DALLAS — A Texas nurse left her staff position at a hospital to become a traveling nurse because she was burnt out.

What You Need To Know

  • The pandemic has caused nurses to become fatigued
  • A Texas nurse says many nurses are also traumatized and overworked
  • The nurse says being a traveling nurse is much healthier for her mind and body

“I was exhausted and underappreciated,” said Rashida Holliday from Killeen.

Holliday has been a nurse for 11 years. She started as a nurse in the U.S. Army for eight years. After that, she had a full-time job at one hospital.

“But the hospitals are all full, our safety is in jeopardy, we are short-staffed and COVID is on the rise,” Holliday said.

Holliday realized there was a shortage when the workload got heavier, and she was assigned many extra duties. She said that it escalated from there.

“Nurses are burnt out, traumatized and tired from long work hours and the extra demands because of the shortage and the lack of compensation,” she said.

To think about working around COVID-19 gives her anxiety. 

“At night, I can still hear the beeping of the machines. I had guilt about calling in sick. There was no compassion for our mental health in an industry with so much compassion,” Holliday explained.

Holliday quit and became a traveling nurse with the company StaffDNA.

“This is my first time not working with COVID patients in a long time. I requested a non-COVID ward because I’m so burnt out,” she said.

Holliday has worked at five hospitals since the pandemic, including in Tyler, Texas, Richmond, Virginia, Saint Louis, Missouri, Gallup, New Mexico with the Navajo Nation and her current posting in Plano, Texas, north of Dallas.

“This company listens to me, pays well and makes sure my environment is safe,” she said. “I’m actually getting compensated for the demands of working during a pandemic in a shortage.”

Across Texas and the country, demand for traveling nurses through StaffDNA’s technology is on the rise.

The table below shows the increase of jobs by market and overall for the state of Texas by month.
The total at the bottom is looking at the increase in jobs from June 1, 2021, to August 25, 2021.



San Antonio













August (to date)





Total from June to August





Holliday said she now realizes how important it is to recharge.

“I hang out with friends, I play my base guitar, and I always try and get outdoors,” Holliday said.

She believes that nurses need to stand up for themselves and their mental health right now.

“Nurses should come together to speak out and ask for support,” she said. “If there was better patient ratios, higher pay and support, retention wouldn’t be an issue.”

She said this is the time for nurses to come together and speak up to give safe patient care.

Simon Smith will leave by the end of the year to join an unnamed private equity-backed company planning an IPO, where he will doubtless earn multiple times his pay at SSP.

The Covid crisis forced the travel-focused group to close most of its outlets, leaving him with no bonus for 2020 and a package of salary, pension and benefits of just £720,000.

Smith’s shock departure leaves relatively new chairman Mike Clasper little time to find a successor as the summer break looms.

Smith spent the past 16 months raising funds to keep the company alive as its outlets in trains and airport remain mostly closed.

He raised £200 million from investors in March last year, then £475 million in April this year.

He quits just as the company moves into the complex phase of reopening its sites amid the confusion over international travel restrictions.

Analysts at Stifel stockbrokers said this made the timing of his exit “suboptimal”.

Company executives countered that regional managers, rather than the CEO, would have been running the reopening programme anyway.

Sources denied SSP was in a similar situation to Burberry, which was left blindsided by its CEO’s recent resignation and with no obvious internal successor.

Analysts said Clasper has decent internal candidates including Asia chief Mark Angela and Americas boss Michael Svagdis, who have both been with the company for more than seven years. He will also look externally.

A more recent arrival, Europe boss Jeremy Fennell, is also a potential for the job, sources said.

Analysts at Liberum and Jefferies described Smith’s departure as a surprise, adding to uncertainty around the group.

Smith became CEO of the company in 2019 after joining to lead its UK and Ireland division in 2014.

He was previously managing director of WHSmith’s travel division and had a career in retail.

Clasper said Smith and his executive team had done an “excellent job” in protecting the company’s cashflow and balance sheet, saying the company was set to capitalise on the opportunities for growth as the travel sector recovers.

Shares in SSP tumbled 4% on the news.

  • The “take this job and shove it” indicator is high due to lack of childcare, covid fears, and migration.
  • DataTrek looks at how many job separations come from quitting, and told Insider “employers are not raising wages enough.”
  • But it may come down soon as schools reopen and more people reenter the labor force.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In May 2021, workers were still quitting their jobs in droves — yet another strange facet of the slowly recovering economy.

