When you talk with hospital and health system leaders about their biggest challenges and opportunities, one theme continues to be at the top of their list — workforce. Hospitals and health systems are committed to supporting all health care workers, preparing them for tomorrow and building a pathway for the future.

To support those efforts, the AHA has released a comprehensive guide, “Strengthening the Health Care Workforce.” The guide, which was developed with input from the AHA Board of Trustees’ Task Force on Workforce and many AHA members, contains strategies and resources to assist hospital and health system leaders navigate the ongoing challenges.

The first section of the guide offered strategies and resources to support workforce well-being and behavioral health and prevent workplace violence. The second section focused on data and analytics, as well as technological supports.

The third and final section of the guide was released earlier this month and focuses on strategies and staffing models to support recruitment, retention, diversity, equity and inclusion. We need innovative strategies and solutions to address these issues, and the guide highlights case examples from hospitals and health systems — often working with community partners — that are developing and sustaining a strong health care workforce.

At CommonSpirit Health, the organization I lead, we have just launched an internal nationwide staffing agency and will soon launch a nursing residency program — both to bolster our workforce. The staffing agency will allow nurses to work in 21 states without having to leave the organization, without losing seniority and without being outside the benefit and mission of our health system.

The nursing residency program, a full-year program for graduate nursing students, will enhance their training and education via a curriculum focused on leadership, personal well-being, patient experience and other core areas. The program’s goals include building upon a culture of nursing best practices and increasing workforce satisfaction and retention.

As the AHA guide emphasizes, a talented, qualified, engaged and diverse workforce is at the heart of our nation’s health care system. Understanding the composition and demographics of your organization’s workforce and developing flexible and creative staffing and care delivery models with your clinical teams will be key moving forward.

As part of our multipronged efforts to strengthen the nation’s health care workforce, the AHA will continue to share resources and best practices with the field. We look forward to our continued partnership on this incredibly important work as we strive to create a just society of healthy communities, where all individuals reach their highest potential for health.

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