COVID-19 Gives Birth to a New Kind of RN Job

Not everything about the coronavirus crisis has been negative, and there have been silver linings. If you are a registered nurse (RN), one of yours is the birth of a whole new kind of RN job. The job combines the basics of travel nursing (locum tenens) with a triage mentality. Nurses go wherever they are needed at the moment, then move on to the next hot spot as conditions dictate.

This sort of travel nursing is not technically new. However, the model was used sparingly in previous years to cover outbreaks of the flu. COVID-19 has merely brought it to the forefront and, to a certain degree, given it life. RN jobs for travel nurses now include opportunities for triage travel.

The COVID-19 Demand

Data recently cited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel demonstrates just how much influence COVID-19 has had on travel nursing. RN jobs for traveling nurses exploded commensurate with the spread of coronavirus, with some states being hit exceptionally hard. The data shows that demand in Texas, Arizona, and two other states increased by more than 1000%. Check out these other states:

  • Virginia – 800%
  • California – 593%
  • Pennsylvania – 478%
  • Florida – 300%
  • Oregon – 300%.

The numbers make sense when you follow the total number of positive cases that resulted in hospitalization. Where there were more hospitalizations, more nurses were needed.

RN Jobs Moving Forward

It is clear that the coronavirus crisis is subsiding across America. Does that mean this new triage model of travel nursing is destined to fade? Not likely. All the attention on COVID-19 will undoubtedly continue into the fall, throughout the winter and on to next spring. The minute there is any hint of a possible hotspot, the call will go out for RNs.

Likewise, there is an extremely high likelihood that we will be paying a lot more attention to the flu this coming season. If nothing else, people suffering from the flu are at higher risk of complications should they also contract coronavirus. It is a safe bet that healthcare facilities will have a list of staffing agencies with an ample supply of nurses at the ready.

Travel and Nursing Together

Nurses looking for employment can visit the Health Jobs Nationwide website and find a plethora of RN jobs. Employment opportunities abound in hospitals, clinics, group practices, private practices, corporate health clinics, and more. So what makes travel nursing so much different? The travel itself.

A typical travel nurse works on a contract basis with each contract lasting an average of 13 weeks. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that most travel nurses travel a minimum of 50 miles from their homes. Many travel across the country, and some even go overseas. And of course, there are longer contracts that can go for up to a year.

The travel itself can be appealing to nurses who like to see new places and meet new people. But traveling also opens the door to all sorts of new professional experiences. For example, rural medicine in the middle of America’s breadbasket can differ quite a bit from a nurse’s experience in an urban setting on the East Coast.

A Well-Rounded Nursing Experience

Travel nurses often express how they benefit professionally from their travel. They frequently talk about having a more well-rounded nursing experience thanks to the many facilities they have worked at. The science of nursing may be similar from one environment to the next, but the practice of nursing can differ quite a bit. It all adds up to a more comprehensive understanding of what nursing is all about.