From -The Philadelphia Inquirer, written by Harold Brubaker
Thousands of relatively inexperienced nurses have received raises from area health systems in a bid to prevent them from leaving for lucrative sign-on bonuses at other hospitals.
Times are good for nurses willing to jump to a different hospital. Because of a tight labor market, hospitals are offering big signing bonuses for experienced nurses — as high as $20,000.
“Nursing recruitment and retention has come up as a major, major pain point in the last few months,” said Lauren Rewers, a researcher at the health-care research firm Advisory Board who said that bonuses have reached unusually high levels.
Beyond signing bonuses, Philadelphia-area hospitals are paying bonuses on top of overtime for nurses who pick up extra shifts, raising hourly wages for junior nurses seen as more easily enticed by a signing bonus at another hospital, and even paying retention bonuses to nurses in key positions.
“The pay is great. It’s perfect. It’s what nurses deserve right now. If you want enough nurses at the bedside, you’re going to have to pay because nurses are tired and burned out,” said Debbie White, a registered nurse and president of the Health Professionals & Allied Employees, a labor union in New Jersey with 14,000 members at 27 facilities. Read more