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Demand for Nurses is Rising. Are You Scared? You Should Be!

January 31, 2018

demand-for-nurses.jpgI recently wrote a paper for Becker’s Hospital Review on nursing talent issues. A little research reveals some scary numbers:

Healthcare job growth:

  • 2017 marked the first time the number of healthcare employees surpassed both manufacturing and retail.[i]

  • Over the next decade, the healthcare sector is projected to account for one third of all new employment.[ii]

More specifically, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 16% by 2024.[iii]

The reason for this crazy growth? Increasing demand: Our aging population is going to require more care. Plus, we have an aging nursing workforce. More than half of working nurses are over 50 – portending a wave of retirements. We are going to need over 1.05 million new nurses by 2022. How are we doing to fill that need? 232,385 nurses passed the NCLEX RN exam in 2016, up only 1% from 2015.[iv] That’s not promising.

What are talent acquisition professionals telling us?

  • 36% of talent professionals report turnover is increasing

  • 49% report time to fill increasing – mostly an inability to find qualified professionals

  • Only 33% say their recruiting budgets will increase[v]

In summary, the demand for nurses is far outpacing the supply and the talent cycle is complicating matters. Employers are posting more jobs, but recruiters are working with limited budgets. Time to fill is increasing. Turnover is on the rise. It would seem impossible to catch up.

Complicating matters is that we just don’t need MORE nurses but we need DIFFERENT nurses. Consider:

  • Most of the growth will NOT be in traditional hospital-based positions. Hospital employment is projected to be the slowest area of growth. Nurses will play a much bigger role in non-hospital settings, ambulatory care, preventative medicine, in the community, and in the home – including assisted living and rehab centers.

  • The greatest demand will be in the areas of chronic disease management, geriatrics, palliative, and hospice care. According to the Centers for Disease Control, chronic disease is now responsible for 7 of 10 deaths and 86% of the nation’s healthcare costs.[vi]

Related: The Demand for Long-Term Care Services and Staff is Growing. Are You Ready?

And the solution to these challenges? Those ideas are too long for a weekly blog but they are discussed in more detail in the paper and get into some interesting ideas, including:

To learn more:

nursing shortage

[i] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/01/health-care-america-jobs/550079/?utm_source=atltw

[ii] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/01/health-care-america-jobs/550079/?utm_source=atltw

[iii] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

[iv] https://www.ncsbn.org/9436.htm

[v] 2017 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Report, Healthcare eCareers

[vi] https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm

Bryan Warren Bryan Warren is the President of J3 Personica, a consulting, assessment, training, and coaching firm, and a guest blogger for PSI. Bryan is an expert in progressive talent strategies, with a particular focus on leader and physician selection and development.