Clinical Demand is a complex system where patients seek service 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year, and expect the right caring professional to be available when they arrive. Simple static systems for patient tracking, staff scheduling and staffing adjustments are not able to meet the cost/quality pressures of today's health care environment. Thoughtful systems based on evidence and clear standards of care are needed. Systems that use the volumes of electronic information that is available in real time to assist in the allocation of expensive professional resources need to become the norm, not the exception.

The challenges and complexities of clinical demand faced by the frontline clinical manager can be overwhelming. The clinical manager must be positioned to understand their patients' needs now, but also translate these needs into budget plans, scheduling strategies, recruitment strategies and flexible staffing strategies. They must also be capable of communicating the needs of their department to administrators who might wish to keep things simple and distance themselves from the emotional environment that caring professionals thrive on.

The Center for Clinical Workforce Planning Professionals is focused on improving the preparation of the clinical manager in meeting these challenges and directing the investments made by their organizations. Our focus is on factors that affect each aspect of clinical workforce planning which include:

Professional members of the CWPP learning community strive to meet the needs of their patients at the highest level at an appropriate cost, and to always be in a position to clearly articulate their established, evidence-based strategy.

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Nurses concerned

In a 2009 ANA poll, more than half (51.6%) said the quality of care on their unit had declined in the past year. Nearly half (49.5%) would not feel confident having someone close to them receive care in the facility in which they work. Nearly one-quarter (23.9%) said they were considering leaving nursing altogether

Staffing levels

Hospitals with low nurse staffing levels tend to have higher rates of poor patient outcomes such as pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest, and urinary tract infections, according to research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and others.

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