Accurate Home Care (@AccurateHmCare) President & CEO Bill English was recently quoted in Home Health Care News regarding the challenges of recruiting new nurses, a topic he spoke about while attending Aging Media Network’s Continuum conference in December.
“The country is not producing enough nurses coming out of the schools,” he said. “If you talk to any president or CEO of a major health care system, they’ll tell you the number one thing is nurses. We lost so many nurses during COVID.”
Students see the growing need for more nurses and are enrolling, or trying to enroll, in nursing programs. But colleges and universities are having difficulty meeting that demand because of limited funds, a shortage of nursing faculty members and insufficient facility space, according to Inside Higher Education. As a result, more than 80,500 qualified nursing program applicants were turned away by schools last year, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. That compares with about 57,000 in 2013 and only about 16,000 in 2003.
Meanwhile, U.S. hospital RN vacancies are expected to grow from about 150,000 full-time nurses in 2022 to about 400,000 in 2027, according to L.E.K. Consulting, a global strategy consulting firm based in London and Boston.
In the Home Health Care News article, English noted that prior to the start of the pandemic, Accurate had about 350 nurses. The company currently employs roughly 220. One of Accurate’s biggest strategies for combating the nursing shortage is positioning the company as the employer of choice and focusing on culture.
“We have to focus heavily on culture, and we have to focus heavily on purpose, and try to attract those who have a heart for home care, and the money is secondary to them,” English said. “Those are the nurses that we went after. Today, we [are ranked] as one of the top 200 workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.”