This article was provided by GO Healthcare.
“Unknown” – that is my response when asked how long will these crises pay stay at this level. There are so many factors affecting our country’s pandemic response, and in turn, there are so many questions about what comes next for travel nurses?
The unknown factors are:
- Are some states going to be safer (for travel contracts) than others?
- Is this going to be a constant virus where we will always have max capacity at hospitals?
- Are elective surgeries going to come back?
- Will the vaccines work with the new variants we are seeing?
- Are there further complications for those that have had the virus?
Everyone will give their opinion, but again, it will be an educated guess. As we are now following science, we can do what we can do and learn every day. With that said, travel nursing will continue to have a strong future. As the crisis recedes, so will the “crisis pay rates.” But here a few factors why the outlook of traveling nursing remain steady, if not stronger:
- More elective surgeries. With better control of COVID-19 infections, elective surgeries will resume. This will be a catalyst for higher census throughout facilities.
- Nurse Burnout. Working crisis contracts of 48 to 60 work weeks will predictably cause more nurses to burn out. Many may take a break; many more may not return to the bedside, which will exacerbate the current nursing shortage.
- U.S. Population. Before the pandemic, our largest population, the “baby boomers,” required more healthcare services, and post-pandemic, it will remain the same.
- Ongoing COVID care. Even with improved vaccine rollouts, the virus’s new strains will mean ongoing hospital care, albeit fewer mortalities.
- Full-time nurses going back to their full-time positions. Crisis travel contracts allowed many nurses to toggle between a short 2-8 week crisis contract and a full-time position.
These are a few of the reasons why travel nursing will still be in high demand. And in regards to how long will these “crisis pay” last? I suspect these elevated pay rates will eventually level off, so proper financial planning during these times are key to help alleviate stress in the future. The work and risk being done daily absolutely deserve the pay.
But it will subside. When? Unknown…