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Staff Retention in Long-Term Care: Keeping up with Staffing Demands

The US population of people over the age of 75 is expected to almost double in the next twenty years, and one in four Americans will be at least 65 by 2060. In the study Long-Term Services and Supports: Nursing Workforce Demand Projections by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the demand for RNs and LPNs is projected to grow by 46% in 2030.

There is a clear need for long-term care for those currently reaching retirement age now and in the near future. Unfortunately, the labor force is not keeping up with the exponential growth of senior care.

This year, an article published in the journal Health Affairs cited, "the mean and median annual turnover rates for total nursing staff were roughly 128 percent and 94 percent, respectively." The same study also found that "This may reflect for-profit nursing homes failing to support the needs of nursing staff and chain-owned facilities imposing stricter standardization and oversight on their employees."

Ashvin Ghandi, Ph.D., assistant professor at UCLA's Anderson School of Management and lead author of a Health Affairs study, told McKnight's Long-Term Care News, "There's a very clear negative relationship between quality ratings and turnover. Higher-rated facilities tend to have lower turnover rates. … Lower-quality facilities may induce staff to separate more frequently. They may choose to leave facilities that are low quality specifically for the reasons that make them low-quality."

A new bill introduced by lawmakers on the Senate Finance and Aging Committees on August 10th would require nursing homes to meet additional minimum staffing requirements but also includes additional Medicaid funds to support staffing and care improvement. Lawmakers are also calling for accountability by improving data collection, which began with the Payroll-Based Journaling initiative.

Senior care facilities need to focus not only on hiring but retaining staff. Operators and leadership teams have to consider what more they can do.

  • Tie orientation programs to staff retention

  • Implement a regularly scheduled employee recognition program

  • Establish a mentorship program

  • Take a close look at team culture

  • Offer a path to further careers:

  • Priority admissions for continuing education

  • Scholarships

  • Flexible work schedules

  • Promote from within

  • Measure company retention and turnover rates and coach through best practices

CareWork gives teams the tools to make work life easier for staff and provides regional and executive teams with the insight they need to measure turnover, retention, and staffing levels.

By integrating the systems you already use, CareWork ties your data together, recognizes achievement, and simplifies internal processes to promote a healthy work environment.

Are you ready to improve your overall efficiency and understand your staffing needs? If so, contact us today.



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