The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) announced on Friday that the hospital will establish an in-house staffing agency to solve its nursing shortage.

Dubbed “UPMC Travel Staffing,” the new program will allow the hospital system to move nurses among different locations in order to fill the staffing needs of each hospital.

According to a press release from the medical center, nurses who join the new agency will be allowed to work in the system’s medical facilities in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland.

“UPMC, like virtually every health care system in the nation, has brought in external travel nurses and surgical technologists to help at the bedside and in operating rooms throughout the past year. The goal of UPMC Travel Staffing is to rely less on outside agency staff and empower UPMC employees who would like to travel to UPMC hospitals across Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York—wherever and whenever the need is greatest,” the release detailed.

Throughout the coronavirus virus pandemic, a nationwide shortage in nurses has forced hospitals to innovate their approach to staffing.

Travel nursing agencies have grown in popularity among health care officials to solve staffing issues, while awarding nurses higher pay.

However, UPMC’s new program will allow the chain to move away from independent travel agencies.

“The immense value of this initiative is those hired into UPMC Travel Staffing are our UPMC employees—they are mentored by us and consistently trained to create high-quality clinical and service excellence,” said Tami Minnier, senior vice president, Health Services Division, and Chief Quality and Operational Excellence Officer, UPMC.

“The premise behind and priority to launch this program is firmly rooted in living each of our values of Quality & Safety, Excellence & Innovation, Caring & Listening, Dignity & Respect and Responsibility & Integrity.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]