Healthcare Recruitment - On Life Support (Part 1 of 3)

The Supply and Demand Issue 

There has been a substantial change since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. It is estimated that more than 17.6 million new Americans now have healthcare coverage. Combine this with an aging baby boomer population with increased medical needs; an aging care giver population reaching retirement age; an inadequate supply of new healthcare workers joining the field; and a stronger economy and the result is a significant healthcare talent crisis. 

The Demand Element

According to the AAMC President, Darrell G. Kirch, “the population is aging too fast”. 

  • The population of older workers will double between 2000 and 2030
  • Baby boomers are turning age 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next 19 years
  • A new Medicare beneficiary is created every 8 seconds
  • 13% of the US population was 65 or older in 2010, projected to grow to 30% by 2030

Data also suggests that individuals over age 65 incur 3 times as many hospital stays annually. 

The Supply Element

There are numerous reports on the aging caregiver population. Let’s just start by looking at the nursing profession alone:

  • 55% of the RNs are 50 or older (approaching retirement age) according to “Diagnosing the Healthcare Staffing Challenge” article by HR Technology
  • 62% of the nursing population over the age of 54 are considering retirement right now according to “Becker’s Hospital Review”

Based on all these numbers, it is safe to assume a large RN population will be exiting the workforce over the next decade. 

According to “Becker’s Hospital Review” there is an inadequate increase in new RNs year over year. 

  • US nursing programs have actually contracted the past several years
  • According to AACN, nursing schools turned away 78,089 qualified nursing student applicants last year due to lack of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget 

The Recruiting Crisis

Healthcare hiring needs continue to skyrocket. Last year according to the “Becker’s Hospital Review” 495,000 new healthcare jobs were created. 

  • 41,000 new healthcare positions were created per month in 2015
  • The largest recorded hiring increase in the last 26 years according to the BLS
  • Demand for nurses alone is to grow by 20% from 2012 through 2022 according to “Top Healthcare Recruiting Trends for 2015” by Bryan Barajas
  • There will be 5 million new healthcare jobs by 2022
  • 1 out of every 3 new job openings will be healthcare related
  • Much of the hiring will shift to outpatient settings… while hiring at hospitals is expected to slow

Healthcare companies will be forced to think about new ways of doing business.  In part 2 of the series we will take a look at some of the associated costs, specific hiring demands and challenges being realized within the industry