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Employer Quotes

The quotes below are from employers in this industry: Health Care

They are talking about this topic: Workforce Trends & Challenges


The quotes below are about this issue:
General Workforce Shortage: Many employers are having difficulty filling positions, particularly for LPNs, advanced practice and specialty, and clinical lab careers.

Employer Quote Region
"Personally, we don't see a lot of issues with hiring RNs, it's LPNs that are more difficult to find. Is there data on how many LPNs keep going with their education? Because that's the biggest issue—we can keep an LPN for a little bit of time while they're planning to become an RN or are actually in school to be an RN. But I no longer see LPNs that want it to be a career. And so, in the nursing homes, we really struggle with keeping LPNs because a lot of people go on with their education, which is great, but we can't afford to have a floor full of RNs." Central
"The whole information technology and electronic medical records, those information technology specialists—that's an area where we are also competing with private non-health-care industry. And just being able to afford to retain people in those job families—whether it be data gathering, or implementing and building the electronic medical record—it's really become a critical job family for us. And we're also starting to hear about the shortage that's anticipated in the coding area with the implementation of ICD-10. So, those are some of the job families that are kind of on our radar right now for the next one to three years." Central
"I don't want to undermine the wage, but the reality is we are getting paid a lot less. So, we are seeing people leaving the laboratory to go into nursing. That's a big issue for us in the laboratory profession." Central
"I still see a demand in the lab that I can't meet. We had a full-time position, and we actually had someone from another hospital in northern Minnesota call us and say, 'Hey, I have this person that—due to staffing—we have to let go.' And we had a position that was open, and he was the only qualified person that I interviewed. We hired him, and thankfully his life was such that he was able to relocate. But, yeah, I have maybe a handful of people apply for open positions, whether it's in the hospital or the clinic." Metro
"For lab, I have both the MLT and the two-year and the four-year. We probably get five applicants that we would even consider at all, and then, we're down to maybe two that even come close, and they're all brand new, right out of school. It takes us up to nine months to train them on the job, so our problem is finding even good ones that we can train." Metro
"We have had plenty of new grads apply, so no issues there right now. But some of the specialty positions—or the experienced RNs in certain areas—we've had a hard time finding those." Metro
"I think it's getting better. True partnerships with the employers and the school. I think—in the laboratory—we've seen a great deal of success. But I think that there's still work to be done. I think that the laboratory—just in looking at the titles up there—I had to smile. I'm sure to somebody outside the lab, you look and think, 'Gosh, these people are all complex in the laboratory!' People don't understand what we do, and because of that, the majority of the applicants we get—I'll get 50 applicants per job posting—and two or three applicants will actually qualify for the position. But I'll get every biology degree and chemistry degree out there, and they don't qualify." Metro
"If I look at who I hire five years from now, you know, for lab testing, it's molecular, it's DNA-based, it's RNA-based. It's all of those things we learned—that I learned—as a cytotechnologist. I'm not a clinical lab scientist. The data speaks a lot to the clinical lab science portion, but there's a two-year degree, folks, called cytotechs that are extremely misaligned. We don't have enough of them, and they are a right-hand assistant to the pathologist, which is a physician leader in the lab. So, we need good folks that can sit and do that work even while their work is becoming more complicated in terms of a molecular-based level. We used to be good at diagnosing things 90 percent of the time. Now, we have to be 99 percent sure when we put that diagnosis out the door that it's good. And that only happens by a trained person. So, I look at hiring—and it's also looking at the cytotechnology workforce—and asking, 'What else can we teach those folks to do?' Because they have a certain sub-skill set that's different than a clinical lab scientist and that's different than a clinical lab tech. And there is discussion about, in the future, making that more of an advanced practice provider level, so they can do more independent judgment. Because our line stops because we're not licensed to have an independent judgment, but we doing an underlay of independent judgment." Metro
"They're not going to sit for the boards or whatever, so in skilled nursing and long-term care, we need the LPNs, and I'm not finding grads. Our St. Paul location's doing okay, but..." Metro
"I'm not really finding LPNs, and I've got locations in southern Minnesota. I attend all the college fairs. I go to the classroom. I do mock interviews. I do whatever I can to get my face in front of them, and then they tell me they want to continue on to be an RN." Metro
"Many who have the bachelor's degree are retiring, so trying to get replacements for that kind of experience and, like they were saying, some of the specialty areas are difficult to fill. We've got a problem." Metro
"For us, we need the CNAs for our hospice care. Our service area is northern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota. The requirements to work in Wisconsin are different and require more hours than in Minnesota. So, we can't hire anybody from Wisconsin, unless they go back to school to get those extra hours. The transferability between Wisconsin and Minnesota is not possible with CNAs right now because of their requirements.

