Staffing Shortage, Burnout, Retention

Staffing Shortage, Burnout, Retention  

Staffing Shortages, Burnout and Employee Retention

September 22, 2023

Health care is facing three significant issues causing staff shortages: retirement, burnout and employee retention. In 2016, the World Health Organization predicted that there would be a global shortage of nearly 18 million health care workers by 20301. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed workers out the door at an exponential rate as an estimated 1 in 5 health care professionals decided to leave the field2

Shortage of health care workers

Every discipline of health care work is affected by a shortage: doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, medical assistants and so many more. Not only are there not enough people available for jobs now, but the pipeline is also thinning with not enough students in nursing or medical schools to replenish the workforce in transition. In the United States, it’s estimated that nearly 50% of its entire health care workforce will leave their positions with no plan to replace them by 20253.

With people living longer and birth rates at a decreased level, population change is harming the chance of empty positions being filled by younger workers. To help with this, more people need access to education. Health care facilities should partner with nearby universities to develop residences for graduating medical students as well as clinical training opportunities for nurses, respiratory therapists and others. 

Ways to attract and retain health care workers

Like most professions, moving to a hybrid type of employment can prove beneficial in attracting and retaining employees. If applicable, allowing workers to practice in a virtual setting from home can help avoid burnout and provide new career opportunities. Read a previous Risk Management post to learn 6 Burnout Tips For Health Care Workers.

Offering salary increases and bonuses is another way to keep workers happy. If they worked through the height of the pandemic, offering hazard pay may help. If workers leave a job for another role of the same capacity, pay is usually a factor, so offering competitive salaries and benefits can help retain people.

Providing in-hospital day care is a benefit many parents could use. By offering this service, an employee can still come to work and know their baby or child is being watched by someone they can trust, without having to pay the high costs associated with an independent day care.

Along with providing in-hospital day care, caregiving leave and flexibility are great perks to add to the benefit package. While mothers and fathers enjoy being home with their newborn, other individuals can make use of these benefits when caring for a parent, grandchild or other family member. At a bank in Australia, grandmothers were given the chance to take a two-year sabbatical to care for their grandchildren4.

Lastly, providing your health care workers with professional liability insurance options can allow them to care for patients worry-free if they know their career is protected. Visit to learn more about our coverage options.

Nothing will fix this problem overnight. But as a health care facility, if you push for better benefits, support your workforce and increase education opportunities, there are ways to help keep your current pool of workers happy and attract some new employees.

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