Hawaii’s medical sector is trying new approaches to fill vacancies

There are still plenty of open vacancies in Hawaii’s medical sector. But industry leaders are looking for alternative solutions to this ongoing labor shortage.

Hawaii Medical Association president and CEO Hilton Laysel said the home care business has the biggest shortage of registered nurses, with nearly 40% of open positions vacant. .

The association updated its employment report to quantify health care workers by facility and occupation. We also assess how difficult it is to fill a particular position.

For example, Hawaii has nearly 1,000 RN job vacancies, but only 30 ultrasound technician vacancies. However, the survey found that obtaining ultrasound technicians is more difficult.

Lassel’s organization is focused on strengthening the educational pipeline that can lead Kama’aina into the medical profession. We are also working with the Hawaii State Nursing Center to expand our nurse training and nurse professional practice programs.

PBN also spoke with Daniel Ross, president of the Hawaii Nursing Association, the union representing nurses. In his view, the education pipeline is a minor factor in Hawaii’s nurse shortage.

He points out that rapid post-hiring burnout and frequent turnover of RNs is a key part of the problem. The HNA argues that better wages for living expenses and better working conditions in hospitals will go a long way in resolving the crisis by increasing retention rates.

Raisel echoed this as well, noting that while the average wage for a registered nurse in Hawaii is $113,000 in 2022, Hawaii is less competitive due to higher housing costs compared to other states.

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