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  • Writer's pictureAmalga Group

Why is there a shortage of nurses in the U.S.?


As the backbone of the healthcare industry, nurses play a crucial role in delivering exceptional care to patients across the United States. However, healthcare recruiters are facing a daunting challenge: a severe shortage of nursing talent. In this blog post, we will delve into the current state of nursing jobs in the US, highlighting the key issues faced by healthcare organizations and presenting potential solutions to address this pressing matter.


The shortage of nursing talent is becoming increasingly evident, with open nursing roles in the US rising since Covid. Contributing factors include the high turnover rate due to pandemic-induced burnout and a significant number of nurses reaching retirement age. An aging population in need of constant care further exacerbates these challenges.


The outlook for the nursing shortage is far from optimistic. Experts predict that the problem will worsen in the coming years, affecting healthcare facilities across the nation. Cathy Henesey, Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Advent Health, and President of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals, warns that the situation is set to deteriorate in 2023 and 2024, adding more pressure on healthcare recruiters.


Certain states are grappling with a particularly severe nursing shortage, with a limited amount of nurses for patients they tend to. West Virginia, Maryland, and Oregon stand out as states with 3, 5, and 7 nurses per bed (amount of beds a single nurse tends to), respectively. To put this into perspective, even if these states managed to fill every open nursing role, they would still fall below the national average nurses-per-bed ratio (1.93 - 2.93).


Additionally, less populous areas are heavily reliant on travel nurses, making them vulnerable to potential future shortages. Wyoming, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Alaska are among the states with the highest percentage of open nursing roles designated for travel nurses.


To overcome the challenges posed by the nursing talent shortage, healthcare recruiters must explore innovative and sustainable solutions. One promising option is the use of modern tools like SeekOut for Healthcare, a comprehensive solution for finding nursing talent.


SeekOut for Healthcare combines proprietary SeekOut data with external sources to provide recruiters with valuable insights. This powerful tool offers access to information on 9.7 million nurses, covering 100% of licensed nurses in 45+ states. Moreover, recruiters can use more than 90 Power Filters to search by nurse specialty, ensuring they find the best-suited candidates for specific roles.


This platform also extends its capabilities to include international nurses and lapsed license holders, enabling recruiters to broaden their search beyond local borders and engage with a diverse pool of talent. With the ability to filter by license state, compact states, license type, status, and years with an active license, SeekOut for Healthcare empowers recruiters with accurate and up-to-date contact information for potential nursing candidates.


The nursing talent shortage in the United States is a pressing challenge that demands immediate attention. As the demand for nursing professionals continues to rise, healthcare recruiters must seek sustainable solutions to ensure healthcare organizations have the staffing resources they need to deliver exceptional care.


By embracing innovative tools, recruiters can tap into a vast network of nursing talent, regardless of geographical boundaries. The healthcare industry can bridge the gap and provide quality care to patients nationwide with a strategic approach and a commitment to nurturing and retaining nursing professionals.






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