Nursing home staffing woes continue across St. Louis area, nation

Hundreds of thousands of nursing employees left the industry since 2020
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A new AARP article states more than a fifth of nursing homes in the country don’t have enough workers.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 235,000 nursing home employees vacated their positions since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020. The industry, essentially, has been in decline at least for the last decade, according to labor statistics.

Bill Bates with Leading Age Missouri told News 4 a reason is that staffing agencies are charging healthcare providers more for their services.

Officials with SEIU Health & Welfare said better pay and benefits can help alleviate the staffing issues.

“It always been somewhat of an issue, but it took a traumatic turn once the pandemic hit,” said Ashley Mosley, a nursing home worker and executive board member of SEIU in the St. Louis area. “I know that every industry is suffering right now with staff, but it’s a different type of suffering when you’re dealing with healthcare and it will eventually impact--well it’s already impacting the quality of care that our residents are receiving, because, at the end of the day, it’s all about the safety and the health of our residents.”

“This is the worst that I’ve seen,” said Nichole Scott, a SEIU member and CNA receptionist for Bernard Care Center in St. Louis. “Some of the workers are working in dual roles. Everyone is just trying to cover all of the basics so that we can give the best quality of care that we can.”

During the course of the last few months, several health care organizations have been telling News 4 about how they are increasing pay, offering flexible schedules and more.

AARP predicts the elderly population will continue to grow.