Even before the pandemic pushed the healthcare industry to the brink, the U.S. was already facing a massive shortage of nurses, with a deficit of over 900,000 nurses projected by 2030.1
At the same time, never has it been clearer that nurses are at the cornerstone of patient care, and it goes well beyond just fulfilling the duties of the job. This past year, during a time full of upheaval and uncertainty, nurses largely proved that they are reliable, resilient and committed to their work, even sacrificing their own mental and physical health to put patients first. That’s why for the 19th year straight, nurses topped the list of most trusted professionals, according to a Gallup poll.2
As the vaccine distribution continues and society returns to “normal,” the focus must shift from mere survival to how to slow a looming exodus from the profession.
Praise and applause aren’t enough to reverse the shortage
Acknowledgement and celebration of nurses’ efforts are critical components for addressing job dissatisfaction, but it can’t stop there. Every day, nurses are still overworked, fatigued and teetering on the verge of burnout.
To address those issues, organizations must implement staffing processes that create a better work/life balance for their nurses – even if time and resources are limited right now.
7 practices that require minimal effort but offer maximum reward
Offer your nurses more balance and control to increase job satisfaction and morale with these simple, but practical, tips:
- Make staffing and scheduling collaborative. When employees are engaged in the process, they are generally more accepting of – and happier with – their schedules.
- Provide high-level visibility and real-time access that only technology can deliver. You need a quick and easy way to assess staffing conditions at any given moment. Plus, insights from data and analytics enable you to make proactive and in-the-moment decisions, reducing much of the frustration around staffing issues.
- Invest in a solution that is intuitive and delivers quick results. Now is not the time to bog down your organization by deploying a solution that is hard to learn, use or deploy.
- Provide staff with more stability. Adopt technology that enables you to forecast and adapt to staffing ups and downs, so nurses don’t feel like they are in a constant state of chaos.
- Focus on matching nurses with patient needs. Nurses appreciate equitable, balanced workloads.
- Streamline the open shift management process. Eliminate the stress around last-minute call offs and under-staffing by making it easy for your team to fill open shifts.
- Make the process more efficient for nurse managers. With less time spent on scheduling, nurse managers can focus on their staff and patients.
For more in-depth advice on how to align your staffing processes with nurse retention initiatives, download our eBook, Seven Staffing Strategies that Value, Protect and Optimize Nurses.
The right healthcare scheduling application at just the right time
With ABILITY SMARTFORCE Scheduler, you can easily update your staffing processes to help improve work/life balance, job satisfaction and morale, which can go a long way toward boosting retention.
- Manage staff-to-patient ratios easily
- Avoid costly inefficiencies and overtime
- Forecast staffing needs to maximize accuracy
- Empower staff with a collaborative approach
1“United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast,” Stephen P Juraschek, Xiaoming Zhang, Vinoth Ranganathan, and Vernon W Lin, The American Journal of Medical Quality. September/October 2019: 473-481, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31479295/
2 “U.S. Ethics Ratings Rise for Medical Workers and Teachers,” Gallup, December 22, 2020, https://news.gallup.com/poll/328136/ethics-ratings-rise-medical-workers-teachers.aspx
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