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Rural Healthcare Workforce – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Rural Healthcare Workforce.

Characteristics of Physician Assistant Students Planning to Work in Primary Care: A National Study
Examines the predictors associated with physician assistants' (PAs) intention to practice in primary care. Compares the characteristics of enrolled PA students intending to practice in primary care, and more likely to work in rural practice, with enrolled PAs planning to enter other specialties. Data is taken from the 2013-2014 Physician Assistant Education Association's (PAEA) Matriculating Student Survey (MSS).
Author(s): Eric H. Larson, Bianca K. Frogner
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Center for Health Workforce Studies, University of Washington
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RN-to-BSN Programs: Challenges for Rural Nurse Education
Results of a survey of 237 schools with active RN-to-BSN programs, to ascertain the current status of rural-focused nursing education. Features statistics on proportion of RN-to-BSN students drawn from rural areas, student recruitment methods, barriers to recruiting students, availability of online courses, and challenges in online courses.
Author(s): Selina H. McKinney, Janice C. Probst, Eboni Haynes
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
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Rural Registered Nurses: Educational Preparation, Workplace, and Salary
Examines reported education levels and work sites of rural and urban registered nurses (RNs). Includes United States map showing proportion of RNs with Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from 2011-2015, and statistics on ADN nurses by work setting and salary differential, with breakdowns by rural and urban location.
Author(s): Janice C. Probst, Selina Hunt McKinney, Cassie Odahowski
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
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Health Professional Shortage Areas: Mental Health
Printable map that shows nonmetropolitan and micropolitan mental health HPSAs on one color scale and metropolitan mental health HPSAs on another. Data source: data.HRSA.gov
Date: 10/2019
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Health Professional Shortage Areas: Dental Care
Printable map that shows nonmetropolitan and micropolitan dental care HPSAs on one color scale and metropolitan dental care HPSAs on another. Data source: data.HRSA.gov
Date: 10/2019
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Health Professional Shortage Areas: Primary Care
Printable map that shows nonmetropolitan and micropolitan primary care HPSAs on one color scale and metropolitan primary care HPSAs on another. Data source: data.HRSA.gov
Date: 10/2019
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Provider Shortages and Limited Availability of Behavioral Health Services in New Mexico's Medicaid Managed Care
Examines the supply and distribution of behavioral health providers and prescribers across New Mexico, with a focus on services available to Medicaid managed care enrollees. Includes data for rural and frontier counties. Discusses rural broadband connectivity challenges that impact the use of telehealth to address access. Offers policy recommendations. Findings are likely to be relevant to behavioral healthcare access in other states' rural and frontier counties.
Date: 09/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Office of Inspector General (HHS)
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Violence Against Hospital Workers: Growing Awareness, Rural Interventions, and Why It Still Goes Unreported
Provides an overview of workplace violence in healthcare settings. Features rural hospitals in Oregon and Idaho that are undertaking a range of prevention activities addressing workplace violence. Also features research findings from a Michigan healthcare system study on the topic, and identifies resources and tools that rural hospital leaders can use to help protect hospital staff.
Author(s): Jenn Lukens
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 09/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Perceived Facilitators and Barriers to Rural Nursing Practice
Results of a web-based survey of 435 nurses, examining perceived facilitators and barriers to nursing practice, job satisfaction, and self-identified challenges in nursing work environments and patient care. Features statistics including educational training and work preparation, educational characteristics of ambulatory care nurses, and demographic characteristics of survey participants, with breakdowns by rural, suburban, and urban location.
Author(s): Janice C. Probst, Selina Hunt McKinney, Whitney Zahnd, Eboni Haynes
Date: 08/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
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Immigrant Doctors Can Help Lower Physician Shortages in Rural America
Report highlighting physician shortages in rural areas and exploring pathways by which immigrants come to practice in those areas. Provides recommendations for state and federal policies that would better incorporate immigrant doctors into the effort to ease healthcare shortages in rural areas. Includes statistics on the number and percentage of International Medical Graduates who were resident physicians in the United States in 2017, with breakdowns by citizenship or visa status.
Author(s): Silva Mathema
Date: 07/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for American Progress
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A National Study of the Practice Characteristics of Women in Dentistry and Potential Impacts on Access to Care for Underserved Communities
Results of a study to understand differences in practice characteristics by gender, and to plan for changes in the workforce that could affect supply and demand of dental services in underserved areas. Features statistics including practice patterns by gender and year from 2010-2016 with breakdowns by practice location in rural area, small town, micropolitan, metropolitan, or large metropolitan area.
Author(s): Simona Surdu, Margaret Langelier, Yuhao Liu, Nubia Goodwin
Date: 06/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Health Workforce Studies
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2019 Update: The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2017 to 2032
Projects future supply of active physicians by examining trends in key determinants and the sensitivity of supply projections to changes in determinants. Features statistics including projected demand by metropolitan and nonmetro location as of 2017.
Author(s): Tim Dall, Ryan Reynolds, Kari Jones, Ritashree Chakrabarti, Will Iacobucci
Date: 04/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Association of American Medical Colleges
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Rural Surgery Call Coverage: Innovative Locoregional Solutions Can Fill the Gap
Features rural locum tenens systems as possible templates to help provide call coverage for rural surgeons. Highlights a successful pilot Canadian Rural Locum Tenens Project and a collaboration with a surgical group in Ohio that helped provide surgical coverage for area rural hospitals.
Author(s): Stephen Hiscock, Michael Sarap
Citation: Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, 104(4), 52-54
Date: 04/2019
Type: Document
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The State of Primary Care Physician Workforce
State-level information describing the primary care physician workforce in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Features statistics including age, gender, training origin, distribution of physicians, percent of state population living in rural areas, and percent of physicians practicing in rural communities.
Date: 02/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Robert Graham Center
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Addressing Rural Workforce Shortages and Healthcare Disparities: An Annotated Bibliography
Report designed to inform policy discussions and future publications concerning healthcare disparities and outcomes, the distribution of physicians in rural areas, and the graduate medical education system financing. Also includes sections on rural hospital closures, social determinants of health, and healthcare safety net facilities. Constructed from a literature review, expert-recommended articles, and a search of white and grey literature.
Author(s): Dara Khatib, Alison Huffstetler, Andrew Bazemore
Date: 02/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Robert Graham Center
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Peer Support Specialists Care for and Connect Rural Behavioral Health Clients
Discusses peer support specialists, trained laypeople in recovery with a mental health condition or substance use disorder, and describes the roles they play as mentors and coordinators for clients with similar behavioral health issues. Features peer support specialist programs in rural Arizona, Michigan, and North Dakota.
Author(s): Allee Mead
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 02/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Burnout and Job and Career Satisfaction in the Physician Assistant Profession: A Review of the Literature
Discussion paper exploring factors contributing to burnout and job satisfaction among physician assistants (PAs), by examining 37 scholarly articles, 4 of which evaluate PAs in rural areas. Features a list of high-priority research areas and an appendix showing key findings from each of the 37 articles.
Author(s): Alison C. Essary, Kari S. Bernard, Bettie Coplan, et al.
Date: 12/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Academy of Medicine
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Comparison of Dermatologist Density Between Urban and Rural Counties in the United States
Evaluates the longitudinal trends, and demographic and environmental factors associated with the rural and urban distribution of dermatologists using 1995-2013 county-level data from the Area Health Resources File.
Author(s): Hao Feng, Juliana Berk-Krauss, Paula W. Feng, et al.
Citation: JAMA Dermatology, 154(11), 1265-1271
Date: 11/2018
Type: Document
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Case Study: How Alaska Addresses Its Health Care Workforce Challenges
Reviews how state agencies and organizations in Alaska have collaborated to address health workforce shortages, particularly in rural areas of the state. Highlights the state's apprenticeship program, workforce coalition, use of Medicaid to pay nontraditional healthcare workers, and more.
Author(s): Rachel Donlon, Natalie Williams
Date: 11/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Academy for State Health Policy
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Case Study: How Indiana Addresses Its Health Care Workforce Challenges
Presents information and strategies used by the state of Indiana to address the healthcare workforce challenges existing within the state. Highlights cross-agency approaches and collaborations to expand health workforce support occupations, streamline state licensure requirements, support healthcare providers and professionals looking for jobs, and provide data-informed support and information for legislators.
Author(s): Kitty Purington, Natalie Williams
Date: 11/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Academy for State Health Policy
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Nurse Practitioners: A Solution to America's Primary Care Crisis
Examines trends in supply and demand of nurse practitioners (NPs), including projected supply of physicians and NPs in rural areas. Includes a table listing state-level scope-of-practice regulatory restrictions on NPs as of 2018.
Author(s): Peter Buerhaus
Date: 09/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Enterprise Institute
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Primary Care: The Foundation for a High Performance Rural Health Care System
Describes elements of a robust rural primary care system. Discusses the development and maintenance of a high performance rural primary care system and workforce. Includes policy considerations and opportunities to address rural primary care and sustainability.
