By Tim Teague on Mar 23, 2017 9:47:16 AM
Nurses play an integral role in keeping people healthy. However, a nursing shortage throughout the country means facilities are struggling to fill positions for skilled nursing staff. This shortage creates a competitive job market, and medical recruiters and health care providers will face major obstacles finding the best candidates for skilled nursing positions.
BlueSky Medical Staffing Software provides HCPs and medical recruiters with the tools they need to identify and hire appropriately skilled nursing professionals. Let's take a deeper look into this lack of nurses and how BlueSky Medical Staffing Software can help.
Nursing shortage continues
With more than 3 million nurses in the U.S., this sector accounts for the largest segment of the health care workforce. Despite being one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, the supply of new nurses is not growing nearly as quickly as open jobs.
Analysts project registered nurse employment numbers to increase much faster than the average for all occupations, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts forecast a 16 percent growth rate in employment for registered nurses between 2014 and 2024, compared to only 7 percent for all occupations.
However, as job opportunities for nurses surge, there won't be enough people to fill these positions. Between 2012 and 2022 approximately 1.13 million vacancies will arise for registered nurses, Nursing World reported. The author cited a study from a team of Vanderbilt University nursing researchers who estimated that the nursing shortfall will reach a point in 2025 wherein it will be more than double any nursing shortfall since Medicaid and Medicare went into effect during the mid-1960s.
Three main factors are contributing to the current nursing shortage:
- A shrinking pipeline of new nursing students.
- An aging nursing workforce and general population.
- Greater patient access to health care services.
This lack of nurses ultimately perpetuates more shortages, as it leads to constant schedule changes and work overloads as a result of rising patient numbers and paperwork - both of which cause nurse dissatisfaction and exiting from the field.
One of the biggest drivers of the nursing shortage stems from a lack of nursing educators at the collegiate level, reported Rasmussen College. Many educators are being lured from academia to take jobs in more lucrative health care fields, while an aging population of professors will eventually retire. This will ultimately create even greater scarcity of nurses in the future, exacerbating the problem further.
"The nursing workforce continues to become older and reach retirement age."
Similarly, the nursing workforce as a whole continues to become older. As these individuals retire, they take with them decades worth of knowledge, experience and hands-on learning. This will hurt an increasingly value-based health care industry, leading to more difficulty achieving goals and desired outcomes.
Locating the ideal nursing candidate
This nursing shortage has created a major misalignment in candidate supply and demand. Demand continues to grow at a faster rate and the availability of qualified skilled nursing candidates fails to keep pace. This will increase the amount of competition amongst candidates, as they will have more open options to choose from. Hospitals and health systems will need to leverage creative retention techniques for attracting nurses and keeping them on the job. Some options include:
- Sign-on bonuses.
- More frequent pay increases.
- Retention incentives, such as senior staff getting first say in scheduling for holidays and paid time off.
- More shift flexibility for greater work/life balance.
While going above and beyond normal retention techniques to attract and keep nurses will become even more important moving forward, ensuring applicants have the right skills for the positions cannot be sacrificed during the candidate search. Further, the time to fill these jobs cannot take too long, as many health care organizations will stretch their current staff is the candidate search takes too long.
In this environment, HCPs and medical recruiters need to ensure they're identifying skilled nursing candidates with the right qualifications to meet their needs. Finding the right nursing candidate will be more crucial than ever for health care providers, medical recruiters and other care services.
BlueSky Medical Staffing Software, a workforce management platform designed for the health care industry, has specialized global templates that allow recruiters, staffing agencies and medical centers to search specifically for nursing candidates that suit their unique specifications. With such a wide range of specialties, having the ability to tailor the search to include only critical care nurses or an individual with extensive labor and delivery experience is crucial to hiring the best possible individual for the job. BlueSky's Smart Candidate Matching solution saves recruiters and hiring managers hundreds of hours during the candidate search.
Click here to learn more about how BlueSky Medical Staffing Software can help expedite the recruiting and hiring process for nurses, despite tight supply.