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How Health Care Providers Can Manage Through the Skilled Nursing Shortage

Nursing is the biggest health care occupation in the United States, with about 4 million RNs in practice here. While it seems like a large number, 4 million isn’t nearly enough. Even before the pandemic, health care providers were struggling with a shortage of skilled nurses. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation more dire.

Between Baby Boomers aging, an increase in chronic illnesses, nurses being burnt out and completely leaving the profession, and many nurses ready to retire, the demand for skilled nurses has quickly outpaced the supply. Now add in the fact that, because of the pandemic, many nurses are leaving the profession altogether.

The labor market for nursing professionals continues to strengthen with 59% of hospitals reporting they plan to expand their RN staffs, and increase of 14.2% over 2019, according to the 2020 NSI National Health Care Retention and RN Staffing Report. With a clear nursing shortage, this situation has become very problematic. Having skilled nursing directly affects the staffing arm of your CMS Five-Star Rating. Not employing enough nurses to cover the number of patients in your facility is a real predicament.

Many nurses entered the profession specifically because they wanted to be on the frontlines of healthcare. Unfortunately, the horrific impact of the pandemic has made some nurses reevaluate their career choices, making it critical that you retain the ones you already have while also having the ability to quickly hire new staff to replace those who leave.

It can be a real juggling act but having a human capital management (HCM) solution in place can be the tool that can help you recruit, retain, and engage your skilled nurses. The right HCM software can help reduce time-to-fill for your open positions by developing a robust candidate pipeline that enables you to track a candidate’s progress through the hiring process from a single dashboard. It can also offer support with workforce management, such as scheduling and training your nursing staff.

It can cost between $97,000-$104,000 to replace a nurse so it’s important to do everything in your power to help ensure you keep the staff you have. It’s equally important that, when you do hire new nurses, you have the ability to recruit and hire those that are perfect fits for your facility. We can help.


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