Author(s): Keith J. Mueller, Charlie Alfero, Andrew F. Coburn, et al.
Date: 07/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute Rural Health Panel
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Impact of Nurse Practitioner Practice Regulations on Rural Population Health Outcomes
Analyzes data from Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in eight Southeastern states to determine if clinical outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries vary by level of practice autonomy that states grant to nurse practitioners (NPs).
Author(s): Judith Ortiz, Richard Hofler, Angeline Bushy, et al.
Citation: Healthcare, 6(2), 65
Date: 06/2018
Type: Document
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Closing Behavioral Health Workforce Gaps: A HRSA Program Expanding Direct Mental Health Service Access in Underserved Areas
Commentary describing HRSA's Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program, an initiative to address behavioral health disparities through supply and distribution of providers to underserved areas. Includes statistics on employment status and location of 1,975 graduates of the program.
Author(s): Hayden O. Kepley, Robin A. Streeter
Citation: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 54(6), Supplement 3, S190-S191
Date: 06/2018
Type: Document
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Where Are They? Examining General Surgery Workforce Issues
Describes challenges related to getting adequate data on the rural surgical workforce and what is needed to understand rural shortages.
Author(s): Kay Miller Temple
Date: 06/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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The Rural General Surgeon's Partner: Rural Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
Describes the role that certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) play in rural surgery.
Author(s): Kay Miller Temple
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 06/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Comprehensive Rural Population Health: Where is the General Surgeon?
Provides an overview of the role that general surgeons play, discusses the importance of surgical access, and describes efforts underway to attract students into the field and to train the rural surgical workforce.
Author(s): Kay Miller Temple
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 06/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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What Makes Physician Assistant (PA) Training Programs Successful at Training Rural PAs?
Results of a study analyzing characteristics of PA programs producing high proportions of graduates who choose rural practice, using data collected from 173 programs from November 2015 through January 2016. Features statistics with breakdowns by rurally oriented and non-rurally oriented programs and those with high and low rural productivity.
Date: 06/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
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PAs in Rural Locations Ready to Meet Primary Care Needs
Describes characteristics of physician assistants (PAs) working in rural areas, based on data collected from 9,140 PAs for the 2018 American Academy of PAs Salary Survey. Features statistics with breakdowns by rural or urban location and by various medical specialties.
Author(s): Noel Smith
Date: 06/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Academy of PAs
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Behavioral Health Integration and Workforce Development
Examines the need for states to assess behavioral health integration (BHI) workforce needs, identify legal and policy barriers to practice, and effectively train and retain BHI practitioners, especially in underserved areas. Includes case studies of programs in Washington, Nebraska, and Michigan, and lists of resources.
Author(s): Rachel Block
Date: 05/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Milbank Memorial Fund
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The Health Care Workforce: Addressing Shortages and Improving Care
Testimony in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions on May 22, 2018. Examines the growing problem of healthcare shortages in rural areas and the response by the federal government. Also explores how well healthcare professionals are being trained and why they choose the geographical areas where they work. Focuses on shortages of physicians, nurses, and professionals specializing in care of older adults.
Additional links: Testimony by Elizabeth A. Phelan, Testimony by Julie Tanner Sanford, Testimony by Kristen H. Goodell
Author(s): Kristen Goodell, Julie Sanford, Elizabeth Phelan
Date: 05/2018
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
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Shortage of Rural Surgeons: How Bad Is It?
Features information on supply and demand in the rural surgery workforce, including reasons for current and expected shortages or maldistribution of surgeons. Explains the difficulties in interpreting available data, and offers ideas for accurately assessing surgical needs in rural areas.
Author(s): Mark W. Puls
Citation: Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, 103(4), 52-55
Date: 04/2018
Type: Document
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Physician Assistants: Modernize Laws to Improve Rural Access
National Rural Health Association policy paper describing benefits to rural communities when practice barriers are removed and payments are sufficient to attract physician assistants to the area. Includes recommendations to help achieve this goal.
Author(s): Roger Wells, Megan Cody, Robert Alpino, Melissa Van Dyne, Ross Abbott, et al.
Date: 04/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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Promising Practice: Minnesota Program Aims to Help Immigrant Physicians Practice in the State
Describes the collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC), and the IMG Assistance Program – a nonprofit organization, and their partnership with the University of Minnesota to prepare and integrate international medical graduates (IMGs) into the physician workforce to address provider shortages in the state.
