The State of Medical Travel In 2022


Now that we’re deep into 2022 and the pandemic has changed drastically even from last year, we’re seeing some shifts in the medical travel industry that are affecting medical travelers all over.

Here are some of the biggest changes:

  • Demand is decreasing
  • Pay is decreasing
  • Rates are still good
  • Contracts are less reliable

Demand Is Decreasing

Right now, we’re seeing the effects of the changes in the pandemic — travel nursing became saturated over the past couple of years as rates continued to rise and demand was enormous, but now demand is dropping.

What’s strange is that the pandemic is far from over, and in some places, it’s actually getting worse. Fortunately or unfortunately, many states have dropped most if not all restrictions, meaning that COVID is more likely to spread now.

Despite this, demand continues to decrease as many medical facilities have been able to fill their staff positions over the year. Combine that with reduced hospitalizations, and the travel nursing boom seems to have come to an end.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that state and federal funding to fight COVID has disappeared, which means that hospitals are focusing on filling staff positions. It was estimated in April that demand for travelers had reduced by a third.

Pay Is Decreasing, but Rates Are Still Good

At its peak, it’s estimated that travel nurses were able to earn as much as $10,000 a week during the pandemic.

In February, it was estimated that pay went down to around $3,000 a week.

There’s no question that rates are falling. However, that’s not the whole story. Overall, these rates are still very good — average pay was around $1,800 a month before the pandemic.

So yes, you’re not going to make as much in a few months as you might have made in a year, but you’re still going to make good money.

And that’s super important these days as prices have gone up for everything from food to gas to rent — especially rent.

This is important to keep in mind because medical travelers are already at a disadvantage when it comes to finding a place to live. It can be difficult to find, for example, an apartment that’s willing to let you stay for only a few months.

And that usually means you’re going to pay more than you would for a normal yearly lease.

All this means that pay isn’t likely to drop a lot more. It’s more likely that pay has steadied out and will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Contracts Are Less Reliable — But We’re Here to Help

Probably one of the most concerning shifts that we’re seeing is that some hospitals and other facilities have begun reducing the pay rates for contracts drastically. Sometimes this is done up front, but in some concerning cases, it’s done after a traveler has accepted a contract.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that a good staffing agency is going to do its best to avoid these types of contracts and ensure that their travelers do not get tricked into taking a contract for a rate that is changed at the last minute or halfway through the contract.

We work hard to ensure our travelers have the best experience possible and that they never have to worry about an unexpected pay drop.

Additionally, some hospitals have been canceling contracts abruptly, some even at the last minute. Again, we work hard to ensure this never happens to our travelers and only work with institutions we know and trust.

If a hospital tries to change or cancel your contract, we will fight for you.

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If you’re looking for your first medical travel assignment — or if you’re looking for your next assignment — we’re here to help.

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