Question: And that's created a shortage?

Employer: Yes. Because we can't hire aides unless they can work in both states."
"Trying to recruit them to a very small hospital, in a very small town, it's difficult because it's not very glamorous. It's pretty basic work. I think that's where it takes a little more finesse. And I think creating those kinds of relationships ahead of time, or maybe getting some of your own people to go back to school and paying for that, or whatever you might need to do. Because, if you want to have a balance of medical technologists and medical lab technicians, MLT versus the four-year, that can be a little bit hard to maintain." Northeast
"I hire a lot of LPNs." Northeast
"I think that there's a lot of availability of that two-year RN, and we struggle more to get the four-year RN. In our organization, right now we are only hiring the four-year RN for acute care. And it also depends on the time of year. Right now, there is a pool of applicants, but by this fall we are really getting short on finding applicants. The other thing is that in Fargo—where we're taking a pool from the Minnesota side as well as from the North Dakota side—we are getting also a big pool of applicants that are coming from the Twin Cities. I don't know if you're seeing that at all in long-term care? We're getting a lot of applicants from the Twin Cities when they find out the hospitals there aren't hiring new grads. And then they're in our organization maybe a year, and then they move back.

Question: Move back to the Twin Cities?

Employer: Right. Or if you have a shift in Duluth—if there's not openings in Duluth, to look at outlines from the Duluth area as well. New grad applicants.

Question: Your preference is for a RN with four years?

Employer: Four years. They have to be signed off by the CNO in order to be hired if they are not a four-year prepared baccalaureate nurse."
"I've had an ad out now for seven months for an LPN with no hits. We decided we needed LPNs but we can't find them, so we'll go to all RNs. I put out an ad for an RN, and I got four in one day. But when they find out what the job entails, it's not glamorous enough. They don't want to do what an LPN does. And so we're stuck between a rock and a hard place because I need LPNs, but I can't get an RN to do what they do." Northwest
"In this area, greater Minnesota, it's generally always challenging to find professionals. It doesn't matter what occupation." Northwest
"I don't know what it's going to take, but we're struggling to find LPNs. They're just not out there. And they're going directly into the RN program, and then going to hospitals, I know we're close to Fargo, and I know a lot of people in our area go to Fargo. So, I don't know what the answer is." Northwest
"It sounds like there's a big demand in Bemidji for LPNs who are in northern Minnesota here. So, if there's a big demand for LPNs, there are maybe other programs with MnSCU—maybe that's the thing to take to MnSCU—that the other programs will have to ramp up there." Northwest
"Or maybe we need to actually promote what an LPN does. Because we have surveyed our students, and none of them want to be LPNs. They go through the program because it's the only option there. So, it's one of those really tough things. It used to be that—when I went through the LPN program—I wanted to be an LPN. So, things have changed. But there's certainly not the promotion there that we see for other health care fields. So, what's it like being an LPN? What's the great part about giving individualized care and having an opportunity to see what they do at long-term care facilities? It means you get to be connected with people. I think that the whole promotion of that career has been lost." Northwest
"I guess for us, even if our LPNs look different, and are trained differently three years from now than they are now, at least we have LPNs. I was talking to an administrator in another town saying, 'We're not able to admit residents at this time because we don't have the staff to care for them.'" Northwest
"We have 20 LPNs and all but one have graduated from the [MnSCU college] Licensed Practical Nursing Program. What I see happening at our long-term care facility is that they work as a CNA while they're going to LPN school. And then they are an LPN while they're going into the RN program. And maybe they complete that in a year or two. So, I see good solid staff for three to four years which is huge in this industry—there's not the staff turnover like a lot of people see.