Author(s): Beth Blevins
Date: 02/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
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Rural Family Physicians in Patient Centered Medical Homes Have a Broader Scope of Practice
Results of a study to determine whether rural family physicians in Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) practices have a broader scope of practice than those in non-PCMH practices. Features statistics including physician characteristics and scope of clinical services, with breakdowns by PCMH and non-PCMH and by large rural, small rural, and frontier areas.
Author(s): Lars E. Peterson, Bo Fang
Date: 02/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
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Rural Family Physicians Have a Broader Scope of Practice than Urban Family Physicians
Results of a study to determine differences between rural and urban family physicians in scope of practice for clinical and procedural care in 2014 and 2015. Features statistics including physician characteristics and percentages of physicians providing various types of services and care, with breakdowns by metropolitan, large rural, small rural, and frontier areas.
Author(s): Lars E. Peterson, Bo Fang
Date: 02/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
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The Impact of Nurse Practitioner Scope-of-Practice Regulations in Primary Care
Examines the current and projected role of nurse practitioners (NPs) in rural and primary care settings, and discusses how changes in scope-of-practice (SOP) regulations for NPs may help alleviate healthcare access issues caused by a limited supply of physicians.
Author(s): Aziza Arifkhanova
Date: 2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Getting to Healthcare Value: Redirecting the Policy Debate Toward Lower Costs and Better Quality
Report reflecting discussions and views of participants of the Healthcare Value Hub meeting in New Orleans, Nov.6-8, 2017. Includes a section on challenges and opportunities for healthcare value in rural areas.
Date: 12/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Healthcare Value Hub
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Strengthening the Rural Health Workforce: Tools, Resources and Outcomes
Webinar designed to explore rural healthcare workforce challenges and best practices for recruiting and retaining clinicians and allied health professionals. Panelists include representatives from HRSA, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, 3RNet, and HRSA grantees.
Date: 11/2017
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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2017 State Physician Workforce Data Book
Examines the active physician supply in each state, current medical school enrollment, physicians in graduate medical education programs, and in-state retention rates. Includes data charts and tables for all 50 states, in addition to national averages.
Date: 11/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Association of American Medical Colleges
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Trends in Primary Care Provision to Medicare Beneficiaries by Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, or Physician Assistants: 2008-2014
Examines trends in elderly patients receiving primary care from physicians alone, physicians with nurse practitioners (NPs) and/or physician assistants (PAs), and NPs/PAs without physicians. Considered these models for delivering primary care to Medicare patients with multiple chronic conditions and Medicare patients in rural and health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).
Author(s): Ying Xue, James S. Goodwin, Deepak Adhikari, Mukaila A. Raji, Yong-Fang Kuo
Citation: Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, 8(4), 256-263
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
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A Profile of New York State Nurse Practitioners, 2017
Describes active nurse practitioners (NPs) in New York, based on information from NPs who recertified from September 2015 through December 2016. Includes map of New York Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP) regions and table with practice settings of active NPs by PHIP region, both with breakdowns by urban or rural status.
Author(s): Robert Martiniano, Shen Wang, Jean Moore
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Health Workforce Studies
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Organizations Help Veterans Transition into Healthcare Careers
Highlights the work of the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit and the Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators to help veterans pursue careers in healthcare. Discusses the role veterans have played in the past and continue to play in meeting the health workforce needs of rural communities. Identifies barriers veterans face transitioning to health careers.
Author(s): Allee Mead
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 10/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Rural America Faces Shortage of Physicians to Care for Rapidly Aging Population
Discusses the problem of physician shortages in rural areas, the role of foreign-born physicians who serve in high-need areas, and physician training programs that specifically target rural practice.
Author(s): Janis Orlowski, Michael Dill
Date: 09/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Society on Aging
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Improving Access to Care in Rural and Underserved Communities: State Workforce Strategies
Discusses how the shortage of healthcare providers affects access to care for people in rural areas and outlines state policy strategies used to address these issues. Focuses on recruitment and retention, scope of practice for non-physician healthcare providers, and telehealth.
Author(s): Emily Heller, Sydne Enlund, Kate Blackman
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Conference of State Legislatures
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Primary Care Office Manual
Gives the history of Primary Care Office (PCO) funding, and is intended to help PCO staff with program expectations, including needs assessment, reporting requirements, and an understanding of the federal organizational structure overseeing operations. Includes information to support collaboration between PCOs and State Offices of Rural Health, and resources for shortage designations, recruitment and retention, the J-1 Visa Waiver program, health center development, and grant and cooperative agreement management.
