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Hospitals added more jobs, hired more workers in 2011

Report says hospital job openings has grown each year for last 5 years.

Hospitals in the region added more jobs last year, bringing the total to more than 52,000 positions at 23 facilities in the region, according to an annual report released this week by Greater Cincinnati Health Council.

Health is the second largest industry by employment in Butler County, with some hospitals among the largest employers in their communities.

Despite a slowly improving economy, vacancy rates or open jobs increased at the end of 2011 from the year before to 6.1 percent, or approximately 3,500 full- and part-time openings. That’s compared to about 50,200 hospital jobs and about 2,800 full- and part-time job openings, a vacancy rate of 5.1 percent, at the end of 2010, according to the health council.

Registered nurses remain the hospital job with the highest total of all openings at Butler County and other area hospitals.

At the end of 2011, there were 672 full-time openings for registered nurses, a vacancy rate of 6.6 percent of the work force of 9,530 registered nurses at the hospitals, according to the health council.

Over the last five years, the health council said the total number of hospital jobs in the area has grown every year from 47,172 at the end of 2007 to 52,099 most recently.

“Health care is a great profession to not only be in but to think about joining. There’s so many opportunities now,” said Mary Duffey, executive director of the Cincinnati health council’s Health Care Workforce Center. “You don’t have to be good just in biology. There’s a place in health care for everyone.”

The job openings are being driven by physical growth of the hospitals to increase access to care and increasing health needs of an aging population, Duffey said.

Vacancy rates reached a peak in 2003 of 20.1 percent for registered nurses. Then it dipped in 2009 to a low rate of job openings for registered nurses of 3 percent before increasing last year to 6.6 percent.

The jobs with double-digit vacancy rates in 2012 are: nurse practitioners, an advanced degree nurse with 27.7 percent vacancy of a total 87 full-time employees; physical therapy assistants with 15.6 percent vacancy of a total 61 full-time employees; and patient care technicians/assistants, an entry-level nursing aid position with 11.6 percent vacancy of a total 1,434 full-time employees, according to the health council.

“We’ve have steady growth through hard economic times and we expect that to continue,” Duffey said.

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posted in: Ohio
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