AMN Healthcare Survey: Hospital Executives See Continued Shortage of Physicians, Nurses and Advanced Practitioners
Hospital Vacancy Rate for Physicians, Nurses at 17% or Higher
Dec. 12, 2013, Seventy-eight percent of hospital executives believe there is a
shortage of physicians nationwide, 66 percent believe there is a
shortage of nurses, and 50 percent believe there is a shortage of
advanced practitioners, according to a new survey conducted by AMN
Healthcare, the innovator in workforce solutions and staffing services.
The survey also indicates that the vacancy rate for physicians at
hospitals approaches 18 percent, while the vacancy rate for nurses is 17
percent, considerably higher than when AMN Healthcare conducted a
similar survey in 2009.
"Change in healthcare is a continuous evolution, but the one constant
is people," said AMN President and Chief Executive Officer Susan Salka.
"No matter what models of care are in place, it takes physicians,
nurses and other clinicians to provide quality patient care, and the
fact is we simply do not have enough of them."
AMN Healthcare's 2013 Clinical Workforce Survey asked hospital
executives nationwide to comment on clinical staffing trends affecting
their facilities. More than 70 percent rated the staffing of
physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants as a
high priority in 2013, compared to only 24 percent of hospital
executives who rated staffing these professionals as a high priority in
AMN Healthcare's 2009 workforce survey.
In addition, hospital executives responding to the 2013 survey
reported considerably higher vacancy rates for clinical professionals at
their hospitals than those surveyed in 2009. Hospital executives
reported a 17.6 percent vacancy rate for physicians at their facilities
in 2013, compared to a 10.7 percent vacancy rate four years ago. An even
larger growth in vacancy rates was reported for nurses, with nurse
vacancies rising to 17 percent in 2013 from only 5.5 percent in 2009.
The vacancy rate reported for allied professionals also showed
significant growth, rising to 13.3 percent in 2013 from only 4.6 percent
According to Ms. Salka, an improving economy only explains part of
the growth in vacancy rates and the increased priority hospital
executives are giving to clinical staffing. Other macro trends,
including a growing demand for services, an aging clinical workforce,
and the impact of health reform also are coming into play.
"We are expanding access to healthcare and restructuring the delivery
system to improve quality and reduce costs at the precise moment when a
wave of physicians and nurses is set to retire," Ms. Salka said. "It
will take new, collaborative and innovative staffing models to ensure
our workforce is aligned with the goals we all want to reach."
In other findings, the survey indicates that more than 65 percent of
hospital executives believe the influx of patients newly insured through
the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase the need for physicians at
their facilities, while greater than 63 percent said the ACA will
increase the need for nurses and more than 52 percent said it will
increase the need for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Physicians were rated by hospital executives as the most difficult type
of clinical professional to recruit, followed by nurses, nurse
practitioners and physician assistants. Hospital executives indicated
that 42% of physicians on their staffs are employed by the hospital and
further indicated that 43 percent of their physicians are paid at least
in part for achieving quality outcomes.
The full report can be found on the Industry Research page of the AMN Healthcare website, www.amnhealthcare.com, or by calling 800-282-0300. Click here to access the survey directly.
About the 2013 Clinical Workforce Survey
AMN Healthcare's 2013 Clinical Workforce Survey looks at healthcare
workforce issues from the perspective of hospital leaders, including
chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs),
department heads and others. The survey reflects the strategic emphasis
hospital leaders place on workforce challenges, how they view the
current supply of healthcare professionals, whether the need for such
professionals is growing or diminishing, the vacancy rate of healthcare
professionals, and related issues.
In June 2013, AMN Healthcare's 2013
Clinical Workforce Survey was sent by email to 5,000 hospital CEOs, CFOs
and other leaders through a random list provided by a third party
company. Surveys also were completed by hospital executives attending
the 2013 American Hospital Association annual meeting and by those
attending the 2013 annual meeting of the Healthcare Financial Management
Association. A total of 166 surveys were completed for an approximate
response rate of three percent.