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Building Your Dream Team:

How can you hire and keep the right people at your facility?

By Laura Kuhn

Close your eyes for a second and picture your facility, busy and bustling. Now, take all of the nurses and CNAs out of that picture in your head and watch your facility grind to a halt. Sure, this is an exercise in "make believe," but problems with staffing and turnover are very real.

With the number of available nursing jobs set to skyrocket in the next decade and turnover being notoriously highin long-term care, what can your facility do to not only hire the right people for available jobs but keep them once they're part of your team?

Millions strong and growing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses represent the largest healthcare occupation, with a total of more than 2.6 million jobs, about 5 percent of which are in nursing care facilities.1 Hot on their heels are the approximately 1.5 million working nurse's aides, orderlies and attendants. About 41 percent of those individuals work in nursing care facilities.2

Between 2008 and 2018, it's expected that employment for nursing aides, orderlies and attendants will rise by 19 percent, primarily in response to the needs of a growing elderly population.2 The need for registered nurses will also boom, resulting in an estimated 581,500 new jobs between 2008 and 2018. Hundreds of thousands of additional jobs will also be created when experienced nurses leave the workplace.1

Turnover troubles

Long-term care staffing problems don't stop at filling available positions. It can also be a battle to keep staff members. According to the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), the average national turnover rate for nurses working in aging services is 49 percent.3 As of July 2008, there were more than 19,400 RN vacancies in the long-term care setting.4 It's been estimated that up to 5 percent of a facility's budget can go toward the costs associated with nurse turnover.5

For CNAs, turnover swells to 71 percent. The total national cost of CNA turnover is a staggering $4 billion each year. 3

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