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Hospitals Are Struggling To Fill Open Shifts Due to Staffing Shortages

Could A PRN Healthcare Jobs App Solve This Problem?

Hit hard by a staffing crisis, hospitals and medical facilities around the country are struggling to find available nurses willing to cover open shifts. In fact, last year, and compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals in at least 25 states were critically short of nurses, according to STAT News. 

It’s safe to assume, therefore, that a PRN healthcare staffing app such as Nursa™ could be a solution to help curb major staffing shortages within the healthcare sector. 

What The Stats Say About Nursing Shortages

The gap between nursing supply and demand is expected to grow over the next decade. In fact, according to The American Nurses Association (ANA), by 2022 more registered nurse jobs will be available than any other profession in the United States. This is due to the fact that the number of potential nursing applicants is low compared to the number of current job vacancies. Moreover, nursing professionals who do apply for vacancies, may either be overqualified or under qualified for a present demand. As a result, hospitals are having difficulty filling dynamic positions. Consequently, some hospitals are requiring that their staff work overtime as well as inflating costs by hiring temporary workers. By the same token, smaller hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, often struggle to find and keep the healthcare clinicians they need to fill shifts. Subsequently, the turnover rate in healthcare staffing for more intimate medical settings is much higher than in other industries. 

In the end, many medical facilities are forced to rely on expensive temp agencies or recruiters to locate nurses, CNAs, and other workers on short notice. This can be costly and time-consuming. Luckily, with progressive technology, new apps like Nursa™ are making it possible for healthcare professionals to connect directly with hospitals and fill positions quickly and efficiently.

How PRN Apps Are Transforming the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is going through a host of changes, including the rise of innovative technology combined with an ever-growing need for better healthcare. This has led to several improvements on how the virtual world is starting to digitize healthcare staffing solutions. With mobile apps and digital resources, the healthcare industry is now able to streamline its services, provide quality care, and access more patients. 

Additionally, mobile apps for healthcare staffing allow hospitals to find temporary workers with just a few clicks, rather than relying on job boards, which can be time-consuming. Hospitals can find qualified, fit candidates in their area even when they're not actively seeking staff. The best thing about these apps is that they allow clinicians to take shifts that match their schedule,, so they can easily boost their income without having to give up their full-time jobs.

PRN staffing apps such as Nursa™ are user-friendly applications that connect workers with managers in real-time. Taking advantage of these apps can help medical facilities and hospitals connect directly to clinicians who can fill shifts immediately, respectively, eliminating a middle-man staffing agency. Even more, is that apps such as Nursa™ connect PRN clinicians and jobs posted by facilities nearby. Therefore, medical facilities can expect to receive verified and skilled clinicians, while applicants can be reassured they will enjoy a flexible schedule with good pay. 

So What is PRN Healthcare Staffing?

PRN stands for "pro re nata," which means "as required." Per diem healthcare workers are worked on an as-needed basis. Medical facilities need to hire PRN workers for a variety of reasons, including:

• Short-term staff shortages caused by vacations or other absences

• The high patient volume that requires more hands-on-deck

• New facilities that need help getting off the ground

• Pandemics and outbreaks such as COVID-19

In addition, there are a lot of caregivers who want to pick up per diem shifts at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. But as the healthcare industry continues to struggle with a shortage of workers, many facilities are looking for ways to keep their part-timers around longer while still offering them flexibility. As a result, PRN jobs benefit workers who value both their free time and flexibility. 

This type of arrangement is also useful for hospitals and other medical facilities because it allows them to hire per diem clinicians for only the hours they will be working. Apart from saving money, because no benefits need to be provided, hiring per diem clinicians also allows medical facilities to hire more qualified clinicians when needed, regardless of whether they require full-time help.

Short-Staffed Hospitals May Continue To Suffer As Nurses Head For Retirement 

A report by the American Nurses Association (ANA), reveals that by 2022, there will be a need for 3.44 million nurses. This is a 20.2 percent increase in demand for RNs. Needless to say, the United States is currently experiencing a moderate to severe shortage of nurses. What this means is that hospitals are unable to consistently fill open nursing shifts. And while this trend has been going on for years, it is only getting worse as many nurses near retirement age and more people enter the healthcare system.

The nursing shortage is only expected to grow as demand for healthcare services increases and the U.S. population ages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9 percent growth in jobs for registered nurses from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average occupation. This is even more concerning because most hospitals already have low nurse-to-patient ratios. According to Becker's Hospital Review, 52 percent of U.S. hospitals had ratios between 4:1 and 10:1 in 2017. This means that there are only four to ten patients per nurse. 

But What About Hospital CNA Staffing Shortages?

 As one may expect, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are nearing retirement age. The result? A looming CNA shortage is also on the horizon. 

And while CNAs don't provide healthcare at the same level as registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) they're still vital to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other medical settings. That’s because these types of nursing positions are needed to perform hands-on care for patients under the direction of nurses, such as helping patients bathe, dress, eat and use the restroom. 

CNAs also take vital signs like blood pressure and pulse rate, as well as keep sick patients clean and comfortable until they're well again.

Ultimately, PRN Healthcare Staffing apps may be the most efficient way to resolve a hospital's CNA staffing shortages by offering a cutting-edge platform to connect per diem clinicians with suitable facilities. 

Greater Flexibility With Digital Healthcare Staffing Apps

Currently, there is a chronic need for greater flexibility in healthcare staffing. Some hospitals are filling short-term staffing shifts using agencies, while others are filling per diem nursing shifts through independent contractor hiring. No matter how these wrenches get thrown into the machine, the struggle is clear: hospitals around the country are having an increasingly difficult time finding and recruiting workers for PRN jobs. One way or another, a solution must come forward, and for many healthcare facilities, that could mean 😢 utilizing a PRN staffing technology app, such as NURSA ™, to fill the void.


Booher, RN
Blog published on:
February 18, 2022

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