GMH board approves increased incentive pay for nurses as RNs leave for the mainland

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The Guam Memorial Hospital has approved Resolution 2021-20 which increases the incentive pay for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses from 16% to 20%.

According to GMH board acting chair Melissa Waibel, the resolution is aimed at getting GMH nurses more pay that is similar to everywhere else.

“This would be moving it from 16% to 20% which still puts us below the national average but still does a little bit more. This is part of that recruitment, retention process and plan that GMA is doing while we’re waiting for the legislature to help,” Waibel said during the GMH board of trustees meeting Thursday night.

The resolution covers all non-critical care nurses and all the other RNs in the medical, pre-med, surgical, and OB ward.

Glynnis Almonte, a GMH board trustee and former president of the Guam Nurses Association, said she supports the resolution because this is needed to prevent nurses from leaving Guam.

“We should support our nurses because I know a lot of nurses in the past and maybe at present are leaving now that they hear that they will get paid higher if they move to the states during this pandemic time. I’ve heard some nurses are moving out again from our system. So this resolution will be good for the community, not only for GMH but the whole island,” Almonte said.

Waibel added that with the recent passing of the nurse licensure bill, Guam nurses are now allowed to go to the mainland to work in states that are participating in the licensure compact.

“Stateside nurses who have a multi-state license will be able to come here. But it will also mean that our nurses on Guam who will have a multi-state license can easily move to the states to work. So we’ve got to start working now to create reasons for those nurses to want to stay,” Waibel said.

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