Is the CRNA Shortage the Only Reason for High Salaries?

by | Oct 4, 2023

Anyone involved in surgical management is hyper-aware of the nationwide shortage of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Keeping operating rooms appropriately covered with anesthesia staff is an art and a science—and considering how high CRNA salaries are, mistakes are costly. If your anesthesia group has requested an increased subsidy to cover higher salaries, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary. While geography will always be the most prominent predictor of salary requirements, there are numerous other factors to consider:

High Turnover: Understanding the cost of turnover is important.

If your facility offers a low CRNA salary compared to neighboring facilities, high turnover will be inevitable. Not only does a revolving door of anesthesia providers pose safety risks to your facility, it is also expensive. Recruiting fees are at an all-time high and onboarding becomes a major expense when it is done frequently.

Reputation: It matters more than you may know.

A company with a reputation for poor management might have to offer more competitive salaries to persuade potential employees to join. On the other hand, companies who have a proven track record of prioritizing employee satisfaction may be able to attract the best CRNAs without offering the highest bid.

Morale and Productivity: They go hand-in-hand.

If there is low morale among existing staff, productivity will suffer. Competitive salaries and bonuses bring energy and productivity to the team.

Talent Retention: In situations where valued employees are leaving, the company might offer higher salaries to retain key staff members.

In most cases, it is more cost effective to raise existing salaries than staff a department from scratch. Using locum tenens is an even faster way to drain your budget.

Keep in mind that while higher salaries might attract CRNAs initially, if the department is not being well-managed, turnover will always be a challenge. It is essential to have an anesthesia management company that is involved in employee satisfaction efforts and strives to foster a healthy work environment.

A negative or toxic job culture can be a key reason for low employee retention. This could manifest in several ways:

Poor Communication

Lack of transparency, unresponsiveness and inconsistent messaging can lead to confusion and frustration among employees, leading to their departure over time.

Lack of Respect

When employees feel disrespected or devalued, they are more likely to seek employment elsewhere where they feel appreciated and respected.

Unhealthy Competition

An excessively competitive environment can lead to stress, burnout and ultimately high turnover if employees feel constantly under pressure to outperform their colleagues.

Lack of Growth Opportunities

A culture that does not encourage or provide avenues for personal and professional development can lead to stagnation and prompt employees to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Poor Work-Life Balance

If a company culture expects employees to consistently work long hours, or does not respect boundaries between work and personal life, it can result in high levels of stress and burnout, leading to high turnover rates.

Lack of Recognition and Reward

If employees feel their work isn’t being recognized or rewarded adequately, it can demotivate them and lead them to look for other opportunities.

Organizations aiming to improve retention should focus on building a positive and supportive culture that values employees, promotes open communication, encourages a healthy work-life balance, offers opportunities for growth and fosters a sense of community and teamwork. Our business is built on core values that have formed strong relationships over the years with our clients and staff:

  • Leadership – cutting the path of innovation through bold leadership. Service is our passion; people our investment; reputation our asset.
  • Integrity – always doing the right thing.
  • Accountability – taking ownership for how our actions impact outcomes.
  • Humility – staying humble, being helpful and having fun.
  • Family – keeping family in focus. 

The DPI Difference

Drawing talented clinicians to our team, empowering them and sustaining an environment in which they thrive is our specialty. We optimize our full-service anesthesia services to help clients achieve greater operational efficiencies, significant cost savings and successful patient outcomes. Our leadership is highly accessible, continuously works on our clients business and ensures a principled and family-oriented culture that permeates all we do.

Learn More About CRNA Salaries

If you are interested in transitioning your anesthesia services, we will conduct a full-scale review of your current and forecasted anesthesia needs. Based on our findings, we will suggest a budget and staffing model that we believe will be most advantageous for achieving your goals. If high CRNA salaries are your concern, we will provide honest feedback on how to make warranted adjustments. Give us a call to learn more about how we can implement services quickly and seamlessly.