Travel nurses have been absolutely critical during every phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. Wherever COVID-19 is spiking, there is also increased demand for travel nursing. As one state begins to control the virus, another state finds itself in the middle of a new surge, and traveling RNs are actively recruited for that location.
While travel nurses have always been in demand, this intense shortage has caused travel nursing salary to spike to all new heights. In some specialties, notably ICU, Telemetry and Medical-Surgical, pay is now two to three times pre-Corona levels.
In some cases permanent staff nurses – in particular those whose specialties are in less demand, have taken a leave of absence and shifted to contingent staffing. Conversely, some travelers have returned to permanent staff in their home communities where they are desperately needed.
Established travel nursing agencies advise aspiring traveling RNs to keep all relevant documents, such as licensure and advanced certifications, as current as possible, and to keep an open mind about the type of assignments they will consider.
- Consider new types of clinical settings
- Agree to float to different units
- Try new or areas, shifts, assignment lengths