The healthcare industry is facing a great challenge today: current and future staffing shortages. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are leaving their jobs due to various reasons, such as stress, burnout, lack of job satisfaction, and the pandemic’s impact. It’s also impacting those considering joining the healthcare and nursing workforce.
In a recent comprehensive study conducted by Gallup, survey results indicated that upskilling is becoming a valuable employee benefit and an effective way to attract talent in a tightening labor market. The study also found that a majority (55%) of healthcare workers indicated they would be likely to quit their current role and take a new one that provided upskilling opportunities.
It is essential to focus on training and educating healthcare workforces. The healthcare industry’s future depends on the quality of its workforce, and investing in upskilling can ensure a better future for all.
What is Upskilling?
Upskilling refers to providing additional education and training opportunities to current and future employees to enhance their skills, knowledge, and expertise. Upskilling healthcare workers can help address many of the industry’s existing and impending issues.
Upskilling aims to improve the quality and safety of healthcare services, enhance patient outcomes, reduce medical errors, and increase healthcare workforce competency and productivity. It can also enhance healthcare workers’ career prospects and job satisfaction.
Benefits of Upskilling Nurses and Healthcare Professionals
Improve efficiency: Upskilling can help nurses and healthcare professionals perform their duties better and more efficiently. They can learn new skills, techniques, and technologies that can improve patient care, streamline processes, and reduce errors. When healthcare workers are efficient, the overall quality of care improves, and patients will be more satisfied.
Better employee retention: When healthcare organizations invest in their staff’s education and training, it shows that they care about their employees’ growth and development. This can increase employee loyalty and reduce turnover rates. Employees who receive regular training opportunities are more likely to stay with their employers than those who do not.
Adapt to new technologies: The healthcare industry is evolving rapidly, and new technologies are emerging frequently. Upskilling can help nurses and other healthcare workers stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and use them effectively. This can improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.
Manage the talent shortage: Staffing shortages have made it challenging for healthcare organizations to find skilled employees. Upskilling existing nursing and healthcare staff can help fill the talent gap by creating a pipeline of trained and skilled healthcare professionals. In the long run, it can reduce hiring costs and ensure a competent workforce.
Provide better representation: Representation in healthcare is critical and creating a more diverse nursing workforce helps address healthcare disparities and provide culturally congruent care. Increased diversity in nursing and other healthcare fields can create a more welcoming, understanding, and culturally sensitive environment for patients of all backgrounds. It also offers the opportunity to increase patient outreach and community engagement, allowing familiar voices to foster relationships and trust.
Creating Opportunities at SHC
Upskilling healthcare workforces is a smart investment in the industry’s future. It can improve patient care, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and address the talent shortage. Healthcare organizations must prioritize upskilling as a crucial component of their workforce development strategies to navigate the ever-changing healthcare landscape. By doing so, they can ensure that their employees have the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to provide the best possible care.
Supplemental Health Care supports upskilling and recognizes the value of increasing accessibility to educate current and future healthcare professionals. Most recently, SHC partnered with the National Black Nurses Association to create scholarship opportunities for NBNA members. Scholarships like these ensure that more prospective nurses can complete their education and enter the nursing profession. They also benefit existing nurses who are looking to further their education and advance their nursing careers.
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