NCH Healthcare, a two-hospital system with close to 5,000 employees, said it is increasing staff pay and benefits in recognition of their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Naples hospital system made the announcement on Thursday, signaling a new way to show their appreciation to their employees. Included in the additional incentives is a 5 percent pay increase for employees and new hires — excluding the executive leadership team and employed physicians, $0 medical insurance premiums for staff, a paid time off (PTO) cash out at 100 percent, and a meal card that includes five free meals each month at onsite cafeterias.
“NCH, like all healthcare systems across the nation, has been significantly impacted by the pandemic,” that hospital said in a press release. “We continue to strive to quickly fill vacancies to stabilize our staffing and are fortunate that we have been able to offer a variety of incentives to get us through this unprecedented time. For over a year, our staff has worked tirelessly through the challenges of the pandemic together.”
Despite the demand for healthcare workers being at an all-time high given the coronavirus climate and subsequent fallout, some in the industry were devastated by the lingering pandemic. Not only did the mass contagion affect the day-to-day grind inside hospitals, it also led to massive layoffs in the field and disrupted many medical school students looking to get their feet wet.
NCH’s increase in pay and benefits was overwhelming for some, with many healthcare professionals touting their employers’ support and commitment to those who continue to stand on the frontlines of the COVID fight.
“I have been a nurse for 23 years and have worked in several other hospitals in my career, but the generous benefits and pay increase offered by NCH today is really above and beyond anything I have ever gotten at any of my prior jobs,” said Michelle Atkinson, RN at NCH Baker Hospital in downtown Naples. “NCH truly is a wonderful place to work – they always make me feel appreciated!
Others in the hospital saw it as another reason to continue working for NCH.
“Personally for me, it gives me so much more opportunity to stay and grow here at NCH,” said Diel Malo, RN, who started his career at NCH in 2011 as a clinical tech and went on to become a registered nurse on 4 North at the Baker Hospital two years ago. “I’m very appreciative and grateful for these improvements to my pay and benefits.”
Across the NCH Healthcare System Hospitals, we are currently treating 47 inpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19, and we have safely discharged a total of 2,213 since the pandemic began.
— NCH Healthcare System (@NCHFlorida) February 26, 2021
NCH’s decision comes as lawmakers get set to convene at the State Capitol next week to discuss a host of issues involving healthcare workers, including whether or not to extend COVID-19 liability protections to workers in their sector.
The upgrades in benefits and pay rate structure will take effect on May 9, 2021.