Minnesota Hospital Association


March 03, 2021

MHA releases report on Minnesota’s health care workforce

ST. PAUL – The workforce diversity rate in Minnesota hospitals and health systems increased over the past 11 years, increasing 110% – from 10% to 21% – in the Twin Cities metro and 66% – from 3% to 5% – outside the Twin Cities metro, according to a new report released today by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) examining health care workforce demographics and turnover.

MHA member hospitals and health systems are asked to submit data annually on age, gender, race and ethnicity for 40 direct patient care jobs in their hospitals, clinics, laboratories, emergency response and outpatient services. The data in this report reflects workers employed on Jan. 1, 2020, so does not include workforce data during COVID-19. The report represents a synopsis of health care workforce data collected by MHA to illustrate benchmarks and trends hospitals and health systems utilize to perform strategic workforce analysis and make decisions on how to support health care staff.

“Hospitals and health systems use workforce data to plan for potential workforce shortages, attract and retain diverse candidates and ensure a strong and engaged health care workforce,” said Dr. Rahul Koranne, president and CEO, MHA. “Hospitals and health systems are actively working to recruit, train, retain and engage a workforce that reflects the population of patients and communities they serve. This ongoing work is part of hospitals’ and health systems’ commitment to provide high-quality care for patients while ensuring that Minnesotans are healthy and have access to the right care at the right time in the right place.”

There were 52,263 (68%) health care workers in hospitals, 16,966 (22%) workers in clinics and 7,474 (10%) in other care settings participating in MHA’s 2020 data collection. The majority of workers identify themselves as white/non-Hispanic (85%) and women (82%). They work full-time (57%) for a facility in the Twin Cities metro (62%).

Other key findings in the report include:

  • The workforce diversity rate in Twin Cities metro hospitals and health systems increased 110% over the past 11 years, going from 10% to 21%. Over the same time period, workforce diversity in non-Twin Cities metro hospitals and health systems has increased by about 66%, going from 3% to 5%.
  • In the Twin Cities metro, 29% of the population identifies as Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC). Patients who received care at Twin Cities metro hospitals and health systems had a diversity rate of 25%. Outside the Twin Cities, the population diversity rate is 12%, while the hospitalized patient population is 11%.
  • Certified nursing assistants are the most diverse job category – approximately 45% of workers in that position identify as BIPOC – followed by pharmacy technicians, rehabilitation registered nurses and nursing station technicians, with BIPOC individuals making up between 29% and 30% of those positions.
  • Minnesota hospitals and health systems onboarded 9,884 workers in 2019, 63% of whom were under the age of 35 and in the early stages of their careers. Two-thirds of the new workers hired in 2019 were in Twin Cities metro hospitals. BIPOC individuals represented 22% of the new hires by health systems statewide. Black and Asian workers comprised over 71% of the BIPOC new hires.
  • Nurses are the largest category of the health care workforce. Thirteen registered nurse (RN) specialties represent 42% of the health care workers reported. Physicians represent 7% of those reported. The remainder of those reported have a job other than an RN or physician.
  • Health care positions are held predominantly by women. The only positions with more males than females are physician (58%) and paramedic/EMT (61%) positions. In all other positions reported, there are more females than males. The largest gender difference occurs in the labor and delivery RN positions, where females make up 99.4% of the reported workforce.
  • Millennials make up the majority of workers now. Five generations are actively working together in hospitals and health systems across Minnesota. The most recent data shows that millennials between the ages of 28 and 35 make up 46% of the workforce.
  • Average hourly pay from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is available for Minnesota and for the U.S. for most, but not all, job categories collected by MHA. Average hourly pay is higher among MHA members in 19 of the 23 jobs where a comparison is available between Minnesota and the U.S.  

Read the full report.

The Minnesota Hospital Association represents Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems, which provide quality care for their patients and meet the needs of their communities. 

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