Rural Healthcare Workforce
Healthcare workforce is essential to providing healthcare access and quality in rural areas. Rural healthcare facilities must not only have an adequately sized health workforce, but those professionals must be able to meet the needs of the community in many ways, such as having proper licensure, education and training, and cultural competency skills.
Having adequate healthcare providers in rural areas requires efforts on the part of numerous entities including local citizens, other healthcare providers, and state and federal government policymakers. These entities have a better understanding of the complexity and nature of rural health workforce issues and concepts. In addition, the use of, and coordination among, the workforce must be optimized to ensure that patients are getting the best care possible. Strategies that can be employed include:
As the nation struggles with shortages of healthcare providers, a maldistribution of those workers means that shortages are often more profound in rural areas of the country. This maldistribution of health providers is a persistent problem affecting the United States healthcare system.
This guide looks at the economics, policy, and planning issues and challenges related to rural health workforce, including:
Last Reviewed: 9/4/2014