Missouri nursing vacancy, turnover rates jump

Missouri hospitals face the highest vacancy rate of nurses ever recorded, according to an Oct. 17 report from Jefferson City-based NBC affiliate KSNF.

According to the Missouri Hospital Association, the current vacancy rate for staff nurses is 19.8 percent, nearly 8 percent higher than in 2021 and nearly 10 percent higher than in 2019. Missouri has 33,692 nurses working in hospitals and 8,334 vacant staff nurse positions. Additionally, data from the report shows the 2022 statewide nursing turnover rate at 22.1 percent. Staff registered nurses comprise the state's largest single cohort of hospital employees, with a 12 percent increase in vacancies over 2021. 

"We're not making nurses fast enough to be able to meet the need. Right now, one of the things that is the mountain for us to climb in order to get to where we can educate more nurses, first we have to get enough nursing faculty," Joy Roberts, interim dean for the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies, told KSNF. 

The Missouri State Board of Nursing 2020 annual report showed that of 90 pre-licensure nursing programs in Missouri, there were at least 45 unfilled full-time and 44 open part-time nurse faculty positions.

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