Squeezed by Temp Nurse Costs, Hospital Systems Create Their Own Staffing Agencies

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Health

Like many nurses these days, Alex Scala got a big pay hike when she switched jobs recently.

Scala also received a welcome mix of assignments when she joined Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network. She signed on with a newly created team that works shifts in various units within the system’s 14 hospitals.

After working as a registered nurse on staff at a facility elsewhere, Scala, 31, now commutes from her home in Butler, Pennsylvania, to the system’s hospitals across western Pennsylvania. “I can meet new people, learn new procedures, how hospitals do different things,” Scala said.

An increasing number of hospital systems like Allegheny Health Network have created in-house staffing teams to cope with the pandemic-fueled nursing shortage — and try to beat private temp staffing agencies at their own game. Depending on the system, the nurses could work a weeklong stint or a multiple-week assignment at a hospital and then do a similar schedule at another facility. Some even work self-scheduled shifts in various locations, unlike regular staff nurses, who typically work in a single medical unit within one hospital. These workers differ from traditional “float” nurses, who s …

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