The Health Care Challenge
To remain economically viable all health care organizations must have a steady pipeline of workers.
Health care employment is growing. As reported by the American Hospital Association5, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in most health care occupations. By 2016, the demand for registered nurses will increase by 23%, health care technicians and technologists by slightly over 18%; and therapists by almost 20%. Despite the current sluggish job growth in health care, these projections are expected to hold true.
Two major drivers of growth are the aging of the population and the Affordable Care Act. The number of Medicare seniors will double by 2030, producing more patients with severe chronic conditions. The mandatory insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act will increase the number of people of all ages seeking health care services.
Demand will outpace supply. In 2025 the shortfall of registered nurses will be 260,000. Schools of nursing and allied health are not graduating enough students to meet the demand, attributable in part to lack of academic preparation for college. Nationally, there were approximately 102,000 nursing school graduates in the 2007-2008 academic year.6
5 -American Hospital Association Workforce Facts and Trends at a Glance: The Hospital Leader’s Guide. January 2010.
6 - National League of Nursing. Graduations from Basic RN Programs: (1987-88 to 1994-95 and 2001-2003 to 2007-2008).