In brief

States respond to work force shortages

A new survey released by the Bureau of Health Professions at the Health Resource and Services Administration reports that 44 states have convened task forces or commissions to study health care work force shortages. The report, State Responses to Health Worker Shortages: Results of 2002 Survey of States, also notes that shortages aren’t just occurring in nursing, but in many areas. While 90% reported nursing shortages, 70% reported a lack of pharmacists, 64% said they didn’t have enough certified nurses assistants, and 58% needed more radiology techs.

Scholarships and loan repayment programs seemed to be the most common tactic the states had for dealing with the shortages, with 38 reporting such programs, the report states. Half the states are have programs that actively market careers in health care, and 14 are developing career ladder programs. Meanwhile, several states have banned mandatory overtime, and California has mandated minimum patient/ nurse ratios.

To see the entire report, outlining what programs are in which states, click here.