Nurses in high demand following COVID-19 pandemic, Great Resignation

ATLANTA — What’s being referred to as the “great resignation” has hit many industries hard, but perhaps none harder than healthcare.

The pandemic left hospitals and nursing homes short staffed and forced many to rethink priorities as COVID-19 swept through facilities.

Many nurses are walking away from the traditional hospital setting and taking jobs with staffing agencies.

Certified nursing assistant Kylee Michael works for the staffing agency IntelyCare.

She told Channel 2 Action News she uses an app to set her pay rates, hours and distance she’s willing to travel.

The agency pays for food and lodging each week. She gets to keep the money that is not spent.

Michael told Channel 2 Action News that she is a W2 employee, gets health benefits and bonuses.

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Hospitals and nursing homes pay traveling nurses based on need. Hence, in many cases Michael said she makes a higher hourly wage than full-time staff.

“Agency pay is very nice, it’s a nice rate. I really can’t say anything bad about it,” she said.

John Shagoury, CEO of IntelyCare, said the United States lost about one million nurses during COVID-19. Another 400,000 who worked outside of a traditional hospital setting also left their jobs.

“Because of all of the pressure, because of the burn-out. Virtually none of these facilities in the country area ever fully staffed,” Shagoury said.

It’s a trend that HomeThrive CEO Dave Jacobs also knows too well. His company uses social workers to connect families with home healthcare providers.

Deciding to leave work and care for a loved one is something many faced during the pandemic.

The workers are “really helping to guide families through this process,” Jacobs said. “No matter how committed someone is to their career, they will end up choosing their parents.”

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