NWA needs health care workers – Axios

NW Arkansas
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Recruiting and retaining a robust health care workforce will be essential in the coming years as the industry struggles to meet increasing demand, according to a new report.
Driving the news: Heartland Forward, a Bentonville-based nonprofit focused on the economy in "the heartland" — 20 states in the Midwest and South — released a report outlining challenges in the health care workforce and strategies to tackle them.
State of play: The Northwest Arkansas Council lists 488 job openings for nursing, psychiatric and home health aides, which typically require a high school diploma and have a median income of about $26,000.
What they’re saying: While an aging population and health problems increase demand for care, factors such as job dissatisfaction exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic make it difficult to keep a healthy supply of workers, according to the report.
Details: The report outlines four challenges including:
The bottom line: Heartland Forward’s research outlines recommendations such as: improving pay and benefits for health care workers, providing more clinical opportunities like internships for students and trainees, increasing flexibility around training by using technology and creating comprehensive pathways for opportunity and career growth.
What to watch: Some new-ish initiatives exist to curb this problem, such as Springdale-based nonprofit Excellerate Foundation’s Upskill NWA program designed to make it easier for low-income students to get medical education or training.
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