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Building & Managing Talent Pipelines in Health Care

| Education & Workforce Development

By 2033, North Carolina faces an estimated shortage of nearly 12,500 registered nurses and slightly more than 5,000 LPNs. While hospitals will be hit hardest in terms of numbers, the largest shortage as the percent of the workforce is projected to occur in nursing home, extended care, and assisted living facilities.

While there are a number of factors contributing to the workforce challenges in health care, a recent webinar, cohosted by the NC Chamber Foundation’s Institute for Workforce Competitiveness and the NC Center on the Workforce for Health, emphasized a bias for action on solutions. Specifically, attendees learned more about what it would look like to implement Talent Pipeline Management across North Carolina to begin to tackle this shortage.

Collaboration is the Name of the Game

While the workforce challenges in health care are not new, NC Chamber Foundation Director of Workforce Competitiveness Vincent Ginski cited employers as a missing piece up to this point. It is not that their focus is elsewhere, but it has not been aligned. Educators need demand-driven employer sourced data to define needs and to provide solutions.

Talent Pipeline Management calls for the creation of employer collaboratives, which work together to define and project precise talent needs for regions. That data is then communicated to the education providers in the region. After a region’s data has been collected, TPM leverages a robust methodology to partner with educators to implement solutions that close talent and skill gaps. Creating this kind of alignment removes any opportunity for finger pointing and instead creates a collaborative process toward solutions.

Success in Other States

Sara Tracy, senior project manager of TPM at the Kentucky Chamber, described what this process looked like in her state. When the employer data was aligned with the education data, it was clear that the educators were in fact graduating enough nurses. The group was then able to drill down into why employers were not able to connect with that talent.

Ultimately, they identified disparate clinical rotation scheduling as an issue and focused their efforts there. To date, 1,985 of a projected 4,000 students are now connected to clinical scheduling through a standardized, collaborative approach to clinical rotation scheduling. This streamlined the process and directly connects nursing students with employers, a win for all involved.

Mary Anne Sheahan, chief talent officer for Vermont Talent Pipeline / Vermont Business Roundtable, shared what TPM has looked like in Vermont. With employer leadership as the defining feature of efforts, Vermont launched an innovative nursing pipeline solution that upskills learners from CNAs to RNs, increases the number of practicing clinical instructors, deploys wrap-around services for learners in a streamlined manner, and de-risks employer funding for students’ education. This solution directly ties employee retention efforts to intentional upskilling of the nursing workforce.

 Launching in North Carolina

It is clear that North Carolina has a persistent need for health care workforce, along with targeted awareness of local supply and demand. This is the kind of information that we can only get from you, our state’s employers.

Talent Pipeline Management is an employer-led solution, and we need your collaboration to get started. If you are an employer in the health care sector, please take our survey to provide your input and help North Carolina launch a collaborative solution.