A recent study published by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Nursing: Supply and Demand through 2020, reveals that the U.S. economy will create 1.6 million job openings for nurses through 2020. Of the 1.6 million job openings, 700,000 will be newly-created opportunities, while 880,000 will result from retirements.

The study also found that the nursing workforce will face a shortfall of about 200,000 professionals by 2020.

According to Tom Jacobs, CEO of MedHQ, a leading provider of human resources, accounting and back-office administrative services focused specifically on the ASC market, “This shortfall impacts the operating rooms (ORs) of ambulatory surgery centers all over the country, and is a growing concern for our clients.”

Jacobs shares three strategies to overcome the OR nursing shortage that ASCs are experiencing:

  1. Form relationships with local nursing programs. Jacobs said that, in some parts of the country, it is challenging to find a pool of quality OR nurses to choose from. He recommends reaching out to nursing programs in the area, and establishing a connection with the school. “This can provide your ASC with a major advantage,” said Jacobs. “However, it’s important to understand that this relationship-building is a long-term solution. It won’t solve the issue today.”
  2. Pay for relocation expenses. When looking to fill nursing opening, Jacobs noted it is understandable that the ASC wants to perform a local search only. But, that can greatly limit access to the most qualified candidates. Jacobs recommends ASCs should consider paying the relocation expenses of a candidate that is hired outside of the area.
  3. Establish a great culture at your ASC. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but a good start is helping nurses understand that an ASC provides a work/life balance that they are likely unfamiliar with. For instance, surgery centers typically don’t require nights, weekends, holidays, or call changes. It’s also important to provide high-quality health benefits and a competitive salaryfor OR nurses, said Jacobs. “Overall, make it a great place to work,” he said. “We’re fortunate most of the surgeons and doctors working in our facilities are great people and care deeply about establishing and maintaining a winning culture. And health benefits and competitive salary levels are an important part of the equation.”

If you are looking for a proven and trusted partner to manage your HR department activities, from recruitment and building culture to accounting and consulting, contact MedHQ. To learn more about Regent affiliations click here.