Were you working on a crisis contract during 2020 due to COVID-19? You may find that travel nurse crisis contracts have ended but know there continue to be opportunities for travelers. It’s an interesting time to be in the healthcare industry as we experience shifts from traditional nursing roles to other opportunities, like administering the vaccine. While there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, there also continues to be a demand for nurses.
As travel nurse crisis contracts have declined, what’s next?
While some nurses are opting to retire, others are coming out of retirement to fulfill what they feel is their duty to the community while still others are accepting less stressful positions other than critical and acute patient care. Wherever you land next, we encourage you to leverage your license to work in other environments and continue to serve in communities across the country.
Demand is High
The demand for travel nurses remains high due to high stress, low retention, retiring nurses, and a pre-pandemic shortage. That means hospitals still need travelers to cover shifts, be a floater, and fill gaps in areas where they simply don’t have the skills, experience, or people to cover patient care. What does this mean for travel nurses? It means continued opportunities to grow your experience and see parts of the country that you’ve always wanted to experience or serve in communities of need. Expand existing skills, learn new skills, and live the lifestyle you’ve wanted as you explore.
While pay rates are no longer what they were at the height of the pandemic, we do not anticipate them to be lower than pre-pandemic. During the last year, the industry saw critical care crisis travel nurses earning as much as $8,000-10,000 per week; those rates have gone back down and are now closer to $2,000-2,500 per week. The Top Travel Nursing Specialties include critical care and emergency room, as even without a pandemic people are sick and accident-prone, among other reasons, and need hospital care. Travelers tend to earn more than staff nurses so while the crisis rates are no longer, you will likely continue to earn more than your staff counterparts, as you did before the pandemic.
One of the new areas where we are seeing a need is in Screening and Vaccination positions. There are parts of the country that need medical professionals to administer the vaccine; they don’t have enough clinicians to provide this much-needed service. You can help be part of the nationwide effort to immunize Americans when you work on one of these contracts. If you’re considering coming out of retirement, this is also a great way to travel and use your nursing expertise.
The AB Staffing travel nurse assignments are returning to 13+ weeks and are more stable than crisis contracts. Shorter assignments and abrupt cancellations due to low need are not anticipated to be as prominent in the coming months and years. Because of this and higher demand, your contract may be extended past the 13-week mark. That means more opportunities to learn and connect with your team and community.
New Areas to Explore
In addition to more traditional hospital and clinic settings, we are seeing a greater demand for nurses in more unconventional positions. TV and movie productions need nurses and healthcare staff for COVID screenings, school nurses are needed for medically fragile children, and Correctional facilities are in need of RN’s to help care for inmates. Some of these are longer-term contracts to consider and a great way to leverage your nursing license to work in other environments.
Not sure if you’re meant to be a travel nurse? We’ve got 7 Signs that You’re Ready. If you’re craving adventure, live simply, and love meeting new people, this is your time to shine!
As you’re coming out of a crisis contract, we encourage you to Give Yourself a Break and take time to rest. The patients will be here when you’re ready. Don’t burn yourself out so that you’re unable to return or don’t want to come back. The team at AB Staffing is here to support you in your journey.