Health care workforce challenges require transformative thinking on equity, pay

Every day, the COVID-19 pandemic shows — in stark, heartbreaking detail — how health care workforce and equipment shortages create impossible life or death choices in health care settings across the country. The crisis demands a seismic shift in health care workforce development in the United States, coupled with a bold re-envisioning of workforce development policy, to improve job quality and equity.

While health care employment is the largest source of jobs in the U.S., the quality of these jobs depends on the occupation. For example, nursing assistants make about $29,000 a year — or about $14.25 per hour — and often lack access to benefits, including health care and paid leave. These jobs are physically and emotionally demanding, with often unpredictable work schedules.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill .