How hospitals are managing nurse burnout and staffing shortages

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 12:16 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2022 at 4:01 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - As nurses and other health care workers approach the two year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials say they are concerned about keeping workers in the industry.

Nebraska Medicine said they have seen one-third of their new hires leave within the last fiscal year.

“That’s the highest we’ve ever seen,” Dr. Sue Nuss, Chief Nursing Officer at Nebraska Medicine said. “Some of them are leaving for traveling positions, some are leaving for jobs that are Monday through Friday, and some are leaving healthcare altogether.”

Dr. Nuss said burnout, compassion fatigue, and a lack of respect from patients and their families are just three of the main reasons driving workers out of the field.

“Our society as whole is tired,” Nuss said. “What our nurses want to do is just take care of their patients, they don’t want to deal with disrespectful patients and families.”

Bryan Health said 151 of its 400 openings are for RN positions.

Bryan Health is taking initiative to retain their employees by offering increased bonuses for hired employees that stay with their company for a certain amount of time.

“Last week we announced some retention incentives, tuition reimbursements, and student loan repayments for our employees,” Dr. Lisa Veil, vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Bryan Health. “Because of these critical staffing shortages, we’re significantly investing in our workforce. It is an extremely competitive environment, one we’ve never seen before.”

The impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on everyone, but hospitals hope these incentives will help piece back together the damaged healthcare workforce.

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