Image by: North Dakota Long Term Care Association
Image by: North Dakota Long Term Care Association

(Fargo, ND) -- The President of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association says 60 percent of the care facilities have suspended admissions because of staffing shortages. That information is based on a survey of roughly 220 care facilities in the state conducted in early October.  A similar survey taken during the summer showed 17 percent of the facilities in the state had stopped accepting new patients.

Shelly Peterson says some of the staffing shortage is based on the annual drop in the number of available staff members, when younger workers return to school in the Fall.  But a significant factor impacting employment levels is employee burnout associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.  

"To other North Dakotans who have had a long term career in care or taking a break, we absolutely welcome you back.  We need you, facilities need you, your community needs you," said Peterson. Peterson says the greatest percentage of long term facilities suspending admissions are in semi-rural areas of the state.  In North Dakota's 4 urban areas, only 30 percent of care facilities are not currently accepting new patients.