Vox publishes union demands as neutral piece on travel nursing

March 2, 2022

By Tim Worstall

Vox published a treatise on travel nursing this week, detailing how nurses work short-term contracts, moving from places of great need to others that require extra hands on deck as circumstances change.

Apparently, there’s a cure for this, which is to just pay all nurses more — or to insist that more are employed.

That’s the view of one of the largest nursing unions, which the piece is really an advertisement for.

The piece is good enough to start with: An individual story of what it’s like to work as a travel nurse, the strains of doing so during the pandemic and how the marketplace is developing. It’s even rather good, on a subject most of us don’t think about.

Until a certain judder at this point:

“The National Nurses United is the largest professional association of registered nurses, with more than 175,000 members working at the bedside in nearly every state. Its latest report — titled “Protecting Our Front Line: Ending the Shortage of Good Nursing Jobs and the Industry-Created Unsafe Staffing Crisis” — explores the background of the nursing shortage and the worsening conditions during Covid-19. It lists a number of specific policy recommendations, such as mandated staffing ratios and better workplace safety regulations, that they believe will help create sustainable, rewarding jobs and keep nurses in the field.”

Well, fancy that, a union suggesting hiring more of its members on better conditions.

Vox sees its mission as “explaining the news” and gains some 24 million visits a month as it does so. There’s also a substantial YouTube and video operation, it ranks within the top 100 news and media sites.

We tend to think that good journalism should do a little more of explaining there. For example, a significant point is made that travel nurses get very well paid. So, reducing the use of them will lower the number of people being very well paid – wouldn’t it be interesting to explain why a union might want that to happen (the answer could be the very well paid nurses doing the traveling tend not to be members of this union)?


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