New Research Shows the Key Role Immigrants Play in 13 States’ Healthcare Workforces

The American Immigration Council released new research, The Growing Demand for Healthcare Workers, which underscores the crucial role immigrants play in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand healthcare fields.


“Communities across these 13 states, and the nation, have faced dire healthcare worker shortages for years, a challenge that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many immigrants have received specialized education, licensing, and training internationally that would qualify them to help meet these needs today, but they continue to face barriers to practicing in the United States,” said Leani García Torres, Chief of Staff at the American Immigration Council. “To meet the growing healthcare needs across these states, especially in rural counties, the states need innovative policies that attract and retain talent and create career pathways that help ensure everyone has access to quality care.”    

Key findings of the report include:  

  • There is growing demand for healthcare workers across the 13 states. Between 2017 and 2021, many states saw an increase in the number of online job postings for unique healthcare worker positions.  


  • Immigrants are helping meet growing demand for healthcare workers, across the skills spectrum in the 13 states. Immigrants often punched above their weight, representing a share of workers in healthcare roles like physicians, surgeons, and respiratory therapists.  


  • Demand for bilingual healthcare workers is on the rise. From 2017 to 2021, many of the 13 states saw the number of healthcare job postings that required bilingual skills increase. Immigrants can help contribute to the growing multilingual and cultural competency needs in the healthcare workforce.  


  • Although there is a growing need for healthcare workers in these 13 states, many immigrants who received specialized training abroad cannot practice in the state. In 2021, many immigrants with healthcare-related professional and doctorate degrees were working in a healthcare occupation that did not require one. 

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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