nurses

Nurses Who Traveled to Help COVID Patients Say They Were Abandoned Without Pay

The nurses say they have not cared for any COVID patients while in South Florida after coming to help with the nursing crisis

NBCUniversal, Inc.

What to Know

  • The nurses say they were promised guaranteed hours and payment of around $6,000 for working with COVID patients
  • The nurses say they left jobs and other opportunities to help with the nursing crisis
  • NBC 6 contacted the nursing placement contractor but has not heard back

A group of nurses who came to South Florida to help with coronavirus patients say they're being left in the lurch when they were told that not only were they no longer needed, but won't be paid.

Registered nurse Jolie Hoffman told NBC 6 Tuesday that she left behind her family in a Detroit suburb after being recruited by a placement service to provide nursing care to those with COVID-19 in South Florida.

"A recruiter called me promising me 48 hours guaranteed in exchange for about $6,000 working with COVID patients in the state of Florida," Hoffman said. "I have my emails, my text messages, and many other things guaranteeing the pay as well as the contract."

Hoffman, along with other traveling nurses, was spending their last night at a Fort Lauderdale hotel. The nurses gathered to expresses their frustrations, saying they came from different parts of the U.S. to provide what they thought was badly needed medical care.

"'You will receive 48 hours of pay this week,' and as of today, nothing," said traveling nurse Ashley Crumpler.

Hoffman says each time they go to get paid, they get the runaround.

"We have a manager on the grounds that was supposed to sign off on our time sheets so that we can upload our timesheets and get paid," Hoffman said. "However, every time we met with her, a group of us, she refused to sign the time sheets in order for us to get our payment."

Then the nurses said they were told Tuesday evening to head home without a pay day.

"We all kind of uprooted our lives. We left jobs. We turned down jobs with other crisis nursing," Crumpler said. "We turned down a lot of money and now unfortunately we are being told we are not going to get paid when we have text messages saying we are supposed to get paid."

"None of us have actually seen any patients," Hoffman said.

Hoffman said this group and another in Miami are also saddled with some of their travel expenses.

"I am being told we are not going to be reimburses for our rental cars—that I will be lucky to find a flight home," Hoffman said.

The nurses had to vacate their Fort Lauderdale hotel by 11 a.m. Wednesday and Hoffman was already at the airport for her flight back to Detroit.  

Wednesday afternoon, NBC 6 contacted the placement service the nurses indicated requested they come to South Florida but the service had not responded to our request for comment.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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