STATEWIDE — Indiana is in need of more traveling nurses with the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Almost 1,000 positions are open across the state.
Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association, said in a statement that increasing hospitalizations are putting a strain on hospitals, and creating staffing shortages. He said the shortages are leading to dramatic increases in the cost of staffing as hospitals find themselves competing with facilities in other states to try and attract and keep nursing staff.
“Indiana was already in the midst of a nursing shortage,” said Stacy Maitha, president-elect of the Indiana Emergency Nurses Association. “So, right now, with a surge in COVID, the need for travel nurses is of course, even greater.”
Maitha told WISH-TV that right now the need is so great that hospitals are willing to pay a lot more money. She said she works to recruit international traveling nurses, and got an email directly from a hospital asking for nurses, and the hospital offered to pay $100 an hour.
Travel nurses usually work short-term contracts from six to thirteen weeks.
“There’s really no restrictions on what they’re allowed to do in the hospital, so they’re being placed in the direct line, on the front lines with the regularly hired nurses,” Maitha said.