Travel Nursing: An Effective Tool in Coronavirus Frontlines

Travel Nursing: An Effective Tool in Coronavirus Frontlines

How many young people that you know, have a desire for travel? Are you a hardworking registered nurse with a desire to scratch that itch?

When people consider careers in the travel industry, they often think with the wistfulness of the outdated travel agent occupation, or that they need to be a jet setter with a lot of disposable income and a high-profile job in a mega-corporation. In this post, we’re doing a bit of a nursing news roundup. Stories of nurses and travel nurses nationwide, doing what they do best.

The Travel Nursing Career is Gaining Recognition

Fortunately, nursing students and current nurses are becoming aware of the very attainable and enjoyable occupation of a travel nurse. Indeed, with coronavirus in our communities and daily reports of it in every single news outlet, the word is spreading of the importance of travel nurses.

According to Staffing Industry Analysts, there are 40,000 – 50,000 travel nurses working in the industry nationwide on a day. Our travel nurses have been following their travel bug all over the country, some going to COVID hotspots via our Emergency Response Initiative, and others merely where the job and the location strike their fancy. The important part is, they are all going where they are needed.

Travel Nurses Pick Up Jobs in Alabama

Alabama was already struggling with nursing shortages when COVID-19 hit. In response to the pandemic, hospitals shut down most procedures and surgeries that weren’t considered medically urgent, and as a result, many nurses retired or left.

Now that hospitals have reopened, staffing has become a big concern, and not just for the COVID-19 units. Alabama’s problems with nursing shortages come largely due to the fact that it is not a wealthy state. It is actually one of the states with the lowest-reimbursement healthcare systems.

Currently one of Alabama’s largest hospitals, UAB, is short several hundred nurses. Therefore, the hospital is relying on travel nursing contracts to fill vacancies and ensure adequate patient care.

RNs Pick Up Crisis Response Jobs to Assist with Fires in California

As the fires raged in Napa and Sonoma Counties in California, nurses are serving crucial roles in first response for injured firefighters and people being evacuated. Additionally, several RNs have lost their homes.

One ICU nurse, Julayne Smithson, was seen in an online video evacuating her patient from the hospital under dramatic and intense circumstances, with smoke and flames in the background. Smithson said of the event, “The hospital was filling with smoke for about two hours before we finally evacuated; it was quite the disaster.” She had recently relocated to California from Indiana and lost her home to the fire that she had purchased only a few weeks prior.

Concern rises not only from the devastating effects of the fires but the apparent lack of available Burn Units. There have reportedly been many closures in the Bay Area over the last decade.

California’s Medical Assistance Team has been responding to crises and emergencies across California, and in some circumstances when medical care needs rise above their team capacity, they hire travel nurses to assist their numbers and manage medical care for civilians and first responders.

Often these travel nurses have very little notice for these assignments, less than a day. Common injuries they treat are smoke inhalation, heat exhaustion, poison oak, burns, sprains, or other complications on top of more serious underlying conditions.

One travel nurse from Florida, Beatriz Avalos said of the experience, “This is something I’ve never in my life done or even knew was available. I honestly just wanted to do my part for California. I’ve been here for some time. This is like my second home. I was also looking forward to the experience I would get.”

Avalos has worked as a travel nurse in Los Angeles for four months with COVID-19 Crisis Response and has spent the last two weeks working 12-hour shifts in fire camps at Red Bluff and Chico.

These fire camps are not luxury accommodations by any means. Typically, they are clusters of tents and emergency response vehicles. The first responders and medical response team sleep, eat, rest away from the heat of the fires in these camps.

Travel Nursing Industry is Growing and Many Jobs are Available

Data from the independent Staffing Industry Analysts have shown a 14% jump in travel nursing revenue from 2019 to 2020. This shouldn’t be particularly surprising considering the year we’ve had with the pandemic, forest fires, and now preparing for flu season and another COVID-19 wave. If you’re a nurse and wondering if there’s work for you, we can tell you unequivocally that there is!

Travel nurses who specialize in critical care, emergency department, operating room, and crisis response are some of the most in-demand medical professionals at this time, but we have jobs for travel nurses of every specialty and interest available now.

Become a Travel Nurse with Elite Specialty Staffing: Make a Difference, Travel the Nation

Most of our travel nurses work contracts that are 13 weeks long, give or take. In some cases, our travel nurses stay on even longer when the need is present. Take a look at our jobs page, or if you are interested in helping out with natural disasters or COVID-19 hotspots, go to our Emergency Response Initiative page and fill out our quick online form.

Working as a travel nurse with Elite Specialty Staffing can be rewarding in many ways. We offer high paying competitive wages, and other great benefits including:

  • Schedule Flexibility
  • Hourly Bonuses for Full Time
  • Weekly Direct Deposit
  • Travel Reimbursement
  • Referral Bonuses
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Housing Stipend or Provided Housing
  • 401k Retirement Options

If you’re interested in travel nursing, but unsure how to get started, check out our post, “Interested in Travel Nursing? Here’s How to Get Started“.