As we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing challenges at rural hospitals have emerged as a focal point of the national discussion surrounding the stability of the rural health safety net and the delivery of care in rural communities.

We have taken an extensive look at this issue over the course of the last 12 months. In this paper, we review the results of our most recent rural hospital leadership survey and share some key considerations for navigating the staffing crisis.

“Our survey results suggest that the staffing shortage—particularly among nurses—will cast a long shadow over rural healthcare in the post-pandemic environment. Hospital leadership teams will need to get creative when it comes to recruitment and retention of existing staff.”


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