Nursing Facility Staffing Shortages During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Apr 4, 2022 | Research Studies of PBJ Data, Nursing HPRD & Turnover

Nursing Facility Staffing Shortages During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing facility residents and staff has brought increased attention to long-standing workforce issues that can affect care quality and safety, such as staffing shortages and high turnover rates. These issues have existed for decades and have been associated with adverse outcomes, including increased mortality rates, hospitalization rates, and emergency department visits.  In a recent KFF poll,  a majority (70%) of adults said that this country’s nursing facilities and other long-term facilities are doing a “bad job” of maintaining adequate staffing levels.

Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 200,000 COVID-19 deaths have occurred among long-term care residents and staff, with most of these deaths (150,000 COVID-19 deaths) occurring among residents and staff in nursing facilities that are certified to receive Medicare and/or Medicaid payments. In response to these issues, the Biden Administration recently announced a set of nursing facility reforms, which were highlighted in the State of the Union address.

This analysis presents the most recent national and state-level data on nursing facility-reported staff shortages and describes the Biden Administration’s new policy initiatives to address staffing and other quality issues in nursing facilities.




April 4, 2022


“Nursing Facility Staffing Shortages During the COVID-19 Pandemic | KFF.” KFF, 4 Apr. 2022,

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