Hospitals and health systems are not immune to the workforce struggles all employers are facing as the number of available workers continues to decline and baby boomers retire. That leaves positions that require experienced professionals difficult to fill in hospital intensive care units, operating rooms and highly specialized care units, such as oncology and surgery.

“Employers will need strategies, such as flexible or shorter shifts, less physical work and ‘as needed’ positions to keep the boomers, with all their experience, working a few years longer,” according to Ann Zenk, Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) vice president, workforce and clinical practice.

A new WHA report indicates that with the number of people over age 65 living in Wisconsin expected to double by 2030, the health care workforce will need to grow more than 30 percent to meet the demand for care. That growth is dependent on health care organizations successfully competing for entry-level applicants.

Unlike many other employers, hospitals offer a career pathway for most entry-level professions. For example, a certified nursing assistant can advance to registered nurse and then pursue an advanced degree and become a nurse practitioner. Hospitals list advanced practice nurses as one of their most sought after and difficult positions to recruit. (See infographic) Read the full story here.