Travel nurses—usually experienced clinicians who take short-term, well-paid contract positions at healthcare organizations away from their home communities in desperate need of caregiving staff—have found themselves at the center of controversy over the last three years.

But like all the forces at play during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of gray. Neither saints nor scourges, travelers—most of whom tether themselves to 13-week contracts for two years or less—are helping drive discussions about appreciation, respect, fair pay, staffing, and burnout.

DNP students Chloe Michaelis, a neuroscience nurse, and Cali Caldwell, a former travel nurse and mental health nurse practitioner, take opposing viewpoints on travel nurses for a new occasional feature we're calling NURSING NARRATIVES.

DNP student Cali Caldwell_300x

Travel Nurses Aren't the Enemy

Stop encouraging nurses to stay in an abusive relationship with the American healthcare system, writes DNP student Cali Caldwell, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC. Advocate for the system to change instead.

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DNP student and essayist Chloe Michaelis

The True Costs of Travel Nursing

Travel nurses' presence, which prizes availability over loyalty, has chipped away at hospitals' communities, morale, and sense of fairness, writes DNP student Chloe MIchaelis, MSN, APRN, AGACNP-BC, PCCN.

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