Hospitals push nurse recruitment, including new bonus at Baptist

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Baptist Memphis Health Care has been testing out a new $5,000 signing bonus for new nurses during the month of September, according to officials.

Chief Human Resources Administrative Officer Terry Macalady said they were trying to compete with hospitals in other markets, including former hotspots like New York, Houston and Atlanta, offering higher pay.

“We’ve had nurses with a calling to go provide care in areas impacted by COVID 19. We haven’t had a significant impact. But we have lost some nurses,” Macalady said. “We’re excited and the response has been very positive,” he said of the trial bonus.

Methodist officials said they were also working to recruit nurses to their facilities and are holding a virtual job fair soon.

“There’s been a shortage of nurses. It’s not a new problem. The pandemic has highlighted it, but it’s been ongoing problem,” said Don Hutson, vice president of talent management for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

At Baptist, officials said they’ve also implemented a new pay structure and more flexible hours for nurses already employed.

“These programs are designed to continue to hold on to those nurses on the fence,” Macalady said.

Both hospitals said they offer referral bonuses for current employees as well.

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