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Nursing – Careers

Nurses at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

New nurses at Penn State Health join our team of professionals who continually strive for excellence. 

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Questions about nursing at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center? Call 717-531-5141 or email

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Our mission and vision

Thank you for your interest in nursing at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Our staff is committed to the highest levels of excellence through the art of caring, the science of research, professional development and community engagement. 

The innovations by our staff contribute to the advancement of quality care and the development of new knowledge that promotes health and wellness on the national level.

Nurses at Hershey Medical Center take every opportunity to include these values in their work:

  • Respect for everyone
  • Integrity in all that we do
  • Teamwork inside and outside the organization
  • Excellence in every area of nursing 

Nursing excellence through empowerment

Hershey Medical Center offers unique and exciting opportunities for nurses. As an academic medical center, we provide patient- and family-centered care using state-of-the-art technology in a caring and compassionate environment. In August 2017, we received our third designation as a Magnet hospital. Less than 12 percent of registered hospitals in the U.S. receive this elite credential for high-quality nursing care.

Our nurses practice in an environment that nurtures the health and well being of our patients as well as our nurses. Our Shared Governance model of care enables us to affect positive change throughout the organization.

Numerous opportunities are available for professional development and career advancement, and our nurses are encouraged to continue their education. They are recognized and rewarded for specialty certification. 

We also offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package.

Frequently asked questions about nursing jobs

Finding a job

How do I find out what positions are available and apply for a job?
The positions, including staff nurses, transport nurses, advanced practice nurses, licensed practical nurses, clinical educators, care coordinators and others, are listed under Nursing Positions. You will only be considered for the position for which you apply. You must apply separately for each open position, even if it is the same position within the same department.

How do I find information about each nursing department?
Find more information about nursing departments.

Do you have a per diem or float pool?
Yes, we have a per diem float pool. Three years of recent, clinically-related experience is required to participate. Read more about our per diem float pool. 

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Benefits and continuing education

What benefits do you offer?
Hershey Medical Center offers excellent benefits effective your first day of hire. That includes affordable health care, vision, dental, 5 percent matching on retirement and 75 percent tuition remission for full-time employees, spouse and dependents at any Penn State University campus. We also offer generous paid time off, on-site child care facility and fitness center, free parking and more.

Do you offer relocation assistance?
Relocation assistance is available for certain approved positions. These include staff nurse, nurse practitioner, clinical head nurse, managers, directors, care coordinators and others.

What types of continuing education opportunities do you offer?
As a leading academic medical center, we offer numerous continuing education and development opportunities for nursing staff. Specific courses include, but are not limited to: critical care, trauma nursing, oncology care, advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS), neonatal resuscitation program (NRP), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and others.

Other training programs include leadership development, multiple web-based training programs, crisis resource management and simulation training with human patient simulator.

Do you offer sign-on bonuses or tuition assistance?
Financial incentives exist for staff nurses through practices such as certification pay ($1,250 per year) and participation in the Professional Development program ($4,000 per year for attaining Clinical III status and $5,000/year for Clinician IV).

A variety of tuition assistance, sponsorship and reimbursement programs are available for nursing staff.

Learn more about tuition reimbursement.

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Graduate nurse residencies and externships

Do you hire new graduates?
Absolutely! Our Graduate Nurse Residency is a structured, educational program designed to help students transition to professional nurses. It offers training in several challenging specialties, including but not limited to acute care, critical care and perioperative nursing.

Do you have student nurse externship?
Yes. Our summer Nurse Externship for nursing students combines actual work experience with education. It’s designed to promote individualized learning while providing participants with a distinctive advantage in their professional development.

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Nursing at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Do you have a clinical ladder (professional development program)?
Yes. Full-time and part-time nurses are recognized in one of five categories: Nurse Clinician I, II, III, IV and V. Employees must complete an application process to attain levels III and IV, which are based on an evaluation of the relevant criteria. RNs who attain Clinician III or IV status shall receive salary increases of $4,000 per year or $5,000 per year, respectively. The salary increase is divided evenly over 26 bi-weekly pay periods.

Do you have Magnet status?
Yes! Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was notified in August 2017 that it had been awarded its third Magnet recognition by the ANCC. This award is the nursing profession's highest honor for health care organizations.

What is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
Our nurse-to-patient ratio varies from unit-to-unit, depending on specialty area and level of care. Staffing is based on the intensity and complexity of care needed, not solely on the census of a particular unit. Nurse-to-patient ratios can be found under the ratio tab of each unit page.

What does the orientation process involve?
Newly hired nurses have a two-day general hospital orientation. This is followed by RN orientation, in which nursing practices, competencies, expectations and other issues are discussed and demonstrated. This includes review of areas such as procedures, computer documentation and skills assessments, and takes place during the first and second weeks of hire.

Following RN orientation, a preceptor guides the RN through a unit-specific orientation. This orientation is designed by a unit nurse educator and may last between six and 12 weeks depending on the practice area, experience level and clinical knowledge of the newly hired nurse.

How do I apply for a temporary or permanent Pennsylvania license?
If you are registered nurse with a license from a state other than Pennsylvania, you must apply for and receive a temporary license from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs/State Board of Nursing before you can be hired.

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