Survey of Health Care Employers in Arizona: Hospitals, 2015


Lela Chu and Joanne Spetz

May 30, 2016

This report summarizes findings from a first of its kind survey of hospital employers in Arizona conducted from summer to fall of 2015. The survey collected information specific to the hiring and training of newly graduated nurses because they are at particular risk for unemployment during a weak labor market. The data obtained in this survey reveals the regional variation in the demand for health care workers across Arizona.

The hiring practices of hospitals showed:

  • 84 percent of hospitals reported a perception of high demand for staff RNs
  • 47 percent of reported that employment of staff RNs has increased over the past year 
  • 81 percent reported employing RNs in other roles than as a staff RN.
  • 88 percent reported a preference for hiring baccalaureate-prepared RNs, but no hospitals required it.
  • Over 76 percent of hospitals reported having a formal clinical residency program open to new RN graduates who are not guaranteed to be hired. 
  • Approximately 76 percent of responding hospitals reported creating new job classifications in the past year. These new positions were most frequently related to case management, patient care navigation and, to a lesser degree, care coordination and documentation specialists.

The challenges associated with hiring or moving RNs into these new roles were almost uniformly described by hospitals as being related to finding experienced staff willing to relocate, as well as dealing with the burden of staff shortages as staff are moved into new roles.

Nearly all hospitals reported expectations that staff employment for all types of workers would increase over the next three years. The most frequently reported reasons for expected increases in employment were anticipated increases in patient acuity, hospital bed capacity and patient census.