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IPFS News Link • Healthcare

Some States Are Trying to Cap Travel Nurses' Pay.

• by Hannah Cox

Kirsten Newcomb worked in Virginia as a nurse for ten years. Her job was grueling. She'd work four 10 hour shifts each week. In 2020, she decided to make a change and start travel nursing—an arrangement where hospitals and other healthcare providers hire nurses for short-term contracts. As part of the arrangement, nurses are not only paid much higher wages, they also are usually given generous stipends for food and housing.

"Once I start looking for a new contract, it typically takes about a week," says Newcomb. "I can pretty much pick wherever I want to go next." Lately, Newcomb has been spending her time in Hawaii. Not a bad place to ride out a pandemic, even for healthcare workers.

Kirsten's experience is one shared by a growing number of nurses who are participating in the booming travel nursing industry. As you are probably aware, there is a healthcare provider shortage in the US. The shortage existed even before the pandemic (and largely stems from government, which creates barriers to entry in the field), but the pinch has really been felt since COVID-19 hit our shores.

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