Industry Trends

Why Nurses are Going Back to Permanent Staff Jobs

I recently wrote a post about the decreasing pay rates that are following the decreasing COVID hospitalization numbers. During the pandemic, the market was saturated with travel nurses. Both experienced and new to the travel industry nurses have been chasing those high-paying contracts for over a year now. We’ve seen COVID strike in waves, but in light of the vaccine, administrative changes, and plummeting cases, nurses are wondering if this is the end of the road for those crisis contracts. 

Where Are the Crisis Contracts?

There are still some areas in ‘crisis,’ but most of those jobs are already taken, and those nurses are NOT letting them go. The market is swamped with nurses looking for high-paying jobs, and it’s unrealistic to expect each and every one of them to find jobs that meet their demands. There are still tons of travel nursing jobs out there; the rates are just dropping back to ‘normal’, with a few stragglers still offering pay packages over $3K/week. ‘Normal’ travel nurse pay is hard for some nurses to swallow, especially if they started traveling during the pandemic. Travel nursing is a lot of work, a lot of change, and a lot of keeping up with documentation- nurses that were doing it for the high pay may be looking for a change. Read more about Crisis Contracts.

Pros of Permanent Staff Nurse Jobs

Eventually, and deep down, all travel nurses know this, the travel market is going to dwindle. And, we all still need jobs. Now is an excellent time to take advantage of the perks of a staff job. Many facilities are desperate for nurses (because a lot of their staff left to travel) and they are offering big sign-on bonuses, competitive rates, and comprehensive benefits. Additionally, many facilities are willing to accept any shift- whereas in the past, at some hospitals, new hires had to join a waitlist to work day shift. Furthermore, permanent staff jobs cannot be canceled like a travel nurse contract. As census numbers drop, experienced nurses can see that now is the time to find a great perm job as the travel market becomes more competitive and rates drop.

Do I Have to Work Full Time as a Staff Nurse?

If you do not work full time, you may not be eligible for some of the benefits and bonuses being offered, but you will have better work/life balance and scheduling options. Travel nurses, especially, love per diem staff jobs that allow them to take another assignment if they feel like it, but still spend time at home with a flexible schedule. Per diem nursing allows nurses a break from the hectic schedule of crisis contracts. 

Full time staff nursing can be rewarding, and will also give you a chance to build new friendships and make connections. It also may be a great time to explore a new specialty. In comparison to travel, permanent staff jobs do not always require experience in a specialty to get hired. Now is the time to negotiate your permanent staff job and have job security. Find your next permanent job with Vivian!

Rachel Norton BSN, RN

Rachel Norton has been an RN since 2007 and has been part of the Vivian team since 2019. She has always worked in critical care, and spent the first 12 years of her career working in a surgical neuroscience trauma ICU. She's also worked as a flight nurse, has done travel nursing since 2010 and continued working in the ICU until joining Vivian full-time in 2022. As a user researcher for Vivian, Rachel advocates for healthcare workers to help bridge the gap between employee and employer expectations.

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