The staffing crisis plaguing long-term care entry level nurses appears to be trickling upward to impact nursing leaders. Results of a new analysis show that staffing shortages are damaging nurse leaders’ job satisfaction rates, hastening burnout among the top ranks.

According to results released in February by the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services (AADNS), approximately 75% of nursing directors in long-term care cite staffing shortages as their top challenge, and 63% say they do not have enough staff to properly care for residents. These shortages are forcing nurse leaders to the frontlines, with about 66% saying they are routinely providing direct resident care.

The 2019 AADNS Director of Nursing Services Work Study and Salary Report comprises information gathered from about 15,000 directors of nursing. It also includes DON/DNS salary comparisons, along with staff turnover rates and trends.

To combat the ongoing staffing shortage, nursing leaders need to take greater care to better engage their nurses and encourage certified nurse aides to take on bigger roles in skilled nursing facilities, said Amy Stewart, RN, vice president of curriculum development for the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing.

“We need to start looking at CNAs who want more responsibilities,” Stewart said.