Nearly all long-term care administrators and nursing leaders find their work meaningful, but almost one-third also said they have seriously considered quitting their job during the previous three-months.

These eye-opening findings come courtesy of the 2019 McKnight’s LTC Mood of the Market Survey. Results were gathered from responses of more than 250 managers with either top administrative or top nursing titles in skilled care facilities.

The fact that 98% said they find their work either “very meaningful” (83%) or “somewhat meaningful” (15%) is impressive, noted a human resources consultant and executive with more than a decade at one of the country’s largest nursing home chains.

“If you think about it, that’s 98% who support and believe in the work. That’s a lot of people in this field because of the mission and what we’re doing,” said Mark Heston of Heston & Associates. Previously the human resources director for skilled nursing chain LCS, he currently consults across a wide array of industries on leadership and human resources management.

He said that given a recent Gallup poll showed about 60% of workers have either quit or have seriously considered quitting their jobs, the long-term care numbers might not be as discouraging as they first appear.

“That 30 percent is pretty good,” Heston said. “That’s pretty positive in the whole realm of all jobs.”

He noted that the competition to fill positions also could have had a hand in the results.

“We know that DONs and administrators are in high, high demand. Chances are most of the good ones have had one, two, three or maybe a dozen calls from a recruiter in the last three months,” Hatfield noted. “ It’s human nature, unless you’re just really happy where you’re at, to listen to a headhunter.”

Mark Heston
Mark Heston

Overall, however, “given those two factors, this is pretty positive” for the industry, he said.

Nursing leaders (84.6%) were a little stronger in the  “very meaningful” work response rate than their administrator (81.5%) counterparts.

By a wider margin, more nursing leaders (43%) also said they had “seriously considered quitting” their job in the previous three months, compared to administrators (30.1%).

See continuing coverage of the 2019 McKnight’s LTC Mood of the Market survey this week in editions of McKnight’s Daily Update.