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I told you so.

I cannot stand that statement…yet it is spot on. I’ve been posting on this for some time, often feeling like Cassandra.

Healthcare staffing shortages are fast approaching crisis levels, with major implications for each of us.

From ModernHealthcare:

As of last month, 27% reported critical shortages to the Health and Human Services Department…During crisis levels in the early phases of the pandemic, mortality rates spiked as hospitals rationed care. One-quarter of COVID-19 deaths between March and August 2020 were attributable to overstretched hospitals, according to the National Institutes of Health. Patients with the most serious non-coronavirus illnesses suffered under the same conditions. [emphasis added]

HHS recommended that providers use the Sequential Organ Failure Assessments score, which evaluates organ function to determine patients’ likelihood of mortality if they were to receive treatments or beds. Those most likely to die go untreated and often are diverted to palliative care.

Terminal burnout is the main driver. Nurses and hospital staff have been dealing with entitled, arrogant, mean-spirited patients many of whom are unvaccinated for more than two years.

One of the drivers is the archaic, hidebound, and wildly incompetent way we license nurses. Full disclosure – a future family member and nursing school graduate has been waiting three months for their nursing license paperwork to come through.

This at a time when nursing shortages are forcing hospitals to close entire departments and shutter entire floors.

It doesn’t have to be this way; the licensing compact adopted by 35 states and Guam allows some nurses licensed in one state to practice in others – with limitations.  Revamping the criteria and removing limitations would speed up the licensing process immeasurably.

But the licensing debacle is an effect, not a cause. The real cause is the unvaccinated who get COVID and spread and their enablers.

What does this mean for you?

Some people’s “freedoms” are killing others. 

3 thoughts on “I told you so.”

  1. Joe,
    Being married to a nurse and with my entire family holding some form of healthcare license, the current system is beyond archaic. Any new healthcare provider should be given a one year license automatically from their training institution, as their slate is clean and there is no reason for background check assuming rightful candidacy to enter the health care profession. This would give all licensing bodies one year to catch up and issue a formal license. That said, why is there not a federal license with tracking of behavior and health care competency. Would this not keep those ‘lost my license in one state’ from relocating to another and playing the archaic system to advantage? It is 2022, we all have a smart phone, my healthcare license along with my drivers license should be on it. When I move states, my digital license footprint should follow me….as well as my competency record. Sorry for my little rant, but this very topic was last Sunday’s dinner conversation.

  2. My primary care physician a nurse practitioner. She is the best PCP I have ever had.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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