The nation’s aging population coupled with a rise in chronic diseases and behavioral health conditions has unequivocally increased the demand for a talented, qualified and engaged health workforce. At the same time, the looming pandemic has consistently overburdened facilities and staff, further complicating workforce retention and recruitment strategies. As a nation, we’re seeing an unprecedented healthcare workforce shortage, and New York alone is estimated to have 1.1 million job openings for direct care by 2029, and a shortage of 39,000 registered nurses by 2030
The health care workforce is the backbone of the care delivered by our health systems. To develop solutions that enable New York State to better recruit, train and retain the workforce needed, the Foundation provided a $750,000 grant to the Home Care Association of New York State ‘Statewide Hospital Home Care Collaborative’ to host a first-of-its kind workforce development summit and develop a solutions-oriented report.
The healthcare collaborative, led by the Home Care Association of New York State, the Healthcare Association of New York State and the Iroquois Healthcare Association, brought together state and national leaders, healthcare providers and other organizations across New York. Critical groups, including the NYS Department of Health, American Hospital Association and the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders came together to dive deeper into the challenges New York currently faces and to discover avenues for partnership that will improve future workforce experiences and positively impact patient care.
On August 11, the healthcare collaborative released the ‘Workforce Summit Summary’ report outlining the key takeaways from the Workforce Summit, which the collaborative has shared with statewide leaders, including Governor Kathy Hochul. The report, informed by successful initiatives and research happening around the country, outlines challenges and innovative solutions to encourage collaboration and foster long-term, sustainable change for the healthcare industry, including:
– Implementing evidence based tested recruitment and retention training models
– Creating new models of training, including early exposure to health care-related careers beginning in middle school
– Developing new career advancement opportunities and career ladders
– Providing proper compensation
– Learning more about the challenges that existing workers face
The health workforce emergency is a complex, health systemwide issue that requires a collaborative, coordinated, and integrated approach to support the health workforce immediately and long term. HCANYS’s new report will serve as a resource for hospitals and home care agencies to cultivate partnerships and take actionable steps to improve recruitment, training and retention of healthcare workers.
The report will help accelerate changes in the state to ensure healthcare workers are well-staffed and well-trained to continue delivering life-saving care to underserved New Yorkers.