1 in 3 CNOs admit nursing shortages are harming patient care

Megan Knowles - Print  | 

As nursing shortages continue to challenge hospitals and health systems, over one-third of chief nursing officers said these shortages negatively affect patient care, with more CNOs viewing shortages as detrimental to patient satisfaction, according to a survey conducted by nursing care facilities company AMN Healthcare.

The survey measured how CNOs and other nurse leaders viewed the effects of nursing shortages across the healthcare industry.

"Nurse leaders are increasingly concerned about worsening nurse shortages and their impact on patient and staff satisfaction, as well as nurse recruitment," said Marcia Faller, PhD, RN, chief clinical officer at AMN Healthcare. "This survey also suggests that finding effective solutions to this situation may be beyond the capabilities of most healthcare organizations. They are going to need help, especially as nurse shortages get worse."

Here are six survey findings.

1. The majority of CNOs acknowledged their healthcare organizations are currently experiencing some level of nurse shortages, with 72 percent describing the shortages as moderate, significant or severe. Only 7 percent of respondents said there is no shortage.

2. Additionally, most CNOs believe the shortages would get worse over the next five years, with 28 percent of CNOs predicting a worsening in one year, 43 percent in two years and 61 percent in five years.

3. Over 80 percent of CNOs described challenges in recruiting nurses at their organization as moderate, significant or severe. Forty-one percent described it as significant or severe.

4. Thirty-four percent of CNOs said nurse shortages have a considerable or great negative impact on patient care. When asked about patient satisfaction, 41 percent viewed nurse shortages as considerably or greatly detrimental to how patients feel about their care. 

5. The majority of CNOs (61 percent) said shortages have a considerable or great negative impact on nurse morale, which is linked to patient satisfaction and patient care quality.

6. When asked about their nurse recruitment problems, CNOs said the two greatest challenges are lack of access to high-quality talent (32 percent) and their organization's location (37 percent).

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