However, as Covid-19 hospitalizations stabilize and states run out of pandemic relief funds, many hospitals are moving away from travel nurses and focusing on hiring staff Brian Tabor of the association says our area has never seen rates or such a high demand for nurses traveling until COVID hit, but even though things are slowing down, he expects pay to stay inflated for a while. Shortage of health professionals and high volume of patients during waves of covid, salaries skyrocketed. That, along with more patients and a lack of caregivers, led to burnout and early retirements among some dedicated local staff. Tabor says all that combined created a perfect storm, and traveling nurses played a vital role in keeping hospitals afloat.
It also caused several hospital employees to leave and earn more money elsewhere by traveling. Tabor says staffing in area hospitals is not yet where it should be. So, if you're interested in travel nursing, there are opportunities, salaries aren't as explosive as they were during surges. Tabor says that although COVID cases have dropped dramatically, many hospitals are still full, but not with COVID patients.
He expects that with the decrease in travel fares, more nurses will fill permanent positions in local hospitals to help with staff shortages. The report includes experiences of travel nurses in different states who have seen sudden wage drops mid-contract or contracts revoked altogether. He proposed that federal agencies investigate the prices charged by nursing agencies, citing concerns that high rates for travelers would equal the price and contribute to the destabilization of the health system. Across the country, travel nursing has been in the headlines, most of them focusing on how much money these short-term contract workers can earn double or triple what their staff counterparts earn.
Attorney Austin Moore of the national firm Stueve Siegel Hanson said some agencies are in breach of their contracts, while others are committing outright fraud in abrupt changes to existing travel nursing contracts. Shepherd said she doesn't mind the uncertainty surrounding her work, as she enjoys the flexibility associated with working as a travel nurse. When Oregon's governor rescinded the COVID-19 state of emergency on April 1, Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland lost funding for nearly 100 travel nurses. In addition, ZipRecruiter reported a 15% increase in the monthly average of open travel nursing jobs in January.
To reduce the financial pressure caused by travel nursing, many hospital managers are making efforts to reduce the number of travelers and some are considering not renewing travel contracts, Bloomberg reports. Some nurses say that a travel contract limited to periods of 8 or 13 weeks protects your physical and mental health. In addition, many have moved from full-time staff positions to travel nursing due to increased salaries and scheduling flexibility. Although the AHA denies advocating for salary limits for nurses, some nurses reasonably fear that limits are the logical end result.
A recent survey by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses found that 92 percent considered that the pandemic had “exhausted nurses in their hospital and that, as a result, their careers would be shorter than they had anticipated. However, Indeed data shows that interest in travel nursing continues to rise, with job searches now at more than five times the levels of pre-pandemic searches. Cancellations or changes in payment for travel nurses mid-contract have grown frequently enough for a law firm to consider legal action against more than 35 staffing agencies. Currently, there are more than 5 million nurses in the United States, including about 4.2 million registered nurses, according to the National Council of States Boards of Nursing.