Travel nurses not going back to old jobs

The following is an excerpt from Becker’s Hospital Review.

Rather than return to their former hospital jobs, some travel nurses are leaving the field altogether as demand for travel nurses comes back down from unprecedented highs during the pandemic, NBC News reported Sept. 3

In January 2020, right before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were about 50,000 travel nurses in the U.S., officials from Staffing Industry Analysts told the news outlet.

That number doubled to at least 100,0000 as the coronavirus began spreading. Lucrative travel pay led to many hospital staff nurses leaving their jobs. 

Now, nurses who once earned $5,000 or more a week on travel assignments earn less than half of that as demand for travel nurses drops.

Citing data from staffing firm Aya Healthcare, NBC reports that travel nurse demand dropped 42 percent from January to July of this year.

Nurses who want to leave the field point to patient safety concerns amid growing work loads. 

 “People say it’s burnout but it’s not,” Pamela Esmond, RN, who became a travel nurse during the pandemic, told NBC. “It’s the moral injury of watching patients not being taken care of on a day-to-day basis. You just can’t take it anymore.” 

Ms. Esmond, 59, plans to continue working as a travel nurse until she retires at 65. 

 “I would love to go back to staff nursing, but on my staff job, I would never be able to retire.” 

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2 thoughts on “Travel nurses not going back to old jobs”

  1. My daughter left her hospital after barely a year. She was getting called to work 6 nights a week for extended shifts and she literally burned out. She found a much less stressful position in a doctor’s office and has avoided the horrific workloads of hospitals and now has a reasonable work schedule. Hospitals are doing this to themselves by abusing nurses. It seems to have gotten progressively worse over the last 20 years from what I hear.

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