ST. LOUIS - With a nursing shortage across the country and in Missouri, hospitals always look for new ways to allow nurses to be at the bedside and still have the flexibility they desire. A new option for pediatric nurses at Mercy Children’s Hospital St. Louis, gives experienced pediatric nurses the opportunity to take the summers off with full benefits.
“The census in pediatric areas is typically seasonal with the busier times mirroring winter sick season and the influx of RSV and influenza,” said Jenny Schwartz, executive director of nursing for Mercy Children’s Hospital. “We looked into staffing options and reached out to coastal hospitals, which see seasonal influxes with tourism, for best practices.”
Nurses who participate in the new program will work 36 hours per week from Sept. 1 through May 31 and have June, July and August off, all with full-time benefits options. The summer months are covered with combination of paid time off and a stipend.
“During summer months, pediatric units can see a significant decrease in patients and run the risk of losing nurses with the occurrence of frequent shift cancellations,” Schwartz said. “This program is a win-win for the nurses, our patients and Mercy.”
Nurses interested in the pediatric seasonal staffing program must have two years of pediatric experience to be considered. Please contact recruiter Stephanie Royer at [email protected] for more information.
Other units at Mercy Hospital St. Louis are investigating similar programs for seasonal swings. Mercy also recently announced two weeks of paid parental leave as it continues to evaluate benefits and listens to what co-workers want.