Nursing shortage looms large and projected to intensify in next 18 months

Nursing shortage looms large and projected to intensify in next 18 months

A national nursing workforce report is advocating for dramatic action to better support the nation’s nurses amid the current staffing crisis during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The new survey informs healthcare leaders in addressing the nursing shortage and improving retention, as 92% of respondents indicate that the nurse labor shortage will intensify in the coming 18 months. “The nursing shortage was really being amplified by the pandemic,” the report’s co-author Anne Dabrow Woods, RN, chief nurse of Wolters Kluwer, Health, Learning, Research and Practice, told Fierce Healthcare. To correct course and ensure optimal care for patients, the report assesses current and future states of nursing labor models while shedding light on prospects for change across care settings. It also provides a snapshot of how nurse staffing and care delivery models have evolved to deal with the profound challenges stemming from COVID-19 and a worsening labor shortage. “There simply weren’t enough nurses or support personnel to care for the upsurge of patients that came into healthcare organizations.” For instance, most hospitals use “a primary RN model,” in which a registered nurse cares for multiple patients with the help of assistive personnel. But that model wasn’t working well when nurses had to oversee a high number of very sick patients during the pandemic, Woods told Fierce Healthcare.

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