UPMC launches in-house travel staffing agency to address nursing shortage

UPMC is creating an in-house travel staffing agency to address the nationwide nursing shortage and to attract and retain highly skilled nurses and surgical technologists, the Pittsburgh-based health system said Dec. 17.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, UPMC will offer nurses and surgical technologists travel nurse opportunities and add employees to address shortages around the fully integrated, $23 billion global health system. 

"Building upon our strong global reputation as healthcare innovators and leaders, we believe that UPMC is the first health system in the country to launch our own staffing agency — initially for registered nurses and surgical technologists, with the potential to evolve to include additional job roles," the health system said in a statement shared with Becker's.

Hospitals and health systems across the U.S. have seen nurses leave their full-time positions to take on temporary travel roles. And nurses who have left have cited higher-paying contracts as a significant factor.

UPMC believes creating an in-house staffing agency offers a solution to assist in caring for its patients in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. 

The health system said the new in-house staffing agency will support front-line workers with flexible means to provide additional staffing support while enabling UPMC nurses and individuals who want to join the health system to travel to hospitals within its system. 

"The program will enable us to keep our own nurses, recruit new nurses to UPMC and bring back nurses who have left our system," UPMC said in its statement.

The in-house staffing agency seeks to employ about 800 registered nurses and surgical technicians around UPMC, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. Registered nurses and surgical techs who qualify will earn $85 an hour and $63 an hour, respectively, in addition to a $2,880 stipend at the beginning of each six-week assignment.

To access the full Pittsburgh Business Times report, click here.  

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