In early spring, the New York State Department of Health released new data that pointed to some important areas for healthcare workforce investment. Performance Provider Systems (PPS)—networks of healthcare providers implementing the State’s DSRIP program throughout the state—are required to submit data at three points during the 5 year demonstration project, including surveys of job vacancies and compensation. The Job Title Vacancy Rate Snapshots have been released for Demonstration Year 1, providing workforce development community, educational programs, and policymakers with important information to guide future workforce investments.
Caution is recommended when assessing the data, as provider response rates were low, however, aggregated data do point to some areas of need, consistent across New York State, and also some specific to New York City.
Trends Across New York State
Throughout New York State a few occupations rose to the top as particularly high in vacancies—Primary Care Physicians, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Primary care Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Care/Patient Navigators, and Peer Support Workers. Because of limitations with data it is difficult to examine data closely, vacancy rates varied by PPS, even those in overlapping regions or in close proximity, which may be a result of data limitations or differences in local provider networks.
New York City
In New York City, several occupations had particularly large numbers of vacancies across the 10 PPS systems operating in the region. The most dramatic in terms of volume was for Staff RNs—numbering more than 3,000 vacancies across the city. Front-line, direct-care workers—nursing assistants and home health aides—also represent a large volume of vacancies.
|Occupation||No. of Vacancies|
|Staff Registered Nurses||3,044|
|Home Health Aides||551|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||500|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||455|
While assessing the volume of vacancies is important, the vacancy rates (the percentage of jobs that are vacant) help to flag potential shortages, gaps in the training or pipeline, and other labor market concerns. Across the state, specialty nurse practitioners (Psychiatric, and Primary Care) are in short supply. New York City is no different. Also of note, two of the “emerging occupations” new within the evolving healthcare delivery landscape are in the top five occupations with the highest vacancy rates in NYC: peer support workers, and care or patient navigators.
|Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners||24.7%|
|Peer Support Workers||22.7%|
|Primary Care Nurse Practitioners||16.3%|
|Licensed Clinical Social Workers||10.2%|
Only 9 of 10 NYC-region PPS provided vacancy data. Notable findings include:
- 5/9 had rates greater than 10% for LCSW vacancies.
- Social and Human Service Assistant vacancies were highest in NYC, with the five highest rates of vacancy happening in NYC systems, four PPS reported vacancies higher than 10%.
- Community Health Workers had more variable rates of vacancy across the state, however 5 of the 9 in NYC had rates near or above 20%.
Behavioral Health occupations posed particular challenges in New York City:
- Peer Support Workers were consistently problematic across NYC, with six of nine PPS’s reporting vacancies greater than 20 percent.
- Five of the eight New York City PPS’s who reported data cited a vacancy rate of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners over 20 percent.
- Four of nine cited vacancy rates for Psychiatrists at greater than 10 percent.
- Two NYC systems ranked in the top five highest vacancy rates across the state for Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder Counselors.
The full PPS Job Vacancy Snapshot for Year 1 can be found on NYS DOH’s website here.