New Hospital Workforce Data Shows Small Decrease in Vacancy and Turnover

Challenges still persist, and health care professionals are in high-demand.

Vacancy and turnover rates among registered nurses, and within the hospital workforce overall, eased slightly in 2023 according to new data from the Missouri Hospital Association. MHA’s workforce data collection focuses primarily on the influence of two components — vacancies and turnover. The inability to find qualified staff to fill open positions causes vacancies. When a staff member leaves and is replaced, this results in turnover.

Missouri needs more nurses.

Staff registered nurses (R.N.s) are the largest single category of hospital employees, with a total worker pool of approximately 44,500 individuals. Throughout the state, nearly 7,000 R.N. positions are vacant for lack of qualified applicants — 15.6% of all positions. Nurse turnover remains high as well, with nearly 7,250 nurses, or 16.3%, leaving their hospital during 2023.

Several other surveyed worker categories support R.N.s in providing care. MHA surveys hospitals for vacancy and turnover of Licensed Practical Nurses and Nurse Assistants — the latter of which includes Patient Care Technicians, Certified Nurse Assistants and unlicensed assistive personnel. The vacancy rates on these workers are similar or higher than R.N.s, but the turnover rate is significantly higher —nearly 37% for Nurse Assistants. Vacancy and turnover rates in these positions increase the pressure on the R.N. workforce.

Other health care professionals are in high demand, too.

Missouri needs individuals to fill a variety of positions to bolster the health care workforce. Here are the top 10 hospital professionals with the highest employee vacancy —

Read the full report here.