From the Desk of Next Move: COVID-19's Effect on Travel Nursing

The good. The bad. And the ugly.

With uncertainty looming as to when and how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact budgeted census in metropolitan healthcare facilities, the word on the street is that travel nurses have a low level of confidence that they will be able to find the kinds of travel nursing placements that were available pre-coronavirus.

According to John Ericson (a nurse traveler in Missouri):

There isn't a really a great outlook right now.

Hospital staffing managers are currently facing a unique challenge brought on by COVID-19. They're trying to maintain an appropriate level of healthcare staff members while at the same time dealing with below average censuses and shrinking budgets. In fact, many healthcare facilities are in a hiring freeze, so even those nurses seeking to make the switch from travel to staff nursing, are unable to secure a position.

Consensus among highly-qualified travel nurses is that the pendulum is slowly moving back towards an increased census and additional placement opportunities. But at the moment, these highly sought-after travel nurses are accepting historically low bill rates.

There is no way to be sure of when available placements will reach a critical mass and rates will go back to normal, but we’re predicting it could happen as early as mid-June.

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