Nursing Shortage Grows

The Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is experiencing what hospitals across the state are seeing, according to the Hutchinson News – skilled nursing staff levels are down about 30%.

According to the Kansas Hospital Association, 13 of Kansas’ 125 hospitals statewide are anticipating critical staffing shortages this week.

The Kansas City Star reports that, even before the pandemic, nurses were in short supply, with turnover usually higher than 10% and vacancies around 5%.

The last year, hospitals saw staff burn out, retire, or leave for higher-paying jobs.

Turnover among Kansas Registered Nurses more than doubled from 7% in 2019 to 16% in 2020.

At the end of the year, hospitals reported that 9% of RN positions were vacant.

A Kansas Hospital Association spokeswoman says that the staffing shortage makes it stressful and challenging for the people that are left to care for patients.