Report points to shortage of skilled health care workers in Kansas; Which jobs are in high demand?

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TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Hospital Association has published its annual Kansas Health Care Workforce Report. The report utilizes data gathered from various sources to illustrate health care workforce challenges.

Spokesperson Cindy Samuelson said the report shows several fields that are in high demand, as more jobs open up.

“We have seen turnover related to COVID, retention is also a challenge,” Samuelson said.

The 2021 KHA Workforce Survey provides vacancy and turnover rates for 32 positions. The report displays vacancy and turnover rates in 2020 for licensed practical nurses, staff nurses and certified nursing assistants are higher than in all previous years dating to 2013.

Overall employee turnover rate for surveyed healthcare positions in Kansas averaged 18.6 percent, with the highest turnover rates for housekeepers at 31.1 percent, certified nursing assistants at 33.2 percent, and food service/dietary aide workers at 28.6 percent.

Samuelson said hospital and health system leaders can use the information to gain a better understanding of the current workforce environment, as well as what to expect in the future. She said it’s critical to retain a skilled workforce, especially with the healthy amount of people who make up the state’s older population and those with long-standing health issues in the state. 

“When you think of retaining an employee, you want to get them trained and in a position, and keep them as long as you can,” Samuelson said.

The association is helping hospitals across the state develop strategies for recruitment and to help keep more people in the workforce. To read the full report, click here.

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