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ABC News: Travel nurses needed in Alabama as hospitals deal with staffing shortage

September 8, 2021 | Aya Media Buzz

With hospital staffing shortages, Alabama is working to attract travel nurses. Hospitals like RMC in Anniston brace for the surge in COVID cases after the Labor Day holiday.

“My worry really is staffing, people will get sick, we will take care of those people the problem is do we have enough staff to handle them,” Dr. Raul Magadia said.

To attract more nurses to the state, Governor Ivey announced more than $12 million in cares funding will go to hire traveling nurses but, Alabama is in competition with surrounding states.

“We’re actually seeing a fairly high engagement of nurses that are interested in the state of Alabama,” Sophia Morris with Aya Healthcare said.

Morris says while there are already hundreds of travel nurses working in the state, 500 openings still need to be filled, many with an “as soon as possible” start date. There are a variety of reasons a travel nurse selects where to go. Personal reasons, the speed in hiring and flexibility in hours all play a role.

“Flexibility in the length of the contract is also really important to travelers some want to do a 20-week assignment some only want to do an 8-week assignment,” Morris said.

Salary plays a huge role as well. Travel nurses can make anywhere from $2 – $5 thousand per week.

“A nurse has the opportunity to choose really anywhere that they want to go and so certainly the pay that they have the ability to make is a big driving factor in that they want to be compensated for not only the hard work they’re doing.” But as a travel nurse they have to up and leave with only a couple weeks’ notice,” Morris said.

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