I was in a class one time, and I was told that the City of Bemidji is the second fastest growing city in the state of Minnesota. That's huge. Bemidji is booming. You know, look around us—Bemidji is booming. But can I operate a long-term care facility without LPNs? No. I cannot. I would have to shut the doors. I will not do medicine trained technicians. I cannot afford to hire RNs. We already have three full-time RNs on our staff, including myself. And because of the reimbursement—that we all know has gone to zero—it's not practical for me to have RNs in our facility passing medicines when we're doing everything else. We need LPNs to do the dressing changes and to do the medicine management and communications with doctors. I can't do it without my nurses. Do you want me to close the doors of my long-term care facility after being so successful for ten years? I don't think so. This city needs it. And if you allow me to speak bluntly: This is not our problem. This is the problem of the technical college. You've got to figure out a way to keep the program going. To keep getting us nurses, so that we can provide care for the seniors—the growth in senior care is exploding. I get one to two referrals every single day. And I have four calls a day, 'I need my loved one placed today. Do you have an opening?' Are you kidding me? This is going to continue. We have got to keep our nurses afloat, and it can't be just RNs. We have our direct care staff that consists of CNAs. We need them. I absolutely support the CNA program at the vocational school. Are there qualified nurses coming out of the program? Absolutely. Do they need some guidance and direction? That's why we're there. We are all experienced RNs, and we know what needs to be done. And if we're going to do it right, we need to keep them. So, do we want to do it right? Or do we want to fail our seniors and not provide them with the care that they deserve? I don't know what else to say."
"We're short in therapists. Respiratory therapists and physical therapists are in short supply in our area." Northwest
"One of the barriers is that the college needs so many applicants in the class before they can run the class. And, the turnover in CNA is greater than the output coming out as certified.

Question: So, people work and then go on or leave?

Employer: Right. They're student-based a lot, and so they're moving on in life. And that creates a hole for us, as an employer, that can't be filled that quickly."
"Therapy and speech language pathologists. We've struggled with those in the past." Northwest
"I felt the same way being in long-term—that LPNs plan to move on to become RNs. And that creates a shortage. We don't have that pool of applicants either." Northwest
"CNAs are our ongoing shortage." Northwest
"The CNA level—the need for that to continue to grow. We also see some of the younger people, because it typically is a young base for the most part, it's not someone who's choosing it as a career anymore. You know, 20 years ago, being a CNA was a career. It was a life choice. And you did that, and you took care of your family. Now, we see it with the younger base as a stepping stone to something else, maybe not even in health care. But it's a great job when you're coming out of high school and going into college and all of that. So, the people who are choosing to stay in it are the younger ones that need some satisfaction, need somewhere to go within CNA. Right now, we're looking at what we can put in place for a career ladder within our organization that CNAs can accomplish to get to another level of education or competency.

Question: Something other than becoming an LPN or an RN?

Employer: Right. Something that we can offer within our organization to keep them satisfied even while they're going to school or if they're choosing to just stay with CNA, which we are hoping that a lot of people will choose to do. To get people to understand that it can be a career again, and to slow down some of this turnover."
"Employer 1: There are some periods of time where there are zero applications for LPNs. So, there's a shortage.

Employer 2: So, on the LPNs—zero applications?

Employer 1: At some points.

Employer 2: I would wonder—with the LPNs in that group—how many of those are pursuing their RN degrees?

Employer 1: That was my question, too.

Employer 3: Yeah. I had that.

