Chaunie Brusie
Chaunie Brusie
July 28, 2020 - 3 min read

States Look for Travel Nurses As COVID-19 Cases Spike

Travel nurses are in demand in several states as COVID-19 cases spike across the country, particularly in Southern and Western parts of the country.

Florida has consistently been breaking its own single-day record, reaching 13,965 new cases and 156 deaths in one day on July 16, 2020. Miami, FL has been called the new “Wuhan, China” and some experts have warned that it’s too late to contain the spread, so more hospitalizations are likely in the future.

Other states reporting rising COVID-19 infections and related hospitalizations include Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and California. And according to data from NPR, COVID cases have increased by over 100% compared to 2 weeks ago in Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana, as well as Puerto Rico.

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What’s Driving the COVID-19 Spikes?

So, what’s with all the spikes? It may be natural to assume that the increasing number of infections can be attributed to more testing, but you can easily determine if that’s true by looking at the percentage of positive tests as compared to the number of tests given out.

In short, if there’s still a high rate of positive tests even with correspondingly high levels of testing, you know that the infection rate is increasing — not just picking up positive cases that would have already been there. For a visual on this, you can see some easy charts via Time Magazine. Additionally, increasing hospitalization rates — as both Texas and Arizona are seeing — is a huge indication that the infections are indeed new.

Because the numbers show a clear increase in cases, experts have speculated this may be the second wave of COVID or a resurgence in infection rates as states move through reopening phases. Additionally, factors like summer holidays, public attitude becoming more relaxed and people returning to normal travel patterns, and recent public gatherings including protests and a handful of rallies, are thought to have played a role.

There is also some evidence that the spikes may be higher in states that reopened bars on an earlier timeline, as bars may be a ripe environment for spreading the virus, with poor ventilation, small inside areas, and attracting large crowds.

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These States Are Hiring Travel Nurses Right Now

Travel nursing opportunities are still available in many parts of the country, especially as hospitals and facilities are playing “catch-up” on procedures and patients who may have delayed care during the pandemic.

But scouring leading travel nursing websites from across the web reveals that a few states are especially seeking travel nurses in specialties like ICU and ER. From our research, we have found nursing travel opportunities with higher-than-average pay in:

  • Florida (some $6K/week jobs available)
  • Texas (some $5K/week jobs available)
  • Arizona (some $4K/week jobs available)
  • Louisiana (some $4K/week jobs available)
  • Missouri (some $4K/week jobs available)
  • North Carolina (some $2.5K/week jobs available)

The data with COVID-19 infections is constantly changing and one of the hardest parts for hospitals is being ready for what the numbers will look like in two weeks from now — not just right now. Because of the way the virus works, with an approximately 2-week incubation period, as well as a sometimes delayed onset of more serious symptoms that could require hospitalization, new infections today could turn into new hospitalizations in weeks or even months from now.

That means that you are a valuable asset as a travel nurse, especially if you have experience working with COVID-19 patients, and are ready to take on an assignment when one is available.

So, if you are interested in signing on for a travel nursing assignment in emerging COVID-19 hotspots, or just want to offer your experiences as a veteran COVID-19 nurse, now is the time to get your paperwork in order and speak with a recruiter who can alert you of any position matches.

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