Crozer Health to offer $15,000 sign on bonuses to nurses

Crozer Health is ready to hand out $15,000 sign-on bonuses to new registered nurses and they’re inviting those interested to a happy hour in Springfield next month.

Registered nurses are invited to the Springfield Country Club at 400 West Sproul Road in Springfield Sept. 7, 6-8:30 p.m., for free food and drinks to meet with Crozer’s recruitment team. There will also be a raffle for Apple earbuds.

But the main headliner of the evening will be the nursing opportunities at Crozer Health – along with the $15,000 sign-on bonus and other benefits for employees.

“We’re trying to take the position that we may have to offer a little bit more, Charles Johnson, Crozer Health Vice President of Human Resources, said. “So, this $15,000 would be spread out – $5,000 over six-month intervals.”

Johnson explained the need for Crozer Health to do extra in its recruitment.

“Even with having quite a bit of incentives, it still continues to be a struggle — the war on talent within this industry,” he said, adding, “Here’s the other thing that we’re seeing — It’s not only in health care but it’s in any job whether it’s the bus drivers for the schools or even the McDonald’s or any industry that you’re looking at right now, it has become extremely difficult.”

In a challenging labor market, the system has identified licensed registered nurses from the Philippines or Canada as candidates but there can be a hesitancy in coming to Pennsylvania, compared with warmer climates like that of California.

So, he said Crozer Health is trying to do different things to attract people.

“We feel like once we get them here, there’s a good chance that they would want to stay,” Johnson said. “This happy hour that we’re looking to do on Sept. 7, (it’s) just another concept of how we go about how we engage with the community, engage with people who are currently in the nursing field in other places. Come and get to know us as a system, as people.”

He said those in the nursing field are invited to come and meet some of Crozer Health’s executive leaders in the nursing area to know them as people and learn about the opportunities in the system.

Crozer Health’s Chief Nurse Executive Christine Mendez shared some of the benefits the system has to recruit and retain employees.

“We’ve built nurse residency programs,” she said, explaining that nurses can come into the system and get trained in levels of care for the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Units and others to the competency they can start in those units.

Johnson said many nurses young in their career come to Crozer because they know there is a great deal of training and exposure and experience they can get in this system.

Mendez also said Crozer partners with Widener University to get input into what nurses who are graduating want today.

One thing that arose from that was assistance in paying off college loans so Crozer built a loan forgiveness program in which they pay up to $50,000 over five years for registered nurses.

Johnson said it was so popular with existing staff and potential new hires that it was expanded into other difficult-to-hire areas such as lab service technicians, medical technologists, licensed practical nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, social workers, surgical technicians, paramedics and emergency medical technicians.

He also spoke of the $10,000 employee referral program that allows employees to bring family members and friends into the organization.

Mendez said they also work to provide as much flexible staffing as they can and also reimburse for continuing education credits and certifications.

“If you look at Crozer Health, we have a spectrum of services, where everyone doesn’t,” she said from a burn unit to shock trauma to behavioral health and more. “We really have … all types of service lines that are available when it comes to health care so really they could go into anything.”

She said the system sees a lot of people who grew up in the Delaware County area want to come to Crozer Health – including herself. She didn’t want to work in Philadelphia because of the city wage and parking, both of which are not issues at Crozer Health.

As far as quality, Mendez said, “We are on top of it. We definitely try to do everything we can to provide the best outcomes for our patients. We’re dedicated to ensuring the best quality outcomes for any patient that comes into our facilities.”

Johnson said Mendez herself is a prime example of what it means to work in a community hospital.

“To go from a place where she started out being in dietary to now become the president of a hospital – that’s part of our employee value proposition that we hope to be able to offer here,” he said.

Both Mendez and Johnson recognize the challenges that may present with the system’s reduction, consolidation and elimination of services since the beginning of the year.

“We are committed to be here for the community,” Mendez said. “We may look different … I know that we are committed to be here. We may look different but we will be here.”

Johnson noted the need for nurses past and present.

“We have the openings right now,” he said. “We had openings before the pandemic. We have just that many more today. We’ll continue to provide quality services … We’re open. We’re open for business.”

“We’re here to stay,” Mendez added.

Johnson said Crozer Health has a variety of personnel needs and invited nurses to come out to see for themselves on Sept. 7.

“We’ve got plenty of opportunities for people who are new in their career and want to start in a great place,” he said. “We’re here for people who are looking for a change … with existing professionals who are out there and this opportunity on Sept. 7 would just give you an opportunity to come to meet and greet some of our executive leaders within the nursing area, get to meet them as people and let them tell you why you would want to come and be a part of this great team.”

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