SPOONER, WI -- According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s most recent annual workforce report, demand for all types of health care workers continues to increase. Certified nursing assistants top the vacancy list at 16%. Licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and surgical technician vacancy rates are not far behind.
And even though Wisconsin hospitals have never employed more registered nurses than we do today, the demand for registered nurses far outweighs our supply. Wisconsin hospitals have nearly 4,000 open positions for registered nurses – 10% of the total workforce. This is the largest vacancy rate this state has experienced in nearly two decades.
But Senator Quinn has worked with us to change this. In recently enacted state budget, Senator Quinn led a budget motion with his colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee to increase funding by $5 million for a program that provides matching grant dollars, up to $125,000, for hospitals that create allied health training programs in rural communities.
Senator Quinn listens to us and acts on the unique challenges we face as we deliver healthcare in rural Wisconsin. We appreciate his continued partnership that will help us sustain access to local care in the Northwoods.
-- Mike Schafer, Chief Executive Officer, Spooner Health