Annual Nursing and Allied Compensation and Benefits Report Released By Martin, Fletcher

IRVING, Texas -- Martin, Fletcher, the nationally recognized healthcare consulting and staffing firm, today released their annual physician compensation and benefits report. After speaking with hundreds of physicians, hospital administrators, CEOs and human resources executives, salary calculations were developed on a national scale.

-- Nursing

"Many hospitals that we work with are hiring us to find general Medical/Surgical registered nurses as well as experienced nurses with advanced skill sets. This just wasn't happening in the last two years," says Bill Wisinski, director of RN recruiting. "Nursing salaries were up 3 percent over last year, but this doesn't reflect the true growth in demand. Hospitals that we work with prefer to structure increased compensation to new employees in the form of sign-on or retention bonuses that allow nurses coming in the incentive to relocate which in many cases looks like no increase or minimal increase in salary, but may actually be as much as $20,000 over the next three years. This helps our clients work with-in their existing salary structures," says Trevor Williams, vice president of recruiting operations.

-- Imaging

There was a sharp increase in demand for all areas of diagnostic imaging this year, as there has been in the last three years.

"Hospitals surveyed have made huge investments in diagnostic imaging equipment over the last few years to: increase services, meet rising demand for the future and to compete in competitive medical markets. They stand to lose millions if they can't recruit and retain certified techs to administer procedures," says Dirk Leidecker, vice president of operations. Of the diagnostic imaging professions included in our survey, ultrasound technologists saw the largest increases at 10 percent, while certified nuclear medicine technologists' salaries increased 8 percent, radiologic technologists increased 6 percent, and CT and MRI technologists increase 4 percent.

Gabe Heckt, director of allied recruiting explains, "It is not uncommon for us to begin working with radiology departments with more than 50 percent contract employees and within a few months we are able to get that number down to under 10 percent. Our success depends upon aggressive partnerships with our clients and creative solutions for compensation and retention."

-- Pharmacy

Pharmacy, more than any other specialty seems to be affected the most by uncertainties in the economy. "Hundreds of pharmacists that we talk to weekly are simply not motivated to relocate for salary increases even up to 10 percent if it represents the same quality of practice that they are currently in. They prefer to stay put instead of risking a move in a weak economy," says Chris Horvath, director of allied recruiting. The shortage of pharmacists remains acute, which is reflected by a 9 percent increase in salaries over last year. "We are now getting calls from corporations that handle retail and mail order pharmaceuticals to recruit pharmacists. Many times they will pay 20-30 percent what a hospital can pay and still can't find pharmacists. Before last year corporations were largely successful on their own, but times are changing," says Joe Pellegrini, director of allied marketing.

"The shortage of nursing and allied level professionals is becoming an epidemic and is spreading," says Dirk Leidecker, vice president of operations. This sentiment rings true in more than 75 percent of the 4,200 hospitals surveyed in 50 states. Nursing departments are continuing to suffer from an overall shortage of nurses, not just in specialty areas but over all. Many hospitals surveyed were hoping that the downturn in the economy would drive additional workers into healthcare, but as of yet hospitals have seen little relief if any.

"It takes a minimum of two to three years of training for workers going into healthcare to qualify for even entry level certified positions in imaging and nursing where the shortages are the most acute, but staffing deficits are so large that a short-term down-turn in the economy will do little to help this problem long term," predicts Jody Talbert, vice president of allied/nurse marketing. The salaries increased across the board in this year's survey with the exception of nurse managers that saw a decrease by 21 percent. This is due to the large number of chief nursing executive searches completed over the two previous years but were significantly reduced last year and brought the salaries more in line with the many nursing department manager searches that we completed last year. For more information, visit http://www.martinfletcher.com.

Source: Martin, Fletcher

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