Healthcare facilities across the United States continue to struggle against nursing workforce shortages. Burnout, an aging workforce, a lack of incoming talent, over-reliance on travel nurses, expansion of healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and an aging population all play havoc on hospitals’ ability to adequately and affordably staff facilities.
There is no magic bullet to solve the workforce crisis. However, MedPro Healthcare Staffing, an industry leader for more than 40 years, can help! Through its robust pipeline of foreign-educated nurses and medical technologists and traditional travel nurses and allied professionals, MedPro uses a wide talent supply to provide comprehensive staffing solutions for short- and long-term needs.
Senior Vice President of Client Services, Chief Clinical Officer Rosemarie Aznavorian, DNP, RN, CENP, CCWP, CCRN-K, has a long and successful track record for solving staffing dilemmas. Every facility and situation is unique, but Aznavorian explained there is a proven formula for hospitals to emulate using both domestic and foreign-educated staff.
“The key to ending workforce shortages and ensuring proper care is by adopting an 80-10-10 strategy model,” said Aznavorian. “Eighty percent full-time, 10 percent international, which is part of your core, and 10 percent domestic travel.” The 80 percent could be a mix of full- and part-time nurses stationed on a floor, a full-time float pool, PRN (pro re nata – as the situation demands) floating between units, or even hospitals, depending on whether a facility is standalone or part of a multihospital system. The 10 percent of travel nurses would cover a patient surge, additional services, such as opening a new wing, or filling temporary vacancies. “If all the stars are aligned, that’s the perfect mix,” said Aznavorian.
Currently, many hospitals have 60 to 65 percent full-time staff and rely on staffing agencies such as MedPro to provide short-term and long-term solutions. “Hospitals have spent and lost so much money that budgets are now extremely tight,” said Aznavorian. “They believe contract labor is much more expensive, but if you consider how much facilities pay for overtime, they’ll spend less using travel nurses.”
MedPro performs what Aznavorian refers to as a DNA, Discovery and Analysis, on facilities to determine how to meet their staffing needs, including some of the most in-demand specialties such as Med-Surg RN, Telemetry RN, Emergency Room RN, PCU/Step-down Nurse, ICU/CCU RN, and Med-Surg/Telemetry RN. After signing an NDA, MedPro sits down with a client to analyze their policies, review ways to mix skills on units, and provide other recommendations.
The nursing workforce shortage continues to expand, threatening facility viability and quality of care. A recent study by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers revealed approximately 800,000 registered nurses plan to leave the workforce by 2027. Combined with the 100,000 RNs who left during the COVID-19 pandemic, they represent one-fifth of the 4.5 million nurses working in the U.S. healthcare system. Additionally, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported more than 90 thousand qualified applicants were turned away from nursing schools in 2021 due to a lack of faculty. However, innovative and collaborative approaches with organizations like MedPro can help facilities meet the challenge.