Iowa spending $9M to bring in nurses for COVID-19

Iowa state officials anticipate spending $9.2 million in federal funds to shore up health care staffing at strained hospitals amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Des Moines Register reports that 100 out-of-state nurses and respiratory therapists began arriving in Iowa earlier this month. They are being placed in 17 facilities in Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, Mason City, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Ames and Sioux City.

The state will spend about $15,000 per nurse for each of the next six weeks. The state is paying $220 per regular hour to a Kansas staffing company for each supplemental nurse and $330 for each of the overtime hours that the nurses are expected to work reach week.