Temple University Health System, located in Philadelphia, will invest $5 million to mitigate the nursing shortage it’s currently experiencing, when the nursing vacancy rate is rapidly approaching double digits. The money will be spent on enhancing nurse scheduling, staffing, and recruitment. The multimillion-dollar investment is being made as a more permanent solution to future staffing issues.
The health system currently employs 2,387 registered nurses but has a vacancy rate of 9.1%. This is very closely on par with the national average of 9.9%. As a temporary solution to these vacancies, Temple University is turning to costly agency nurses to fill gaps at its 4 hospital campuses.
Michael A. Young, CEO of the Temple Health System and Temple University Hospital, said the initiative is part of the health system’s “continuous process of reviewing and strengthening our ability to anticipate, prioritize, and fill areas of greatest nursing needs for our patients.”
The specific investments will be made in:
- Flexible scheduling options, such as weekend programs geared toward working parents or professionals in school;
- Referral bonuses for Temple staff members that refer a nursing colleague that is hired at Temple; and,
- Higher pay for float nurses, financial incentives for extra work time, sign-on incentives, and relocation assistance.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, when some hospitals were furloughing and laying off nurses and staff, Temple University Health System hired 400 nurses. By the end of 2021, Temple Health System plans to hire more than 200 nurses at Temple University Hospital and its Jeanes and Episcopal campuses along with Fox Chase Cancer Center. The system is continuing to develop clinical plans for its new campus in the Juniata Park section of the city, previously home to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where it also expects to employ nurses.
“We are laser-focused on making Temple Health’s work environment for nurses as rewarding as possible,” said Angelo Venditti, the health system’s chief nurse executive.
- Carbajal E. Philadelphia health system to invest $5M to bolster nursing staff. Becker’s Hospital Review. Published July 28, 2021. Accessed August 2, 2021.
- George J. Temple University Health System plans to spend $5M to enhance nursing staffing amid nearly double-digit vacancy rate. Philadelphia Business Journal. Updated July 27, 2021. Accessed August 2, 2021.