Nursing gets the most attention
, for good reason. Some hospitals have paid travel nurses
up to $10K per week
to shore up their ranks
. But burnout and retirements have taken a toll on many other healthcare roles, including those that typically do not require four-year degrees, such as medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, and surgical technologists.
Amid the crisis, healthcare companies are getting more creative about recruiting
and retaining workers without bachelor’s degrees. Some are ramping up education benefits and covering costs for degrees, certificates, and certifications, to offer upward mobility for employees who want to advance in their careers.
The Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare, for example, is offering
training to job seekers before they are hired in allied health roles
, as well as free and low-cost education options to employees who want to change career paths.
EdAssist Solutions from Bright Horizons is a large education benefit provider that works with healthcare companies. Its employer partners are making significant new investments
in education across four nursing roles and five allied health pathways, for in-demand jobs like respiratory therapist and radiologic technicians.
“Recruiting and talent pipeline development is a major focus,” says Jill Buban
, a vice president and general manager with EdAssist. “But equally if not more important are upskilling and career pathway programs that help retain and grow the existing workforce.”
The company is seeing a substantial uptick in employees who are pursuing nursing and health administration degrees, Buban says, as well as increased interest in related certificate programs, like nursing specializations and certified medical assistants.
is director of benefits for Memorial Hermann Health System, a large nonprofit system in southeast Texas. He says Memorial Hermann, an EdAssist client, has expanded its education benefits recently, both as a retention tool and to help workers move into nursing and other high-demand, higher-paying roles in the system.
For example, the system offers student loan repayment to workers and now prepays tuition for education benefit recipients who are pursuing degrees, rather than reimbursing those costs.
The Kicker: “We’re encouraging people from all different backgrounds to work their way up through the organization,” Eshleman says.