UPMC Launches Internal Travel Nursing Agency, 800 New Jobs
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has unveiled its new internal travel nursing program. With nursing shortages exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and medical centers are having to find new ways to attract talent and deliver quality care.
This new program is the first of its kind and provides participants with premium pay and flexibility.
UPMC hopes that the program will also allow them to send support to the facilities that are most in need. Nurses will change locations every six weeks so that hospitals can keep up with demand and quickly address staffing needs as they arise. UPMC includes 40 hospitals across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York, so participating travel nurses will cover this territory.
Many nurses have joined travel programs that send them to cities all over the country. Most are attracted by the chance to travel and earn competitive wages. However, there are some drawbacks to this lifestyle. Travel nurses are often far away from friends and family and don’t get to enjoy the same sense of camaraderie and teamwork that is typical to clinical environments.
UPMC hopes to provide the best of travel nursing while also keeping nurses within the same system for some sense of continuity and familiarity. Participants will stay within the UPMC benefit structure and start at $85 an hour.
Ultimately, the program is hoping to win back those who have left to be travel nurses and hire 800 travel staff. Currently, the network employs 8,000+ nurses, so while the hiring binge sounds ambitious, it still only represents a fraction of the entire staff.
If the program is successful, other large healthcare systems may follow suit in order to more effectively maintain adequate staffing, especially during times of crisis.
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