The Tea: The New “New Normal?"
Welcome to the first edition of The Tea, your go-to source for the latest on the travel nursing market and what it means for you.
This week, we’re talking COVID-19 pay, vaccine roles, and how to navigate the unknown. Let’s dive in. 🍵
As You’ve Probably Noticed, COVID Rates Are Down
And we mean really down. This past year, travel nurses have been no strangers to higher pay rates in exchange for working COVID-19 units. With COVID hospitalizations and positive rates decreasing nationally, hospitals are seeing a decline in census rates—meaning less need for nurses working COVID units for crisis-level pay.
Just how much of a pay decrease should you expect? At Trusted, we’re seeing a 25% decrease in average hourly pay for travel nursing jobs nationally this month as compared to January of this year.
The TLDR? Expect to see higher competition for the roles that are available.
What About the Vaccine Roles?
With fewer COVID roles available, many nurses are beginning to search for vaccine administration roles. “The issue we’re seeing with vaccine roles is that we’re seeing a lot of non-clinical volunteers step in to help administer COVID-19 vaccines,” shares Dan Weberg, PhD, RN and Head of Clinical Innovation at Trusted. “Because of the increased supply of folks willing to work these jobs, we’re seeing less competitive pay for these roles than the COVID roles.”
Still, many facilities, pharmacies, and grocery stores are on the lookout for staff to help with vaccine roll-out—something we’ll likely see through the spring as more vaccine supply becomes available.
Trusted has made it easy to discover vaccine-specific roles through the Vaccine Role match category on your Trusted dashboard.
Tips for Making the Most the New “New Normal”
We know these changes can be tricky to navigate, so we wanted to share our top tips for how to set yourself up for success:
- If you can extend at your current assignment, we recommend doing so.
Extending your assignment will give you time—and steady footing—to see how the market changes over the next few weeks (or months) as facilities begin to normalize pay.
- Don’t let yourself be surprised by proactively making a plan.
If you’re worried about cancellations or step-downs in pay at your facility due to decreased census, we recommend talking to your manager sooner rather than later. If you’re a Trusted traveler, please loop in your Clinical Success Partner to help you.
- Keep your job documentation fresh so you can move fast.
Take some time to ensure your travel documents (or your Trusted profile if you’re a nurse with us) are up-to-date. This will allow you to be submitted for roles faster, increasing your chances at securing that next role.
If you’re worried about decreased income, here are five things you can do to offset lower pay.
Is COVID-19 Really on Its Way Out?
It’s hard to say what’s to come. As states like Texas and Mississippi begin to roll back mask mandates and open their economies, it could be that we’ll see another spike in COVID cases. “At this point, it’s hard to predict,” says Weberg. “Just like in stocks, it's hard to time the market. The trends suggest more competition for fewer roles.”
Don’t have a role right now? Don’t sweat. There are still thousands of open roles for travel nurses nationwide. At Trusted, we’re seeing the most job demand in Texas, followed by New York, Florida, and California.
To view what jobs are available in real-time and full pay breakdown packages, sign up for a free Trusted profile today.
The Tea serves up the latest travel nursing intel, giving you the info you need to take control of your travel journey. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or new to the game, we’d love to hear what questions you have—feel free to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your questions answered by Trusted travel experts. 💌