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Workforce Ideas & Discussion from SDAHO’s Rural Health Leaders Conference

On July 12 and 13, SDAHO hosted healthcare professionals from across the state to take part in two-days of robust conversations focusing on South Dakota’s nursing workforce shortage in addition to other rural healthcare needs at the Rural Health Leaders Conference.

To assist our state in addressing this concern, SDAHO invited South Dakota’s Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Labor, Board of Nursing, Board of Regents, and Board of Technical Education to share work being done at the state level to support healthcare workforce. In addition to presentations, the conference included a World Café the afternoon of the 12 and a modified Open Space the morning of the 13.

The theme of the World Café was Building a Strong Future for Nursing in South Dakota – Starting Now. One of the questions asked was, what actions can we begin now to bring these ideas alive. Here were some of the ideas that emerged from this question.

  • Strong support for forming a statewide task force to develop a plan that will address the state’s nursing workforce challenges.
  • Establish greater statewide collaborations to enhance resources and create more efficiencies with staff and avoid redundancy.
  • Focus efforts now to establish and innovate middle and high school programs, including scholarships and incentive programs to encourage students to enter healthcare careers.
  • Examine the culture of nursing and develop ways to highlight the positive aspects of being a nurse and explore ways to enhance work/life balance with flexible scheduling.

To view the entire workforce discussion document, click here.

As SDAHO continues to support hospitals and healthcare organizations, healthcare workforce remains a top priority. Through advocacy, education, and member engagement, SDAHO will work alongside healthcare organizations and key stakeholders to formulate plans and bring action to workforce solutions based on the discussion from SDAHO’s Rural Health Leaders conference.

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