Minnesota Nursing Home Staff Numbers Suffering Due to Big Healthcare

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 20th April 2015
Redwing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Kenneth LaBore

Nursing Home Staff Member Numbers Suffering from “Big Healthcare”

Big Healthcare in Minnesota

The Mayo Clinic is growing fast and is considered “big healthcare” and that has resulted in employees from Minnesota nursing homes leaving their jobs and heading toward the clinic. This has now led to nursing homes turning to the legislature for help.

MPR has reported that nursing home owners are asking for additional funding or changes to the way the state reimburses so they can boost worker pay and retain them rather than losing them to Mayo.

Even before this, nursing homes throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, all of the Twin Cities, and throughout Minnesota have had staffing issues. The issue with Mayo is major, but anywhere larger facilities are able to offer more pay and better hours due to their better staffing numbers, nursing homes lose their employees.

But why have big healthcare facilities like the Mayo Clinic stepped up their hiring?

It’s because they are anticipating a wave of retirements in 2016 due to a change in retirement benefits at the facility. In fact, they are expecting 2,000 of their employees to retire, which is double the number of retirements in 2010 and more than three percent of the clinic’s entire nationwide workforce.

It isn’t just nurses that are retiring, however. But there is a nursing shortage that is now hitting, as officials have asked for internal meetings to be cancelled because they have to have all of their staff taking care of patients at all times. This has resulted in the Mayo Clinic to accept applications from nurses with two-year associate’s degrees rather than the typical four-year bachelor’s degrees they once required. Nonetheless, the associate-degree nurses will be required to continue their education after they are hired.

When staffing troubles such as this occurs, there are several reasons typically cited for them. One is demographics as nurses advance their level of training and move up, leaving the lower positions unfilled. Changes in retirement benefits also come into play. There are so many factors that affect the larger clinics that cause them to appeal to nursing home employees looking for better hours and better pay.

What happens to the nursing home patients when the employees start leaving?

They don’t receive the attention that they need in order to receive the highest level of care. Nursing homes are trying to keep their nurses from being taken away by the better paying jobs at hospitals and other facilities, but it doesn’t always work. In order for them to succeed, they have to have more money to pay their nurses. They have told the legislature that their current reimbursement system doesn’t provide them with enough money to hire and retain their nurses.

When some nurses leave for the larger facilities, those that stay behind find themselves working odd hours and doubles, which exhausts them and can result in unintentional incidents of medication errors and other forms of neglect. This then results in liabilities on the part of the nursing home. Nonetheless, nursing homes are charged with the responsibility of patient care regardless of the hurdles that they are facing.

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