According to a report by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), eight of the top 30 growth occupations projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are in the healthcare industry, with nurses being the number one job title on the list.

So it’s not surprising that nurse staffing will be a huge area of growth for healthcare organizations, hospitals and also for healthcare staffing firms. In fact healthcare staffing firms have seen a hefty increase in staffing needs since late 2009. And, according to SIA, healthcare staffing is expected to continue to increase by 8% in 2013.

One of the additional factors affecting healthcare staffing is the recent New York state bill mandating a maximum nurse-to-patient ratio (one nurse for every two intensive care patients) in 185 acute care hospitals across the state. New York would be the second state after California to enact such a mandate.

The issues surrounding the mandate come from both sides: the nurses themselves and the hospitals.

  • The hospitals object to the mandate because they fear it will create a huge increase in costs due to a forced increase in staffing, suggesting it will end up costing patients more for healthcare.
  • The nurses and their nursing organizations cite several studies showing each extra patient a nurse has above an established nurse-patient ratio makes it 7% more likely that one of the patients will die, and that 20,000 people died each year because they were in hospitals with overworked nurses.

There is no doubt that more nurses improve patient outcomes, but how can more temporary or temp-to-hire nurses or healthcare workers help alleviate the situation? Initially, using temporary staffers may allow hospitals and healthcare organizations to create more “regular” shifts for full-time employees without overworking existing staff.

The bottom line? The healthcare industry needs more workers and healthcare staffing firms are stepping in to meet the demand and improving their processes to offer a better alternative. Be sure you work with a staffing franchise with extensive experience in the healthcare field, like AtWork Group, and one that specializes in your area.

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