than AMN Healthcare, which had the second highest mindshare.
The Most Popular Travel Nursing Companies
In our view, the “Most Popular” moniker conveys an aspect of likability. As a result, we’re compelled to offer a list of the companies categorized with “positive sentiment” and exhibiting the highest mindshare. That list, ranked by mindshare, is as follows:
- Aya Healthcare
- Medical Solutions
- Atlas Medstaff
- Cross Country
- Travel Nurse Across America (TNAA)
- Aureus Medical
The graph below illustrates the complete list along with the number of unique comments for each company.
By and large, the companies found to have the highest mindshare included many of the largest companies in the industry. This should come as no surprise. Companies with more travel nurses working for them have a higher likelihood of receiving comments.
However, the mindshare of several companies outpaced their size. Most estimates conclude that AMN Healthcare is the largest travel nursing company with anywhere from 19% to 25% of the market. Therefore, the fact that Aya Healthcare outranked AMN is notable. Other companies to consider in this regard include Atlas Medstaff, Fusion Medical Staffing, and Flexcare Medical Staffing.
Ranking by Total Comments
It’s important to note the chart above cites “unique respondents”. This metric measures the total number of commentators for each company. Alternatively, HRA also measured the total number of comments for each company. By that measure, HRA counted multiple comments from the same commentator in order to arrive at the total.
Various companies received a higher number of comments per commentator. As a result, the rankings for the two measures differ. A chart depicting total comments is below.
* Other Companies: Total of all comments made about companies that did not make the top 12 (61 total companies).
Mindshare and Sentiment VS. Ratings for Travel Nursing Companies
This year’s HRA Social Listening Study counted more than 5 times as many comments as the previous year’s study. Therefore, it’s clear that more and more travel nurses are engaging in discussions on social media regarding their experiences with travel nursing companies. It’s fair to say that social media has certainly become a venue that helps travel nurses form their opinions about companies and the industry in general.
However, social media is by no means the only venue. Travel nurses also utilize rating and review services. In fact, Facebook itself has a rating system that many travel nurses utilize to rate travel nursing companies.
To assist travel nurses in evaluating ratings for travel nursing companies, BluePipes aggregated the ratings from 6 different review services for every travel nursing company we could find. In all, we crunched over 28,000 ratings.
Interestingly, the ratings actually track the sentiment found by HRA in the Social Listening study. Specifically, each of the positively rated travel nursing companies from the HRA study has a solid score on our aggregated ratings list.
That said, it’s also interesting to note there are pretty significant differences in the number of ratings the companies received versus the volume of comments they’re receiving on social media. Specifically, some companies that received a large number of comments on social media have a relatively low number of ratings and vice-versa. Moreover, there appears to be no pattern to explain this difference.
All things considered, it’s clear the HRA study provides excellent insight into travel nurse perceptions of travel nursing companies and the industry as a whole. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share them in the comments section below!