Date: 03/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
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Accountable Care Organization Implementation Experiences and Rural Participation: Considerations for Nurses
Examines implications of Accountable Care Organization (ACO) development for advanced practice nurses and other primary care clinicians employed by rural practices such as Rural Health Clinics that may be considering ACO participation.
Author(s): Matt Thomas Bagwell, Angeline Bushy, Judith Ortiz
Citation: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(1), 30-34
Date: 01/2017
Type: Document
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A Guide for Emerging Professions: Tips for Stakeholders and Advocates of Emerging Professions to Professionalize and Integrate with the Health Care System
Provides background information and constructive knowledge to help stakeholders develop strategies to change policies and structures to integrate the profession into the existing healthcare system.
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Minnesota Department of Health - Office of Rural Health and Primary Care
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Does Your State Face Rural Area Provider Shortages?
Shares the percentage of each state's population living in a rural county, along with the following rural and urban healthcare workforce statistics: number of specialists per 100,000 population, number of primary care providers (PCPs) per 100,000 population, and the percent of counties that are wholly designated primary care health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).
Date: 2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Healthcare Value Hub
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State-Level Projections of Supply and Demand for Primary Care Practitioners: 2013-2025
Presents projections for supply and demand of physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in 2025, using 2013 data as baseline. Features statistics with breakdowns by provider type and state-level maps showing projected supply versus demand for each of these provider types.
Date: 11/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis
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Clinical Training in the Rural Setting: Using Photovoice to Understand Student Experiences
Reports on a qualitative study of medical and physician assistant student training in 2 rural locations using photovoice, a participatory research methodology that combines photography and participant commentary.
Author(s): Emily M. Mader, Carrie Roseamelia, Sarah L. Lewis, et al.
Citation: Rural and Remote Health, 16(2), 3877
Date: 05/2016
Type: Document
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Systematic Review: Rural Healthcare Workforce
Management brief describing literature review of 59 publications from 2005-2015, identifying need for rural healthcare providers, exploring provider geographic choices, synthesizing evidence on interventions to increase recruitment and retention, and documenting efficacy of student training for rural healthcare.
Author(s): Susanne Hempel, Melinda Maggard Gibbons, Jesus G. Ulloa, et al.
Citation: Management Brief no. 112
Date: 05/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: VA Health Services Research & Development Service
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Outcomes of Rural-Centric Residency Training to Prepare Family Medicine Physicians for Rural Practice
Reports the results of a study analyzing the number of graduates from rural-centric family medicine residency programs who chose to practice in rural areas and primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
Author(s): Davis G. Patterson, C. Holly A. Andrilla, David Schmitz, Randall Longenecker, David V. Evans
Date: 03/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
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Solo and Small Practices: A Vital, Diverse Part of Primary Care
Examines characteristics, including rurality, and services provided by family physicians within solo and small practices, and identifies the overall percentage of family physicians working in these practices.
Author(s): Winston R. Liaw, Anuradha Jetty, Stephen M. Petterson, Lars E Peterson, Andrew W. Bazemore
Citation: Annals of Family Medicine, 14(1), 8-15
Date: 01/2016
Type: Document
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Diversity in Medical Education: Facts & Figures 2016
Interactive report with detailed statistical information on race, ethnicity, and gender in medical education in the United States for the 2014–2015 academic year, and trend data on select topics. Includes a map showing concentrations of select race and ethnicity of medical school applicants, matriculants, and graduates by state of legal residence. Map may be customized by student group and race/ethnicity, including American Indians or Alaska Natives.
Date: 2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Association of American Medical Colleges
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A Profile of Oral Health Providers in New York State
Results of a study examining the dentist and dental hygienist workforce in New York, using U.S. Census Bureau data from 2009-2013. Features statistics with breakdowns by sex, race or ethnicity, age group, and rural or urban location.
Author(s): Tracey Continelli, Cassondra Bruce, Erin Roberts, Robert Martiniano
Date: 11/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Health Workforce Studies
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Assessing Rural-Urban Nurse Practitioner Supply and Distribution in 12 States Using Available Data Sources
A policy brief comparing the distribution of nurse practitioners (NPs) in rural and urban areas through the analysis of license records and the National Provider Identifier (NPI) data from 12 states.
Author(s): Susan M. Skillman,Gina Keppel, Mark P. Doescher, et al.
