The Alliance For Healthcare Reform

1371 Words6 Pages
Background The debate continues as to whether or not America is really experiencing a healthcare workforce shortage. This debate continues to rage as commercial areas experience an overflow of healthcare professionals with the option to offer per diem employment to job seekers in these areas. However, rural areas continue to suffer from a lack of professional healthcare workers; specifically, those who specialize in specialist areas. The Alliance for Healthcare Reform (2011) has highlighted the following points as the factors which will be deemed responsible for this shortage: • 40 percent of practicing physicians are older than 55; about one-third of the nursing workforce is over age 50. • Economists say a third of physicians could retire in the next 10 years. • More than half of nurses over 50 say they plan to retire in the next decade. • Currently only eleven states allow nurse practitioners to practice independent of a physician. • Student medical school debt averages $145,000 to180,000 • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economic downturn beginning in December 2007 has resulted in a loss of 8.4 million jobs. In this same period, health care employment grew by 732,000. The Alliance for Healthcare Reform (2011) has however stated the use of team-based care, and an expanded role for advance practice nurses and physician assistants could mitigate the shortage of primary care providers. The Problem The shortage of healthcare workers within the United
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