The rich mix of insights offered at is always a highlight of the year, and 2023 was certainly no exception.

Led by McKnight’s Long-Term Care editors and regular, themed contributors, our bloggers treated readers to intriguing, often elegant observations about the world around them.

Workforce issues unsurprisingly dominated the canvas this year. But the topics were explored and uncovered in ways that almost always sparked deeper consideration and debate. That is the entire point of such a robust menu of offerings.

Communication, motivation and other managerial hot topics also found valuable places among the top posts.

The “best of the best” columns, as indirectly voted on by McKnight’s readers in 2023, were:

By Editorial Director John O’Connor

A four-day work week? Why stop there?

This Editors’ Notes blog post gives a provocative twist to a previously unconsidered patch for long-term care’s staffing woes. This unexpected, serious approach is the epitome of a high-quality blog: interesting, thought-provoking — and a potential solution to a pressing problem.

By Executive Editor James M. Berklan

How to deal with the end of an era in skilled nursing

Making sense of the “official” end of the COVID-19 pandemic — much like the historic public health emergency itself — was a time fraught with anxiety for long-term care providers. This insightful post perceptively set the stage for what providers should, and shouldn’t, be concerned with when the fateful day came in May.

By Senior Editor Kimberly Marselas

A slap in the face to LPNs who keep nursing homes running

One of the oddest aspects of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed nursing home staffing mandate was its dismissal of services by licensed practical nurses. This Editors’ Notes blog tears apart the rationale that essentially said the approximately 175,000 nursing home LPNs’ contributions are a moot point.

The Real Nurse Jackie, by Jacqueline Vance

Speaking Southern

Written by one of the top nurse managers in US long-term care, Vance reminds in this humorous, yet respectful piece that not everyone communicates in the same way. “People in the South can take just about anything and turn it into a long, passionate story,” she observers.

Rehab Realities, by Renee Kinder

Unlocking communication: The role of physical, occupational and speech therapy in aphasia 

Rehabilitation work is serious business for long-term care providers and their patients. This long-running McKnight’s column brings the goods every two weeks with fully educational pieces that almost without exception also elicit plentiful grins. Learning can be fun, as it turns out.

Living Leadership, by Julie Thorson

How do we offer hope when we can’t see beyond the next shift?

The author, an award-winning management and leadership teacher, hits at a core concern of managers across the country with this stellar column. “Hope in healthcare hides in plain sight,” she offers before giving four reminders on how to build hope in others.

Things I Think, by Gary Tetz

The unstoppable power of an activity director

Some call them recreation therapists, some activity directors. This blog author relates how one of them gave his father new reasons to live. Who could ask for anything more? “Like gravity and Taylor Swift, great activity directors are unstoppable forces of nature that defy all opposition,” Tetz observes.

Guest blogs

Beware the ‘squeeze the balloon problem’ with staffing

What happens when an industrial engineer like George D. Powell with 40-plus years of experience in healthcare manufacturing and professional services, offers his thoughts on the story of the year in long-term care? Thousands of people flock to plain-spoken observations and analysis about the perils of mandating minimum staffing levels.

Marketplace Leader blogs

Department of Labor rule will impact long-term care staffing

Long-time workforce issues dominated 2023, and this guest submission from Gale’s Tony Braswell was far and away the most highly read column from a market player. It framed the issues surrounding a controversial federal rule that aims to provide clearer guidelines for whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.