Minnesota Hospital Association

Policy & Advocacy

Addressing the health care workforce crisis


The current health care workforce landscape in Minnesota and across the nation is dire. Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems have a current staffing shortage, with almost 10,000 open positions, and the future could be even more challenging. With an almost 250% one-year increase in job vacancy rates, exponentially rising labor and supply costs, and the need to rely on temporary staffing, there is an intense strain on the state’s hospitals and health systems.
  • The overall vacancy rate in 2022 was about 21%, compared to only 6% in 2021. This is compounded with Minnesota's record low unemployment rate of 2.1%. 
  • More professionals within health care are opting for a part-time work schedule. For the first time, more than half (57%) of registered nurses (RNs) are opting not to work full-time. 
  • Physicians are projected to be the top occupational group at or above retirement age within ten years, followed by licensed practical nurse (LPN) and peri-anesthesia registered nurses. Retirements continue to add stress on the health care workforce.

The health care workforce shortage – both nationally and in Minnesota - is nothing short of alarming. While hospitals and health systems will continue to do what we can, this problem cannot be solved exclusively by providers.

MHA urges the legislature to:   

  • Expand current programs such as the Health Care Loan Forgiveness program, the Dual-Training Pipeline, and the Summer Health Care Internship Program. 
  • Establish a one-time program for students newly-enrolled in an accredited allied health technician program, supporting students pursuing a career as a medical laboratory professional, respiratory therapist, radiology technician, or surgical technician. 
  • Accelerate entry into the professional workforce through simplification of the administrative processes at the health care licensing boards.

Learn more about MHA's efforts to bolster Minnesota's health care workforce.