Missouri Hospital Association report finds vacancy and turnover rates unstable: 7 key points

Missouri's hospital workforce vacancy and turnover rates are volatile, with significant variation regionally among the surveyed professions, according to a new report from the Missouri Hospital Association.

Here are seven key points from the report, as presented by the MHA.

1. No one cause is likely driving increased rates of vacancy and turnover. Rather, various external factors seem to be simultaneously influencing worker entry, exit and mobility within the workforce, the MHA said.  Some of these factors include an aging workforce, an aging population, a higher rate of chronic health conditions and an increase in the insured.

2. The two highest turnover professions are unlicensed assistive personnel at 32.6 percent and licensed practical nurse, non-IV certified at 20.4 percent.

3. The vacancy and turnover rates for nurse practitioners remained relatively stable and the rates for physician assistants dropped significantly.

4. In Missouri, approximately 44 percent of the advanced practice registered nurse workforce is age 50 or older. Among the RN workforce, 42 percent are age 50 or older. It is estimated that nearly half of nurses over the age of 50 plan to retire in 10 years, the report notes.

5. At the same time, based on the increases in vacancies and turnover, it appears that health professionals who were once putting off retirement or switching from part-time to full-time employment as a result of the economic downturn are beginning to retire, the MHA said. 

6. Both the retirements and an aging healthcare workforce threaten the healthcare system's ability to keep up with the growing number of insured individuals and the transition of the baby boomer generation into the Medicare program, according to the MHA.  Missouri currently has 1 million Medicare beneficiaries. If the state follows national trends, there could be as many as 1.5 million in 15 years.

7. In the midst of challenges, Missouri hospitals have invested in efforts to expand the state's healthcare workforce, according to the MHA. Most recently, MHA provided about $2 million in grant funding to individual projects at hospitals throughout the state. The "Grow Your Own" grants were awarded to fund programs designed to grow the workforce locally. The projects are in their final year and best practices for innovation in developing and attracting talent locally will be available when the projects end.

MHA also contributed $500,000 again this year to support the state's Primary Care Resource Initiative for Missouri, or PRIMO program.

"There is no single solution to the state's healthcare workforce challenge. However, there's great need and tremendous opportunity," Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO, said in a news release. "High vacancy and turnover is costly for hospitals, but they represent a great opportunity for job seekers as both the health care workforce and the model of care delivery transitions. As more workers enter the professions, the workforce should stabilize."


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Whidbey General Hospital nurses rally over contract
Cleveland Clinic to hire 500 RNs at 3 job fairs: 6 things to know
5 of the biggest issues nurses face today


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars