December Demand for Travel Nurses Drives Up Pay Packages

December Demand for Travel Nurses Drives Up Pay Packages

As the year comes to a close, across the nation hospitals are experiencing nursing shortages more severe than in the earlier months of the year. COVID-19 hotspots continue to pop up, many communities have relaxed their vigilance with social distancing and mask-wearing, and the COVID-19 case count continues to rise. Nurses who have been working throughout this long hard year are worn out, burnt out, or sidelined with COVID-19.

Recently reports about critical staffing shortages in hospitals nationwide revealed an alarming trend that many states report that many of their hospitals are either already critically short of staff or anticipating critical staffing shortages in the next week or two. Many of those states at a critical point are in the Midwest.

As a result, the demand for travel nurses this December is high. So high in fact, that many hospitals are offering impressive pay packages to compete for registered nurses (RNs). When the novel coronavirus arrived, what was making headlines was that hospitals and facilities were struggling with and competing for adequate supplies of PPE. Now we are seeing the staffing struggle and demand for qualified RNs take priority.

Elite Specialty Staffing has been in the travel nursing industry for years, and currently, we have more travel nursing contracts than before, and at higher income rates than previously seen. The rates vary based on the facility’s needed specialty and ability to pay. At one point, most hospitals and facilities shut down all non-emergency and life-saving procedures. However now, all medical facilities are struggling to provide their normal day to day services and operations, in addition to increased patient numbers and the strain of the rise in severe COVID cases.

If this year has proven anything to our travel nurses, it is the fact that travel nursing cannot be only about travel nursing jobs in beautiful coastline locations to work an eight-week long contract in a dream job. Travel nursing needs to be about more than that. Travel nursing needs to also be about going where there is a need, even if the location is not one that is on your bucket list.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs in 2019 earned a median yearly salary of 73,300 or $35.27 per hour. Currently, we have travel nursing contracts offering over $3,000 in weekly compensation packages, or as high as $57.77 per hour. These hospitals need travel nurses desperately and are willing to pay generously to ensure they get the staffing help they need in order to provide adequate patient care.

Go Where You Are Needed: Featured Travel Nursing Jobs

Is New Mexico on your list of places to visit? Or perhaps you already live near or in New Mexico? We have several travel nursing job contracts on offer right now in various facilities in the state. Presbyterian Medical Services Family Health Center in Rio Rancho is looking for an Intensive Care Unit RN, offering $57.77 as an hourly rate in addition to the housing stipend and meals reimbursement that come as just a few of the benefits of working with Elite Specialty Staffing. Take an in-depth look at this featured job, here.

The Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque needs a Telemetry or Intensive Care Unit RN, and are offering over $2,800 as weekly gross pay for just three shifts per week. Take a closer look at this featured job, here.

In Wisconsin, the Dodge Correctional Institute needs a Psychiatric Unit RN, with a compensation package of $3,829 for weekly gross income for four shifts per week. You can review the details for this job, here.

We have hundreds of more travel nursing contracts offering similarly high compensation. Take a look at our travel nursing jobs, and review our benefits page to see all the other perks that come with being a travel nurse with Elite Specialty Staffing.

Travel Nurses Must Prioritize Self-Care

Travel nurses need to prioritize self-care this winter as the emotional toll will likely be heavy. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, recently warned this winter will be severe stating explicitly:

“The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation largely because of the stress that’s going to be put on our health-care system.”

COVID statistics show a rise in the daily death count, currently falling between 1,500 to 2,500. “The mortality concerns are real,” he continued. “And I do think unfortunately before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans have died from this virus.”

We explore the topic of burnout and self-care in our post, “Nursa™ Talks Burn Out from COVID-19“. We urge all of our nurses, wherever they are working, in whichever unit to take the concern of burn out seriously.

Life of Travel Nurses this Winter

Travel nurses have always held a position that requires adaptability, flexibility, and the ability to orient quickly to a new setting and start working right away. The pressure is up in a way now that the need for travel nurses has risen an estimated 40%, but the need may make things slightly easier as hospitals and medical centers are forced to work through the interview and bureaucracy process even faster.

The life of a travel nurse this winter may be more stressful than winters past because of the protection measures necessary outside of work and the expected increased patient intake at hospitals, but other things will remain the same. Our travel nurses have the option of agency provided housing or a housing stipend. While others adjust to the idea of a holiday season with small gatherings or virtual gatherings, our travel nurses are accustomed to the ways of connecting with family and friends through technology to cover the distance of being far away from family during the holidays.