The Outlook for Healthcare’s Workforce

Source: Jennifer Larson, AMN Healthcare, January 2010

It goes without saying that you can’t provide healthcare or run a hospital or clinic without staff. And yet, experts predict that shortages of healthcare personnel will continue and perhaps even worsen over the next few years.

Factors putting a strain on the healthcare workforce include:

* The advent of healthcare reform could add as many as 30 million additional people to the insurance rolls, which would drive up demand for healthcare.
* The general population is continuing to age, which also is likely to increase the demand for healthcare.
* There are not enough physicians, particularly primary care doctors, in the pipeline to address the growing need.
* The nursing shortage, which eased a bit in some areas because of the recession, could return to the critical level as soon as this year, depending on the pace of the economic recovery.
* The allied health professions are also experiencing shortages, although not as well publicized as the doctor and nurse shortages.

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