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Staffing shortages continue to plague nursing homes nationwide


As life is getting to a better semblance of normalcy in a post-pandemic world, issues that arose during the worldwide health crisis remains. For nursing home residents and the family members who place trust that staff and management are ensuring the absolute highest level of quality care in a safe environment.

The deadly virus has already taken the lives of more than 200,000 long-term care residents and staff since the beginning of the pandemic.

Employee turnover putting residents and staff at risk

While COVD-19 impacted these care facilities’ operations, problems involving staff shortages and significant turnover rates existed long before the early months of 2020. For decades, these problems increased mortality and hospitalization rates, along with emergency room visits.

From May 2020 through February of 2022, nearly 30 percent of nursing facilities – or 4,000 of 14,000 –  reported staffing shortages, an increase from 22 percent in May of 2020. In addition to nursing staff resigning their positions, an equal number of aids and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) were leaving as well. The number of particularly alarming when considering that aides focus on overall care needs and ensure adherence to residents’ specific care plans.

As of the end of February, California was at three percent in facilities experiencing staffing shortages, ranking first with Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas, and New Jersey in the top five of lowest turnover. A wide range of deficiencies exists nationwide.

The five highest states with the highest number of shortages include:

  • Alaska – 73 percent
  • Minnesota – 64 percent
  • Kansas – 59 percent
  • Washington – 59 percent
  • Wyoming – 57 percent

Emerging from a pandemic requires an “all hands on deck” approach, particularly when it comes to the most vulnerable. Learning from past mistakes and ensuring proper levels of staffing can save the lives of residents and give loved one’s peace of mind.