March 28, 2022
Hospitals Are Relying on Travel Nurses More Since COVID Started
March 28, 2022
Do you know how many nurses there are in the USA? Some estimates put the number at around 5 million. However, the sad part is that this is not enough. Hospitals are looking for more nurses since the Covid-19 pandemic drastically increased hospitalizations. This is where travel nurses come in.
One of the biggest winners in this situation has certainly been travel nurses. The market for travel nursing and short-term nurse contract has boomed over the last 5 years, going from $3-4 billion to well over $10 billion per year.
First of all, we need to talk about how this trend has been exacerbated by the pandemic. As a nurse, you are probably well aware of the long hours, tough situations, and the responsibility of the job. This might be something you are dealing with well, but not everyone is cut from the same cloth.
In fact, nurses account for some of the highest numbers of burnout and job dissatisfaction after 5 years. As mentioned previously, the pandemic has fundamentally changed the landscape of healthcare and the increased volume of work coupled with the risk of contracting a highly contagious respiratory virus was enough to dissuade many from pursuing a career in healthcare.
How serious the situation is can be gleaned from this piece of information from Bloomberg, showing that travel nurses accounted for about 3% of all nurses in the US prior to the pandemic. Now, this percentage is closer to 9-10% – triple that prior to the pandemic.
As with many perceived temporary crises, hiring freelancers was the solution to a situation that will soon get better. Except the pandemic has been going on for over 2 years with no end in sight.
This has put a different kind of strain on medical facilities – a financial one. Hiring travel nurses can be significantly more expensive than hiring full-time staff. However, while the situation is volatile, hospitals are working their way around their budgets and finding the money to pay the much-needed staff.
What remains to be seen is whether this crisis is, indeed, temporary. Nursing shortages have been going on for years before the pandemic, and are not likely to just go away after the pandemic. Chances are that this misbalance will go on for a while longer and that more nurses might be swayed to try the nomadic lifestyle. Certainly, the higher pay and the ability to leave after short-term contracts have their own appeal.
If you are a registered nurse with at least one year of qualified experience, you may consider applying for a travel nurse contract. While it may have been considered something for younger nurses to experience, travel nursing is for experienced nurses too. This might be a good chance for you to cash in on your skills and experience.
For years and years, nurses have been underpaid and overworked. Getting a degree in nursing can be prohibitively expensive and additional certifications aren’t exactly cheap either. This situation, while regrettable is showing the nurses just how important and necessary they are.
If your interest is piqued, applying for a travel nurse contract can be as easy as contacting a travel nurse agency and sharing some of the information with a recruiter. They should have an offer ready for you fairly shortly.
Ventura MedStaff has been in this business for a long time and we offer a wide variety of postings, both in terms of duration and location. Contact us today and experience the best that traveling as a nurse can offer – professionally and personally.
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