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Journey nurse salaries float round $200K as staffing disaster continues

BY sydney lakeNovember 17, 2022, 2:04 PM

Nurses and supporters rally for higher working situations exterior the Seattle Kids’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington, as seen in August 2022. (Photographer: David Ryder—Bloomberg/Getty Photographs)

Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly uncovered expertise shortages within the well being care business, indicators level to a continued have to fill nursing jobs. Actually, nursing shortages have reached “disaster ranges” based on a 2022 report by well being care firm Relias. Turnover charges for nurses are rising, standing at roughly 22% in 2022—plus nursing jobs take about three months to fill on common, based on the report.

To fill roles extra rapidly, many well being care firms, hospitals, and personal practices resort to hiring journey nurses who take short-term assignments in excessive demand areas. These nurses include a premium, and infrequently make larger salaries than different employees within the discipline. Journey nurses usually work with staffing businesses to search out assignments and infrequently work in specialty areas, together with psychiatry, dermatology, aesthetics, and fertility.

Through the pandemic, salaries for journey nurses surged to as a lot as $10,000 per week, based on experiences, they usually can nonetheless earn greater than $3,000, on common. The nationwide common for journey nurse pay in October 2022 was $3,080, down about 18% from a yr in the past, based on a report from Vivian Well being, a nationwide well being care hiring platform. The year-over-year drop in journey nurse salaries could be attributed to the truth that nurses have been in larger demand final yr throughout the spikes in COVID-19 variants, consultants agree.

“The lowering journey charges have been attributable to a lower in demand because the Omicron wave backed, and by well being programs’ incremental success in recruiting nurses again to direct employment roles,” a spokesperson from Vivian Well being tells fortune. “Additionally it is value noting that some COVID-era federal funding designed to help elevated labor prices because of journey nursing resulted in spring 2022, additional lowering well being programs’ monetary flexibility.”

Even with the lower, journey nurses could make practically $200,000 per yr, assuming a weekly fee of $3,080. In the meantime, salaries for full-time nurses have been steadily rising, based on Vivian Well being. The median salaries for registered nurses and nurse practitioners in 2021 was $77,600 and $120,680, respectively, US Division of Labor Statistics information reveals. As each the demand and want for nurses continues to rise, “nurses are in a wonderful place to barter higher salaries, advantages, and dealing situations,” based on the Relias report.

For journey nurses particularly, their salaries could also be extra variable than the weekly fee implies. Journey nurse contracts usually final 13 weeks with no dedication to increase, “so journey nurses could have gaps between assignments whereas they search their subsequent facility,” a spokesperson from Vivian Well being tells Fortune.

Why journey nurses receives a commission a premium

The nursing workforce is in dire want of expertise. Actually, the variety of registered nurses decreased by greater than 100,000 between 2020 and 2021, based on an April 2022 workforce evaluation report. That is the biggest drop in nursing expertise up to now 4 many years, the report reveals. And nurses below the age of 35 are leaving the business in droves.

“A sustained discount within the variety of youthful age RNs would increase ominous implications for the longer term workforce,” based on the report, A Worrisome Drop In The Quantity Of Younger Nurses. “As a result of RNs usually stay working in nursing over their profession, a discount of youthful RNs within the workforce would exert an influence that’s felt over a era.”

Other than provide and demand, journey nurses additionally make extra in complete compensation than workers nurses as a result of they should pay for short-term housing whereas they’re on project, Katelyn Harris, director of consumer improvement at Vivian Well being, beforehand advised fortune.

“It is also anticipated that journey nurses have at the least one or two strong years of expertise below their belts, so we are inclined to see extra senior nurses touring, which interprets to larger wages,” she added.

Find out how to turn out to be a journey nurse

Journey nursing jobs can be found for each registered nurses and nurse practitioners. To turn out to be an authorized registered nurse, you’ll be able to earn a bachelor’s diploma in nursing, an affiliate’s diploma in nursing, or a diploma from an authorised nursing program, based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To turn out to be a nurse practitioner requires extra specialised coaching as a result of these well being care professionals have the ability to diagnose and deal with diseases in addition to prescribe medicines. These nurses should earn at the least a grasp’s diploma within the discipline; in addition they should be licensed of their state and move a nationwide certification examination.

Many grasp’s diploma packages in nursing can now be accomplished on-line. High colleges like Georgetown College and The Ohio State College provide these packages to nurses who’ve earned a bachelor’s diploma within the discipline. These packages additionally put together college students for the required certification and licensure exams.

Try all of Fortune’s rankings of diploma packages, and study extra about particular profession paths.

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