WHA’s 2022 Wisconsin Health Care Workforce Report
shows that an aging workforce combined with a spike in worker departures associated with nationwide employment disruption dubbed the “Great Resignation” created unprecedented levels of vacancy rates in health care professions in 2021.
Burnout among health care workers resulting from successive surges of COVID-19 cases over the past two years and escalating demand for delayed health care services has intensified a growing health care workforce shortage in the state. The combination of the Silver Tsunami, the Great Resignation and a persistent pandemic that pushed hospital occupancy to its limit resulted in an increase in vacancies in 13 of 17 professions tracked in WHA’s Health Care Workforce Report, with seven positions registering double-digit vacancy rates. Registered nurse vacancy rates were the highest they’ve been since 2005, leading WHA to note, “The nursing shortage has arrived.”