The pandemic brought medical workers to the spotlight like never before.
Utilizing this spotlight, numerous medical workers shared the many woes of their job, from being pressured into taking extra shifts to understaff issues and the high stress that people in their position face.
One of the many issues brought up during this time was nurse pay. Nurses have gone viral claiming that the increase in labor was not matched with a commensurate increase in pay — all at a time when the cost of medical school was skyrocketing and hospital administrators were seeing pay increases.
In response to these issues, some nurses became ‘travel nurses’ — nurses who fill in at various facilities facing a shortage of faculty.
While there is added stress of constant movement, travel nurses can be significantly better compensated than their stationary counterparts, as TikTok user Lisha (@_itsalishaa) recently shared to viral success.
@_itsalishaa #agencynurse #fyp #foryou #travelnurselife #travelnursesoftiktok #nursetoks #nursebae #relatable #xyzbca #blacknursetiktok #cna #lpn #rn #studentnurses #nursingstudent #cnasoftiktok #healthcareworkers #nightshiftnurse #nightshift #viralvideo #trend #fypシ #314 #stl #amazonsavingspree #icurn #icunurse #travelingnurse #flexeveryangle #trendingsong ♬ ABUH – xie
In a video with over 414,000 views as of Friday, Lisha details the amount of money she earned as a travel nurse.
“Say what you want about Travel Nurses but I just made my Rent in 1 day,” she writes in the text overlaying the video.
In an article for NBC, writer Jean Lee notes that travel nursing isn’t as profitable now as it was at the start of the pandemic.
“By 2021, travel nurses were earning an average of $124.96 an hour, according to the research firm — three times the hourly rate of staff nurses, according to federal statistics,” writes Lee.
This was not a permanent change. Lee notes that “demand [for travel nurses] dropped 42 percent from January to July [of 2022],” and in a later article for NBC also written by Lee, she says that some travel nurses are seeing their pay fall to lower levels than before the pandemic.
That said, there are some areas where travel nurses can still make a considerable amount of money.
“Pay packages for travel nurses, who typically sign 13-week contracts, have declined, hovering in the $3,000 range. That still is a significant increase from the $1,500 a travel nurse could typically earn before COVID,” writes Marty Cook for Arkansas Business, citing TRS Healthcare CEO Taylor Faught.
The need for travel nurses was initially spurred in part by additional need due to COVID-19; now, travel nurses are required in part because of nurses leaving their workplaces or the profession entirely.
“According to this year’s Nursing Solutions staffing report, nurses are exiting the bedside at ‘an alarming rate’ because of rising patient ratios, and their own fatigue and burnout,” writes Lee in the initially cited article. “The average hospital has turned over 100.5% of its workforce in the past five years, according to the report, and the annual turnover rate has now hit 25.9%, exceeding every previous survey.”
For her part, Lisha seems content in her position.
When one user asked in comments, “How does it feel to live my dream??” she responded, “It is beautiful.”
We’ve reached out to Lisha via Instagram direct message.