Bucks County hopes bonuses will help maintain nursing staff at county nursing home

·2 min read

Bucks County is struggling to maintain medical staff at Neshaminy Manor, the county-run nursing home in Warrington.

On Wednesday, the county commissioners authorized bonus payments to attract workers and maintain staff at the 360-bed facility.

All current employees will receive $3,000, said Eric Nagy, director of policy & communications for Bucks County. New workers will receive $1,500 as a sign-on bonus and another $1,500 after six months on the job.

The bonuses will be funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in 2021, Nagy said.

"The global shortage of health care workers, especially in congregate facilities, is certainly not unique to Bucks County," said Nagy. "Health care institutions worldwide are experiencing staffing shortages due to COVID fatigue and hopefully here in Bucks, we can remedy that with incentives like these bonuses."

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According to a September survey by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, 99% of U.S. nursing homes and 96% of assisted-living facilities were reporting staffing shortages. More than half of nursing homes and one-third of assisted-living providers said they had a "high level" of staffing issues.

Staffing shortages have led to overtime or extra shifts, the hiring of expensive temporary staff and the limiting of new admissions, providers said.

On Thursday, the county was advertising for 15 positions, including nursing supervisors, registered nurses and nursing assistants.

One full-time and five part-time nurses quit last year when the county required all employees to be vaccinated, said county commissioner Dian Ellis-Marseglia.

In August, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued similar orders for most of the state's nursing home employees to get the vaccine.

The bonuses were approved by a unanimous vote of the county commissioners.

Contact reporter James McGinnis at jmcginnis@couriertimes.com

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County offering bonuses to Neshaminy Manor nurses, new hires

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