According to recently released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.6 million workers quit their jobs in May, a month when there was one available worker for every job open (and there were 9.2 million jobs open). In April, the quit number was a record-breaking 4 million.

DataTrek Research has its own tracker for how many of the job separations in a month were from quits — the “take this job and shove it” indicator. That indicator reached its second-highest rate recorded in May 2021, with 67.8% of job separations driven by quits. 

This number was higher in the particularly quit-heavy leisure and hospitality industry, Axios first reported; it came in at 76.4%.

The number is still slightly lower than April’s record-breaking high of 68.8%. Jessica Rabe, DataTrek’s cofounder, told Insider that quits are still driven by reduced access to childcare and fears of infection. Also significant: Workers relocating to the suburbs from urban centers.

But quits — and the “take this job and shove it” indicator — may have peaked in April. Schools are set to reopen in the coming months and enhanced unemployment benefits ending could get more people back in the labor force.

“We think the bulk of people disenfranchised by their jobs have quit by now, given this difficult nature of the pandemic over the last year,” Rabe said. “We think the only caveat is if the Delta variant or others do take off and we get another raft of workers in customer service jobs quitting their jobs again, even with higher wages, but it won’t likely be as big as the first wave.”

Yes, wages are on the rise

That reading comes as leisure and hospitality workers say they’re not going to return to their previous positions. Insider’s Grace Dean reports that a third of hospitality workers said in a Joblist survey that they won’t ever return to the industry.

Those respondents want a new work experience, along with higher wages and better benefits. That’s not to say that leisure and hospitality isn’t growing: The sector made up 40% of jobs gains in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and added 343,000 payrolls. Wages also grew for leisure and hospitality workers at a breakneck speed, soaring 7.1% in the past year.

Even so, the quits rate in leisure and hospitality was 5.3% in May. That could be due to those wage hikes raising low wages to just slightly less low. In June, the average hourly earning for nonsupervisory private

U.S. job openings surged by nearly one million to a new record high in April, while more people voluntarily left their employment, strengthening the view that a recent moderation in job growth was due to supply constraints.

The Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, on Tuesday also showed layoffs hit a record low in April. Millions of unemployed Americans remain at home because of trouble securing child care, generous unemployment benefits and lingering fears over COVID-19 even as vaccines are widely accessible and the pandemic is subsiding.

“The evidence continues to grow that the lackluster job creation of recent months is a result of constraints on labor supply and that the labor market is tight,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economic advisor at Brean Capital in New York.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased by 998,000 to 9.3 million on the last day of April, the highest level since the series began in December 2000. Vacancies rose in all four regions and were spread across nearly all industries as well as the government sector.

Unfilled jobs in the accommodation and food services increased by 349,000. There were an additional 115,000 job openings in other services, while vacancies at manufacturers of long-lasting goods increased 78,000. But job openings decreased in educational services and mining and logging industry.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast job openings would rise to 8.3 million in April. The job openings rate shot up to an all-time high of 6.0% from 5.4% in March.

Hiring inched up to 6.1 million in April from 6.0 million in the prior month. The government reported last Friday that job growth picked up in May, with employers raising wages, but the pace of hiring was below economists’ expectations for a second straight month.

Companies are struggling to find workers even as about 9.3 million people are officially unemployed. Economists expect the labor market disconnect will be resolved in the fall. Government-funded unemployment benefits will end in early September. Republican governors in 25 states, accounting for more than 40% of the workforce, are ending federal government unemployment benefits, including a $300 weekly subsidy, starting on Saturday.

Schools are set to fully reopen in the fall and more people are expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19. At least half of the adult American population is fully inoculated.

The JOLTS report also showed 384,000 people voluntarily quit their jobs in April, lifting the total to a record 4.0 million. About 106,000 retail workers left their jobs, while professional and business services saw 94,000 resignations.

In the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry, 49,000 workers quit. The number of quits rose in the South, Midwest and West regions. The quits rate increased to an all-time high of 2.7% from 2.5% in March.

The quits rate is normally viewed by policymakers and economists as a measure of job market confidence. But nearly 1.8 million women have left the labor force since February 2020 mostly because of problems related to child

Caitlin Taylor, 30

Caitlin Taylor, 30, developed extreme hives as a reaction to the stress of her job as an investment banker (Picture: SWNS)

Caitlin Taylor, 30, only went into the field of finance after she Googled ‘how to make the most money’.

