The explosion in pay has made it hard on hospitals without deep enough pockets.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly lamented recently that the state’s hospitals risk being outbid for nurses by other states that pay a “fortune.” She said Wednesday that several hospitals, including one in Topeka, had open beds but no nurses to staff them.
In Texas, more than 6,000 travel nurses have flooded the state to help with the surge through a state-supported program. But on the same day that 19 of them went to work at a hospital in the northern part of the state, 20 other nurses at the same place gave notice that they would be leaving for a traveling contract, said Carrie Kroll, a vice president at the Texas Hospital Association.