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Merraine Survey Finds the Hardest Roles to Fill in a Hospital

Nurse shortage? You bet. Not surprisingly, nursing roles take the lion’s share of the need, but what about IT?

nurse-shortage-feature-image-1080x663As one of the largest healthcare executive search firms, according to Modern Healthcare (2015), Merraine Group® recently conducted a survey of healthcare professionals to see what the hardest roles to fill in a hospital are (link to interactive results below). Working in recruitment, Merraine has a unique conduit to both candidates and hiring authorities.  Their survey found that, resoundingly, the nurse shortage is alive and well. Almost 30% of respondents named Nursing roles as the hardest to fill within a hospital, with Administrative and Leadership roles taking 16% and 13%, respectively. Whether it be nurse managers, CNOs, or staff nurses; finding qualified nurses to fill these roles is a continuing problem. Another hot department, Healthcare IT, is now becoming an integral part of a hospital, but the supply of IT candidates seems to be keeping pace with the need. It only commands 4% in this poll.

Merraine Survey Pie Chart-Hardest Roles to Fill in a Hospital


Nursing, on the other hand, is a different story. While the number of graduating nurses is growing, it is not keeping pace with the need for experienced nurses. Students rushed into nursing programs as industry analysts shouted “Nurse Shortage Approaching” from the mountaintops, but many found themselves jobless after graduation. The problem seems to be that hospitals facing tough changes to budgets, methodology, and practices; are not so quick to hire these newly minted nurses. They are seeking experienced nurses to face these new challenges.  A Catch-22, so to speak…hospitals want to hire experienced nurses and newly-graduated nurses need to gain experience.

And to throw another wrinkle into mix, some analysts are predicting a whole new approach to nursing, an approach that may be a solution to how we utilize this burgeoning population of nurses in need of experience. A blog by SkepticalScalpel posits that the future of nursing could be assigning patients two nurses: a DN (Doing Nurse) to actually perform the nursing duties, bedside; and a CN (Charting Nurse) who will remain at the nursing station and record what the DN is doing. That would have the need for nurses doubled. Or, conversely, we could all be treated by robotic nurses, as well, depending on how things evolve. But, how do we meet this need now? How do hospitals get in touch with these experienced nurses? Well, one way is to target passive, employed candidates: Something that we do best.

Merraine dogMerraine Group® has been expanding and is ready to help your healthcare facility find the talent it needs. We have a deep database of healthcare professionals and our recruiters reach out to passive candidates daily. Check us out at


-Merraine Group®’s Interactive Pie Chart – Hardest Roles to Fill in a Hospital – 2016 –

-“Is there a Nursing Shortage” – by SkepticalScalpel, Sep 16, 2015, Physician’s Weekly –


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