But within months of moving to London for a job as an investment banker, the ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyle took a huge toll on her health.

Essentially, she developed an allergy to her high-stress job, breaking out in hives all over body and her face becoming so swollen she could barely see.

Doctors carried out a load of tests – at one point even suspecting Caitlin might have cancer – but couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

She said: ‘It was really frightening.

‘I woke up absolutely covered in these hives, and I couldn’t breathe, or see properly.

‘I looked like I had been burned all over my body, or attacked by an alien. It hurt so much.

Caitlin Taylor showing her hives

Hives covered her body and red welts popped up on her scalp (Picture: SWNS.com)

‘I kept going into work because it was so busy.

‘I was working from 7am to 10 or 10.30pm, and commuting an hour and a half each way from Surrey to Canary Wharf.

‘In the whole year I was badly ill I only took two-and-a-half weeks sick leave.’

Along with hives, the investment banker experienced brain fog and a major dip in confidence.

‘First I could really feel stress and anxiety creeping in,’ she remembers. ‘Then I started to get very ill.

‘The rash on my head was really bad. My skin was really swollen and bobbly.

Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong (Picture: SWNS.com)

‘If I ran my fingers through my hair I could feel big welts like bee stings. They itched a bit, and if I touched them they hurt. They were hives.

‘One day I was sitting at my desk and my lips started to feel really hot.
“I went to look in the mirror and I could see my whole face was swollen.

‘The pharmacy said it was an allergic reaction and gave me antihistamine, but it got worse and spread all down my neck arms and chest.

‘I started to have panic attacks.

It wasn’t until Caitlin kept being hospitalised due to difficulty breathing that she approached alternative health experts (Picture: SWNS.com)

‘I went to St Thomas Hospital and my blood tests came back fine and I appeared to be healthy, but I was clearly quite unwell. They said I was having an allergic reaction.

‘They gave me steroids and stronger antihistamine but it kept coming back.

‘Then the brain fog started, which was really affecting my work.

‘This made me really stressed, and I realised the more stressed I got the worse the hives got.

‘The hives came and went but were getting progressively worse every time it came back.

‘It was terribly embarrassing as well.

‘I spent a lot of time with my head down, and the steroids made

Meet Alexandra Flamm, a self-described adrenaline junkie who grew up knowing she wanted to work in the medical field to help save lives.

After receiving her degree in nursing, Flamm landed a job working in a Trauma Intensive Care Unit in the Bronx. Her hospital was located in one of the hardest hit areas when COVID-19 struck in March of 2020. Watching patients suffer from a mysterious virus no one had seen before shook Flamm; it upset her to know there were limits to what she could do to help.

Alexandra | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe


“I have never treated an illness I knew so little about. None of us had. So I couldn’t tell patients that we would get them through this. I could only assure them that they would never be alone and we would be there through it all.”

However, she didn’t let fear stop her—instead, Nurse Flamm found creative ways to offer hope to patients’ families during a very dark time. Because she was caring for COVID patients who were sedated and on a ventilator, she encouraged family members standing on the other side of the glass to call her cell phone, which she put inside of a plastic bag and placed next to the patient’s ear.

“I always encourage family to talk to their loved ones. I would stand next to them looking at her through the glass door and try to be as honest as possible when they would ask me questions,” she said. And if the patient took a turn for the worse, Flamm was there to hold their hand.

“Holding a patient’s hand as they are dying because their loved ones couldn’t be there was heart-wrenching and comforting at the same time…it felt like a privilege,” she said.

Working in a hospital located in a COVID hotspot meant that Flamm and her co-workers were drowning in a sea of patients who needed ventilators and ICU care. It was virtually impossible to keep up. When travel nurses and other healthcare workers began showing up from elsewhere to help, it made a tremendous impact.

Courtesy of CeraVe

“I truly felt rescued by them, mentally and physically. They had such courage to jump right into a brand new place with no orientation and at the scariest time to be a healthcare worker…I wanted to be able to do that for someone else,” Flamm said. “I wanted to go to a hotspot where the healthcare workers felt like they were drowning just like I had, and be able to help them feel rescued. And I wanted to use the knowledge and experience I had gained fighting COVID to help patients elsewhere.”

So that’s exactly what Flamm did. Once things started to calm down in New York, she quit her job at the hospital to become a travel nurse, flying to COVID hotspots all across the country. “I just wanted to go anywhere where [the spread of] COVID was [increasing],” she said. “It