Nurse shortages are everyone’s problem. Are you doing your part?

Here is how one major stakeholder is making meaningful progress.

In a recent blog post, Byron Jobe, president and chief executive office of Vizient, lays out a problem that will challenge all U.S. Healthcare Supply Chain stakeholders for the rest of our careers — the current and seemingly never-ending shortage of nurses. Not only does he lay out the problem clearly, he also details a program that is moving the pace of improvement markedly.

A couple months ago, I may have only seen this through the financial burden it puts on our Hospitals and IDNs, and the unintended consequences this means to their supply budgets. But, earlier this summer, I personally saw the struggle that nursing shortages put on hospitals, families and most importantly patients, as I tended to a family member that had an extended hospitalization. I witnessed it at 8 a.m., lunch time and in the middle of the night. It was a harrowing experience.

This challenge should be an all-hands-on deck reaction by Suppliers, Providers, Distributors, GPOs, Payors, Politicians and Academia.

First-year nurses leave practice due to the lack of clinical and/or emotional support. The cost of these new nurses can be staggering to hospitals.

“Each percent change in turnover costs the average hospital $380,600 annually, which means providers have an opportunity to rein in costs by focusing on retaining early career nurses — who are the most likely to leave.”

Vizient has developed a nurse residency program (NRP) with American Association of Colleges of Nursing to address this needed support for first-year nurses. The opportunity is tremendous.

“[N]urses under age 35 are leaving the profession at four times the rate of nurses over age 50….”

“[T]urnover rate for all licensed nursing staff … is 47% higher than it was before the pandemic.”

“The turnover rate for bedside RNs is about 23% nationally, signaling an even larger impact to those providing direct patient care.”

Results of nurses that have gone through the NRP have seen incredible results. Just look at these findings.

“…from 2021 to 2022, more than 87% of participating nurses stayed in their positions after one year, compared to only 67% nationally.”

“As COVID-19 taxed health systems everywhere, NYC Health + Hospitals experienced dramatic improvements in turnover rates — directly attributable to its commitment to the NRP. They now retain 90% of newly hired nurses which drives continuity in patient care.”

For more of Byron Jobe’s insights, read Vizient’s recent blog

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