Just over a year ago, AB Staffing Recruiters were working to fill hundreds of contracts in COVID-19 hotspots. In our Travel Nurse Survey, we heard travel restrictions, being away from loved ones, and the risk of infecting others were among the challenges they faced. Positives that came out of the pandemic include experience in new specialties, growing love for traveling, and renewed sense of purpose.
Now that crisis contracts have declined, we asked our Travel Nurses about their experience. Here’s what they had to say.
Travel Nurse Survey Responses
We asked what the travel experience was like over the last year. Not surprisingly, there were a variety of responses.
Travel nurse assigned to a hospital in New York City said, “It was a great experience. During my time at the hospital, I had the opportunity to work in Med Surg, Telemedicine, Oncology, and Neurology. I acquired more skills and nursing judgment [as a result of the experience].”
Floating during a travel assignment is common. During COVID-19, it was especially important to understand the experience of the travelers so they could be moved from department to department as needed.
This sentiment was echoed, “I have truly enjoyed the process of learning to adjust to the different environments and the staff at each location.” This is common for travel nurses, even when not on a crisis contract. It’s part of the learning experience of being a traveler.
Another said, “Having new experiences outside of my permanent position at home was exciting! I’ve been at my permanent position for 12 years, so it was a great opportunity to branch out! Also, very nice to have the increased pay.” While there are fewer crisis contracts now, the pay for travelers is typically higher than for staff nurses.
Another loved the opportunity to network, “It has been fun working with other travelers. The money is life-changing and has cemented my desire to continue as a traveler for now.”
“I have had an amazing experience and learned so much. I feel like I really grew as a nurse, felt appreciated, and safe in all my contracts.” That’s what we like to hear!!
Being a travel nurse during COVID-19, had its rewards as much as its challenges.
“Traveling during COVID has been hard. However, traveling has been very rewarding, and I have learned so much. It was definitely difficult with COVID-19, both professionally and socially.”
“Traveling during COVID has made me become a better nurse. I am able to adapt to many different situations and I know how to hold my ground.”
“My experience was pretty good. The location has been great, but the hospitals were a little stressful. It has been an adjustment to be away from family and friends and be in a new place.”
“COVID-19 made working as a nurse and being a dad mentally and physically challenging.”
Overall, we know our travel nurses are resilient and we appreciate your desire to continue to serve through the pandemic.
2021 Travel Nurse Survey by the Numbers
Who are our travelers? Where did they come from? How long have they been traveling? Will they travel once COVID-19 is over? We asked and you answered!
- 60% had accepted at least one other contract prior to a crisis contract while 40% said they were on their first assignment.
- 33% said they accepted a crisis contract to help with the pandemic, 45% wanted good pay, and 22% needed a change from a staff position.
- 79% of respondents said they would like to continue traveling while 15% said they’d go back to a staff position.
- 30% responded that they’ve been traveling for more than two years while 22% were zero to three months, and 23% had been travelers for four to six months.
- Specialties included 27% ICU, 22% ER, and 18% Med Surg/Tele
- 46% said they will continue with their original specialty while 5% said they would definitely switch specialties.
We then asked if they switched agencies in the last year, why did they do so?
- I go with the agency that has the contract in the area I am looking to go to with the best pay.
- I was looking for opportunities in states other than where the company had positions.
- Switched for a position in a city I was interested. 17% of respondents said they will choose their next assignment based on traveling to a new place.
- I work for several agencies and go with the one that has the job I want at the time.
- Move closer to home. 30% of respondents said they will choose their next assignment based on being close to home.
- Contract availability and pay rate. 49% of respondents said they will choose their next assignment based on pay.
- Lack of communication from Recruiter. Lack of job options from the agency.
- They weren’t listening to where I wanted to go and didn’t feel supported.
Our Recruiters are dedicated to communicating with our travelers whether you’re selecting a new location, onboarding as a new traveler, or a seasoned traveler looking for a new specialty.
We place travelers from across the country. Here’s where our nurses want to travel next:
- 39% Arizona
- 33% Texas
- 30% Florida
- 28% California
- 25% New Mexico
- 20% Montana
Other states include Oregon, Michigan, and Alaska.
We appreciate our travel nurses taking time out of their busy schedules to take our survey. More importantly, THANK YOU for accepting contracts during COVID-19. We appreciate you.