Healthcare professionals and their patients are retiring at an alarming rate. In fact, there will be more than one million openings for registered nurses by 2024 - twice the rate seen in previous shortages. Meanwhile, there will be a 55 percent increase in number of Americans aged 65 and older who seek additional care over the next two years. However, nursing school enrollment is not increasing fast enough to meet this projected demand and lack of nursing school faculty is preventing larger program enrollments.
Heavier workloads are negatively impacting nurses’ motivation, stress levels and job satisfaction, aggravating turnover rates and deepening the talent crisis. More than a third of registered nurses often consider quitting their jobs and 35 percent of them hope to leave their jobs by next year.
The care management talent crisis is imminent and demands health insurers to proactively respond with intentional recruitment and retention efforts. Jacobson’s Assistant Vice President Alicia Morris recently explored this challenge in her recent white paper. Below are a few of her recommendations for treating the nursing shortage:
- Offer Non-Traditional Work Arrangements: Employers must work towards balancing employee preferences with business needs. By leveraging split schedules and other flexible arrangements, insurers may also open up their talent pools to individuals who can only commit to part-time positions, such as working moms or dads or those serving as caregivers to a parent or other elderly family members.
- Create Fluid Work Environments: Flexible work schedules and work-from-home options allow care management professionals to achieve better work-life balance. Employees will appreciate more control over their work schedules. Modernizing work arrangements and accommodating work preferences will help organizations reduce turnover rates and improve employee satisfaction.
- Invest in Employees: Implementing career development opportunities ensures employees that their employers are invested in their futures. Satisfied employees tend to stay with their employers, helping organizations elevate their employer brands and attract more qualified candidates.
- Delay Retirements: By offering incentives like decreased work hours or new leadership roles, health insurers can postpone veteran employees’ retirements. As aged professionals continue to work closely with emerging nurses, insurers can decrease organizational knowledge loss and allow themselves more time to develop comprehensive succession plans and recruitment strategies.
- Partner with Staffing Firms: Niche insurance staffing firms offer health insurers a unique, effective solution to the talent shortage. The right partner can leverage their extensive industry reach to provide interim nurses and medical directors who are ready to make an impact with limited training and ramp-up time.
How is your organization combating the talent crisis? Download our white paper for more creative recruitment and retention ideas.