Travel nursing stories from CNN, USA Today and other sources show rising profile of travelers.
Nurses have always been pretty darn inspiring, even in normal times. And travel nursing stories have always stood out as particularly exciting, given their combination of traveling to distant places to provide needed care with the personal fulfillment of travel and adventure for healthcare professionals of all ages.
In the age of Covid-19, though, travel nursing stories are even more dramatic. The pandemic has led to a huge spike in demand for travelers across the United States — both for those who can help care for Covid-19 patients, as well as other nurses and allied clinicians to patch up shortages caused by the earlier shutdown of elective surgeries and standard outpatient care.
As such, the profile of travel nurses has risen considerably. In recent weeks, CNN and USA Today have been among the major American media companies that have published in-depth profiles of the travel nursing profession — a profession that, historically, hasn’t received a ton of attention from such sources.
‘I Felt a Responsibility to Be Here and Take Care of People”
USA Today recently published a story that offers a general introduction to the travel nursing profession for those unfamiliar with the concept. In the article, Kristina Starcevic, a Wisconsin nurse who’s currently helping treat Covid-19 patients in Houston, talks about how she initially chose traveling as a safe way to see the country while helping others.
CNN’s travel nursing profile also offers a general rundown of the profession for those outside the industry. In addition, it explores how the earlier ban on elective procedures hasn’t just created new shortages of providers in communities where they’re needed, but also left many nurses who want to help without a job — a situation that travel assignments help resolve.
In making its point, the article consults a couple of RNs about their travel nursing stories during the pandemic. Even amid the difficulties, their can-do attitude is inspiring: “I felt a responsibility to be here and take care of people,” said one California-based RN who had immediately volunteered to help treat Covid-19 patients in Washington State back in March.
No doubt most nurses would say much the same. Being jobless during a pandemic isn’t just a general hardship but emotionally frustrating for many. For these nurses, traveling offers a way to work in a new location for a limited period of time. Because assignments are generally 13 weeks in length, travelers can then choose to return home after a few months of work.
By enabling nurses to work in dozens of states with a single license, the enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) also helps facilitate the move across state lines. Indiana is officially a member of the compact as of July 1, 2020, bringing the total number of enrolled states to 34. We’ve got more info here on how the Compact works and who’s eligible to join.
Ready to Create Your Own Travel Nursing Stories?
“Many people don’t realize that temporary clinicians are an important part of the healthcare workforce,” writes StubHub founder Jeff Fluhr in a recent TechCrunch article. He’s right — but accounts like the ones in CNN and USA Today are changing that.
Yet if travelers working on the frontlines of Covid-19 aren’t always getting the appreciation they deserve, they can take heart in the higher rates of compensation being offered: “Early this year, the average salary for a travel nurse was about $1,700 a week,” as the USA Today article explains. “By March, that wage had increased by 76%,” and in some places, “more than doubled.”
For our part, many of the first responder jobs offered by CareerStaff do offer higher-than-normal pay rates, as well as advanced infection protection policies and compensation for assignment-related quarantine. Learn more about our Covid-19 travel nursing jobs here.
And if you’re looking to work a travel nursing job, chances are good that we’ve got an opportunity that meets your personal preferences and professional goals. At the moment, we’re in urgent need of experienced ICU and critical care nurses for pandemic first responder jobs. We’ve also got opportunities for respiratory therapists looking to help fight Covid-19.
But even amid Covid-19, we’re still helping other types of facilities meet their care needs during this critical time, too. That includes hospitals and health centers providing standard and elective procedures, as well as skilled nursing facilities, rehab centers and even schools seeking to maintain standard staffing of nurses and therapists.