Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care nurses were less likely than their counterparts in acute inpatient and ambulatory care to feel that their employers valued their health and safety. That’s according to a new nursing workforce planning and engagement strategy analysis released in June by McKinsey & Company.

The analysis, which examined data collected from the American Nurses Association’s HealthyNurse® Health Risk Appraisal survey, also showed that LTC nurses are less likely to have bachelor’s degrees or higher compared to nurses in other settings. Even with comparable advanced degrees, LTC nurses reported completing fewer training programs. They also work shorter and fewer shifts than their inpatient and emergency department peers, and are more likely to be employed part time, leading to lower overall annual wages.

Survey results also suggest that turnover within the long-term care nursing population could be up to two times that of the inpatient setting with factors, such as feeling less valued, at play.

“Moving forward, we believe there is an opportunity for LTC administrators and other partners to take a holistic look at their nursing workforce’s needs in order to develop planning, training, and retention strategies to ensure a work environment that will help all nurses feel safe and supported,” authors said.