NYC Hospital Warns of Nurse Shortage, ‘Inflationary Spiral’
(Bloomberg) -- One of the largest U.S. hospitals is grappling with higher costs as it faces severe staffing shortages.
NewYork-Presbyterian has been recruiting over 250 nurses per month while also struggling to replace laboratory and radiology technicians, Chief Executive Officer Steven Corwin said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power With David Westin” Friday.
“That’s an enormous number,” he said. “We’ve had people leave the workforce because they were burnt out.”
Corwin said typical nurse turnover at hospitals range from 4% to 5% but now hospitals are experiencing a 13% to 14% turnover rate.
There’s “real competition” to recruit nurses, with traveling nurses getting signing bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $15,000, he said. “That creates substantial wage pressure, so we’re seeing an inflationary spiral without question.”
Hospitals around New York and the U.S. are contending with labor shortages at a time when the country braces for an uptick in Covid-19 cases as weather turns colder and more people gather inside. The New York State Nurses Association this week held a rally outside the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital, kicking off a series of actions to highlight understaffing in hospitals.
Corwin said that higher prices of goods have also created challenges for hospital staff. Nearly 15% of the hospital’s 48,000 employees need to access food bank resources, he said.
“A substantial increase in bread, milk, egg price, let alone gasoline price, that’s not made up for by a three or 4% wage increase,” he said. “That affects somebody right now, and we’re seeing it.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.