CHI Health offering nurses incentives

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:40 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - CHI Health is shelling out the green to incentivize nurses to pick up more shifts.

The typical shift for a nurse is a long one.

“Most of our nurses work 12-hour shifts, so that’s 6 in the morning until 6 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 6 a.m,” Tim Plante, division VP for nursing at CHI Health.

Unfortunately, there are even more shifts that need to be picked up.

“In our inpatient units, our emergency departments, and our women’s or maternity units,” Plante said.

CHI Health is rolling out monetary incentives this week to tempt nurses to take on the extra load.

For each additional weekday shift in one of those units, nurses can get an extra $30 an hour, weekends jump up to $35.

“COVID had an impact on our team, they’re tired,” Plante explained. “They’re really dedicated but they are tired. And so, we felt it was necessary to provide just a little bit more of a thank you for picking up.”

On top of being tired, COVID-19 also impacted the number of nurses who are working in the state.

“I learned just last week from Nebraska Hospital Association that 10% of our nurses have left the profession altogether,” he shared.

The problem expands nationwide. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11 million additional nurses are needed to avoid a further shutdown.

The American Nurses Association says more registered nursing jobs will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the U.S.

“Every single hospital system, at least I know in the Omaha and Nebraska market are in the same situation we are,” Plante explained.

CHI’s money incentives started Sunday, and so far, they’re working.

“What I’m hearing from the different leaders of the different hospitals is that it’s been received very, very well. We are seeing nurses pick up those extra shifts,” Plante said.

But until more people join the nursing workforce, it’s only a temporary solution.

CHI Health is also bringing in traveling nurses, but the demand for them is so high, they’re hard to get at an affordable rate.

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