October 6, 2021

Study: HCW shortages expected for every state by 2026

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

Mercer’s 2021 External Healthcare Labor Market Analysis finds a shortage of healthcare workers (HCWs) over the next 5 to 10 years as the US continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main findings of the study are:


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  • There will be a labor shortage at the low end of the wage spectrum, which will limit access to home care.
  • Non-physicians will increasingly provide primary care.
  • There will be nursing shortages in the majority of states, but there will be surpluses in the South and Southwest.
  • A six-figure hiring rush will emerge for mental health providers by 2026.

Healthcare organizations face a significant workforce challenge, and they will have to break down existing barriers to address it, the study authors conclude.

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