Nursing in 2021: Retaining the Healthcare Workforce when we need it most

Nursing in 2021: Retaining the Healthcare Workforce when we need it most

The pandemic fundamentally forced the healthcare industry to think differently about how care is being delivered and how workforces are managed. On a positive note, providers incorporated technology into care models, enacted new flexibility in workforce planning and deployment, and rapidly reskilled their teams. However, increasing demands placed on healthcare workers created both a physical strain on those working on the frontlines, and a psychological strain for those losing patients, or in some tragic cases, coworkers and loved ones.

Moving forward, pressure will likely arise to quickly “rebuild” healthcare workforces as they once were. But instead of a focus on “rebuild,” we propose a “new” build: a vision for the workforce that incorporates learnings and aspirations for the future of work (for example, technology-enabled care models) and creates a realistic plan to make it happen.

In our 2021 Future of Work in Nursing Survey, we surveyed some 400 frontline nurses across settings to understand their experiences working during COVID-19, their intention to stay in their nursing role and their motivation, their willingness and excitement to try different care delivery models, and what they most want from their employers in terms of support. We offer these insights to help inform healthcare organizations as they evolve their strategies.

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