UPMC: UPMC Launches In-House Travel Staffing Agency to Address Nursing Shortage

UPMC has created UPMC Travel Staffing, a new in-house travel staffing agency as a solution to the nationwide nursing shortage and to attract and retain highly skilled nurses and surgical technologists to its workforce. Building upon its strong global reputation as health care innovators and leaders, UPMC is believed to be the first health system in the country to launch its own staffing agency—initially for registered nurses and surgical technologists, with the potential to evolve to include additional job roles.

UPMC, like virtually every health care system in the nation, has brought in external travel nurses and surgical technologists to help at the bedside and in operating rooms throughout the past year. The goal of UPMC Travel Staffing is to rely less on outside agency staff and empower UPMC employees who would like to travel to UPMC hospitals across Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York—wherever and whenever the need is greatest. This new program will provide needed support for our frontline caregivers and career growth opportunities for UPMC nurses and surgical technologists interested in travel. Not only will the program be a retention tool for our current staff, it also will fuel a new pipeline to recruit nurses to UPMC and to bring people back who left UPMC.

“The immense value of this initiative is those hired into UPMC Travel Staffing are our UPMC employees—they are mentored by us and consistently trained to create high-quality clinical and service excellence,” said Tami Minnier, senior vice president, Health Services Division, and Chief Quality and Operational Excellence Officer, UPMC. “The premise behind and priority to launch this program is firmly rooted in living each of our values of Quality & Safety, Excellence & Innovation, Caring & Listening, Dignity & Respect and Responsibility & Integrity.”

The advantages of this innovative program include competitive wages and excellent benefits that are unmatched by outside travel agencies, such as tuition assistance. The program also offers vast career growth opportunities and diverse clinical experience working and living temporarily in communities across UPMC’s footprint. UPMC Travel Staffing will rotate nurses and surgical technologists to different facilities for six-week assignments.

The program will be open to nurses and surgical technologists who have left UPMC and have an interest in coming back, are working for outside travel agencies, are already employed by UPMC, or who have not yet worked at UPMC and would like to join the team. UPMC can hire two UPMC travel nurses or techs for the price of one outside agency nurse. This cost savings can be turned into staffing at optimal levels.