Travel Nurses: Winter Is Coming, Where Will You Go?

Travel Nurses: Winter Is Coming, Where Will You Go?

Winter is coming and with that knowledge in mind, travel nurses need to be planning their winter travel nursing jobs. For those of you who’ve always wished to escape the cold snowy winters in light of a warmer geographic location, we have exciting news for you. FEMA funding is helping hospitals compete for travel nurses to help with their staffing shortages, and their help is coming into play at exciting locations.

Florida Travel Nurse Jobs

In truth, we often don’t see the eyebrow-raising pay packages for travel nurses in the state of Florida. Why ever not? Florida is a popular destination location for travel nurses, the state has a healthy tourism industry and travel nurses are not immune to the tourism lure. Consequently, higher pay rates for travel nurse contracts are typically found in other places. Nevertheless, we’re seeing a rise in pay rates for travel nursing jobs in Florida this season as the hospital system struggles with COVID hospital intake numbers as the delta variant surges.

President of Ascension Florida Tom VanOsdol spoke to Florida’s legislative committee about the nursing staff shortage for the state: (put following in quote blocks)

“For the same reasons driving nursing shortages…we’ve now had to hire over 350 traveling nurses across our market. We were unable to fluidly bring our nurses from Ascension markets to Florida like we were in 2020 because of the time it takes to apply for Florida licensure. So now we are paying these nurses five to six times our normal hourly rates.”

Furthermore, according to Dr. Neil Finkler of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, “79 percent of nursing job postings today are currently being filled with agency nursing staff.”

79% indeed, currently, Elite Specialty Staffing has several travel nurse packages for Florida posts available offering pay rates of $45.50 per hour up to almost $60 per hour. Check out all our contracts in the sunshine state by adjusting the appropriate filters, here.

Hawaii Travel Nurse Jobs

Hawaii is another coveted travel nurse location that is often difficult to obtain due to the heavy competition and lack of resources for the island state. This location doesn’t have to be competitive with other states by offering high pay rate contracts, their reputation as one of the top (if not the top) vacation destinations in the country attracts gobs of prospective nurses to apply for the few select positions they offer.

Nevertheless, COVID has changed the landscape of the Hawaii travel nurse scene for the year. As the island hospitals have struggled with high numbers of COVID patients, they received FEMA funding to assist in importing more nursing staff.

In the month of August and September, over 500 healthcare workers arrived to help the state’s COVID crisis thanks to FEMA funding of $46 million. While their COVID numbers have peaked and already begun to fall, Hawaii hospital leaders aren’t convinced their need for travel nurses has passed. Hospitals remain full as non-emergency procedures resume.

FEMA funding for Hawaii isn’t indefinite but remains in place for now. Elite Specialty Staffing has several travel nursing contracts for Hawaii hospitals, take a look at this exciting opportunity and dream of a winter in Hawaii that could turn into your reality. We have multiple contracts in Honolulu, Kealakekua, Kamuela, Hilo.

Nurse Staffing Shortages: A National Crisis?

The American Nurses Association (ANA) wrote a formal letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services beseeching the agency to declare the nurse shortage a national crisis. Citing staffing statistics from various states of the union, their assertion that the state of nurse staffing is indeed a national crisis is hard to refute. According to their letter,

  • Mississippi has reported that it has seen a decrease of 2,000 nurses since the beginning of 2021.

  • Hospitals in Tennessee are operating with 1,000 fewer staff than at the beginning of the pandemic, prompting them to call on their National Guard for reinforcements.

  • Texas is recruiting 2,500 nurses from outside the state, a number that still will fall short of expected demand.

  • Louisiana had over 6,000 unfilled nursing positions open across the state before the Delta variant caused a surge in cases. This shortage may become more acute as the state deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

  • To address workforce challenges, Nebraska is recruiting unvaccinated nurses.

  • According to a survey from Trusted Health, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused 39% of nurses ages 20 – 39 to report that their commitment to nursing had decreased.”

True to the word of the letter, Elite Specialty Staffing has multiple contracts available in all the above-mentioned states. With the exception of Nebraska, those states listed also profess generally mild winter climates.

Winter Travel Nurse Contracts with Elite Specialty Staffing

Our travel contracts vary in shift length and frequency. For example, some contracts require you to work only three shifts per week but said shifts are 12 hours long. Some of our nurses love these contracts because, in spite of the fact that 12-hour shifts are nothing to laugh at, they leave open four days of the week with which to rest and explore their new surroundings. Others prefer the contracts that offer eight-hour shifts but five times per week. What sounds right to you?

You can discuss your preferences with our staff when you apply and work together to find the right contract for your satisfaction. What is most important for you in choosing an assignment? Pay rate? Location? Skill? Urgency? We believe that for our nurses to be successful they need to feel cared for and supported. Moreover, we offer competitive benefits and bonuses to our nurses as well. Join the ranks of our talented travel nurses today!