- Banner Health is hosting job fairs this month in hopes of filling 1,500 job openings ranging from entry level to leadership in Arizona and Colorado.
A major focus is on nurses, including behavioral health and ICU, as Banner Health looks to get fully staffed by flu season.
- The system is an example of how healthcare remains a hot job market. In the latest jobs report, released Friday, the health sector added 33,200 jobs in August. That number included 8,200 additional hospital positions and 21,000 ambulatory healthcare services jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The health sector has added 301,000 jobs through the first eight months of 2018. The 33,200 jobs added in September were nearly twice the amount added in July and 8,000 more jobs added than in June.
Hospitals have averaged 8,000 new jobs per month this year, which is better than the 6,000 jobs per month average in 2017.
The increases come as M&A growth remains a factor in the industry. Though mergers often result in layoffs, the industry as a whole is more than overcoming any jobs lost during M&A activity.
Despite the added hires this year, primary care physician shortages are already happening in some areas of the country. A new report from UnitedHealth Group found that 13% of U.S. residents already live in a county with a primary care shortage. Rural residents are almost five times as likely to live in a county with a PCP shortage than urban and suburban Americans.
Health policy experts predict physician shortages will only grow in the future. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimated this year that the physician shortage in the U.S. could reach 121,300 by 2030. That shortfall includes between 14,800 and 49,000 primary care doctors needed. Nonprimary care specialties also face a shortage of as much as 72,700 physicians — including 30,500 surgeons.
Nurses are seen as a critical factor in bridging those gaps. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a nursing shortage of more than 1 million nurses by 2022 despite projecting that registered nurses will grow 15% by 2026. That's faster than other occupations, but still leaves a gap as the nation ages and there's more need for medical professionals over the next decade.