PRN Nurses Needed as COVID Jobs Increase As Nurses Quit
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Why have nurses been in short supply for decades? During the introduction of modern medicine, nurses were forced to work extremely long hours in conditions that were often poor and hazardous. While nursing legislation throughout the years (especially from 1930 to 1960), has brought much reform to the industry, the shortage continues.
Today, the healthcare industry is witnessing a disturbing trend that comes about as nurses and other clinicians are needed the most. Nurses, assistants, and other healthcare professionals are quitting their jobs at alarming rates due to the demands and stress of COVID-19.
COVID-19 hit the healthcare nursing industry while it was already going on nearly a century’s run of a shortage of nurses. The original nursing shortage started in the 1930s when people began using hospitals and healthcare services more often. Thus, many new facilities and institutions were built during the first half of the century. As a result, the “supply-and-demand” effect took place and the nursing shortage was born.
Nurses & Clinicians Quit Due to Pressures of COVID-19 Jobs
Many healthcare facilities have been struggling financially for years – especially those in rural areas. Community hospitals and huge metro healthcare systems have had dire needs for per diem nurses and clinicians to fill shifts on a short-term basis for years. COVID-19 has taken that existing vulnerability and exaggerated it.
Nurses are at the receiving end of much of this pressure resulting from the pandemic. Recent news reports have cited many stories of nurses who have dedicated their lives and hearts to the profession, who have, unfortunately, had to quit due to the increased pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rachel’s Story – An ICU Nurse Working the Frontlines in Florida
Rachel Ellsworth was a nurse for more than a decade. She worked as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse for 10 of those 12 years. She tells CNN, that even though she always felt like nursing was her life’s calling, she had to give it a quits this year.
Working in the ICU is not for the faint of heart. For Ellsworth, she found herself privileged to be present in some of the most miraculous and important moments in patients’ lives. Even though she works in a nursing specialty that sees a lot of death and sorrow, she was always honored to provide a dignified and peaceful death to patients who came to that point in their journey.
“I was the kind of person who went into work every day, like, literally, ‘Let’s go save lives,’ for 12 years. I was just so excited to be there, so full of hope and compassion.”
During the spring of 2020, people were very supportive and residents of her local southeast Florida community even came out and celebrated with parades and thanked them for all their work. While the community might have been supporting them, the grim reality of working COVID jobs was becoming more clear to Rachel as the pandemic went on.
“We were very limited in what we could do to help them. We were losing.”
Rachel could no longer handle it after she lost the sweetest patient who she just adored to COVID-19. She says he was begging for any treatment that might save him. Despite trying everything, there was no hope for him and he died. The decision to quit her long-term nursing job was not taken lightly. She debated for a couple of months but quit her ICU nursing job in January.
“It broke me. It was just too much.”
Chanel Rosecrans Quits Job in Los Angeles Intensive Care Unit
The intensive care units at many of the Los Angeles hospitals filled up fast during the height of the pandemic during the spring of 2020. A lot of nurses had to choose whether to stay within the trenches for their colleagues and patients or to quit when the conditions became overwhelming – according to an article in NPR.
Chanel Rosecrans is one of the nurses who discuss the awful conditions within some of the Los Angeles intensive care units. Rosecrans describes how she decided to quit her nursing job:
“There eventually came a point where I told myself I have to find a different job because the stress from this is making me physically sick. I would pray ’til I cried, begging God please not let me lose a patient tonight. I can’t take it. I just need my patients to stay alive tonight. And it just felt like ticking time bombs. And I didn’t want to have to just sit and wait for all these people to pass away.”
Why are Nurses Quitting When They Are So Desperately Needed?
Nurses around the country are approaching a year of essential work. A lot of them are drained and have canceled their paid/personal time off (PTO), worked long hours, re-used PPE, made sacrifices, and worked for employers they didn’t always feel valued their safety.
Stress. Lack of support. Emotional strain. Burnout. Safety concerns. All of these are contributing factors leading to more nurses quitting their jobs.
Crisis Response Jobs Drive Need for PRN Nurses on Demand
Creation of new COVID-19 units and facilities. Additional PPE requirements. Advanced equipment that only highly specialized nurses can operate. The demand for per diem or short-term staffing solutions for healthcare facilities has been driven by these factors among others.
Nursa™ is proud to send registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to fill these COVID jobs at healthcare facilities across the country – one shift at a time.
Nursing is one of the biggest underpaid and undervalued professions according to many studies, including this one from the Brookings Institute. One thing this huge demand and short supply of RNs, LPNs, and CNAs has done is that it’s finally driven up the pay rate for nurses, CNAs, and other clinicians. Per diem nurses are making more now than ever before in history.
At Nursa™, we are seeing record pay rates per shift. RNs are making up to $650 per shift. LPNs can make up to $500 per shift. CNAs are making up to $250 per shift. So what are you waiting for? Download our per diem nurse app today and start making the money you deserve for the hard work, time, and effort you pour into your career.