McLaren Lapeer Region Increasing Nurses’ Pay, Sign-On Bonuses to Help Recruit Additional Caregivers

Initiative represents additional annual investment in nursing staff of more than $1 million.

McLaren Lapeer Region, in a show of appreciation and an effort to recruit and retain exceptional caregivers, has increased nurses’ hourly wages by $3, an approximate increase of eight percent. The hospital also increased its sign-on bonuses for new nurses to $10,000 as part of a more than $1 million investment in nursing care at the hospital.

The raises occurred outside of regular contract negotiations between the hospital and Michigan Nurses Association (MNA), which represents more than 200 nurses at the hospital. With the additional investment in nursing, the McLaren Lapeer Region wage scale for Registered Nurses will now start at $34.64 per-hour and go up to $45.26 per-hour.

Amid the well-documented nationwide health care staffing challenge, this move is a tangible show of McLaren Lapeer Region’s support to its current nurses, and its commitment to recruiting additional caregivers.

“All across the country, hospitals are continually challenged to add qualified bedside caregivers, and Registered Nurses are among the most difficult to recruit right now,” said Tim Vargas, president and CEO, McLaren Lapeer Region. “We’re sincere when we discuss our mission of caring for the communities we serve, and we believe this investment in our team is further proof of that commitment.”

Like most hospitals in need of additional staffing, McLaren Lapeer Region has had to utilize overtime, contract labor, shift incentive bonuses and other costly temporary resources. These tactics, though necessary at times, do not address the root cause of the issue and are not sustainable for the hospital. Growing the number of dedicated caregivers at the facility is the more permanent solution.

“Nurses around the world and right here in Lapeer are tired and in need of relief,” said Carie Babcock, a McLaren Lapeer Region registered nurse and Lapeer RN Staff Council President of the Michigan Nurses Association. “While we appreciate the hospital recognizing the unbelievable dedication of nurses throughout the pandemic with shift incentives and premium pay, the only way to truly address nurse burnout is to recruit more team members. We are hopeful the hospital’s latest investment will strengthen our team and allow nurses a better work-life balance.”

McLaren Lapeer Region is looking to recruit an additional 50 Registered Nurses, in addition to filling approximately 80 other clinical and non-clinical positions at the hospital and outpatient clinics throughout the region.

“We simply cannot recognize and thank our staff enough for their tireless commitment to our patients,” Vargas said. “We hope these wage increases, combined with our other recruitment and retention efforts, will help us emerge from these post-COVID challenges as an even stronger team, firmly dedicated to serve the residents of Lapeer County and beyond.”

About McLaren Lapeer Region

McLaren Lapeer Region is a 222-bed acute care facility located in Lapeer, Michigan, and is the primary provider of health care services to Lapeer County and the surrounding area. McLaren Lapeer Region has received national recognition from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for clinical excellence in orthopedics, pneumonia, congestive heart failure and surgical care. The facility maintains a verified Level II trauma designation and provides comprehensive care in a 29-bed Emergency Center along with specialized services for heart, cancer, orthopedic and general surgery services, physical medicine and rehabilitation, women’s services, wound care services and sleep disorders. To learn more, visit

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a fully integrated health network committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 620,000 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health and hospice providers, retail medical equipment showrooms, pharmacy services, and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 26,000 employees and more than 85,500 network providers. Its operations are housed in more than 350 facilities serving Michigan and Indiana.