Employer 1: What we see, too—we're in long-term care and we see the same thing. We might not get LPN applicants, or if we do get an LPN applicant it's someone who is pursuing their RN degree and probably isn't going to stay in that position long-term. I think our program in Alexandria—when I visit with the LPN students—probably 80 to 90 percent are planning to move on to the RN program. So, it's hard to find LPNs that want to remain LPNs."
"We don't have enough doctors, and we don't have enough NPs and PAs to deal with what's hitting the systems now. So, we have to ask, 'How can we meet people's needs in a different way?' This isn't a matter of even getting them through the schools and things like that, there's just simply not enough." Southeast
"I think about lab—you know, the different categories that are there. We might have one person or a half-time person that does blood bank, for example, or the cytologist or some of those kinds of things. So, there are a few that can be more difficult to find. And sometimes you don't even have a whole full-time position. So, as a smaller institution, those would be some of our struggles. And then does somebody have that skill set in our community? Or where would they get it? So, at the moment, we're not looking for those positions, but those would be things in the backs of our heads that we would be trying to figure out. And I think our solution would typically be to consider who, internally, we could train to get that skill set and incorporate it somehow in a position. So, there are some challenges in the smaller organization for really specialized roles." Southeast
"There are some areas—including senior services—where it's a little bit more difficult to attract in general across the field." Southeast
"From our long-term care perspective, the minimum data set coordinator is a critical role for us. The MDS folks make sure our charting is where it needs to be to maximize reimbursement and make sure we are taking advantage of everything that we can capture." Southeast
"I think this fluctuates, but certainly nursing assistants can be difficult to find at times." Southeast
"Our NP and PA populations have expanded almost exponentially over the last couple of years. We have them in every setting. They're in our ED, inpatient, senior services, home care hospice, long-term care, clinics, surgery—you know, pretty much across the board. And we've been fortunate to get a lot of really good individuals for that. I think that's the population that isn't yet—I mean it's relatively new. Everybody's going after them. The issue is really more about—because you can't get doctors—that becomes the next level. So right now, there is a lot going into those programs and we seem to be able to recruit for that from the upper-midwest of the state." Southeast
"There's also the need for occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists.

Question: You think you'll be short on those?

Employer: In the future."
"Those are probably the hottest positions that we're trying to recruit for¿NPs and PAs. We grew by nearly half in the last seven years. We're at nearly five hundred NP positions. We anticipate the next year being equal as far as our hiring. Last year, we filled 140 positions. That's transfers and internal shuffles, too, but also a lot of new grads. I think we were hiring about 90, which is astronomical really. We anticipate, over the next few years, that that will be the number one thing. In regards to that, the things we're looking for are individuals who can make that jump from an RN to an advance practitioner, and see their own patients. We struggle a bit with that piece." Southeast
"Nurse practitioners, that's a high demand area right now and we struggle with that." Southeast
"I'd like to speak for the retirement community business based upon conversations I've had with fellow CEOs and administrators. We're challenged at this point. It's comforting to hear that we're putting a lot of grads out, but we're challenged to find and retain nurses. In the rural areas, it's even more significant of a problem to find them. I hear stories—and these are national stories—where very bright kids can't get into nursing school because they only allow so many in. And there are shortages of instructors. There are reasons for that occurring, but it's pretty challenging right now, at least in our region down here in southeast Minnesota and above as well. I don't want to cause too much alarm, but I want to share that there are some pretty significant difficulties going on in our industry." Southeast
"What we've found is that people are graduating with the practical nursing, and then pursuing their RN quickly. So, the turnover and replacement is pretty frequent in our long-term care home health care setting with the LPN. That's where we've seen challenges. That's great career growth for the individual, but just a challenge from the employer perspective." Southeast
"Medical coding has become a challenge for us. In particular, there is a specific coding language—and I don't remember what the actual term is off-the-top-of-my-head—but that's a big challenge right now. We're looking all over the nation for the right coders to meet the needs that we have right now. We're even exploring opportunities where people could work at home and telework, so that they don't have to move from California to Rochester." Southeast