In response to the nursing shortage and high demand for health care, UPMC will be hiring nurses to travel to hospitals across three states.
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — UPMC hospitals across the state are trying to keep up with the demand for health care. Many of the health care system’s hospitals in Central Pennsylvania are near or over 100% capacity. However, UPMC says its biggest challenge right now is the ongoing nursing shortage.
“The actual funnel right now is the lack of nurses. We have got beds and we can make the capacity but we really don’t have nurses to staff every single bed across the hospital,” said Holly Lorenz, UPMC’s Chief Nursing Executive.
For the past year UPMC has used traveling nursing agencies to help with staffing during the pandemic.
“We have had, like many other people, some turnover and we have had our own nurses leave to go travel. That is probably the number one reason our nurses are leaving today,” said Lorenz.
Because of this, UPMC is now launching its own agency of traveling nurses. Nurses will travel to a new UPMC hospital every six weeks across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.
“That is a very different lifestyle then really working in the same unit every day with same people you know and physicians you’re comfortable with and the same patient population. We know this will absolutely be an interest to people but not for everyone,” said Lorenz.
Lorenz says the traveling nursing agency will hopefully take any stress off the health care system that has been added by the pandemic.
“We are going to increase the supply of nurses that we have. We will lose less people to go and travel because they can stay internally. We will bring people in that have left because we are now offering what they left to do,” said Lorenz.
UPMC is offering all nurses incentives to work overtime. They hope it encourages nurses to pick up more shifts.
“We put together a weekend program where the pay rate is 25% more than it was pre-pandemic and also focused on some night programs for people who may want to work at night,” said Lorenz.
Nurses interested in being a part of UPMC’s traveling nursing agency can visit UPMC’s career page by clicking here.
Check out WNEP’s YouTube page.