How the nursing shortage is affecting ASCs and medical practices

Nurses are among the most difficult staff members for ASCs and medical practices to recruit because of a nationwide shortage attributed to increased demand due to an aging population and burnout reaching new levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are five notes for ASC leaders, according to an April 5 poll from the Medical Group Management Association:

1. A lack of nurses lowers staff morale and leads to dissatisfaction for patients who are used to higher staffing levels during a visit in terms of processing medications, setting up referrals and scheduling.

2. Vacancies have pushed nurse wages higher, with especially high rates for temporary agency placements and travel nurses.

3. Some medical groups are closing one day a week more than normal to spread nurses across their locations to avoid cutting hours.

4. Time spent recruiting and interviewing candidates has been much higher than before the pandemic.

5. The strain on nurses before and during the pandemic has led many to consider leaving the profession.

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