Analysis suggests potential instability and workforce gaps in the US healthcare sector. A call to action for all stakeholders could help.
COVID-19 has altered many US nurses’ career plans. Over the past two years, McKinsey has found that nurses consistently, and increasingly, report planning to leave the workforce at higher rates compared with the past decade.
Even as COVID-19 cases fluctuate, US healthcare providers are still experiencing the workforce and operational challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. Patient demand is expected to rise, given the growing and aging population of the United States. Without addressing this potentially wider divide between patient demand and the clinical workforce, with a specific focus on nurses, the US health sector could face substantial repercussions.
If no actions are taken, there will likely be more patients in the United States who will need care than nurses available to deliver it.
This report from McKinsey& Company provides context for how COVID-19 changed the nursing workforce, the long-term implications for nurses and healthcare stakeholders, and actions to consider to increase the odds of closing the gap. In the last section, it highlights how healthcare providers, federal and state governments, the private sector, the nursing workforce, and broader society could encourage those who are training to be nurses.