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One positive outcome of the pandemic is that it may spur more young people to choose nursing as a career, according to an update on travel nursing released by American Traveler Staffing Professionals, a healthcare staffing provider based in Boca Raton, Florida.

A separate study by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing released earlier this month found that enrollment in nursing schools surged in 2020 despite the pandemic. In programs to prepare nurses at the baccalaureate level, enrollment increase by 5.6% in 2020 with 251,145 now in these programs.

At the master’s level, the increase was 4.1%.

In addition, American Traveler said the pandemic may prompt some experienced nurses to choose to become qualified instructors.

“Hiring qualified educators is a key to reversing the long-time US nursing shortage,” according to the company.

American Traveler noted it saw a 600% increase in the number of interested applicants when Covid-19 first peaked in April 2020. “Some candidates had been out of practice for a time; many were recent nursing school graduates. All had an earnest desire to help.”

The company also noted that pay rates for travel nurses have decreased from the peak of the pandemic, though demand remains strong.