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The Health Professions and Workforce Planning


The health care industry requires an adequate supply of a broad range of professionals and support personnel who must continuously be trained to adapt to new knowledge, technologies, and procedures.


One of the key challenges in the health care field is ensuring that there is an adequate supply of various groups of health care workers, and that there is an appropriate geographic distribution of these individuals. Workforce planning issues may involve imbalances between need and supply, inadequacy of training for the profession, emigration and brain drain, workforce distribution, cultural alignment between health care workers and the populations served, and challenges and opportunities associated with health system changes.


As a team, select a health profession of interest to you. Review the Learning Resources to help you make your decision and for initial information about this profession.


Conduct research on this profession using resources from previous courses, the Walden library, and credible Web sites. Your research should include:

  • Overview and history of this profession
  • Education and training required
  • Licensing and credentialing, including similarities and differences among state licensing requirements
  • Sites of practice
  • Number of professionals in practice, including annual entrants and exits from the profession
  • Distribution of the profession, including shortages
  • How professionals are compensated (e.g., fee-for-service, salary) and levels of compensation (including differences)
  • Current issues facing the profession (e.g., scope of practice concerns)
  • Competitor and highly related professions
  • Future outlook, such as the role of technology, impact of other professions, changes in the health care system
  • Global aspects of the profession

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