If COVID-19 weren’t enough of a challenge, hospitals and healthcare systems face significant labor shortages. Some healthcare workers are switching jobs for higher pay and better benefits, while others are choosing to leave the industry completely.
To maintain appropriate staffing levels and continue to provide high-quality patient care, hospitals must look to implement short- and long-term recruiting and retention solutions.
How can providers better understand and address the ongoing staffing shortages? Our monthly news recap explores the strategies that could combat labor shortages and improve staff recruitment, and retention in 2022.
There are several key factors contributing to the current nursing shortage: a lack of nurse educators, limited spots in community colleges, and the Great Resignation. However, there are proven strategies—including increasing diversity, prioritizing workplace culture, and adjusting protocols to meet nurses’ needs— that can increase nurse retention. By executing some or all of these strategies, healthcare leaders can positively change the outlook for the future of nursing.
Experts predict that staffing shortages and increased labor costs will continue to fuel higher expenses and declines in operating cash flow for healthcare systems. According to the American Nurses Association, there will be more than 100,000 registered nursing jobs available annually by next year. Fortunately, there are several factors that may help mitigate the labor shortage in the next year and beyond.
Infection Control Today
In the midst of labor shortages, hospitals are striving to strike the right balance between maintaining the safety of their staff and their ability to function adequately. With this in mind, the CDC recently reduced its recommended isolation time for healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 from ten to seven days. Despite pushback from nursing organizations, and mixed evidence as to the period of contagion, systems following these recommendations have been able to ease their shortages somewhat, while monitoring the impact on in-house cases.
Becker’s Hospital Review
In response to the ongoing healthcare labor shortage, several hospitals and health systems have made recent investments in recruitment and retention. Initiatives range from millions of dollars in pay increases, bonuses, and benefit enhancements to investments in education and upskilling programs.