Coronavirus: Iowa offering $9 million to recruit out-of-state nurses

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa is spending more than $9 million to get nursing help into the state as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise.

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Iowa has agreed to pay a Kansas company $220 per hour for nurses it supplies, and those nurses will be expected to work 20 hours of overtime at a rate of $330 an hour, The Des Moines Register reported. That adds up to more than $15,000 per week per nurse. The Register reported that 100 out-of-state nurses and respiratory therapists have already begun to arrive.

The same staffing agency also provided Iowa with 100 nurses for most of December 2020 and January 2021, the Associated Press reported. The total bill for those supplemental nurses was approximately $6.9 million.

The nurses are also provided with hotel stays and an unspecified transportation bonus, The Gazette reported.

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