Travel Nursing & Allied Pay Packages Stabilizing to Pre-COVID Levels
The travel nursing and allied health job market is facing another dramatic shift as we enter a new stage of the pandemic. The number of healthcare travel jobs is steadily decreasing each week and as you may have noticed, pay rates are dropping. Here’s why and recommendations for getting the highest pay packages.
Where did the crisis jobs go?
More people are getting vaccinated daily and COVID cases and hospitalizations are decreasing. Good news! Therefore, hospitals’ patient census across the country is returning to normal levels and there is less demand for crisis jobs.
“We’ve seen a decrease in both the number of jobs and pay rates from healthcare facilities across the country,” said Jennifer Pomietlo, VP of Business Development at StaffDNA. “But it’s not because they don’t need healthcare travelers anymore, they’re just returning to non-crisis rates.”
In January’s peak, there were more than 30,000 travel nursing openings nationwide, but as of March 2021 that number has fallen to approximately 8,000. The once $6,000 to $10,000 weekly pay packages are gone. So what does the average traveler’s pay package look like now? According to StaffDNA, pay rates for travelers have decreased 25% on average since vaccinations began—depending on the location and specialty.
Lock in Pay Rates Now
In 2019 pre-COVID, average pay packages for travel nurses were around $1,800 to $2,000 per week. Today, StaffDNA has assignments averaging $3,000 per week and up to $4,400 per week, but rates may continue to drop so we recommend travelers lock in their assignments now—whether it’s by extending your current assignment or finding a new assignment at a facility that is still offering higher rates.
Last year, many healthcare professionals left their permanent positions to travel to communities in need and take advantage of the high paying crisis jobs. With more travelers means nurses and allied health professionals are facing more competition for desired positions. When ICU bed capacity was strained, facilities were being more relaxed with travelers’ experience level, but that’s no longer the case.
“High-paying assignments are still out there,” Pomietlo added, “There are just not as many and there’s a lot more competition.”
While the travel nursing and allied market is still fluid, licensing requirements are changing too and can vary by state and facility. Click here for compilation of the most updated state-by-state licensure information.
Is Your Profile Ready?
Within an hour of a new job opening, there could be more than 20 qualified submittals. It’s important for travelers to keep your profile and compliance up-to-date so that you’re ready to submit right when a job you want opens up.
Keep up with the highest-paying nursing and allied health jobs in real-time on StaffDNA’s mobile app or online Job Board—no registration required.
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