3 ways your hospital can overcome the nursing shortage

As the demand for nurses increases amid rising patient numbers, aging baby boomers and more individuals covered under healthcare reform, the United States will need to produce 1.1 million new registered nurses by 2022 to fill jobs and replace retirees.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities must do their best to recruit and retain good nurses by creating an atmosphere that appreciates nurses, offers advancement opportunities and gives them a stronger voice in the system, Global Healthcare reported. The publication composed a list of ways healthcare organizations can keep nurses on staff amid the threat of a nursing shortage. Strategies include:

  • Allow scheduling flexibility. This helps nurses juggle their busy work schedule with home life and educational opportunities, and also allows them to decompress between stressful, emotionally demanding shifts. Keeping nurses happy when it comes to scheduling will create a more positive work atmosphere and help the hospital retain quality nurses.

  • Promote career development. With new Institute of Medicine recommendations that call for 80 percent of nurses to have a bachelor's degree by 2020, it's important that hospitals help nurses obtain the highest education possible. As a result, nurses will feel more satisfied and more likely to stay within the organization.

  • Listen to nurses' voices. Give nurses and staff ample face time with supervisors and managers, so they can voice concerns and share ideas about improving workflow. Implementing those ideas and suggestions also shows nurses that hospital managers are serious about their opinions and input.

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