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Top 4 Reasons Your Hospital is Short Staffed

There are certainly more than four reasons that your hospital is short-staffed. However, regardless of how you look at it, the reasons essentially fall into TWO categories. Issues you can affect; and issue you can't. The reasons are frustrating no matter which category they fall into so let's take a look at the top 4.

Now, I don't want to oversimplify. While I do believe the reasons fall into one of two categories, there is a hypothetical asterisk next to some of those reasons. Like, you could say that nurses are unhappy (not in the top 4 in the video) with their job. So, in some ways that's something that can be changed through employee engagement, salary, opportunities for advancement. But if the functions or responsibilities of the job are causing them to be unhappy, then there isn't really anything that can be changed. There are some nuances that allow these reasons to be argued for one category or the other, but I'll weigh my experience and over 5,000 hires along with some simple reasoning for why these top 4 belong in one category or the other.

1. Not enough schools and resources to train new nurses. I'll argue that individuals likely cannot affect these issues. Nursing schools in the United States turned away over 80,000 qualified students. This is a problem that will require massive changes in education resources. And most challenging of all, it will require changes at the state legislature regarding the establishment of new nursing programs. Making those changes is such a galactic task, that for all intents and purposes, this is not an issue that can be affected in the immediate future.

2. Nurses are retiring. This is a pretty straight-forward one for me. I mean, someone could make it harder for nurses to retire, but that would be insane. Needless to say, this is not an issue that can be impacted by individuals....nor should it be.


3. Nurses are leaving at a higher rate than average. And many cite staffing problems as the reason they leave. Low staffing impacts patient care, morale, and in very rare circumstances it can jeopardize the license of the individual or accreditation of a hospital. Actually I probably should talk a lot more about that because there are unfortunately a lot of misconceptions. Anyway, the high levels of attrition can absolutely be changed in my opinion. We can make a huge impact by addressing reason #4.

Healthcare professionals who applied but never got interviewed, Oppomed Oppohire
They applied and never even got an interview

4. Great applicants apply, but due to the compilated, convoluted, and inconsistent hiring process, many simply fall through the cracks or never get a shot at an interview. This is the most frustrating issue, but fortunately it's also the easiest thing to change. The simple solution is that candidates should be able to meet hiring managers without having to jump through hoops. Oh, there will still be plenty of hoops later. But once that initial step is taken, once the manager says "Hire Her!", things start to happen relatively fast. HR will argue that candidates must all follow the same process. But that's not true. They are lying. Because trust me, if a physician, or hospital executive emails the recruitment manager with the name of a CNA...that person is given an interview right away. So, that's why the solution is so simple. Candidates need to meet the hiring manager, and vice versa. Start there, because I'm not saying HR is useless in the hiring process; but if they want to add real value, they would connect people and get them through the hiring process as quickly as possible.



Nichole S.
Nichole S.
Nov 26, 2021

This is what has bothered me for awhile now. It seems like those who have recently graduated can’t find job placement. With COVID still being an issue and hospitals being understaffed, it makes no sense why this process has to be this difficult. I come from a family of nurses and it boils my blood. I am retired and I know the process was not like this when I was hired 30 years ago.


Linh Hà
Linh Hà
Oct 06, 2021

Learning to be a good Nurse is really hard. As a recent graduate, I understand the problem of the shortage of Nurses in hospitals, but I also face the big problem of complicated recruitment. After the article, I will meet the hiring manager to go through the selection to become a nurse.

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