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Another way to assess nursing workforce supply and demand


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By Jennifer Thew, RN

There's a tendency to view nursing shortages as cyclical events that come and go. But, nurse leaders may do well to move away from a strict recruitment and retention mindset by applying a more comprehensive approach toward RN supply and demand. 

"We really have to change our thinking from the nursing shortage [being a] cyclic idea to really understanding nursing supply and demand in terms of economic and non-economic factors," said Richard Ridge, PhD, MBA, RN, CENP during his presentation at AONE 2017 in Baltimore.

He is Director of Nursing Innovation, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, TX.

AONE Keynoters to Nursing Leaders: Be Brave

Ridge acknowledged that the nursing workforce is a major concern for nurse leaders.

"Many of us spend inordinate amounts of time on this issue—developing our workforce, understanding our workforce, preparing our workforce, presenting business plans for FTEs as we move forward trying to meet the needs of our patients," he said.

Drawing on both his own experiences and those of his colleagues, Ridge developed the Relationship-based Nursing Workforce Pipeline Model as a way of assessing and planning nursing workforce needs.

"It's a model that, hopefully, you can look at and try to better conceptualize your own plans," he said. "Nothing here is presented as a recipe; it's really presented more to open up possibilities."

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