Hospitals that hire travel nurses
Hospitals in New Mexico are turning to travel nurses as a way to fill their staffing gaps. While the shortage of nurses in the state is not a new problem, the need has increased in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. One recent study found that the country could soon be without at least 150,000 registered nurses. Moreover, New Mexico faces a shortage of between 600 and 3,700 nurses.
Before the pandemic, hospitals hired travel nurses for several reasons, such as seasonal employment, maternity leave, or opening a new department. The travel nursing industry’s revenue more than tripled from 2009 to 2019. Hundreds of staffing agencies in the United States specialize in recruiting nurses from other countries. These agencies help hospitals find qualified, experienced nurses who can fill their openings.
However, traveling as a nurse can come with its challenges:
- You must be willing to adapt to different cultures and environments.
- You should have the flexibility to decide when and where you want to work.
- Travel nursing offers many benefits that can boost your overall job satisfaction.
Travel nurses are paid a combination of taxable and non-taxable hourly rates. They also receive stipends for housing, meals, and incidentals. However, the pay of a travel nurse can vary widely depending on the state. The most popular pay rates are those found in California and Texas, but southern states are typically cheaper in terms of living expenses and travel reimbursements.
In September, travel nurses made up about 12 percent of the total number of hospital nurses in New Mexico. While regular nursing staff earns around $35 to $40 an hour, travel nurses’ pay tends to be much higher. As a result, hospitals in New Mexico are paying more for these nurses.
Some travel nurses are returning to the workforce and finding full-time jobs. While some are drawn to the hefty starting bonuses, others look for stability. For example, Tiffanie Jones, who has worked as a nurse for 17 years, was considering a staff nurse position in Montana but was won over by a $10,000 start-up bonus. She ended up in rural Kansas but said she could breathe financially for the first time in years.
Salaries paid to travel nurses.
The average salary for travel nurses in New Mexico varies depending on their specialty, location, and years of experience. An eight-week assignment can earn up to $3,619 a week, while a 13-week appointment can bring in up to $48,880. Permanent full-time nurses generally earn about $65,870 per year. American Mobile offers many benefits for travel nurses, including no-cost housing, free CEUs, referral bonuses, and mental health resources.
The highest-paying travel nursing assignments are in high demand and, therefore, competitive. This makes it essential for travel nurse recruiters and agencies to sell their candidates to hospitals. Travel nurses can increase their chances of landing high-paying assignments by keeping their paperwork up-to-date.
Many travel nursing companies also provide bonuses to attract and retain nurses. These bonuses can come in sign-on rewards upon agreeing to work on an assignment. Then there are completion bonuses for those who complete their task. The company may also offer free housing for nurses assigned to more extended projects. These assignments may involve long hours spent in underserved communities, but they can provide a higher salary than hourly or per diem nursing jobs.
New Mexico has an acute nurse shortage, and more nurses are leaving hospitals. A combination of unsafe working conditions and physically abusive patients has contributed to the problem. A recent study published in 2018 suggested that the country could be short of at least 150,000 registered nurses in the next five years. A New Mexico legislative finance committee reported that the state could use between 600 and 3,700 more nurses. As a result, hospitals are turning to travel nurses to fill the void.
Oklahoma is another high-paying state for travel nurses. The average base salary for nurses in Oklahoma is $130,724 a year. While the cost of living is relatively low in both states, the job market is strong. Oklahoma is an excellent choice for nurses because it has a low cost of living and suitable housing options.
Salaries paid to travel nurses vary by location and specialty. Nurses in high-demand areas often make over $10k a week.
Healthcare shortages in New Mexico
Across the country, there are widespread shortages of healthcare providers, and New Mexico is no different. Primary care physicians and nurses are particularly in short supply in the state. In New Mexico, 32 of the 33 counties are currently understaffed, and the situation is even worse in rural areas. Many hospitals have been forced to hire travel nurses to fill staffing gaps, damaging morale.
Hospitals and healthcare providers in New Mexico are preparing for the worst-case scenario. The state has an acute shortage of nurses, which could further wreak havoc on the state’s health care system. As a result, hospital leaders are calling on lawmakers to step in and help fill the gap.
One strategy to remedy this shortage is to train residents to fill positions. This means creating more nursing programs and adding more teaching positions. “Grow your own” programs are essential to alleviate the nursing shortage, says Linda Siegle, a lobbyist for a nursing organization. During the special legislative session, $15 million will be allocated to increase nursing education programs.
Another proposal to help alleviate the nursing shortage is the state’s State Loan Repayment Program. This program would help practicing nurses pay off their student loans. To qualify, applicants must work for two years in a designated medical shortage area in New Mexico. Lawmakers are considering other bills aimed at improving access to health care. One account would let licensed nurses from other states work in New Mexico within 30 days or apply for a license in three months. Another bill would provide $750,000 in state funds for nurses to repay their student loans. Two other bills would extend a tax credit for remote healthcare professionals.
The state’s healthcare shortages have become so urgent that 20 governors have addressed the issue through state speeches. According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, an independent forum for state health policymakers, the shortage has become a top priority. In addition to the need, governors are also addressing prescription drug prices, mental health issues, and opioid misuse.
Challenges of hiring travel nurses
If you’re planning to work as a travel nurse in Mexico, you should remember that this job can be expensive. Unlike a regular nursing job, you will not have the security and stability of a permanent home while away. In addition, you’ll have to worry about finding a reliable and affordable place to live. This means that you need to have excellent financial management skills. A good tax accountant can help you understand your options and make the best financial decision.
Another challenge for travel nurses is finding affordable housing. The housing crisis affects every state, and finding decent living places may be difficult. Furthermore, you may have to spend weeks or even months away from home and friends. This may lead to stress and burnout. In such a case, it’s best to seek assistance from a compassionate recruiter. While some challenges are associated with working as a travel nurse, there are also many benefits.
The economy has been recovering in the past few years, leading hospitals to hire more full-time nurses. As a result, they’ve reduced the number of travel nurses. However, this has yet to affect the demand for travel nurses. The number of open positions has risen again over the past few weeks as hospitals focus on hiring more full-time employees.
Although travel nurses earn more than staff nurses, their workloads can still be challenging. They are often assigned to the most demanding patients and adjust to a new chain of command and expectations. In addition, travel nurses may find themselves at a loss if they need adequate staffing levels.
Another challenge is the difficulty of hiring and training travel nurses. Travel nurses are not accustomed to the culture of a new country, and it takes time to prepare them for a new facility. This can frustrate both workers and employers. Furthermore, the pay difference between traveling and staff nurses can cause financial strain on hospitals.
There are several advantages to hiring travel nurses in Mexico. Benefits include higher wages, flexibility, and the excitement of working in a new city. However, there are also drawbacks. First, you need to be comfortable working on a contract basis. Second, you must get along with a new team from the first day.