On Board Virginia Digital Campaign Aims to Attract New Nursing Graduates to Work in the Commonwealth

May 26, 2024

Marketing Effort Targets New Nurses in Virginia and Neighboring States to Fill Hospital Nurse Openings in the Commonwealth to Offset Ongoing Health Care Workforce Shortages Among Clinical Roles

RICHMOND, VA – Each year, the arrival of spring brings warmer days, blossoming plants, and cap and gown season. The annual crop of graduates typically includes thousands of new nurses seeking clinical roles. To encourage recent nursing school graduates to establish their careers in Virginia, On Board Virginia has launched a geographically targeted marketing campaign showcasing hospital employment opportunities in the Commonwealth.

The campaign is centered on promoting hospital nursing career opportunities to graduates of nursing programs at Virginia-based colleges and universities as well as nursing programs at educational institutions in neighboring jurisdictions such as Maryland, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. This initiative is the latest project of On Board Virginia, an effort the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and its members established in 2022 to promote health care workforce recruitment and retention amid ongoing workforce shortages across clinical roles. In the past year, the On Board Virginia website has been viewed more than 46,200 times. Meanwhile, the digital ads focused on recent nursing school graduates have reached nearly 60,000 people in the target audience in the past month.

Health care staffing shortages have been a persistent challenge that were further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As aging segments of the U.S. population transition into retirement, health care service utilization is expected to grow in the years ahead, resulting in greater demand for trained professionals to occupy clinical roles. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects registered nurse employment growth of “6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations” with a forecast of “193,100 openings for registered nurses…each year, on average, over the decade” due to rising demand for health care services among older patients and the need to replace nurses who retire or transition to other roles.

“Nurses are essential members of patient care teams and the heart and soul of the health care delivery system,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “Today, there are more than 9,100 open hospital jobs in Virginia, including more than 3,400 nursing roles. Filling those positions with trained, compassionate caregivers is vital to ensure patients in need can access timely care. This On Board Virginia marketing campaign will run during the spring and summer with an emphasis on reaching new nursing graduates to make them aware of the many great career opportunities available in Virginia.”

In addition to On Board Virginia efforts, VHHA and member hospitals and health systems have worked with the Virginia General Assembly and Governor Glenn Youngkin to strengthen health care workforce development efforts in the Commonwealth through public policy, educational opportunities, and other programmatic initiatives. One example of that is the Virginia Earn to Learn (ETL) Nursing Education Acceleration Program funded by the General Assembly to support education and health care facility partnerships to provide registered nurse and licensed practical nurse students with paid employment during nursing studies to increase clinical education opportunities and the number of practice-ready new graduate nurses. Virginia is presently home to nearly 128,000 licensed registered nurses, 107,355 of whom are active in the workforce, according to the Virginia Department of Health Professions. The median age of nurses is 44 and 27 percent of the population is 55 or older. Further information about Virginia health care openings, including the average time to fill nursing positions, the educational credentials required, and more can be accessed through the interactive Virginia Health Care Workforce Data Dashboard.

About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 111 hospitals and 26 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to achieve excellence in both health care and health to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. Its vision is through collaboration with members and stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of Virginia’s health care system, transform the delivery of care to promote lower costs and high value across the continuum of care, and to improve health for all Virginians. Connect with VHHA through Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.