About 16 percent of all staff nursing positions in Missouri hospitals are vacant, according to a new report from the Missouri Hospital Association.
The association’s 2017 workforce report found shortages in several areas, but none were more acute than nursing at 15.9 percent vacancy. Surgical technician positions had a 15.3 percent vacancy rate and sonographer/ultrasound technician positions had a 14.9 percent rate.
“There has been a significant increase in vacancies throughout the positions included in the survey,” said Herb Kuhn, the hospital association’s president and CEO.
“High vacancy rates are partly driven by an increasing demand for health care services. However, the need for replacement workers as a result of an aging health care workforce is contributing to the bottleneck.”
The staff nursing vacancy rate was up 6.7 percent over last year, even though the nursing turnover rate dropped from an all-time high of 17.9 percent to 14.3 percent.