COVID-19 and the Health Workforce 3/24-4/12

3/24-4/12 Updates

Vaccine Administration

As New Jersey reaches its deadline for health care workers to be vaccinated, hospitals are calling for additional time due to continued workforce shortages and fear of losing workers.

The largest US union of registered nurses is requesting that health care workers to be prioritized for second COVID-19 booster shots.

New York has removed the requirement for health care workers to receive COVID-19 booster shots.

Vaccine Administration

(04/11/22) COVID Booster Deadline Looms for Health Care Workers. Are NJ Hospitals Ready?
With the extended deadline of April 11th for New Jersey health care workers to receive their COVID-19 booster shots, some hospitals say the additional time was necessary, given the state’s and country’s nursing shortage. Many hospitals currently rely on travel nurses, contracted registered nurses hired on a temporary basis, to fill up the gaps as the pandemic continues.

(03/30/22) Registered Nurses Call on CDC to Prioritize Health Care Workers for Second COVID-19 Booster Shot
The largest union of registered nurses in the United States, National Nurses United, has written a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seeking immediate approval for further COVID-19 booster vaccines for health care workers. The CDC has approved a second booster shot for adults aged 50 and over.

Health Workforce Shortages

New York’s new budget allocates a $20 billion investment in the health workforce, seeking to provide health care workers pandemic-related bonuses and improve workforce capacity.

Community health workers across the US are losing funding as pandemic relief runs out.

California is delaying implementing stricter requirements for travel nurses.

Travel nurses are expected to continue to play a vital role in meeting staffing shortages even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Licensing wait times may be partially responsible for nursing shortages.

Health Workforce Shortages

(04/11/22) Governor Hochul Announces Historic $20 Billion Multi-year Healthcare Investment in FY 2023 Budget
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York announced a $20 billion multi-year investment in healthcare in the Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget. Improving working conditions for healthcare workers will be a priority, with $1.2 billion set aside for frontline healthcare worker bonuses and a multi-year investment of $4.5 billion in payment reform. Other investments include $2.4 billion to improve healthcare infrastructure and $3.9 billion to assist hospitals suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(03/31/22) Pandemic Funding Is Running Out for Community Health Workers
This jointly-published article from Kaiser Health News and U.S. News & World Report covers the current funding situation of community health workers, positioned as essential for delivering President Biden’s public health agenda and supported by pandemic relief funding. Much of the funding intended for community health workers was spent elsewhere, and funding is currently running out.

(03/23/22) California Delays Tighter Rules for Travel Nurses
California has extended the deadline by which out-of-state nurses will not be allowed to work in the state without a California nursing license, according to the state board of registered nursing. The original expiration date was March 31 but the new proposed deadline is June 30, or the end of the state of emergency or when the executive order is rescinded, according to the Emergency Medical Services Authority.


Use of telehealth has surged, especially during the rise of the Omicron variant, as analysis shows the impact of COVID-19 on Medicare-funded telehealth visits.


(03/22/22) Medicare Patients Received 54.5M Office Visits Via Telehealth in 2020
In the first year of the pandemic, 48 percent of all telehealth services were office visits. Medicare beneficiaries most often used telehealth for office visits in 2020, receiving nearly 55 million virtual office visits in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new federal report by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Overall, telehealth use increased significantly from March 2020 through February 2021, more than 28 million Medicare beneficiaries used a telehealth service (43 percent of the 66 million beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare). The use of telehealth services did drop from 17.6 million telehealth services in April 2020 to 7.6 million services in November of the same year.But usage was still greatly increased from pre-pandemic numbers.

Health Workforce Resilience

A new study finds that moral injury of health care workers in the pandemic is similar to that seen of combat veterans after 9/11.

A new report finds that nearly 1 in 3 clinicians across the globe are considering leaving their current position by 2024.

Health Workforce Resilience

(04/05/2022) Patterns of Potential Moral Injury in Post-9/11 Combat Veterans and COVID-19 Healthcare Workers
A study from the Journal of General Internal Medicine compared moral injury experienced by combat veterans after Sept. 11, 2001, and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found combat veterans and healthcare workers reported similar patterns of moral injury.

(03/16/22) Clinician of the Future: a 2022 Report
Thirty-one percent of clinicians in a new global study said they were considering leaving their current position by 2024, according to a report released in March by analytics firm Elsevier Health. Of the 31 percent of clinicians who were considering leaving their current role by 2024, 33 percent plan to stay in a similar role but switch to a different health care setting. Twenty-one percent plan to retire and 13 percent plan to move to another job unrelated to healthcare.