Northeast Ohio faces a projected shortage of 3,500 nurses by 2020—a fate that hospital officials throughout the region are working to address.
“Every RN is the golden goose,” said Tony Montville, the Cleveland branch manager for Medical Staffing Network, a national healthcare staffing company. “The nirvana of recruiting success is being able to get a good, solid RN.”
Many of the shortages and challenges in Northeast Ohio reflect the same issues facing the entire country: aging populations, increasing retirements, fewer people entering the workforce and a shift toward population health and keeping communities well that takes a whole new skill set. However, the reputation and growth of Northeast Ohio's medical institutions presents some unique challenges and opportunities.
For one, the region is a good sell for someone who wants to enter healthcare. But as a major healthcare region, Northeast Ohio needs more high-skilled workers than other parts of the country, said Pat Cirillo, vice president of initiatives and analytics for the Center for Health Affairs, an advocacy group for Northeast Ohio hospitals, noting that only a few other areas can claim a similar level of international attractiveness for healthcare services.
“A shortage in healthcare workers not only impacts our ability to take care of our own citizens; it also impacts our economy, because those are outside dollars coming in,” she said.
—Lydia Coutre, Crain's Cleveland Business