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5.6 million more healthcare workers needed in US by 2020

The U.S. will need 5.6 million more healthcare workers by 2020 — 4.6 million of them with advanced degrees — according to a new healthcare workforce report from Georgetown University. Other noteworthy  findings from the report include:

  • Healthcare represents 18% of the U.S. economy, twice that of other countries
  • There are 2 healthcare labor markets – one for high-skill, high-wage professionals and another for low-skill, low-wage support jobs
  • Over a quarter of healthcare jobs need graduate degrees
  • Healthcare has the largest proportion of foreign-born and foreign-trained workers in the nation – now 22%, but down from 30% in the 1990s
  • The net effect of health reform on healthcare jobs is insignificant
  • Healthcare professionals earn very good wages, and while healthcare support jobs are low-paying, they are often better than alternative jobs with similar skill and training levels
  • Worker shortages do not exist nationwide, but rural areas and certain specialties are affected
  • RNs are fast becoming upskilled, with a greater proportion of them having bachelor or advanced degrees
  • 11% of the RN workforce are now in management and administration

Source: Carnevale AP and others. Healthcare. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, June 2012. http://cew.georgetown.edu/healthcare/

Related resource: Health Workforce Information Center – http://www.hwic.org/

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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