Saint Joseph Health System offering nurses more pay to stay

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - For Saint Joseph Health System Chief Nursing Officer Loretta Schmidt, keeping some of her finest nurses on the frontlines has been a struggle for years.

“Currently, we are looking to fill about 200 nursing positions,” Schmidt told 16 News Now Tuesday.

And with the added stress of the pandemic, more nurses are burning out.

“We are just seeing just nurses and other healthcare professionals just become tired, and exhausted, and they’re really pursuing other opportunities where maybe the pay is just a little more enticing,” Schmidt says.

Schmidt says the same could be said about surgical technologists, which is why Saint Joseph Health System is coming up with a plan to help retain and recruit caregivers, especially where shortages are critical.

“This particularly program does address specific nursing and surgical technologist positions currently by our own colleagues and also to any new colleagues who would want to join our team,” Schmidt says.

It’s called the “Targeted Incentive Program” which allows current and those looking to fill a nursing and surgical technologist position a chance to earn $10 to $32 dollars per hour more on top of their base pay.

The incentivized pay comes without a long-term agreement or a contract and is scheduled to begin on October 24th.

However, the increases don’t stop there. SJHS also increased its minimum wage for any role within the health system to $15 per hour back on August 29th, a move Schmidt says SJHS needed to make.

“This is truly a cost to our organization in order to reserve and recruit the talent that we need to care for our community. There is no added costs anywhere in regards to this and the patient,” Schmidt says.

Though, Schmidt says there will be a price to pay for the hospital if similar trends continue.

“We want them here in there community where they want to be. They want to be taking care of patients here. They want to be with their families here, and we want them to stay here,” Schmidt says.

For more information about eligibility or the “Targeted Incentive Program”, SJHS says you can head to to get started.

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