How Hospitals Can Navigate the Nursing Supply/Demand Imbalance 

On May 11, 2023, the US will end the Federal COVID Emergency Order. This coincides with case counts trending downwards along with the lifting of more mask and vaccine mandates.

Although COVID must still be taken seriously, the world is transitioning towards a post-pandemic world. The consequences of the pandemic still loom over the healthcare industry, however.

For an example, look no further than the imbalance of nursing supply and demand. 

The nursing shortage

In 2023, the American Nurses Foundation surveyed 23,000+ nurses across the country. 52% of them expressed an intent to leave the profession. 89% of these correspondents pointed to short staffing as their main motivating factor. 

COVID-19 took a heavy toll on the nursing population. HCPs were exposed to a high-stress work environment. Long, gruelling shifts and short staffing were the norms, at the height of the pandemic. Burnout, depression and other mental health issues were already issues in nursing, but the situation worsened them. 

When supply does not meet demand

This is not the only issue, either. The qualified nurses that remain are ageing out and retiring by the droves. While there will always be new nurses and students, there will not be enough new nurses to meet the compounding demand.

While the supply of nurses stagnates, the demand is only increasing by the year. As the population ages, more people turn to registered nurses for continuing care. The same applies to people with chronic conditions, as we learn more about preventative treatment. 

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, registered nurses will grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031, equating to roughly 195,400 jobs. 

To put the nursing shortage into perspective: some project that it would take 200,000 new nurses every year until 2030 to make up the deficit. 

What can be done 

If nursing facilities do not adapt to the impending supply/demand imbalance, they are going to find themselves in big trouble. What hospitals need is a flexible model that helps with stemming the tide. 

Some hospitals have turned to partner with staffing agencies. This lets them temporarily onboard a number of qualified HCPs, to account for spikes in demand. Temporary staffing was a huge part of why facilities were able to withstand the height of COVID-19.

While case counts are no longer that dramatic, facilities still need to prepare themselves for flu season, a potential COVID variant outbreak, natural accidents and other incidents that lead to sudden increases in patient count. 

Whenever you need more nurses in a pinch, VitaWerks cannot be beaten. Other facilities will pair you with HCPs after at least a week. Meanwhile, VitaWerks lets you find qualified and thoroughly-screened nurses in a matter of hours. This is supplemented by 24/7 customer service to ensure a smooth, seamless experience. 

For more information, click here and join the VitaWerks family today. 

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