Why We’re Losing Nurses and How Technology Can Help

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Authored By:

Dossier web 10

Geir Arnhoff


Digitizing competencies improves operations, eases resource constraints and creates staff satisfaction & better patient care.


Recruitment and retention of Registered Nurses (RNs) are among the biggest challenges in healthcare. The U.S. is experiencing a shortage that is expected to intensify as more than 500,000 retire and others leave their nursing positions due to burnout and other frustrations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for 1.1 million new RNs for replacement of those retirees and to address the gaps left by others vacating their roles. By 2022, there will be far more registered nurse jobs available than any other profession, according to the American Nurses Association.

The strain this nursing shortage will put on the U.S. healthcare system is concerning, especially as the system is already strained from COVID-19. Adding to those concerns, nursing schools across the country are struggling to expand capacity and meet the rising demand for skilled nurses.

Some reports indicate we are already experiencing a nurse shortage and hospitals have moved to an ‘all hands on deck’ staffing approach. It’s also resulting in nurses floating – a form of resource sharing that allows for coverage. The challenge with floating is ensuring nurses have the knowledge and competencies for delivering quality care in a timely manner.

Nurses are exhausted and overworked. Administrative burdens contribute to the burnout. As nurses spend more time away from the bedside on nonvalue-added tasks, job satisfaction decreases. There are immediate actions hospitals can take to improve nurse satisfaction. Moving antiquated paper processes to digital eases administrative burdens, frees up critical hospital resources (time, money, talent and space) and results in more time with patients and improved job satisfaction. Most importantly, it helps nurse educators get out from behind the desk and alongside new hires and trainees.


It’s time: Put an end to the great paper chase

Competency management is often referred to as ‘the great paper chase.’ It’s become a major resource drain. It’s time to move from paper and binders to the cloud. Going digital empowers staff. It allows them work efficiently by giving nurses access to the tools and data they need to do their jobs. It arms managers and nurse educators with immediate feedback, which means faster scheduling and more immediate and customized skilling to ensure competency.

We estimate the average manager spends 15 days chasing paperwork each year. That’s a significant amount of waste. When you multiply that amount per manager, you can see how the great paper chase is a resource drain. Technology can be used to help nurses perform their jobs more efficiently and has numerous other benefits. In addition to the previously mentioned benefits, digital competency management also:

  • Results in more time for nurse training
  • Saves hospitals money – eliminating paper and storage
  • Gives nurses more time with patients
  • Increases job satisfaction by way of improving operational efficiencies

With nursing shortages and high turnover, offering tools such as digital competency management can help improve nurse satisfaction. Easing administrative burdens to allow for more time with patients would be well received. And leadership benefits from this investment as well.


Real-time reporting

As nursing shortages, ‘all hands on deck’ and floating continue, Chief Nursing Officers need immediate reassurance that the assigned care team meets competency and knowledge requirements. Dossier allows that line of sight. We call it accessing the ‘learning ecosystem.’ What it means is users gain visibility to course completion, competency management, checklists, and more. This immediate reassurance isn’t possible with today’s paper-based methods for competency management.

When technology is used to replace heavily manual processes, the benefits are tangible and measurable. In competency management, the biggest benefit for institutions is the ability to free up resources.


The time has come. Put an end to the great paper chase and get One Step Ahead.

If you are interested in scheduling a demo, you can do so here.

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