By Deena Beasley
(Reuters) – U.S. hospitals, bracing for a surge of coronavirus patients just as some staff are under quarantine after being exposed to the virus, are facing a shortage of temporary nurses who can fill in – and being asked to pay as much as double to make it worth it. So-called “travel nurses” total around 50,000 – or less than one percent of the nursing workforce – which represents an increase in recent years as the U.S. population ages, demand increases and workers seek more flexible employment options.
With the coronavirus outbreak escalating every day, the need for temporary nurses is growing exponentially throughout the United States.
But an “unprecedented number” are backing out of assignments because they do not want to travel in the midst of the crisis, said Alan Braynin, chief executive at staffing firm Aya Healthcare.
As staffing agencies have raised pay demands for