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Special Report

Health Care Workforce Analysis


The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Office of Economic Advisors (OEA) are working with partners, namely the Wisconsin Health Workforce Data Collaborative (WHWDC), to take proactive steps toward identifying and alleviating future shortages in health care occupations. Ongoing projects include registered nurse forecasting and analysis of physician/physician assistant survey.

Wisconsin's overall labor force supply growth is expected to flatten as baby boomers begin to retire (Winters et al.,2009).  The aging population will also cause relatively rapid growth in demand for health care professionals.

Health care workforce analysis is essential for two reasons. First, health care is expected to be one of the states fastest growing industries in terms of job growth. Analysis is needed to match Wisconsin's future workforce with future job openings. Second, maintaining a strong health care system helps make Wisconsin an attractive location for businesses to expand, relocate, and attract qualified professionals in all occupations.

RN Forecasting

OEA expanded and improved an existing forecasting tool as part of the Wisconsin Health Workforce Data Collaborative group's response to the Growing Wisconsin Health Workforce Crisis. The forecasting models project the supply and demand of registered nurses through 2035 in five year increments, and users can challenge the assumptions behind forecasts to examine alternative workforce scenarios by changing supply or demand factors in any combination.

Nurse Forecasting Reports and Presentations

Physician and Physician Assistant Workforce Analysis

OEA is working with the Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to analyze the results of of physician and physician assistant workforce surveys. The main goals of the project are to provide valuable workforce data and to examine the future supply and demand for professionals. Medical Doctors (MDs), Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs), and Physician Assistants (PAs) were asked to respond to a voluntary survey during the 2011/2012 license renewal period. The combine response rates of  MDs and DOs was about 30%, while 44% of Wisconsin's licensed PAs responded to the survey.

The project builds upon OEA's work on registered nurse (RN) forecasting and is part of continued efforts to take proactive steps toward alleviating health care workforce shortages. The projects is funded by a State Health Care Workforce Development (SHCWD) grant. Nancy Sugden, Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs, UWSMPH, serves as the grant's principal investigator.

Physician and PA Reports and Presentations

OEA Contact

For more information on the Registered Nurse Forecasting project contact  Tom Walsh or call (715) 261-8747

Related Resources

WORKnet is moving! We have developed a new site to house the data and resources currently available on WORKnet. Visit to start using our new, interactive tools and resources. WORKnet will be transitioned to WisConomy in the fall of 2018. Please email or contact us with any questions. E-Government Portal
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