Heartland Forward recently released a new report presenting data with insights and strategies for implementing a strong and robust healthcare workforce in America’s heartland. Some of the reports findings touch on the challenges faced by the professional healthcare community in the Northwest part of the state and how the demand for healthcare is expected to rise in coming years. The other heartland community regions focused on in the report include Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The report featured the program, Upskill NWA which supports upskilling efforts and connects qualified applicants to the health care field. Modeled after Project Quest a similar workforce program in San Antonio, the aim is to provide training and assistance so that Northwest Arkansas residents can attain the credentials to enter their desired higher-earning fields.
The report concluded that the Northwest Arkansas Council (NWAC) is taking a multi-pronged approach to address health care staffing shortages that may likely continue for the next decade. According to the report, the council has started building the pipeline that will include reaching out to high school students, helping existing staff advance their careers through Upskill NWA, and, finally, assisting with a program to help students get an expedited BSN degree through UAMS. Success of these programs cannot yet be measured since both Upskill NWA and the UAMS nursing program for Northwest Arkansas are new initiatives.
Heartland Forward’s mission is to improve economic performance in the center of the United States by advocating for fact-based solutions to foster job creation, knowledge-based and inclusive growth and improved health outcomes. They conduct independent, data-driven research to facilitate action-oriented discussion and impactful policy recommendations.
To read the full report click here.