Health/Medical
4:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Report looks at number of pre-baccalaureate health care workers in Omaha metro

A new report says 44 percent of the Omaha metro area’s health care workforce doesn’t have a bachelors’ degree.

The Brookings Report looked at the number of pre-baccalaureate health care workers in ten occupations, including registered nurses, medical assistants, and personal care aides, in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. There are 20,526 health care workers in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area without a bachelors’ degree. That represents 44 percent of the total health care work force.

Brookings Fellow Martha Ross says that work force is smaller in areas with teaching hospitals and medical schools.

"Where there’s more medical research and very highly specialized medical procedures being done, those tend to draw people with higher levels of education. So they make up a proportionately higher share of the total health care work force."

Ross says as the health care industry changes to address costs and needs, these workers need to be part of the discussion. She says education and training must keep up with industry needs.

Of the 20, 526 workers, nearly 91 percent are female. The full report is available at www.brookings.edu.