Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nurses Report Quality Health Benefits Key to Choosing an Employer

/PRNewswire/ -- As more hospitals ramp up efforts to attract and retain quality nursing staffs, a new survey(i) by insurance provider Aflac finds that 86 percent of nurses say a hospital's benefit package is one of the most important factors when determining where they choose to work, and more than half report they would switch jobs solely based on an employer's benefits.

In fact, three-quarters of the registered nurses surveyed say they would prefer to work for an employer that provides voluntary insurance policies, including insurance for short-term disability. Additionally, the vast majority of the randomly polled nurses (87 percent) believe that voluntary insurance is an important factor when evaluating a current or potential employer.

The survey findings come at a time when American hospitals are facing critical nursing shortages: The Journal of the American Medical Association(ii) has forecasted that by 2020, the number of registered nurses will fall short of demand by 20 percent.

"These findings underscore the positive response we've seen among employees with access to voluntary insurance," said Paul S. Amos II, president, Aflac; COO, U.S. Operations. "Not only can voluntary insurance help nurses manage their health care expenses, but it can also have a positive impact on hospitals' recruitment and retention efforts."

Other survey highlights include:

-- 66 percent of nurses say a voluntary insurance package would positively impact their decision to remain with an employer

-- 64 percent of nurses who currently have voluntary insurance policies are unwilling to go without them

-- 54 percent of nurses say that voluntary insurance would improve their benefits package

-- 89 percent of nurses believe that as health care costs rise in the coming years, voluntary insurance will become even more important

-- 47 percent would consider switching jobs if their new employer made voluntary insurance plans available

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