Date: 08/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
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Prehospital Emergency Medical Services Personnel in Rural Areas: Results from a Survey in Nine States
Results of a 2008 Centers for Disease Control survey comparing patterns of supply and demand in rural and urban areas for prehospital emergency response personnel and examining involvement of medical directors and availability of medical consultation. Includes statistics on organizations, personnel, and types of medical emergencies, with breakdowns by four population density categories.
Author(s): D.G. Patterson, S.M. Skillman, M.A. Fordyce
Date: 08/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
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Personality Profiles of Rural Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship Students Who Choose Family Medicine
Examines whether rural clerkship students who intended to and eventually practiced family medicine had personality traits different from rural clerkship students who intended to practice in all other specialties. Includes statistics with breakdowns by sex, medical specialty, year of clerkship, age group, marital status, and personality trait.
Author(s): Diann S. Eley, Kathleen D. Brooks, Therese Zink, C. Robert Cloninger
Citation: Family Medicine, 47(3), 194-203
Date: 03/2015
Type: Document
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Estimating the Residency Expansion Required to Avoid Projected Primary Care Physician Shortages by 2035
Discusses the projected shortage of primary care physicians by 2035. Briefly mentions expanding graduate medical education training through the use of teaching health centers and rural training tracks to increase those who choose primary care.
Author(s): Stephen M. Petterson, Winston R. Liaw, Carol Tran, Andrew W. Bazemore
Citation: Annals of Family Medicine, 13(2), 107-114
Date: 03/2015
Type: Document
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Family Medicine Graduate Proximity to Their Site of Training: Policy Options for Improving the Distribution of Primary Care Access
Assesses the geographic relationship between graduate practice location and family medicine graduate medical education training sites. Results show an uneven geographic distribution between urban and rural primary care physicians. Report also states that family physicians are more likely to work in rural areas.
Author(s): Ernest Blake Fagan, Claire Gibbons, Sean C. Finnegan, et al.
Citation: Family Medicine, 47(2), 124-130
Date: 02/2015
Type: Document
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Intra Rural and Urban Primary Care Physician Findings: AAMC 2009 Physician Survey of Primary Care Chartbook
Analyzes primary care physician survey data that was assembled by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 2009/2010 prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide baseline measures in which to compare potential post ACA application studies.
Author(s): Gary Hart
Date: 02/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center
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Tapping Nurse Practitioners to Meet Rising Demand for Primary Care
Discusses the use of advanced practice nurses, specifically nurse practitioners, to increase access to primary care for those residing in Health Professional Shortage Areas. Reports that nurse practitioners working in primary care are more likely than primary care physicians to work in rural areas. Suggests that the use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants could help reduce the primary care provider shortage in 2020 by two-thirds.
Author(s): Amanda Van Vleet, Julia Paradise
Date: 01/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Fewer Family Physicians Are in Solo Practices
Discusses the current trend of fewer family physicians engaging in a solo practice, which could affect access to healthcare in rural areas that are reliant on single physician facilities.
Author(s): Lars E. Peterson, Elizabeth Baxley, Carlos Roberto Jaén, Robert L. Phillips
Citation: Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 28(1), 11-12
Date: 01/2015
Type: Document
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The Obstetric Care Workforce in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and Rural Non-CAHs
Examines current obstetric practice models in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other rural hospitals to understand obstetric care services and obstetric workforce issues. Reports on the types of clinicians providing obstetric care in rural hospitals, including obstetricians, family physicians, certified nurse midwives, and general surgeons.
Author(s): Katy Kozhimannil, Michelle Casey, Peiyin Hung, Shailendra Prasad, Ira Moscovice
Date: 11/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
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An Interview with Robert T. Trachtenberg
Presents an interview with Robert Trachtenberg, the Executive Director of the National AHEC Organization who discusses its evolution, and how AHECs build the rural healthcare workforce.
Author(s): Beth Blevins
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 11/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Distribution of U.S. Health Care Providers Residing in Rural and Urban Areas
Presents the supply and distribution of practitioners in 32 health occupations across urban and rural areas, from 2008-2010, based on their place of residence. Includes statistics with breakdowns by rural or urban location.
Date: 10/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Workforce Analysis
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The Role of Physician Assistants in Health Care Delivery
Describes the role of physician assistants (PAs) in the U.S. healthcare system with information related to state regulations, PA education, scope of practice, and their importance in rural healthcare facilities. Also provides policy recommendations to help states attract, retain, and realize the value of PAs within their healthcare system.
