Travel nursing gaining popularity during pandemic | News

Nurses are picking up and leaving Atlanta for better paying jobs. CBS46 spoke to a nurse who left her job in Atlanta, as well as travel nursing agency to get more insight on why travel nursing is becoming more appealing.

For heroes working the front lines like Nakeisha Person, nursing is her passion.

“If I can do something I love and get paid to do something I love, why not?” Person said.

The 29 year-old nurse at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, agreed to relocate to Modesto, California for 13 weeks, after being offered a pay package that included a stipend for housing, travel, meals and increased pay. Her only requirement was to agree to work with the winter surge of pandemic patients.

“I’m supposed to give out COVID-19 vaccinations. They typically don’t give you much insight to it until for a few days until you ship out, which will either be this weekend or the next. However, I do know I will be administering vaccines to those who are allowed to have them at this time.”

Some Atlanta hospitals, who did not want to be mentioned, told CBS46 they sometimes hire nurses like person when they need more support, but this does not impact the pay of their current full time nurses. According to, the average pay for a Registered Nurse working in Atlanta makes about $1,296 per week. If that same nurse takes an assignment through an agency they can make $1,839 per week.

“There are crisis rates out there right now because of COVID-19, where if you are involved in one of those contracts a nurse is making double of what they are normally making,” Premiere Medical Staffing Services of Atlanta’s Laura Hanoski said.

Premiere Medical Staffing Services is one of many travel nursing agencies connecting registered nurses to these travel positions that even offer medical benefits. They said hospitals around the country notify them about any RN shortages and the crisis rate. According to Hanoski, Atlanta remains a hotspot for hospitals expressing a need for nurses, but it’s also a spot many heroes are leaving for better opportunity.

“Because it’s a particular amount of freedom and lifestyle they are looking for,” Hanoski said.

Some nurses we spoke to said they are staying in their permanent positions at facilities while also traveling to local area hospitals part time to help out where the need is great and an increased wage.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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