Minnesota Hospital Association

Policy & Advocacy

Developing a Future Workforce

It takes over 127,000 people working statewide in order to meet the public’s critical care needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. One of the Minnesota Hospital Association’s top priorities is helping members ensure an adequate workforce. Some of these efforts include an online workforce planning tool; legislative advocacy; member education in workforce-related areas; forging partnerships with other stakeholders; and MHA standing committees devoted to workforce development, nursing and physician leadership issues.

Minnesota’s health care workforce is an important contributor to our state’s economic engine:

  • Minnesota hospitals provided 232,000 (direct and indirect) jobs in 2015.
  • This translated into $8.6 billion in wages and salaries (direct and indirect).

Attracting and retaining a talented workforce is an ongoing challenge and one that will become more acute as the workforce ages, demand for services increases, and the overall labor pool begins to shrink.

  • By 2015, there will be a deficit of 62,900 physicians (all specialties) and that shortage is likely to double by 2025.
  • Approximately one-third of the nursing workforce is older than the age of 50.
  • 78 million baby boomers will reach age 65 by 2030.

Hospitals and health systems are taking steps to address the workforce challenge; however, this complex problem cannot be solved by the provider community alone. To advance the health care workforce in Minnesota, MHA is an active partner in a number of advisory groups and coalitions, including:

HealthForce Executive Alliance Board and the Health Care Education Industry Partnership Council

MHA staff serves on the Executive Alliance Board of HealthForce Minnesota. HealthForce Minnesota is one of four Centers of Excellence approved by the legislature and launched by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Each center is focused on industry sectors important to the state’s economy including health care; engineering and manufacturing; manufacturing and applied engineering; and advanced information technology. HealthForce focuses on ensuring Minnesota will have a well-trained, flexible and diverse workforce. 

MHA staff also serves on the Health Care Education Industry Partnership Council. The Partnership Council is part of HealthForce Minnesota and includes health care providers, professional and trade associations, health plans, and higher education and is focused identifying concerns and implementing solutions for nurse and allied health professionals.

Mental Health Workforce Summit Steering Committee

In the 2013 session, the Legislature passed legislation (SF 1236) that requires the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) to convene a mental health summit and write a plan to increase the number of mental health professionals working at all levels of the mental health system. HealthForce Minnesota is leading this effort and MHA holds two seats on the steering committee - one metro and one rural. The final plan is due to the Legislature by Jan. 15, 2015.  

Itasca Project Workforce Alignment Team

The Itasca Project Workforce Alignment Team is comprised of employers, educators and state agencies. Its primary objectives are to enable employers to articulate anticipated workforce skill needs to educational institutions so that our educational system can develop or expand the appropriate programs and to help students and job seekers make more informed decisions about their options based on the labor market. MHA staff holds a seat on the team. The team began four pilot projects in January 2014 to test online tools designed to meet the needs of these objectives. 

The Clinical Coordination Partnership

The Clinical Coordination Partnership (TCCP) is an online scheduling tool and support system for health care providers and health care educators to collaboratively maximize the ability to meet clinical experiential learning requirements for Registered Nurses, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants. TCCP is staffed in partnership between HealthForce Minnesota and the University of Minnesota. Clinical sites report significant decreases in employee time spent scheduling and education programs report an increase in opportunities to secure clinical activity space. MHA holds a seat on its steering committee. 

National Governor's Association Policy Academy on Building a Transformed Healthcare Workforce: Moving from Planning to Implementation

In May 2014 the National Governor’s Association announced the selection of seven states, including Minnesota, which will receive technical assistance to develop and implement statewide plans for their health care workforce. Minnesota’s efforts will focus on improving the coordination of health care workforce data; increasing diversity of the workforce; improving supply and distribution of primary care, behavioral health and oral health providers; developing telehealth capacity; and supporting adoption of new care team models. MHA has a seat on the Core Team developing and implementing the plan.

National Governor’s Association Veterans’ Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy

The National Governor’s Association (NGA) selected six states, including Minnesota, to participate in the Veterans’ Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy. Each state is in the process of developing a plan to help service members leaving the military gain the necessary civilian credentials in three of the five following occupations (which all require state-level credentials): truck drivers; police officers; emergency medical technicians (EMTs)/paramedics; licensed practical nurses (LPNs); plus one health care occupation of the state’s choosing based on needs. Minnesota’s plan will focus on LPNs, EMTs and peace officers. The governor’s office is leading the effort and MHA has a seat on the committee advising the process in Minnesota.

Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry Healthcare Services Industry Council/Minnesota PIPELINE Project

The Minnesota Department of Labor (DLI) and Industry is hosting four industry council groups (information technology; health care services; agriculture; and advanced manufacturing) to implement 2014 legislation that requires specific competency standards be developed for one entry level and two higher skill level occupations in each industry. DLI must issue a report to the legislature in January 2015. MHA holds a seat on the health care services council.