Thursday, Jan. 13, nurses in Washington, D.C rallied outside Howard University Hospital because of “unsafe working conditions.” These unsafe working conditions include nurses having to work while being sick and trying to take care of too many patients because of understaffing. Often, nurses do not have all of the medical equipment they need and have COVID-19 and “clean” patients. This leads to the exposement of clean patients even with the best intentions and procedures in mind. As a result, many nurses have left the field for fear of losing their licenses and personal safety.
In the past year and a half, there has been a growing gap between the pay of agency nurses and the pay for staff nurses. Travel nurse pay has never been higher, averaging about 2k per week compared to 1k per week pre-pandemic. There have been ideas proposed by both states and the Federal government to cut travel nurse pay rates. Recently there has been a letter sent by Jeffery Zients urging Congress to investigate the conduct of nurse staffing agencies.