Having facilitated a roundtable discussion and attended a number of sessions at the conference, it’s safe to say that Advanced Practice is a trending topic in healthcare staffing and APPs will have a critical impact on the industry in the coming years. Here are four insights gleaned from perspectives shared during the course of the convention.
1. The physician shortage is on the verge of crisis.
Projections from the Association of American Medical Colleges show a deficit of up to 48,000 primary care providers and 77,100 specialty physicians by 2034.1 This gap may be even further exacerbated by market factors such as physician burnout, which is contributing to an increased volume of physicians leaving the workforce. A December 2021 study by the Mayo Clinic found that 24% of clinicians are likely to leave the workforce within the next two years and 31% of physicians are likely to reduce hours within the next year, suggesting that even if these clinicians do not outright leave the workforce, their capacity and coverage of patient need will be reduced, further exacerbating gaps in care availability.2
2. Advanced Practice Practitioners (APPs) have become ubiquitous in modern care delivery models.
As the physician shortage has put pressure on facilities to find ways to maximize efficiencies in how a physician’s time is utilized, these organizations have had to design and adopt new care delivery models that allow APPs to take on an increased scope of responsibility. Evidence of the impact APPs can have in advancing care delivery models can be found across all specialties. At LocumTenens.com, we coach our hospital and health system partners in ways to optimize use of APPs by providing best practice guidance on staffing models we’ve seen implemented at the nearly 4,000 facilities with whom we partner.
3. Demand for APPs is at an all-time high.
In October 2022, the US Department of Labor released updated job statistics citing nurse practitioners as the #1 fastest growing career in the US with a growth rate of about 40% and an anticipated 30,200 new openings added to the market annually over the next decade.3 LocumTenens.com surveyed hospital and health system leaders in July of this year and found that approximately 74% of hospitals intend to expand their use of Advanced Practitioners within the next year.4 Facilities should anticipate an ongoing talent war to win these valuable resources as employees.
4. Winning the talent war for APPs (and all clinicians) will require employers to adopt flexible staffing solutions.
Clinicians are seeking greater adaptability and autonomy in how they work, where they work, and when they work. Barry Asin, President of Staffing Industry Analysts stated in his opening keynote, “For the foreseeable future, the wants, the needs, the things that are going to make the clinicians happy, bring them into the workforce, and get them to work for you will be the dominate theme moving forward. Talent is in the driver seat.”5 In LocumTenens.com’s July Client Survey Report, we found that more than half of the facilities surveyed cited the use of locum tenens clinicians as a contributing factor in being able to provide increased flexibility in staffing for all of their clinicians.4 Locum tenens clinicians allow facilities to alleviate pressure placed on full-time staff and adopt hybrid care models that might not have otherwise been serviceable through only the in-house workforce.
As the premier provider of locum tenens services for almost 30 years, our agency has a team of experts primed to support hospitals and health systems seeking to adopt and manage flexible staffing solutions that incorporate hybrid care delivery to meet the needs of their patient population and mitigate gaps in full-time staff coverage.
- Need a team of three nurse practitioners and a supervising MD? We can provide both.
- Searching for an APP who can provide onsite care three days a week and virtual coverage another two? We can staff them.
- Need an MD to provide virtual supervision for your existing team of APPs? We’ve got you covered.
LocumTenens.com boasts a network of over 500,000 physicians and APPs that can quickly and easily support these models and a team of experts ready to help hospitals and health systems determine the staffing solution best suited to meet their needs. Our organization can help health facilities define their APP strategy and understand how locum tenens providers can become a strategic lever in navigating the talent crisis.
About the author
AVP of Strategy & Innovation
Alison Sawyer joined LocumTenens.com in 2019 bringing a wide range of experience in the healthcare industry managing large organizational transformations, new product development, and process improvement. As the AVP of Strategy & Innovation, Alison manages LT’s strategic initiatives and underlying corporate projects, the innovation program, and leads conceptualization and market exploration of potential service offerings. Prior to joining LT, Alison served in roles focused on innovation and business model transformation at Elevance Health (formerly Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield), Deloitte Consulting, and the Advisory Board Company. A self-proclaimed Triple Tar Heel, she holds an undergraduate degree, MBA, and MHA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alison resides in Marietta, GA with her husband Michael and 2 children, Fitz and Charlotte.
- The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand. Association of American Medical Colleges. June 2021.
- Mayo Clinic. Covid Related Stress in Healthcare Workers. Dec 2021.
- US Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners. October 2022.
- LocumTenens.com. Innovation & Flexibility: The Journey to Sustainable Healthcare. July 2022.
- Barry Asin, President of Staffing Industry Analysts. Opening Keynote. SIA Healthcare Summit. November 2022
- (Header image) Healthcare Staffing Summit Twitter account (@hcstaffsummit). [Source]