Author(s): Amanda Dunker, Esther Krofah, Frederick Isasi
Date: 09/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Governors Association
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Transforming the Workforce to Provide Better Care: The Role of Obstetric Nurse Coordinators in North Carolina
A case study describing how nurses are helping improve prenatal care for high-risk pregnant women via North Carolina's statewide Medicaid Pregnancy Medical Home (PMH) program. Includes a section on support for rural practices participating in the PMH program.
Author(s): Mary Takach, Rachel Yalowich
Date: 09/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: AARP Public Policy Institute, National Academy for State Health Policy
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Advancing Primary Care Delivery: Practical, Proven, and Scalable Approaches
Describes the U.S. primary care system and suggests several approaches for improving value and capacity. Includes rural-specific workforce and healthcare facility statistics.
Date: 09/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: UnitedHealth Group
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Unfreezing the Flexnerian Model: Introducing Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships in Rural Communities
Investigates the perspective of physicians introduced to rural health through a nine-month Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) to measure the effectiveness of the LIC model in increasing the rural health workforce.
Author(s): Robert Bing-You, Robert Trowbridge, Catherine Kruithoff, John L. Daggett Jr.
Citation: Rural and Remote Health, 14(3), 2944
Date: 08/2014
Type: Document
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Models to Estimate the Economic Impact of a Rural Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant
Discusses the advantages of using nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) for the provision of primary care services to meet the workforce challenges in rural settings and how they contribute economically to the community.
Additional links: Summary
Author(s): Fred C. Eilrich, Gerald A. Doeksen, Cheryl F. St. Clair,
Date: 08/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Rural Health Works
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Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation's Health Needs
Reviews the system supporting graduate medical education (GME) and discusses how it supports or creates barriers to the development of the physician workforce the nation needs. A section on geographic maldistribution on pages 43-44 discusses the rural physician workforce. The report also discusses GME issues related to rural health facilities, including Table 3-8 (p. 83), with data on rural hospital GME.
Additional links: Read Online
Author(s): Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education
Date: 07/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Health and Medicine Division (HMD), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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For the Record: Mary Wakefield
Presents an interview with Mary Wakefield, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, who discusses the shortage of health care providers. Highlights strategies and programs including the National Health Service Corp, the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, State Offices of Rural Health and Primary Care Offices, scholarship and loan forgiveness programs, and the Rural Recruitment and Retention Network, which links clinicians looking to practice in rural areas with rural clinical sites in need of providers.
Citation: State Legislatures Magazine, 40(6), 20-21
Date: 06/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Conference of State Legislatures
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Working with Dental Therapists - Dental Health Aide Bobby Curtis
Presents a 2 minute video with Bobby Curtis, a dental health aide therapist in rural Alaska, who describes his work with patients and how he interacts with his supervising dentist.
Date: 06/2014
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Pew Charitable Trusts
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Effects of Potential Federal Funding Cuts on Graduate Medical Education: Results of a Survey of Designated Institutional Officials
Results of a 2011 survey that assessed how future federal funding reductions for physician education would affect the number of residency programs.
Author(s): Kathleen D. Holt, Rebecca S. Miller, Ingrid Philibert, Thomas J. Nasca
Citation: Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 6(1), 183-188
Date: 03/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
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A 21st Century Health Care Workforce for the Nation
Highlights proposals in the President's 2015 budget related to healthcare workforce, particularly primary care services. Discusses funding for graduate medical education and the National Health Service Corps to increase the number of trained providers in rural areas.
Date: 02/2014
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Designating Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Populations/Medically Underserved Areas: A Primer on Basic Issues to Resolve
Includes discussion for interested parties considering issues related to the designation of Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs), Medically Underserved Populations (MUPs), and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Describes key issues on how the designations establish eligibility for programs important to rural healthcare delivery.
Author(s): Andrew F. Coburn, Jennifer P. Lundblad, A. Clinton MacKinney, Timothy D. McBride, Keith J. Mueller
Date: 08/2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute Rural Health Panel
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Rural Health Workforce Issues: Challenges and Opportunities National Rural Task Force 2010 Meeting Summary
Summarizes the discussion and outcomes from the National Rural Task Force 2010 meeting. Includes updates from the Health Resources and Services Administration and Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
Date: 07/2010
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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An Examination of the Healthcare Workforce Issues in Rural America
8th Annual Report to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Congress. Focuses on rural health workforce issues. Discusses improving rural healthcare through interdisciplinary training and quality improvement. Examines the rural health workforce by profession and looks at health workforce issues and trends.
