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In The News: Hospitals Brace for the Ongoing Impact of Nurse Staffing Shortages

2021 was another turbulent year for the healthcare sector. The emergence of the Delta COVID variant exacerbated current shortages of healthcare workers who were already grappling with burnout.

With the arrival of the Omicron variant in late November, the healthcare sector has once again been dealt a massive blow. Nearly two years into this pandemic, we are now seeing record-high case counts across the country, and around the world. 

As Omicron spreads, more experts are predicting a second wave of retirements among veteran hospital staff who had hoped to wait out the pandemic. In fact, Becker’s Hospital Review recently reported that 19% of US hospitals are critically understaffed – that’s nearly 1 in 5. 

Read on for our monthly news roundup detailing the impact of the American nursing shortage in the wake of Delta and Omicron, strategies hospitals are employing to cope, as well as key predictions for the future. 

19% of US hospitals critically understaffed, 21% anticipate shortages: Numbers by state

Becker’s Hospital Review 

Just over 19 percent — or 1,168 of 6,089 — of all hospitals in the U.S. are experiencing critical staffing shortages, according to HHS data posted Jan. 9. Meanwhile, more than 21 percent — or 1,287 of 6,089 — of all hospitals in the U.S. are anticipating shortages in the coming weeks.

Short-staffed and COVID-battered, U.S. hospitals are hiring more foreign nurses to ease strain 


Billings Clinic in Montana is just one of the scores of hospitals across the U.S. looking abroad to ease a shortage of nurses worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. The national demand is so great that it has created a backlog of health care professionals awaiting clearance to work in the U.S. More than 5,000 international nurses are awaiting final visa approval.

Omicron Will Have a Crushing Impact on the Nursing Shortage, Expert Warns


Nursing shortages compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic will likely persist for years, driving up wages and healthcare costs while suppressing spending on non-nursing hospital expenses such as equipment or new medical technologies, according to Joanne Spetz, co-author of a recent study from the Institute for Health Policy Studies at The University of California at San Francisco.

How many employees have hospitals lost to vaccine mandates? Here are the numbers so far

Fierce Healthcare 

As some provider organizations reach their first deadlines for partial or full vaccination, more reports are trickling out on just how many employees hospitals and health systems are losing to vaccine mandates. 

Too little, too late: 500K nurses are leaving the bedside by the end of 2022

Employee Benefit News (EBN)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 500,000 seasoned nurses are expected to retire between now and the end of 2022, creating a shortage of 1.1 million nurses. Find out why nurses are resigning and what healthcare leaders can do about it.


Cognosos provides a seamless solution for asset management that ensures equipment is always available for nursing staff as they focus on the business of patient care. 

Are you interested in hearing how Cognosos can help you bridge the staffing shortage and help your staff focus on patient care? 

 Learn more about choosing the right RTLS solution for your hospital 

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