Staffing shortfalls, combined with growing patient numbers, are causing more hospitals to turn to travel nurses in an attempt to fill the gap.

Not only are beds filling up, but many of those patients need extraordinary levels of attention, exacerbating staffing challenges. COVID-19 patients often require intense, round-the-clock care that limits the number of beds each nurse can safely cover.

As such, the demand for travel nurses has skyrocketed and the pay rate for them has risen rapidly, driven by demand exacerbating an already existing nursing shortage.

Salaries have jumped with rates as high as $8,000 per week advertised for three months assignment.

In a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 30,000 open positions for travel nurses in the US. That’s up some 30% from last winter’s peak and it has continued to climb since then.