As of May 2017, there were 2.9 million registered nurses working in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But that’s not enough to meet future demand, experts say. The BLS estimates that the employment of registered nurses is projected to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026—faster than all other occupations. Why? Not only is the healthcare industry putting more emphasis on preventive care, but the aging baby boomer population and growing rates of chronic conditions are further driving the demand for healthcare. Nurses are also getting older and retiring, and fewer people are entering the profession. Those new to the nursing workforce report a significant level of workplace stress, and surveys of newly licensed hospital nurses reveal that 43 percent leave their jobs within three years of employment.
All of these factors contribute to the nationwide nursing shortage, but there are ways your hospital can prevent a shortage or nurse turnover at your facility. Consider these three strategies.
Invest in professional development. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” In this report, the IOM recommended that 80 percent of working nurses have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) by the year 2020. While some healthcare facilities only hire registered nurses with BSN degrees, others are helping their nurses obtain higher levels of education. Offer incentives for completing degree programs in a specified time period, or give employees who have worked at your facility for at least one-year tuition reimbursement for advanced education.
But don’t solely focus on higher education. As nurses move into new and innovative roles, they’ll need new knowledge and skills. Commit to long-term training to provide nurses with the skills they need for the length of their career, whether it’s technology training or learning a new technique.
Improve staffing problems. Inadequate staffing can lead to burnout and job dissatisfaction. However, with Amplion’s Care Assurance Platform, hospital leaders can use real-time data to evaluate their staffing needs, balance nursing unit workloads and adjust the mix of skillsets to match patient demands. Our data-driven platform Amplion Care Insight features advanced technology that helps improve nurse communication and collaboration. With smart technology and workflow optimization nursing leaders have the tools they need to improve accountability, reduce burnout and improve nurse morale.
Encourage top performers. Real-time, point-of-care data provided by Amplion’s Care Insight helps hospital leaders recognize and reward top clinicians and determine which caregivers are meeting hospital standards for patient satisfaction. Show appreciation for outstanding nurses who are going above and beyond by mentioning an accomplishment in the team meeting, buying them a cup of coffee or providing a catered lunch for top performers. On the flipside, our data can also help leaders identify opportunities to coach nurses who may need improvement.