Date: 09/2008
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary Community-Based Linkages
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Rural Health Explorer
An interactive web-based mapping tool focused on rural health. Provides access to data on rural population health, covering health behaviors, health outcomes, healthcare access, and social determinants of health. Includes healthcare workforce data for nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, and physicians. Also includes the Appalachia Community Data Portal, with regional data on social determinants of health and health outcomes. Part of the HealthLandscape set of tools.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: American Academy of Family Physicians
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Scopes of Practice for Behavioral Health Professionals
Tool for finding state-by-state characteristics of the behavioral health professional workforce, including credentialing requirements and services they are allowed to perform.
Type: Tool
Sponsoring organization: Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center
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HPSA Find
Search tool for Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Allows searching by state, county, or ID number.
Type: Database
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Medicare Learning Network: Health Professional Shortage Area Physician Bonus Program
Provides an overview of the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Physician Bonus Program and explains how bonus payments are calculated and paid. Includes information related to Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) as well as primary care and mental health HPSAs.
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
A map of the U.S. displaying Medically Underserved Population (MUP) and Medically Underserved Area (MUA) designated regions, updated daily.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) - Mental Health
A map of the U.S. displaying Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and HPSA scores for mental health by county, updated daily.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) - Dental Health
A map of the U.S. displaying Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and HPSA scores for dental health by county, updated daily.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) - Primary Care
A map of the U.S. displaying Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and HPSA scores for primary care by county, updated daily.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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AMA Health Workforce Mapper
Customizable, interactive tool for accessing healthcare workforce-related data. Includes data on physicians by specialty, as well as data on a wide range of other healthcare providers. Provides information on Health Professional Shortage Areas, hospital locations, population indicators, and patient health data such as morbidity and mortality rates, health behaviors and social environment, healthcare access, and quality data.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organizations: American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association
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Physician Compare
Provides consumers with information on physicians that accept Medicare patients. Includes practice location, physician specialties, hospital affiliation, and participation in selected Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services quality improvement programs.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Rural Health Workforce Funding Programs
May 2014 webinar providing an overview of funding programs designed to grow and sustain a new crop of rural health workers. Highlights funding programs from HRSA, HHS, and foundations. Also covers financial aid and loan repayment programs available to those entering the rural health workforce. Presented by Becca Cruger, Funding Specialist for RHIhub. 60 minutes long.
Additional links: Audio Recording, PowerPoint Handout, Transcript
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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State Nursing Workforce Centers
Directory of state nursing workforce centers, which focus on addressing the nursing shortage in their states.
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers
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Health Workforce Research Centers
Information on the centers funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to conduct policy-relevant research on the health workforce.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Bureau of Health Workforce
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Shortage Designation Scoring Criteria
Provides an overview of the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation scoring criteria. Covers additional criteria and guidelines specific to each of the three types of designations: primary care, dental and mental health. Also covers scoring criteria for the Medically Underserved Area and Medically Underserved Population (MUA/P) designation.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Find Shortage Areas by Address
Searchable tool for identifying Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P) by street address, city, and state or a street address and zip code.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Area Health Resources Files (AHRF)
Provides access to data on healthcare facilities, healthcare utilization, demographics, and social determinants of health by state and county. Includes data for health workforce and health professions training at the state level. Shares data from a variety of sources.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Community Health Workers Toolkit
Contains eight modules about community health worker programs, how the programs work, and how to use community health workers in the local community.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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PubMed Search: Healthcare Workforce and Rural Health
Searches PubMed's collection of journal article citations on the topic of rural healthcare workforce.
Type: Literature Search
Sponsoring organization: U.S. National Library of Medicine
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Health Workforce Connector
A resource for finding job opportunities at National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps sites. Includes in-depth site information, as well as information on vacancies. Searchable by keyword and location.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: National Health Service Corps
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State Primary Care Offices Directory
Contact information for state Primary Care Offices (PCOs). These offices can provide shortage designation application help and shortage information, as well as information on the Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program, loan repayment programs, and recruitment and retention.
Type: Directory
Sponsoring organization: Bureau of Health Workforce
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Shortage Designation
Provides information on how to apply for and locate shortage designations. Includes Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), and Medically Underserved Areas and Populations (MUAs/MUPs).
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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MUA Find
Search for Medically Underserved Areas and Populations (MUAs/MUPs). Allows searching by state, county, or ID number. Includes designation status and date.
Type: Database
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Additional resources are available related to this guide. See the full list of resources by topic for:


Last Updated: 12/5/2019