For Healthcare Workers, It's Not (Just) About Money

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 4, 2011
Here are some of its key findings:
  • Of healthcare workers who responded 51% said that a lack of advancement opportunities was the top challenge they faced, and 40% cited work overload as their biggest challenge. 
  • Nurses are more concerned with a good environment than with the amount of money they make. Nurses, the hardest providers to recruit and retain, ranked salary fifth (35%) on their list of biggest workplace challenges. Topping their list was insufficient staff (49%) and a lack of advancement opportunities (49%).
  • Tenure rates for nurses are low across different healthcare organizations. Analysis of CareerBuilder databases revealed that registered nurses have a median tenure of 1.4 years. Physicians' offices see the lowest nurse turnover, with median job tenure of 1.57 years, while nursing care facilities have the highest at .97 years. Falling in the middle were kidney dialysis centers (1.23) and home healthcare services (1.17).
  • A wide disconnect exists between benefits offered by employers and what employees say their organizations provide. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that in-house skills trainings were offered by their employer, however, 68% of healthcare employers said they provided the perk. Licina said this disconnect shows that while healthcare organizations may be offering valuable perks, they are not communicated effectively to employees.
  • Patient-to-staff ratios are strained, leaving workers spread thin with little time for career development. Fifty-seven percent of healthcare workers said that patient-to-staff ratio is worsening, allowing less time for professional development and career advancement and requiring more time on day-to-day duties.

Outside of a few specifics, such as the alarmingly short length of nurse tenure, there is nothing in the survey that leaps out as a surprise. Spend a few minutes talking to nurses and they'll say as much.


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