Project co-leaders Tom Daschle, Democrat, and Bill Frist, a Republican -- both former U.S. Senate majority leaders -- said employment in the healthcare industry rose from 8.7 percent of the total U.S. civilian workforce in 1998 to 10.5 percent in 2008, and is projected to increase to 11.9 percent by 2018.
"The study will ultimately help us build a health professional workforce that is better equipped to meet our current and future healthcare needs," Frist said at a news conference. "A sustainable healthcare system will have enough professionals to care for all Americans in the right place at the right time."
Total employment in healthcare is projected to increase from 15.8 million in 2008 to 19.8 million in 2018. While the numbers reflect substantial job growth, there is a pressing need to identify workforce priorities and policies that ensure a properly trained, the report said.
The initiative, written in collaboration with The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, released a comprehensive study Thursday, which analyzed the supply of healthcare professions.
The report projected from 2008 to 2018:
-- 581,500 new jobs for registered nurses.
-- 155,600 new jobs for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.
-- 460,900 new jobs for home health aides.
-- 276,000 new jobs for nursing aides, orderlies and attendants.
-- 375,800 new jobs for personal and home care aides.
-- 144,100 new jobs for a physicians and surgeons.