Need a Covid nurse? That'll be $8,000 a week

A shortage of nurses means hospitals are paying high salaries to get the help they need. That threatens to shift the supply to more affluent areas.

11/24/2020 2:47:00 PM

Early in the pandemic, hospitals were competing for ventilators, Covid-19 tests and personal protective equipment. Now, sites across the US are competing for nurses.

A shortage of nurses means hospitals are paying high salaries to get the help they need. That threatens to shift the supply to more affluent areas.

01:44All four of Utah's major health care systems have seen nurses leave for traveling nurse positions, said Jordan Sorenson, a project manager for the Utah Hospital Association."Nurses quit, join traveling nursing companies and go work for a different hospital down the street, making two to three times the rate," he said."So it's really a kind of a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul staffing situation."

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Hospitals not only pay the higher salaries offered to traveling nurses but also pay a commission to the traveling nurse agency, Sorenson said. Utah hospitals are trying to avoid hiring away nurses from other hospitals within the state. Hiring from a neighboring state like Colorado, however, could mean Colorado hospitals would poach from Utah.

"In the wake of the current spike in Covid hospitalizations, calling the labor market for registered nurses 'cutthroat' is an understatement," saidAdam Seth Litwin, an associate professor of industrial and labor relations at Cornell University."Even if the health care sector can somehow find more beds, it cannot just go out and buy more front-line caregivers."

Litwin said he's glad to see the labor market reward essential workers — disproportionately women and people of color — with higher wages. Under normal circumstances, allowing markets to determine where people will work and for what pay is ideal."On the other hand, we are not operating under normal circumstances," he said."In the midst of a severe public health crisis, I worry that the individual incentives facing hospitals on the one side and individual RNs on the other conflict sharply with the needs of society as whole."

Some hospitals are exploring ways to overcome staffing challenges without blowing the budget. That could include changing nurse-to-patient ratios, although that would likely affect patient care. In Utah, the hospital association has talked with the state Board of Nursing about allowing nursing students in their final year of training to be certified early.

Demand in Rocky Mountain statesMeanwhile, business is booming for companies centered on health care staffing, such as Wanderly and Krucial Staffing. Read more: NBC News »

Larry King, legendary talk show host, dies at 87

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Nations around the world will watch as the US implodes from this Deadly Virus. Thanks to those Covid-19 Deniers and the undisciplined. We are our own worst enemy! hydroxychloroquine azithromycin zinc sulfate cure hydroxychloroquine azithromycin zinc sulfate cure People can continue to love the Democratic Party, But people should not elect a president who betray the United States,Because they controlled by other country. 🙏 USA and American Citizen ✨Angels will record people's actions and evil must be punished。🙏

DiaperDonald and his troglodytic cult own every single infection and death in our country. NEVER forget their selfishness and lack of education isn’t just a risk to health and safety; our national security is at risk. would you remain a nurse in a pandemic when the government won’t do anything but lie about all the pain and death constantly around you?

And worth every penny if not more They deserve it! Human life is short. Whether it is happiness or success can be known in conscience and eternity. Angels will record people's actions and evil must be punished. 🙏Choosing justice are the only way. ✨Conscience, ancestors, children✨ Weird because every time I go to public places where people gather 99% are wearing masks and yet all these infections.

At least the nurses will be able to afford to take a good vacation when this is over Coming from a State in Australia that is coming out of our 2nd wave,0 cases for 27 days I know the C19 experience. We had a curfew, masks, restrictions on hospitality and retail, these actions work,no miracles, low cost, major benefits.I get the issues, I implore you do similar.

Watch Mariah Carey Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner; Worth every cent. These people deserve that and some. We owe them big time for their sacrifice. Lord give them the strength to make things rite god bless those who have no way to bless them selves ... we come to you in this time of need asking for guidance .... in Jesus name we pray Amen....If we could just have one more moment of your time may it be

For 30+ years I worked as an RN - often for agencies, and the public that took the work and dedication of nurses as a given. it’s unfortunate that it’s taken a pandemic for americans to understand the true nature of what it means to be a nurse. There are so many hardships. And someone sits on his butt and states “he won”. Sad, get the first responders some help! realDonaldTrump

For the risks they take daily, that is not enough. I am very happy that I live in Norway. Please help my student and her family COVID is bankrupting our health care system People need to stop treating medicine like a customer service business. The customer may be always right, but patients sure as hell aren't. We treat nurses like waitresses, pay them less than they deserve, short staff them to save money and then wonder why they quit.

Watch 'COVID-19 survivor has rare side effect of COVID-19 treatment -- a massively swollen tongue' on YouTube Capitalist healthcare strikes again. Imagine if US didn’t incentive having people sick. 🤔 US hospitalizations are sky high bc it’s good for stock market. Your taxes paid for treatments, and now we will charge you $1,700 to get them.

Oligarch media creates societal problems then complains about price tag when normals work to fix it. Hello, please check out my gig if you need any kind of graphic design. Wow crwaxlax They deserve combat pay because of the dangers involved to their own health. There’s been a nurse shortage for a decade now, you should be looking into why no one wants to go to nursing school anymore

What is Cuomo doing to help other states? It's one of the things he said in his early briefings saying you help us and we will be there to when you need it. Good. Cities that make effort to contain it win. Let the MAGA boondocks that denied facts and enabled a traitor in the White House suffer the consequences.

The Trump vaccine is just around the corner! He demonstrated true leadership with operation warp speed. Instead of treating the mucus production in the lungs like you would do if this was malaria or lupus we pump dry air in and dry it in place. I wonder what that does for the exchange of oxygen thru the thin membranes of lung tissues to blood? Lung buggers anyone, excuse me scaring

Jane Fonda called the COVID-19 pandemic 'God's gift to the Left.' that tells the opportunism of the Democratic Party. Do they care about the 200K+ Americans, or do they consider these unfortunate victims to be props to use in the anti-Trump drama they subject us to day after day?