Minnesota will pay a temporary staffing agency $275 per hour, or more, for registered nurses to work in hospitals struggling to care for COVID-19 patients during the omicron surge.
Those are terms of a $40 million contract with Texas-based SLS Health Services that state officials agreed to last week. The agreement also allows added pay for medical workers who work as supervisors as well as overtime and holiday pay when applicable.
An additional $345 per day, per person for food, lodging and other living expenses is also included.
Under the terms of the agreement, SLS Health Services will provide 199 licensed and certified practical nurses and 20 respiratory therapists. While on assignment, those medical workers could be expected to test people for COVID-19, provide care in shelters or supplement workers at hospitals and other medical facilities.
The contract does not specify how much of the medical workers’ hourly wage goes to the staffing agency.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a nurse in Minnesota was $77,540 annually in 2017, or about $37 per hour if working a 40-hour week. Pay for nurses was higher in the Twin Cities metro and lower in rural parts of the state.