Time with Patients, Wages, Company Culture Are Top Priorities for Nursing Home Staff, Survey Shows

As nursing home operators rethink workforce initiatives in the midst of recovering from the pandemic’s devastating labor losses and a looming federal minimum staffing proposal, it’s crucial to listen to what nurses need from their employer and what they hope to see from the sector in the future.

Workforce success in 2024 may lie in empowering employees that have weathered the staffing strains these past few years, according to a survey published by IntelyCare on Monday. Many such nursing professionals are hoping facilities will help them spend more time with patients, and prioritize staffing support over higher salaries.

While almost 42% of respondents said they don’t currently spend enough time with their patients, nearly 74% were hopeful that would change this year. What’s more, 40.6% of respondents said additional staffing was more important than a higher salary while 38% opted for the higher salary, IntelyCare found.


“This compelling insight as to the priorities of nursing professionals is worth noting; although facilities need to offer competitive pay to attract top candidates, our respondents were more interested in getting support from additional staff,” said Danielle Roques, RN and content writer for IntelyCare.

IntelyCare in December surveyed nursing professionals across the country to better understand their attitudes toward the profession. The company received 2,977 surveys from respondents and partial surveys from 2,035 respondents.

Almost half of the respondents had more than a decade of nursing experience. About 58% were certified nursing assistants (CNAs), 21.4% were licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and 13.9% were registered nurses (RNs).


When asked about one thing they would change about their jobs in 2024, nursing professionals said they’d add more compassion and support for nursing staff, to be treated fairly and have adequate staffing levels, and work for a company that supports and respects them.

Another respondent wished residents “had the staff they deserve,” while others said “rushed care is equal to no care.”

As nurses look for new employers in 2024, they’ll be honing in on certain sections of the job description as well, according to the survey. Nearly 77% of respondents are looking for a new job and 45% plan to leave the profession altogether this year.

If operators don’t refocus efforts to address the concerns of staff and their patients, operators face “even more dire” workforce challenges this year, Roques said. Staff share this concern, with 83% of respondents worried about the nursing shortage in 2024, and 38.05% saying they were “extremely worried.”

In addition to the salary range, nursing professionals want to know more about nursing home facilities from job descriptions.

About 35% of respondents said they prefer to see a thorough description of job responsibilities and company culture, while 15.6% said they look for mention of a sign-on bonus and 11.4% wanted to see a description of benefits.

“Why does this matter? As facilities consider their staffing strategies in 2024, it’s important to remember that a big part of successful hiring is employee retention,” said Roques. “Finding ways to supplement your workforce and promoting these company-wide efforts with prospective hires, can have cascading benefits.”

The benefits of retaining nurses range from enticing new hires to re-energizing existing team members, she said, while also improving patient care. Nursing professionals are “dedicated to the ideals,” said Roques. Nursing home operators need to give staff more reasons to stay on, or join, that keep these reasons in mind.

And so, staffing strategies this year are all the more important considering nearly 85% of nursing professionals say they are asked to cover extra shifts on at least a weekly basis, with more than 46% reporting they’re understaffed, according to the survey.

A significant majority of respondents said they’re caring for nine or more patients on an average shift in 2023. With about 90% of respondents having worked through some or all of the pandemic, these results indicate the workforce isn’t seeing improvements to their workload even after the World Health Organization announced an end to the global pandemic in May 2023.

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