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Health Care Help Wanted: Finding Solutions to the Staffing Shortages

Since 2020, the number of nurses providing direct patient care has dropped abruptly. Not only are nurses retiring, but young nurses are leaving the bedside at alarming rates. Adding in the stress of working through a pandemic, hospital vacancy rates for registered nurses are inching closer to 20%.

Many ideas have been floated for how to fix the situation: Enrolling more students in nursing programs, and increasing nurse pay. But what will it take to shore up the nursing profession? BPC’s health project is exploring the current nursing shortage and potential solutions through conversations with policy experts.

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Help Wanted: Alleviating the Nursing Shortage

With nursing vacancy rates at alarmingly high levels in hospitals and nursing homes across the country, concerns over safety, the availability of care, and the very future of nursing have heightened. While the supply and demand of nurses has historically been cyclical, the extreme shortages that have emerged during the pandemic indicate the need for more fundamental policy change. The first of two events will explore nursing workforce trends, why nurses are leaving, and possible solutions to enhancing the nursing pipeline and improving retention rates.

Please join BPC on Monday, March 14, at 2:00 PM ET as we convene experts and stakeholders for a virtual discussion on the latest on nursing workforce.

Featured Participants

Introduction by:

Bill Hoagland
Senior Vice President, BPC
@billhoagland

Panel discussion with:

Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Professor, Montana State University; Health Care Economist

Maureen Chadwick, PhD, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Senior Vice President for Nursing and Clinical Operations, Ascension Travel Program

Charles (Chip) Kahn
President & CEO, Federation of American Hospitals
@chipkahn

Deborah Trautman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
President & CEO, American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Moderated by:

Sheila Burke,MPA, RN, FAAN
Senior Adviser, BPC; Strategic Adviser, Baker Donelson

Shoring Up the Nursing Workforce: What Policies Can Get Us Back on Track?

The nursing shortage has become a topic of concern across the U.S. Since 2020, the number of nurses providing direct patient care has dropped precipitously, as more young nurses leave the bedside. Hospital vacancy rates for registered nurses have nearly doubled from 9% to 17% – vacancies which directly impact patient care.

Join BPC and our panel of experts on May 10 as we mark National Nurses Week with a discussion on policy solutions to address the nursing workforce crisis. We will take an in-depth look at the federal response to this crisis and how health systems and schools of nursing are approaching the nursing shortages, and what potential long-term policy solutions might look like.

Featured Participants

Introduction by:

Bill Hoagland
Senior Vice President, BPC

Charles “Chip” Kahn
President & CEO, Federation of American Hospitals

Panel discussion with:

Linda A. McCauley RN, Ph.D., FAAN, FAAOHN
Dean of Emory School of Nursing

Patricia “Polly” Pittman, Ph.D
Professor of Health Workforce Equity, Director of the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity, The George Washington University

Mark Vogt
CEO of Galen College of Nursing

Maria Zangardi
Division Vice President, Human Resources, Behavioral Health at UHS

Moderated by:

Sheila Burke, MPA, RN, FAAN
Senior Adviser, BPC; Strategic Adviser, Baker Donelson

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