Pamela Chandran, labor counsel for the Washington state Nurses Association, says that hospitals are assuming they’ll need fewer nurses than they did earlier in the pandemic.
“They’re hedging their bets that they won’t need to rely on them as much because they’re betting that COVID is going away and that the flu season won’t be so bad,” Chandran says.
With fewer travel nurses caring for patients, hospitals must rely on staff nurses—a dynamic that some nurse unions are leveraging, she says.
“Nurses are calling the shots for the terms and conditions of their employment,” Chandran says. “There are so few right now, and they’re so highly in demand.”