US healthcare workforce: 30 stats, study findings for hospital leaders to know

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and health systems across the U.S. have grappled with workforce challenges, including staffing shortages. For a closer look at the healthcare workforce, Becker's Hospital Review compiled key stats and study findings for hospital and health system leaders to know. 

Halting services

Several hospitals have had to scale back care in the wake of workforce shortages. 

As of July 19, these six hospitals had announced plans in recent months to do so:

1. University Hospitals (Cleveland) 

2. Beverly (Mass.) Hospital

3. Martin General Hospital (Williamston, N.C.)

4. South Lincoln Medical Center (Kemmerer, Wyo.)

5. Kootenai Health (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)

6. Memorial Hospital of Carbon County (Rawlins, Wyo.)

Workforce tenure 

Healthcare workers have left their hospital jobs or the industry altogether for various reasons during the pandemic. Below are three study findings reported in recent months related to the tenure of workers.

1. Between March 2021 and March 2022, the median nursing tenure in the U.S. fell by 19.5 percent amid increased demands on workers, according to a study by Epic Research, an Epic Systems journal. 

2. A study published July 18 in in JAMA Network Open found that high child care stress among healthcare workers was associated with 28 percent greater likelihood of intent to leave the job within two years.

3. The 2022 "Nurse Salary Research Report" found 29 percent of nurses are considering leaving the profession, up from the 11 percent who said the same in the 2020 survey. 

Strikes in 2022

Healthcare workers have participated in labor strikes across the U.S., citing concerns about staffing, patient care, working conditions and employee retention. 

Eleven strikes reported by Becker's Hospital Review this year:

1. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 829 began an open-ended strike July 18 at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Calif. Union members approved a new labor deal July 29, ending the strike.

2. Members of the California Nurses Association began a one-day strike June 23 at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

3. Members of the California Nurses Association began a two-day strike June 22 at AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif.

4.  Members of the JNESO District Council 1 IUOE-AFL-CIO labor union went on strike May 23 at Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, N.J. The strike ended after union members voted June 22 to accept the hospital's latest contract proposal. 

5. Kaiser Permanente mental health professionals in Hawaii began a three-day strike May 18. 

6. Members of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West ended a five-day strike May 13 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. 

7. Nurses at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospitals in Palo Alto, Calif., began a strike April 25. 

8. Nurses and healthcare workers at Sutter Health facilities in Northern California went on strike April 18. 

9. Nurses at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital in Kittanning, Pa., began a five-day strike March 13.

10. Nurses at AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., went on strike March 30.

11. Nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., ratified a new contract Jan. 3, officially ending a 301-day strike.

Hospital layoffs

Amid financial and operational challenges, several hospitals and health systems are laying off workers. Here are 10 hospitals that recently announced layoffs.

1. Greene County Medical Center (Jefferson, Iowa)

2. Trinity Health at Home home healthcare and hospice agency (West Springfield, Mass.) 

3. St. Charles Health System (Bend, Ore.)

4. Penn Highlands Connellsville (Pa.) Hospital

5. Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic's Mercy Senior Health Center (Philadelphia)

6. Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center (Ogdensburg, N.Y.)

7. OhioHealth (Columbus)

8. ProMedica (Toledo, Ohio)

9.  Bristol (Conn.) Health

10. Santa Cruz Valley Hospital (Green Valley, Ariz.)  

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