hospital staffIt looks like 2014 is shaping up to be a perfect storm of healthcare staffing challenges. As the Affordable Care Act takes effect, healthcare providers are encountering their first wave of newly-insured patients. With more patients now covered, more are seeking care –  leading to an increased need for healthcare professionals.

A recent report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies says 4.6 million new healthcare jobs will be created in the next 10 years.  Many industry analysts predict a spike in demand for physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and RN’s with advanced practice skills. These professionals are particularly sought-after because they can perform much of the work of physicians, at a lower cost.  Healthcare executives will continue to seek ways to contain core operating costs, of which staffing is a major component.

With the Affordable Care Act moving healthcare providers to a value-based model of care, hospital administrators are rethinking the way they do everything. According to Healthcare Finance News  finding new sources of revenue continues to top the healthcare CFO “to-do” list. One frequently-considered option is the creation of ambulatory care centers, which require additional staff — often with PA, NP and APRN credentials.

Adding to the pressure to find qualified RN’s, is a slowing trend in nursing school enrollment. While the number of students registering for nursing degrees is rising, it is rising at a slower pace than in previous years. Many nursing schools are concerned about their ability to find the qualified teachers they need to keep their programs going.

All this may add up to fierce competition to hire the best nurses out there.

How can you make sure you’ve got access to the widest possible pool of candidates? And is there a cost-effective way to ensure that you’re hiring the most qualified nurses? We recommend tapping into the power of a VMS.  A VMS expands your access to the candidates you need, and to the specialties your organization needs most. With a VMS like Candidate Direct, you can be confident that the candidates are pre-qualified and field-tested. Short-term assignments can be an ideal way to make sure that an employee is perfect for your organization, whether on a contingent or  long-term basis.

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