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Nurse shortage requires rethinking how we manage – and maximize – existing workforce

Oct 26, 2023

With the nurse workforce shortage expected to continue well into the 2030s, there’s no shortage of media reports and studies stressing the urgency of the situation.

In a Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021-23 report, more than 200,000 nurse position openings are expected each year for the next 10 years. Even as nurses leave the profession or retire, university nursing programs turning applicants away is in the headlines. This is because of the shortage of teaching staff for nurses, an issue long before the pandemic.

While healthcare stakeholders, lawmakers and nurse advocacy groups will continue to reference the “urgent situation” – and it is – the truth is there are few options for filling such rampant vacancies tomorrow.

So the question becomes, how do you retain and maximize the existing nurse workforce? Answers will require us to challenge decades of how we’ve managed our nursing staff. Simply put, retaining and making the most of today’s limited workforce means smarter, acuity-based staffing.

As a nurse and nurse leader with more than 20 years of experience, I have developed expertise in managing the nursing workforce. I spent years looking for a technological solution to help bridge the common nurse staffing data gap between the frontlines and finance – a system that would improve nurse scheduling, labor efficiency, patient care and the bottom line – but I never found a solution. This led to me to solve this problem by building my own platform called Parity.

In fact, I built it, tested it, and used it in my clinical units as a perinatal (obstetrics and neonatal ICU) nursing director. I leveraged data from the beta test to show our executive team and finance leaders how we could improve our nurse staffing in the perinatal specialty, which is one of the most complex areas of the hospital to staff. I was able to show a methodology to effectively transition to pure acuity-based staffing, while improving labor efficiency and reducing overall costs. 

I officially brought Parity to market in 2022 and organizations leveraging Parity are seeing 100% utilization of our software, alignment of nurse-to-patient ratios to our Industry Staffing Standards, 56% improvement in labor efficiency, reduction in high-cost nursing dollars and an increase in nurse satisfaction levels.

While there are no silver bullet solutions for resolving the nurse workforce shortage tomorrow, at Parity we’re offering an innovative solution to maximize today’s staff and providing data to help teams transition to acuity-based staffing.

Email me today to schedule a demo of the tool that’s revolutionizing nurse staffing.