Traveling nurse wages take a fall

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses in the U.S. were making some of the highest wages they had ever seen. A travel nurse could make, on average, $10,000 a week, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

The revenue of companies providing travel nurses increased threefold in the last six years, nearing $12 billion, according to the Journal. 

During the height of the pandemic, travel nurses had to move around to COVID-19 hot spots and their hours were unpredictable, making the job less than desirable for many.  

To keep travel nurses on staff, employers have to dig deep into their pockets.

But now, those high nurse wages are falling. HCA Healthcare released second-quarter profit figures estimating that temporary staff wages would be down 22 percent in June, the Journal reported.

The study shows that temporary nurse pay is expected to drop 15 percent, to as low as $3,000 a week. 

But John Martins, CEO of Cross Country, a large provider of temporary medical staff, told the Journal the lure of flexible working conditions will continue to draw traveling nurses, and he predicted the market for them will grow from 40,000 in 2018 to 80,000 next year.

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