COVID Pandemic - Turned the Spotlight on the Healthcare Staffing Crisis
It's practically old news now, media reports of nurse staffing crises and personal stories of nurses and clinicians struggling with burnout and exhaustion at their jobs. The pandemic spotlighted these stories of the realities of healthcare workers agonizing over their work and the challenges they face. Yet, the pandemic isn't solely responsible for the state of healthcare staffing today. It exacerbated it. Consequently, it brought industry and civilian attention to it.
The truth is healthcare staffing has been a struggle for both clinicians and administrators for years. And it's not only nursing shortages that they're facing. Nursing assistants, physical therapists, physicians, paramedics, and other allied healthcare workers are all facing unprecedented demand.
Statistics on Healthcare Staffing Crisis
- According to the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), by 2034, our country will be 124,000 physicians short. Industry pressure for full practice authority for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) is an attempt to counter-balance that shortage.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) has projected job growth for physical therapists at 17% through the year 2031, which is significantly higher than the 5% growth rate average for all jobs.
- Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, and Nurse Midwife growth are projected at a startling 40% through 2031.
- Industry demand for home health and personal care aides is also expected to rise by 33%.
- Registered nurse (RN) forecasts before the pandemic revealed serious RN shortages expected by the year 2030, and the World Health Organization (WHO) organized a campaign called Year of the Nurse and the Midwife for 2020 that ultimately was overshadowed and yet also underscored by the COVID pandemic.
- Hospital RN turnover has reached a startling 27%, the vacancy rate is at 17%, and it takes an average of three months to recruit a single experienced RN.
Healthcare Technology Provides Medical Staffing Solutions
Despite the serious staffing challenges facility and hospital administrators are facing, the pandemic also accelerated the development and adaptation of healthcare technology. With the increasing evolution of the Nurse Licensure Compact, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, and the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact, we are likely to see an increase in the use of telehealth to reach MUAs (medically underserved areas) and short-term contract work for traveling clinicians and per diem (PRN) nurses and allied health workers.
Furthermore, technology can help your facility or hospital find those short-term PRN nurses to fill open nursing jobs and allied health workers. Nursa, the favorite healthcare staffing smartphone app, has streamlined the frustrating and chaotic process of short-term staffing for your benefit.
How PRN Staff Mitigate Clinician and Nurse Staffing Issues
Turnover is an expensive cost for hospitals and facilities, and unfortunately, it often becomes a cyclic problem that is challenging to interrupt. Filling position vacancies takes time, money, and energy, and when your facility is facing multiple vacancies at the same time, hiring one at a time may imperil your new hire as they become overwhelmed with the work burden before you can hire enough staff to fill the vacancies.
As your facility works on long-term recruitment and retention strategies, you must simultaneously address today's staffing issue, which cannot wait a month or two for the hiring process. The best way to do that is to use PRN staff to shore up your shift vacancies, creating manageable and safe nurse-to-patient ratios so that the full-time staff you have aren't so overburdened that they leave and your new hires aren't immediately overwhelmed.
Using PRN staff will show staff and potential new hires that your facility values their well-being, and create an adequately staffed working environment, thus relieving some of the pressure and stress on your staff.
How to Use Nursa
When you choose to use Nursa, you prioritize patient care and your nursing staff. Here's how it works.
- Download the free Nursa app.
- Register your facility with Nursa.
- Post open shifts for CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and other allied healthcare workers.
- Review your applicants for posted shifts.
- Select your preferred candidate.
- Pay only for shifts worked.
- Repeat as needed.
Nursa harnessed technology to make contracting PRN nursing staff easier and more affordable. It's not a paid subscription, there are no limits or quotas for the number of shifts to post, and your facility only pays for shifts that are worked.
Using Nursa, you can reach talented clinicians that your HR department recruiters cannot. Why? Because any clinician anywhere can search for PRN jobs on Nursa. Nurses who have retired but want occasional work instead of a staff job use Nursa. Nursing students already CNAs or LPNs can only commit to part-time positions but use Nursa to find shifts that fit their class schedules. Clinicians in nearby cities or towns use Nursa to find local travel jobs. Use Nursa to cast a broader net and take care of your staff.