Updated: Sep 20, 2021
By now, many nurses and agencies thought the pandemic would be gone, but here we are approaching the 2 year mark in a few months. As time goes on the demand for travel nurses is getting more intense and travel nurses are seeing rates 3 times more than they did in 2019. As we pay attention to what is happening across the country, one thing remains clear: we didn't have enough nurses before this and we don't have enough nurses to keep up with this. Staffing units across the country are critically low and some facilities have closed units due to low staffing.
Let's look at the influences of the crisis rates we are seeing more and more of during the pandemic and let's look at the facts prior to the year 2020.
Travel Nurses are in Demand. This ain't a new thing either. Prior to 2020, we seen the demands of travel nurses in different waves. For example, the typical flu season would have a demand for travel nurses in the ED and ICU specialties. Also prior to 2020, the demands for travel nurses were seen more frequently in L&D, especially during the late Summer/ early Fall season. Now we don't have a predictable wave... it's just exacerbating what was already a crisis for the nursing workforce.
Many staff nurses are quitting their jobs. Before the stressful year 2020, staff nurses were dealing with burnout. That's not a new thing but what is new currently is the stress load of the pandemic added to the units that were already dealing with an internal crisis. Also, what is new is the option to leave the position and be compensated well for the troubles of what has been going on for years.
Even if the pandemic ended tomorrow, the damage done to the nursing profession has gotten really deep and would not be easily resolved. To recover staffing from this it will take time and lots of new nurses to fill the positions of many who used the stress of the pandemic to start new careers or remote positions.
We don't have any proof of the direction staffing will take right now but we can promise to continue to provide our clients with the nurses they need to continue quality patient care.