These states are seeing massive drops in travel nurse pay

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From $10,000 a week during the peak of the pandemic to an average $3,000 now, Georgia suffered the fourth biggest decline in weekly travel nurse pay during January 2023. In Feb. 2023, as reported by Becker’s Hospital Review, the average weekly travel nurse pay within the U.S. was reduced to $2,917, down 22.17% year over year. Every U.S. state has been hit with travel nurse pay decreases, but not all states were hit quite the same.

“This is likely impacted by the national decrease in RSV and influenza cases in February,” a Vivian Health spokesperson told Becker’s Hospital Review. “While COVID-19 cases sharply declined and then rebounded in February, the impact on hospitalizations does not seem to have been enough to affect wages for travel nurses.”

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, there are five states in particular that saw massive pay drops in February 2023.

Utah suffered the largest month-over-month decrease, a 12.64% drop in travel nurse pay. In January 2023, Utah travel nurses earned roughly $2,856 per month. But that total dripped to $2,495 in February 2023.

Rhode Island saw a 11.7% drop in travel nurse pay, seeing monthly pay reduced from $3,115 to $2,767. Missouri came in third place with a 10.7% drop. In January 2023, Missouri travel nurses earned $2,879 per month and only $2,571 in Feb. 2023.

Maryland travel nurses dropped from $3,086 in Jan. 2023 to $2,807 in Feb. 2023, a 9.04% drop. In Mississippi, travel nurse pay dropped from $2,604 to $2,385.

Tim Needham, senior vice president of product at Vivian Health, told Fortune that — despite weekly travel nurse pay rates falling during the opening months of 2023 — current salary trends within the profession will likely become the “new floor” of travel nursing pay.

“Despite wages stabilizing, we expect that temporary nursing contracts will continue to account for a significant portion of the health care labor workforce,” Harris told Fortune. “While health systems eye labor as one of their costliest line items, clinicians will continue to seek out the higher wages, greater flexibility, and reduced bureaucracy associated with temporary contracts.”