Philadelphia health system to invest $5M to bolster nursing staff

Philadelphia-based Temple University Health System will spend $5 million on initiatives to mitigate the effects of nursing shortages, according to a July 27 report from the Philadelphia Business Journal. 

Currently, the system employs 2,387 nurses and has a nursing vacancy rate of 9.1 percent — "about on par" with the 9.9 percent national average, said Michael Young, president and CEO of Temple University Health System. 

"We have doubled our use of agency nurses to maintain very safe staffing levels," Mr. Young told the news outlet, "but our nursing vacancy rate is still higher than we'd like it to be. That's why we are proactively doing something about it." 

The $5 million investment will go toward: 

  • Flexible scheduling options, including weekend programs for working parents. 
  • Referral bonuses for staff members that refer a nursing colleague. 
  • Pay raises for float nurses, financial incentives for more hours, sign-on incentives and relocation assistance. 

By the end of the year, the system plans to hire more than 200 nurses across its Temple University Hospital, Jean and Episcopal campuses, and Fox Chase Cancer Center. 

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