What to Know
- A group of nurses said they traveled to South Florida to treat COVID patients but were never paid
- They said the agreement they had with a recruitment company was canceled after they traveled to South Florida
- Now the nurses are heading home without compensation
Traveling nurses who came to South Florida to help coronavirus patients are now back at their homes around the country, with most vowing not to work for the company that sent them.
On Tuesday evening, the nurses said the agreement that brought them to South Florida to help COVID-19 patients was cancelled with some of them never being paid.
The nurses left a hotel on the 17th Street Causeway Wednesday and headed for Miami International and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports frustrated. Some said they were heading home after being in South Florida for a week without being paid.
The recruiting company they worked with which they identified as Snapnurse has not responded to NBC 6 about what happened.
Flora Madden, a nurse from Ohio, said she hasn’t gotten any answers.
“My recruiter will not respond to me. Nobody from Snapnurse will respond to me,” Madden said.
Snapnurse’s website says it's an on demand agency and nurses can “work where you want, when you want, and get paid at the end of your shift."
The nurses who gathered outside the Fort Lauderdale hotel disagree. Multiple nurses displayed text messages they say came from Snapnurse telling them they would be paid to treat coronavirus patients in South Florida, but say on Tuesday evening a message came saying to go home without compensation.
“They were dependent on this money coming in. People unfortunately don’t have jobs to go back home to," nurse Ashley Crumpler said. "Me myself, I was looking forward to the money. I just literally, I just bought a $65,000 car. Now I don’t have anywhere to go and like I said, people are turning down jobs with other agencies that are doing hurricane relief, people have been turning down right and left because we’re here."
Detroit resident Jolie Hoffman displayed an email sent on August 18 from what she says was from her Snapnurse recruiter.
It says in part: "This is going to be a very unique assignment. Not one set facility. Basically going to nursing homes and testing around the area. You will be paid for drive time. Please fill out the following tax documents and direct deposit forms…if you are flying our travel team will be reaching out to confirm your flight."
"None of us have actually seen any patients,” Hoffman said. "I am being told we are not going to be reimbursed for our rental cars."
The nurses said they are going to take to social media to warn other nurses.
“The next large assignment that you have you will not have nurses that will work for you because you are going to be known as the agency who flies people out and don’t pay people," Crumpler said.
NBC 6 reached out directly to the man who sent the email to Hoffman, and to his cell phone and received no response from him on the nurse's allegations.
The hotel said it was doing its best to aid the nurses and the staff felt for them when seeing what unfolded. The hotel was not involved in bringing the nurses to Florida and only provided lodging.